Certified nursing assistants or CNAs are the people who make nurses' lives easier. They work at the behest of a licensed RN or LVN, and do many different jobs around the hospital, clinic, or care facility. In order to become CNAs, most of these people went to one of many accredited CNA schools.
Working in the medical profession is a good bet, job-wise, and allows many people to feel that they are doing something meaningful with their lives. Becoming a CNA is a good way to enter the field experimentally, since training for these positions is generally short – around three months, with a range of six weeks to six months.
Experience in a hospital, doctor's office or other medical facility can clarify whether you want to spend thousands of dollars and years of your time on becoming a doctor or nurse. For some people, becoming a CNA is the end of the road. This is fine, too– most CNAs make a modest but livable wage and are easily employed, which is beneficial if you are looking for a field with steady work availability.
Nursing assistants do not generally require certification, but getting a job without these qualifications can be difficult. Training programs must be accredited in order for their graduates to take the certification exam, so it is vital that you study at an accredited institution if you are planning to become a certified nursing assistant.
There are several different boards that certifying nursing assistants, and finding one that is widely recognized as reputable is important. If you live in a state where certification is required, making sure that you take the right exam is even more important. Checking with the board as to which schools' programs are acceptable is a good step to take.
It's important to be careful, because accreditation can be misleading. Anybody can call themselves an accrediting board, and accreditation any school they want. So, it's not the accreditation itself that is so important, but rather, who accredits them. Reputable accreditation agencies can be found on the website of the US Department of Education. Any school accredited by one of these boards will provide a quality education.
Many nursing assistants are trained through community college programs. In these cases, that the school is reputable is obvious. It is more often the case that smaller or online schools need to be looked at carefully, in order to make sure they are accredited CNA schools. Becoming a CNA can be a great move for people who enjoy helping others, at the cost of minimal time and expense.