Going through a CNA certification process is mandatory for all those who want to start a career as a nurse assistant in the health care field. Although some people believe native care giving skills are enough, in the end, skilled or not, everyone has to attend special courses in order to learn the procedures that they will need to apply when finding employment in a health care facility. The certification you obtain at the end of the process shows you are qualified for the job and will actually help you get one, as well as ensure further career opportunity. There is also the possibility to work as a nurse assistant, but there is no better job for you to aspire to without as certification.
Requirements to Become a Certified Nursing Assistant
You have to study in order to become a certified nursing assistant, and this will take you from one to six months of study, depending on what course you have chosen. After this course, which is the first part of the CNA certification process, you have to pass a state licensing exam with two components, a theoretical and a practical one. The requirements for this exam are different from one state to another, but there are some eligibility conditions common to all states.
- You have to be at least 18 years old in order to be allowed to take a license exam after having completed the CNA course.
- When you graduate the course, you have to pass a competency test in writing, to demonstrate that you have completed it and acquired the necessary knowledge. This will cover the clinical training (usually of at least 40 hours), under the supervision of a trained nurse, as well as the theoretical background (set for you by the training institute).
- High school graduation is also mandatory. You must demonstrate that you have completed the basic courses necessary to build a fundamental biologic understanding of how the human body works. There are states which require the completion of at least eight high school years or ask you to prove your knowledge.
- During the CNA certification process, you also have to submit your official college curriculum transcript to the licensing staff.
- Due to an increased incidence of drug problems in the United States, a background check is now essential before you are admitted to practice as a certified nursing assistant. You have to have your fingerprints submitted on a downloaded card and send this card to the licensing authority. Your fingerprints will be checked against a national database containing criminal information, in order to eliminate applicants who have a history of drug abuse and other criminal behavior. Without a clear record, you cannot be admitted for a CNA licensure.
- You also must not have administrative findings of neglect or abuse on the state or local CNA registry before having your application admitted.
- CNA certification process also includes passing the licensing manual and theory tests of the CNA licensing authority. The test can be taken online, in approved test centers. You will receive a notification about your results after a few days. If you consider that your results do not reflect the level of education that you have reached, you are allowed to retake the exam up to two more times.
- Most of the patients use English as their everyday language, therefore, you must understand and talk English in a reasonable manner.
From state to state, you may encounter additional specific requirements, so you may want to talk to a representative of the local Nurses Aide Register and check their CNA certification process requirements.