In the world of nursing, the Certified Nursing Assistant is considered to be the “Jack of all Trades”. This means that while they may not have the medical know how of a Registered Nurse, they are often considered the ears and eyes of an RN. Nursing Assistants are often called to help monitor and comfort patients, help with surgery, dispense medications to patients and often offer words of comfort and encouragement to distraught family members while the hospital staff are working with the sick or injured family member.
To become a Certified Nursing Assistant, you must make contact with the registration board in the state in which they live, or plan to practice to find SNTA (State Tested Nurses Aide) or CNA courses in their area. The person must be able to complete a pre determined training time of 75 hours, with an included 16 hours of mandatory clinical time. Once the required hours and clinical time have been completed, it is then time for the Nursing Assistant Exam, which the laws in most States require that the person is signed up for the exam within 90 days of completing their clinical hours.
Once you’ve passed the Nursing Assistant Exam (both the written and clinical), and become certified, you’re ready to put your “Jack of all trades” skills to work. With advancement opportunities being good, many Registered Nurses find themselves becoming Certified Nursing Assistants before deciding to become Registered Nurses. With the course length being anywhere between four to twelve weeks (depending on that particular states requirements), to become a Certified Nursing Assistant, it allows them hospital time and allows them the opportunity to earn money while they continue with their education to get their nursing diploma.
Don’t be intimidated by the Nursing Assistant Exam. If you are well versed in all that you’ve learned over the duration of the course, then the exam should come easily for you. Spend time before the exam studying with classmates and critique each other on various clinical activities as a method of discovering things that have room for improvement. Before you know it, the stress of the exam will be behind you, and you’ll be walking into the hospital or clinic all smiles and starting your first day as a Certified Nursing Assistant.