Certified nurse aides (CNA) are in high demand by hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living centers and other medical facilities. They assist nurses and doctors in taking care of patients by helping them with daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, eating and leisure activities. Most people currently working in the nursing field as a registered nurse (RN) or a licensed practical nurse (LPN) began their nursing career working as a nurse aide.

Things You Will Need

CNA Class

Step 1

Find a program for nurse aides in your state. Most states require that certified nurse aides complete a 90 clock-hour educational program that provides a combination of classroom lecture with clinical experience in a nursing home or hospital. You can find these programs by contacting your state's health department or the professional nursing licensing division. You also have the opportunity to contact community colleges and technical schools, which are generally the providers of the courses in your state. As a last resort you can contact hospitals and other large medical facilities as they sometimes offer courses to get new employees serving as certified nursing assistants.

Step 2

Enroll in a CNA class. Once you find a class that works for your schedule, you need to enroll in it. The sooner you do this the better since CNA classes often fill up fast due to high demand. You need to submit an enrollment application and payment for the class which can range in price from $300 to $1,500 depending upon where you are taking it. If you enroll through a community college or technical school, you are required to take assessment tests which ensure that you meet the minimum reading level to be successful in the class. After you are enrolled you need to purchase any supplies you need for the class such as scrubs, a gait belt and a textbook.

Step 3

Complete the classroom and lab portion of the class. When you first begin your certified nursing aide class, you'll be in a classroom learning through lecture provided by your instructor. He or she will teach you the responsibilities of being a nursing assistant and what exactly you need to do once you're on the job. There will also be some labs incorporated into the classroom which teach you how to make beds, turn patients, monitor a person's blood pressure and assist individuals with daily tasks.

Step 4

Finish the course with clinicals. Towards the end of the course you have the opportunity to do clinicals in a nursing home, assisted living center or hospital. Clinicals give you the chance to put the knowledge you've obtained in the classrooms and labs to work in an actual setting with real patients. Your instructor will be at clinicals with you supervising, and he or she will step in if you are doing something wrong or need assistance.

Step 5

Pass the CNA licensing exam. Each state has its own licensing exam they give to nurse aides. This test is taken after you have completed and passed the course, and you are required to pass the test before you can begin working as a CNA in most states.

Step 6

Find a job as a certified nurse aide. Once you have passed the test and are officially certified as a nurse aide, you can begin looking for a CNA job. Many healthcare facilities are constantly seeking out CNAs with their license, which should make finding a job easy.


Tips & Warnings