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How to Train to Become a Certified Nursing Assistant

By Lanee’ Blunt

When you become a CNA you may work in healthcare facilities, nursing and residential homes, hospitals, home-care as well as hospices. Certified nursing assistants are vital in every day operations in hospitals and nursing facilities. They are referred to as certified nursing assistants, orderlies, and home healthcare aids and they provide basic care and assist with the daily basic care activities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with the growing population in the elderly many CNA’s will be needed in long-term care facilities.


  • You need your high school diploma or GED
  • You must be at least 18 years or older
  • You will need to have your immunization up to date and current
  • Negative TB test
  • A criminal background check and you must pass the drug test


You can become a CNA in a brief period of time. The nursing assistant training program prepares students to work in health care facilities including nursing facilities, hospitals, home-care and hospices. Ensure that the training meets each Federal and State CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) requirements. Some programs can be completed in 6-to-12 weeks. The training will include how to take and record a patient’s vital signs, weight and height, and blood pressure. You will learn interpersonal skills, communication skills and infection control, assisting with daily living care, and how to report elder abuse.  Training can be at technical and vocational schools, community colleges, online, and the Red Cross. Online CNA courses offer versatile payment programs, and the convenience of taking the coursework at home. You can discuss coursework inside forums and chats at your convenience. Many online classes supply mock test sessions to prepare you for the exam. After completion you'll take the actual certification exam. At the end of the training, you are allowed to take the state certification examination. Following graduation and passing the test you'll be certified to work in home healthcare, long-term care facilities, private hospitals, and then be placed on a state registry.


The job responsibilities consist of patient care and help with daily living duties. They help patients in and from wheelchairs and transfer them in and from bed. They bathe patients and help them get dressed, brush their hair, and assist them while using the toilet. Certified nursing assistants are the principle care givers in nursing facilities. They have a lot of contact with patients and frequently develop close caring relationships with their patients.

Work Environment

CNA’s work in nursing homes; assisted living facilities, long-term care facilities, nursing facilities, and mental health facilities. They also work in hospitals, hospices, plus they work for patients within their homes too.


The average salary working in US is $24,010 a year. The pay may vary with respect to the state, but in some states you possibly can make $27,000 a year. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, nursing assistants make $11.54 and $13.00 per hour. They get medical benefits, paid holidays, sick leave along with a paid vacation. CNA training may take you a few months to complete, but after the training you will be working in the field.

Bureau of Labor Statistics: Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and Attendants

[Image of CNA’s].  (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.http://cnacertification-training.com/; and http://www.baycollege.edu/Around-Campus/M-TEC/Upcoming-Courses/CNA-Iron-County-Medical-Care-Facility.aspx