Becoming a certified nursing assistant doesn’t take very long, and, with free certified nurse assistant training, it doesn’t have to cost anything, either. Medical facilities the world over are hurting for qualified medical personnel, including certified nursing assistants. Because of the worldwide shortage of nurses, there are a variety of ways that you can get your CNA training, without having to worry about expensive loans.
Some of these include:
Grants offered by the government for unemployed American workers.
Scholarships offered by individual schools.
Loan repayment or tuition reimbursement programs offered by hospitals and medical clinics.
Federal financial aid, like the Pell Grant.
Scholarships offered by nursing associations.
Programs sponsored by your state’s Board of Education.
Low cost CNA training offered by the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and other charitable organizations.
Free courses offered by large, understaffed medical facilities, like hospitals and nursing homes.
Unfortunately, the majority of financial help out there is for students planning to become registered nurses or advanced practice registered nurses. The best way to find out what kind of help is available for you is to contact your state’s Board of Nursing. This organization is the governing body when it comes to nursing educational requirements, scopes of practice, and more. They will be able to point you to financial aid measures for nursing assistant students, and affordable community colleges with nursing assistant programs.
Nurse Assistant Training
Most CNA programs are approximately eight weeks in length, and cover the basics of nursing, like medical ethics, anatomy, and medical terminology. Most Boards of Nursing require nursing assistants to pass a certification exam upon graduating from the program, and then register as a certified nurse assistant before they are allowed to practice. In many states, nursing students that are currently in the process of becoming registered or licensed practical nurses are able to test and register as certified nursing assistants while they obtain their nursing degrees.
Fortunately, most nurse assistant programs are not very expensive. They’re usually less than a thousand dollars, so students looking for free certified nurse assistant training won’t have to worry about raising the thousands of dollars that regular nursing tuition usually costs.
Nurse Assistant Scope of Practice
All healthcare professionals have a scope of practice that they must adhere to. People who do things outside of their scope of practice (nurses who perform surgery, for example) can be subject to serious disciplinary action.
In general, nurse’s aides can perform basic tasks like helping patients to the restroom, bathing them, helping them dress, and assisting them with other small, daily tasks. They may also have to provide some physical therapy exercises, massage, and other gentle physical activity to prevent bedsores and joint stiffness. All nurse’s assistants report to actual nurses, and must inform them of any changes that occur in their patients. Nurse’s assistants are not nurses, and can not perform the same patient care tasks that they can.
Why You Should Become a Certified Nurse Assistant
There’s a worldwide nursing shortage, and it’s severely impacted many areas of the U.S. Many hospitals are understaffed, and every free pair of hands helps. Though nursing assistants can’t do the same things nurses do, they can help by performing minor tasks for them. This frees nurses up to focus on more important aspects of their scope of practice, without sacrificing patient care.
If you think you would like to work in a hospital setting, becoming a certified nurse assistant is a low cost, low investment way to gauge how well your interest lasts. Completing a nursing program is expensive and difficult, but being a certified nursing assistant is a great way to see how well the job “fits” you first.
Lastly, in this economic situation, workers are virtually unemployable if they don’t have some kind of training or job skills. Free certified nurse assistant training can allow you to get the skills you need in order to be able to find a job wherever you go, from hospitals, to mental health facilities, to reproductive care centers, to private doctor’s offices.