The increase of the patient-nurse ratio in hospitals proves that the recent shortage of nurses will continue to rise in the following years. Because of this, many hospitals have increased their employment opportunities for the different kinds of nurses such as certified nursing assistants. Due to this job growth, many people are now looking into the nursing profession as a way to establish their long-term careers. Not only does it offer an attractive salary, but a job as a nursing assistant offers stability, security and a wide range of career options since it is considered to be one of the fastest rising professions today. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment rate for certified nursing assistants will rise to as much as 28% by the year 2018 due to the fact that the number of elderly people that will need health care will continue to rise as the society ages. Employment opportunities are also projected to be on the rise as more hospitals, nursing facilities, home health facilities, and clinics will need additional nursing assistants to assist registered nurses with patient care such as grooming, feeding, taking vital signs and teaching exercise routines.
It estimated that more than 2 million individuals are currently working as certified nursing assistants (CNA). However, many of these CNAs tend continue their studies and go on to complete their higher education to become licensed practical nurses (LPN) or registered nurses (RN). This is the reason why there will always be employment opportunities for individuals who want work in this field.
Individuals who want to become a certified nursing assistant must attend and complete a nursing assistant program at an accredited school. Most programs go on for 6 to 8 weeks in length. The nursing assistant program will prepare the students to perform tasks as an entry level health care worker in hospitals or long-term care facilities. Through this program, the student will learn to provide that patients simple and basic care. Classes will consist of discussions about anatomy and physiology, medical terminologies, infection control, health and nutrition. Skills needed to assist registered nurses such as patient safety and personal hygiene, elimination and promotion of exercise will also be covered. Students will also be taught how to monitor vital signs, perform basic emergency methods, do cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid, and to implement precautionary measures. In addition to these, nursing assistant students will also be trained in bathing, grooming, feeding, turning and repositioning patients.
In order for students to receive their certificate of completion from the nursing assistant program and for them to be eligible to sit for their state board’s CNA certification, students are required to fulfill a specific number of clinical training hours that are held in various hospitals, clinics, or long-term nursing facilities. These clinical-based training will be helpful in providing the students the “hands-on” experience that they need in order to perform well in a real hospital setting as soon as they start working.