7 Important CNA School and Career Questions Answered

What careers can I pursue as a CNA?

CNAs are most often employed at long-term and nursing care facilities. CNAs also work at hospitals, which provide a more fast-paced environment. Your responsibilities as a CNA are helpful if you plan to become an LPN/LVN or RN in the future.

What degree path can I take?

CNAs aren’t required to have a college degree to work in their field. However, aspiring CNAs must complete a postsecondary non-degree program to work. Vocational schools, community colleges and some hospitals and nursing homes offer certified nursing assistant training programs. If you want to become an RN, some schools offer CNA-to-RN programs which don’t take as much time to complete as an associate’s degree.

How do I choose a specialization?

Some of the most common specializations that CNAs choose are pediatrics, geriatrics and home personal care. Although you’ll cover all of these topics in your program, a lot of your specialization education will happen on the job.

How do I apply for financial aid?

The first thing you’ll need to do is fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as government financial aid is the most common. In order to be eligible, the school or program you’re enrolled in must be accredited. Other types of financial aid include scholarships, grants, private loans and PLUS loans. Read up on ways to finance nursing school.

What type of accreditation should a nursing school have?

A good CNA program should be state board-approved. Before applying to a school, inquire with your state board about a list of their approved programs. If you decide to earn an ADN or BSN in the future, accreditation is extremely important. The two main accreditation bodies to look for are the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

How do I become licensed to work as a certified nursing assistant?

Upon completing your CNA education, you’ll be required to pass a competency exam. Your name is then listed in your state’s registry.

What continuing education requirements should I expect throughout my career?

Every two years, CNAs must complete at least 48 hours of continuing education. Often, employers will cover the costs of these courses.

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