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What do CNAs do?

Maybe you're thinking about a career in nursing but you're not quite ready to take the plunge. Maybe you've always known that nursing is where your heart is. Either way, a certified nursing assistant job can be a great choice.

Nursing aides often work directly with patients, under the supervision of an experienced medical staff, to tend to their patients' immediate medical needs. Many of the medical requirements of the job like taking temperature or blood pressure require specialized training on technique, but not all of them. Nursing assistants also assist patients with routine activities such as getting out of bed or assisting with meals.

Education requirements

To be a Certified Nursing Assistant you'll need at least a high school education or GED to complete the federally regulated requirements. All CNAs must finish at least 75 hours of a training course approved by the state, and pass a test to prove the mastery of the material covered in the class. Once you complete the requirements, you're listed on a state registry of approved nursing aides. Sometimes individual states have additional requirements, so you'll also want to check what those are in your area.

Career paths for CNAs

Many people who work as Certified Nursing Assistants choose to complete additional education certifications to become registered nurses (RN) or licensed practical nurses (LPN). A career as a CNA can be an excellent entry-level position to gain real-life nursing experience.

The future of CNAs

The BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) expects above average growth for Certified Nursing Assistant positions and will correspond to growth in population over the 2008-2018 decade. Because hospitals are constantly being pressured to release patients earlier and earlier by insurance companies, patients are being discharged to nursing facilities. The staffing needs of these types of facilities will drive job growth for CNAs.

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