Do you want to be able to help people and work within the health care industry? However, do you not have the money to go to college and get a bachelor’s degree? Well, worry no more, as you can still get into the health care industry by becoming a certified nursing assistant. Becoming a certified nursing assistant (CNA) does not require you to go to college and pay those expensive college tuition fees. However, you still have to undergo certain training and pass the CNA exam. Additionally, although the certification process may cost you money, you do not need to worry since there are programs that can help you out with that. In order to learn more about what a CNA is, what you need to get into a training program, what programs can help you fund your certification, and how much you can earn in this work, please keep on reading.
What exactly is a CNA?
Basically, a certified nursing assistant (CNA) is a health care expert who helps clients or patients with their health care needs. However, CNAs cannot work alone, since they are constantly monitored by a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or a registered nurse (RN). A certified nursing assistant is also known as a state tested nurse aid (STNA), a patient care assistant (PCA), or a nursing assistant (NA).
- Role of a CNA. The role of a CNA can vary, depending on where you live or work. However basically, nursing assistants can work in a wide range of settings, such as hospitals, personal homes, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, or adult day care centers. At these places, nursing assistants are required to act as a useful liaison between the patients and the RNs or the LPNs. In some cases, CNAs also act as the eyes and ears of the RN and the LPN and they are asked to relay information between several patients and RNs.
A certified nursing assistant is required to fulfill the basic day-to-day needs of patients from all economic backgrounds, ages, genders, or races. Also, keep in mind that the workload of a CNA can eventually become fast-paced and intense, and it might cause burnout in others. However, the human contact with other people and the ability to help others serves as a strong motivation for CNAs to continue the work that they do.
How To Get A Free CNA Training And Certification
Although becoming a CNA does not require you to go to college, getting a certification can still cost you some money. However, do not worry since there are different methods available for you to get your certification at a lower cost, or in some cases, free! Here are some ways that can help you cover your certification costs:
- Medical businesses and nursing homes. There are a lot of medical businesses and nursing homes that will offer to cover the costs of your CNA certification. However, you have to agree to work with them once you have completed your training and passed your CNA exams. However, keep in mind that the time requirements and terms are different from one organization to the next. Nonetheless, this is still a great opportunity for you to get a free education and have a sure job once you graduate.
- Red Cross. Check your local Red Cross and ask them what opportunities they can offer. Throughout the year, Red Cross normally provides a free CNA training course or they also provide a scholarship to those who apply. Not a lot of people know about this; that is why, when Red Cross offers these scholarships, they are fairly easy to get. Make sure to keep yourself updated.
- State Department of Health. Make sure to also check out the Department of Health in your state. Just like the Red Cross, they also offer a lot of opportunities and one of them is the chance to get a CNA certification. With your DOH, they are also fairly easy to get, since not a lot of people apply for them.
- If you are a military spouse, or if you are in the military, the Defense Department of the United States can offer you different ways to get a free education. You can either seek assistance from your nearest military aid society or use their Tuition Assistance program. In order to learn more about this, make sure to search for CNA military scholarships.
- Workforce Investment Act. Thanks to this government act, you can obtain a free-of-charge workforce scholarship. Thankfully, the profession of being a CNA is able to meet the requirements for this program. However, you still need to check and make sure that you meet the requirements that they set.
- Free Online Practice Tests. There are many good online practice tests to take, so you can brush up on your skills before you take the exam, here is a good CNA Practice Test.
Salary Of A CNA
Once you have passed your CNA training and passed the CNA exam, you are now officially considered a licensed nursing assistant and can start your work as a CNA! Being a CNA is already a rewarding profession since you get to help others, but it is also understood that you need to earn a living. Well, you should know that the mean annual wage of a CNA is roughly around $25,140. Additionally, as of right now, there are currently around 1 million+ CNA jobs available, so make sure to take advantage of that! Lastly, the states with the highest CNA employment levels are New York, Texas, Pennsylvania, Florida and California.