Are you looking to become a certified nursing assistant? This is a job in the medical profession that can pay you a great deal of money but can be stressful at the same time. The job isn’t for everyone but it can be very rewarding for those that like to work hard and feel comfortable working around other people. There are several things you need to keep in mind before you become CNA of Certified Nursing Assistant.

How To Become a CNA

You will need specific training to become a Certified Nursing Assistant but you can star the training with just a highs school diploma. You don’t need any other courses to start the basic training for the CNA position. You will need high scores in math and reading but other than that you should be able to start your training. Places to get training include:

  • Community College
  • Technical-vocational schools
  • Online study

Calling your local college is the first step to see I they have these programs you can study. Most courses will last several weeks. You can also study online but you’ll have to go to a school to take the exams once you are ready for them. If you already work in the healthcare field there may be programs at your place of work that can give you the required course work to become a CNA in your spare time.

One requirement during your training will be to get CPR training as this is a requirement for becoming a CNA. Other procedure you will have to go through include medical screening for tuberculosis and you’ll have to have up to date vaccinations. These are required to work in the medial field and everyone has to take them not just those studying for the CNA position.

You also must be prepared to have a background check done on you. This is normal for many professions so you should feel at ease about having it done. This is another requirement you must meet in order to take these courses. As long as you meet the health requirements and have the check done you should be fine to begin training. The CPR can be done at any time as long as you have it before your courses are done. Some areas may have different requirements so check with the school you plan to attend before you sign up for Certified Nursing Assistant courses. The school can answer any questions you might have about these courses.

CNA Training and Courses

Training occurs in a regular classroom and it can happen on the job too. If you take the courses online there will be chat and video conferencing provided and students may also meet for hand-on experience and additional training. The type of training you get will vary depending upon the course and school. On the job training can last anywhere from six to eight weeks and is a part of the training for most classes. A student needs on the job training due to the demands of the position.

Training can occur in hospitals and nursing homes so the students gain the skills to work in the Certified Nursing Assistant field. Course work can include:

  • Responsibilities, functions, and role of the nursing aide
  • Physiology, biology, and the anatomy of the human body
  • Personal care of patients and residents
  • The control of infections
  • The procedures of hospitals
  • Safety, nutrition, and exercise for patients
  • Recording and measurement of vital signs for patients
  • Communicating with others

During your training you’ll have plenty of homework to to and you will need to work hard to pass the course. A certified Nursing Assistant is a difficult job and you’ll work hard so proper training and related education is critical to your success.


In addition to the basic education and training you’ll need to be certified. This requires several exams both written and a hands-on portion. The exams will allow you to get the certification to work in hospitals, care homes, doctor’s clinics and other areas where a nursing assistant is required.

Oral or Written Exam

You may choose an oral or a written exam and the questions are multiple choice. The questions and the length of the exam will vary on your location. You can find practice tests online as well as study aids to help you prepare for the exam.

Skills Test

The hands-on or skills test will be the hardest part of the exam. You will need to demonstrate that you have the skills to be a CNA. There will be several skills randomly chosen from twenty-five areas so you have a completely random test. Your test will vary from someone else so you need to study everything before taking the exam. One you pass the certification you’ll become a Certified Nursing Assistant and have the credentials to work in the nursing profession as an assistant. This position is not a nurse just an assistant. If you want to further your career this is possible after becoming an assistant.


The job pays quite well but it is still an entry-level position into the world of health care. With this position you have the chance to further your career and take other courses and positions. In general your salary will start low and as you prove yourself as a CNA your pay scale will go up and you gain valuable experience in the profession. Pay rates will vary depending upon where you work. The median rate is about $26,000 in the United States but this can go up and down in some areas.

Should I become a CNA?

Becoming a certified Nursing Assistant is a personal preference but the job can be rewarding. You must like to work with people and be able to handle situations that are less than ideal in a hospital environment. You will have to help patients who need help with basic tasks such as getting out of bed, washing, or using the bathroom. You need to be comfortable around these situations to work in the profession. A CNA works in a high stress environment and there will be long hours on your feet doing many different tasks. This type of job can wear you out if you’re not prepared for it and ready to except the immense responsibility that comes with the position. There will be situations where you will need all your training. Before getting training you will want to figure out if this is a position that you can handle as it’s not for everyone.


A CNA has many tasks here are some of the duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant.

  • Vitals- This includes taking blood pressure, temperature, pulse, and respiration. These are vital to understanding the health of the patient. You may take them once per shift or several times after a surgery for example. This will vary depending upon where you work. You may also take the weight and height of the patient as well.
  • Samples – You may take lab samples that don’t require a lab assistant to take.
  • Daily Living – You may assist patient with daily tasks such as brushing their teeth, shaving, combing hair, using the toilet, dressing, and other basic daily tasks.
  • Movement – You may help patients move from bed to chair for example or transfer them to other departments. You may end up helping them with medical equipment such as anti-embolism stockings or a bladder scanner.
  • Infections - A CNA may deal with infections and needs to know the protocol for dealing with hem so they don’t spread.
  • Observation – You may observe patients for any signs of medical problems and their progress in recovery. You may remove hazards that can cause injuries.
  • Comfort – You may work to provide comfort for the patient such as providing more pillows or keeping the bed dry after accidents. You will make sure their table tray is within reach and you may provide them things they need such as water or juice when they ask for it.
  • Empathy – You must be able to put yourself in the role of the patient and provide comfort and the appropriate care for each comfort no matter what the situation. Some patients may be difficult due to injuries or their medical conditions.
  • Communication – A Certified Nursing Assistant needs to have excellent communication to deal with the situations that occur in the hospital or other medical facility. You will document, observe, and report to other nurses and supervisors in the hospital.