How to Become a CNA Online

Healthcare is an ever-changing and exciting career field. New innovations and techniques are always being developed to improve patient care and outcomes. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in the healthcare field are expected to grow over the next several years as the population of the United States ages. If the field of medicine interests you, now is a great time to become a part of it. One of the quickest ways to start working in the healthcare industry is by becoming a certified nursing assistant, or CNA. CNAs have relatively short training programs that are widely available and can even be taken online.

CNA Online Programs

With the busy lifestyle many lead today, they may assume that they simply do not have time to train for a new career. Online CNA training options make becoming a CNA a very achievable goal. On average, a CNA training program takes eight weeks to complete. Some accelerated programs take as little as two weeks and some part time programs can take a bit longer.

CNA training usually consists of a certain amount of classroom learning and a certain amount of hands-on learning. In hybrid CNA training programs, you can complete all of the classroom learning hours online. Doing CNA training online can save you a lot of time as well as the cost of traveling to and from campus for class. Becoming a CNA by completing online classes is a very convenient option.

Online Learning

While online learning may be difficult for some students, most find that it is easy to acclimate to. Most online CNA classes will have lecture videos or text available on a website. They will also usually have written assignments as well as exams that each student needs to complete. For the most past, online courses work like traditional courses in terms of scheduling. Certain readings and assignments will have due dates, and the course will be completed in an allotted amount of time. Some online learning programs may give students the ability to set their own pace, but most have a set pace.

CNAs learning online will complete the same courses as CNAs learning in a traditional classroom setting. The online courses will cover topics such as patient nutrition and hygiene, medical ethics, human anatomy, and effective communication and reporting techniques.

Hands-On Training

Most CNA programs require some portion of hands-on training (known as clinicals) in order for a student to pass the nursing assistant program. The number of required in-person hours is almost always less than the required number of classroom hours. These clinical hours are most often completed in a nursing home or hospital. During the clinical hours, a nursing assistant student will be supervised by an LPN or an RN and will have to demonstrate that he or she has a good working knowledge of patient care skills and how to take vital signs. Each state will have differing requirements for the necessary amount of clinical hours. For some states it is as little as 16 hours while for others it is upwards of 40 hours. In either case, the clinical hours can most often be completed in a week or two.

CNA Competency Exam and CNA Registry

Upon completion of a CNA training program you will be a nursing assistant, but you will not yet be a certified nursing assistant. Some facilities may hire nursing assistants, but most will require certification. In order to become certified, you will need to complete and pass the competency test for nursing assistants given by your state. Each state’s test will vary, but generally the nursing assistant test will consist of a written or multiple-choice portion as well as a portion in which you will need to demonstrate your knowledge of basic nursing assistant skills.

Once you have passed the competency exam, some states also require that you then be listed on the CNA registry. A nursing assistant registry is an easy way for employers to verify that you have indeed completed and passed CNA training and that you are approved to practice as a CNA. CNA registries also contain information about any maltreatment or abuse that has been reported for any particular individual.

While it is not necessary to be certified or on the CNA registry in order to work as a nursing assistant, most employers look to hire certified nursing assistants and also use the CNA registry to confirm that they are hiring properly trained safe employees. Being both certified and on the registry will likely benefit you in your nursing assistant career.

Becoming a CNA Online

If you have been dreaming of making a career change, completing the training to become a CNA is a great way to start that journey. By completing a convenient online training program and some clinical training, you could soon be well on your way to becoming a CNA.