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If you’ve decided to take the first steps towards becoming a CNA, there are a variety of places you can begin. Nursing assistant training is offered at vocational-technical centers, nursing care facilities, community colleges, high schools and even through the Red Cross. Classes among these facilities will generally be similar in nature and will require you to complete a few weeks or months of training before getting some real life experience.

During these classes, you’ll cover a variety of medical, ethical and professional issues. Generally taught by an RN, this can include and instruction in body mechanics, nutrition, anatomy and physiology, infection control, communication skills, and resident rights though what each program will teach will obviously vary. Students will also learn skills that will help them in daily activities and interactions with patients. This will ensure that nursing assistants are aware of the proper ways to feed, bathe and groom patient so that once on the job things will go more smoothly.

While nursing assistant programs are essential for learning the basics, the great bulk of what new nursing assistants will learn will be done on the job. This can be done through clinical practice in relation to classes or through an employer later on. Either way, nursing assistants will generally spend time accompanied by an experienced staff member learning the ropes and getting used to caring for patients. Experience working directly with patients can be a big help in boosting confidence and competency on the job and can help CNAs to better understand what will be expected of them once they find employment.

The length of time it takes to complete your classes will vary by the institution. Courses at the Red Cross may only take a few weeks to complete while those at a community college may take a few months. These kinds of classes usually have few prerequisites to enter, and many require no previous experience or high school diplomas. Students should be on the lookout for classes that are offered free of charge through medical facilities, as often these come with strings attached that may or may not be in accordance with the student’s personal goals.

Upon the completion of these courses, students will be required to take a certification exam to prove they’ve got the basics of their job down and will have both a written and clinical part. The written part of the test will focus on quizzing students over the basics of care giving that were covered in the classes. The clinical portion will ask nursing assistants to perform a variety of nursing duties to ensure they are done correctly. Once completed, students will be prepared to start a new career as a CNA.

Featured Online Nursing Programs

Rasmussen College
Rasmussen College - A.S. in Medical Administration. For those who are pursuing a career in medical assisting, Rasmussen College's Associate's degree in Medical Administration will provide students with the education needed to help run a healthcare office. Students will be prepared to face the various situations they will encounter in the workforce.
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Kaplan University
Kaplan University - B.S. in Health Science. Students interested in becoming a nursing assistant will be very pleased with the Bachelor's Degree in Health Science that Kaplan University offers. Kaplan is a respected online institution with a history of providing high quality classes at affordable prices.
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Virginia College
Virginia College - The B.S. in Health Services Management. Virginia College Online is the perfect online university for students on the go. With classes online, students can take them when they have the free time to do so and from any location with internet access.

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