Are you interested in a career in health care? Would you like to be part of a team dedicated to healing and improving lives? Do you like the idea of giving direct personal care to patients? Is job satisfaction important to you? Maybe you should consider becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant.
A Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is an important member of the healthcare team. In fact, health care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the direct care of patients, clients, or residents of the facility or agency that the CNA works for. CNAs assist with daily activities, such as dressing, bathing, and eating. They also have a role in keeping their patients safe and comfortable.
As a team member, the CNA reports to the nurse. Nurses depend on CNAs for vital signs, tests, and their observations about each patient’s condition. CNAs also coordinate schedules with other professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists.
The work can be physically demanding, including positioning, lifting, and transferring patients during the shift. CNAs spend most of their time on their feet because there is always something to do. It’s the perfect job for people who like to keep busy. And for people who want to treat patients with dignity and respect, just as they would want their own family members treated.
Ready to find out more? Here are 13 reasons that a CNA career might be right for you.
13 Reasons That a CNA Career Might Be Right for You:
1. You can become a CNA within three months.
3 MONTHS the average length of a CNA program
Certified Nursing Assistant programs last from four to twelve weeks. You’ll get at least 75 hours of classroom training, plus time learning the clinical skills you’ll need on the job. After completing the course, you’ll be eligible to take the CNA examination for your state.
2. No college degree is required.
To enter a CNA program, you’ll need a high school diploma or a GED credential. Most states require you to be 18 years old, but a few states allow CNA students to be 16 or 17 years old.
3. An approved CNA program is affordable.
$1,200 the average cost of a CNA program
Compared to other health care training, the cost of becoming a CNA is quite reasonable. The average cost of a CNA program is about $1,200. To be certified, you’ll spend about $125 for the examination and $50to register with your state and get proof of certification.
4. The employment outlook is great!
The demand for CNAs is growing faster than for workers in nearly every other job. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates an increase of 18% through 2024. (The average rate of job growth is only 7%.) This means that almost 300,000 new CNAs will be needed to meet the demand.
5. You’ll receive a good salary and attractive benefits.
$26,000 the average annual salary for a CNA
The average annual salary for a CNA is about $26,000. It can be higher, depending on where you live and work. If you work full-time, you will actually earn about 25% more because of the benefits that most employers offer: paid vacation and holidays, medical insurance, and retirement contributions. You may also get other perks such as tuition reimbursement.
6. Choose where you want to work.
CNAs have a choice of job opportunities. Many like to work in residential or long-term care facilities. But there are other options, depending on your interests: hospitals, clinics, or hospices. You can also get additional certification in some specialties, including geriatrics and pediatrics.
7. No two days are the same.
If you like variety, working as a CNA is for you. No matter where you go, each shift will be different. Patients change, and so do their conditions. Even in a long-term care facility, you don’t know what will be in store for the day. Time passes quickly when you are dealing with the day’s situations.
8. Start your career ladder.
Working as a CNA is a solid career as a direct caregiver. It can also be the first step to becoming a licensed practical/vocational nurse (LPN/LVN) or a registered nurse (RN). As you work with other medical specialties, you may decide to pursue a degree as a physical, occupational, or respiratory therapist. It’s up to you!
9. Get a head start on nursing school.
After you’ve worked as a CNA, you may decide that you’d like more responsibility as an LPN/LVN or RN. Because of your professional experience and knowledge, you’ll be a solid candidate for nursing school. Some schools offer an accelerated program, and you will easily show that you can handle the challenge.
10. Changing jobs is easy.
After you’ve worked in a setting, you may decide that you’d like to try something different. Perhaps you’ve been caring for disabled children but would like to switch to helping hospice patients at the end of their lives. Because of the demand for CNAs, you will have the opportunity to make the change.
11. You get to provide direct care to patients.
As a hands-on caregiver, you are the one who has the privilege of holding a patient’s hand and listening to the person’s life story. You are the professional who spends time with patients and their families. You’ll likely be the one to notice changes in a patient’s condition. Your role is crucial to the entire team.
12. Job satisfaction is high.
Working in health care can be demanding, but knowing that you contribute to helping someone get better or achieve the best possible quality of life is extremely fulfilling. Each day presents an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life.
13. Knowledge that lasts a lifetime.
As a health care professional, you continue to learn throughout your entire career. You gain an understanding of what happens during illness as well as the importance of staying healthy. Your family and friends will count on your expertise and ability to direct them to the best resources.
Interested? Working as a CNA can be a great career with lots of opportunities. Find a state-approved program and enroll today. Take our free CNA practice tests to prepare for your certification examination. Find out how to write a winning CNA resume that will put you at the front of the hiring line. We are here to help you be successful!