If you’ve decided to become a Certified Nursing Assistant, you’re already on your way to a stable job, a satisfactory wage with benefits, and a fulfilling career providing medical assistance and support to people in great need. The last step to being employed as a nurse aide is to complete your certification test, so the first step is taking a class to learn all the necessary skills for passing. Without finding a CNA training program, it can be extremely difficult to pass your state certification test and you may not even qualify to take the test until you’ve enrolled. Here are some basic tips on how to enroll in a nurse aide training course.
1. Check with your state department
There are numerous state boards that can help you find out which programs are approved for certification credit in your area. The exact department that will help you answer your questions will vary based on your state. For many states, all information on their healthcare training programs can be obtained at the state Board of Nursing, Department of Health, Department of Professional Licensing, or most commonly, the state’s Online Nurse Aide Registry. The registry is the best bet for accurate, up-to-date information on CNA training programs and it’s updated regularly. Every state-approved nurse aide training program must be approved by the state, so every state has a long list of instruction courses that is updated yearly. The state boards will also be helpful for other aspects of beginning your career and can put you in touch with a wide network of professional resources for financial assistance with tuition, employment opportunities throughout the state, and contact information for important personnel in the field.
2. Compare programs
With so many options for training courses, it is important to decide exactly how you want to prioritize your decision. Each program will have different requirements, offerings, and class availability. For some people, the cost of tuition is the most important factor. For others, the quality of the program matters the most. If you have a full-time job, it might be more important to find a training course that offers night classes. Between course schedules, class formats, quality of instructors, tuition rates, and class size, there are a lot of things to consider before making your pick. Everyone has their unique reasons for picking the course they want, so don’t rush your decision. Choose a training program that offers the most benefit for your personal situation.
3. Complete an application
The application process for CNA training programs is relatively simple and can be completed in under an hour. Most programs will accept all types of applicants, and there are very few educational prerequisites. It is possible to enroll in some programs without a high school diploma or GED. Some aspects that may take longer than other parts of the application are the criminal background check and medical history form. To make the process more efficient, complete your background check and health check-up in advance of your application. Some programs may offer payment programs to help with tuition, and most courses require tuition up-front for enrollment.