You will need to attend and pass a nursing assistant certification program before being granted certification. A nursing assistant is commonly called a CNA. A CNA is someone who provides some basic care services for patients in a range of healthcare settings (including home health). It will also be necessary to pass the nursing assistant competency exam administered by your state. There are ways to receive paid CNA training.
If you are receiving training to become a nursing assistant through a nursing care facility, you might be eligible to have your employer pay for your training. These facilities often hire individuals to work as nursing assistants even if they need to complete the training process.
Nursing care facilities often offer training directly on-site. Therefore, they will hire motivated individuals who are interested in an entry-level healthcare position to work as nursing assistants. If you are hired to work as a nursing assistant before you have training, you will then need to complete the training program and pass the exam.
In order to receive paid cna training from your employer, you will have to agree to work as a certified nursing assistant for that facility for a certain amount of time. (The employer will provide you with details on all these requirements. It is sometimes possible to work for this employer as a nursing assistant while you are finishing all requirements for certification.
Many states offer a grace period in which people can work in a healthcare facility while completing their training. If you qualify for this grace period, you will have time to finish your training classes and to take (and pass) the certification exam.
During that time, you will be able to be paid to work for the healthcare facility. This is good news if you need to be able to receive an income while completing the steps for certification (especially if you are currently not employed).
You need to work as a paid CNA for a certain amount of time each year in order to be able to complete the necessary nursing assistant recertification every two years. Typically, you will need to have worked as a nursing assistant for pay for at least 150 hours over a 24-month period. If you do not work this many hours as a paid cna, you might need to repeat a training course or to sit for the for the certification exam again.
If you are not working as a paid cna, your nursing assistant certification can lapse. This is to make sure that you have the experience and knowledge that you need at all times to provide good care for patients. Many states require you to work for at least 8 hours in a given amount of time if you want to be able to easily reactivate your nursing assistant certification. The criteria can vary from state to state. Even if you decide not to work as a nursing assistant full-time, you should try to work a couple hours each week or a few hours each month to retain your certification.