CNA training varies from state to state. The minimum federal requirement for CNA’s to work in a nursing home is 75 hours of training. In most cases a high school diploma or GED is required to work in hospitals and long-term care facilities. Training programs are offered at a number of different facilities. Some of these include high schools, trade schools, technical schools, community colleges and hospitals. The topics covered in CNA training include body mechanics, physiology, nutrition, infection control, communication and resident rights.
Training is usually split up into a hands-on portion and theory-based portion. At many technical and vocational schools the theory-based portion may be completed online. Online classes for CNA‘s are becoming more popular. Your state may have its own requirements for how many hours must be completed at a facility. Many states require more than the 75 minimum hours. Check with your state board of nursing to find your state requirements. Training usually lasts from two weeks to 12 weeks.
After your training is complete a state exam will need to be passed. After this exam is passed you will receive a license number that will allow you to practice in your state. You will also be placed on a CNA registry so that employers can see your license number and your current active or inactive status.
Some other qualifications for CNA’s to start work are a physical that must be passed and a background check and drug screen that must also be passed. You must be in good physical health, as the job is physically demanding. CNA’s must be emotionally stable, understanding, respectful, caring, be able to work as part of a team and should have a strong desire to help people.
Advancement opportunities for CNA’s are limited without further training. Active CNA’s are required to complete training every year mandated by their state in order to renew CNA licenses. The amount varies from state to state. It is usually between 12 to 24 hours. CNA’s typically advance to registered nurse and license practicing nurse. However, these jobs will require several more years of schooling.