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While becoming a nursing assistant requires much less training than some other health care professions, individuals should still expect to complete a multi-step training and certification process in order to be able to work in the field. There are a number of ways to go about doing this but most students will enroll in courses offered through a community college, vocational school, local health care facility or the Red Cross.

Initial training for nursing assistants begins in the classroom. Students will take courses and instruction offered by a RN that will cover some of the basics they’ll need to know when working with patients. This can include instruction in how to do simple things like bathe, groom and move a patient as well as issues of patient privacy, nutrition, anatomy, infection prevention, body mechanics, and communication skills. Most courses will provide handouts or textbooks that can provide additional information and ensure that students have a firm foundation to build upon.

The second portion of nursing assistant training will focus on clinical practice. What this usually entails is working directly in a hospital or health care setting along with the supervision of an RN or other more experienced health care professional. Students may begin by observing and work their way up to performing the tasks themselves. This is where the bulk of the skills that nursing assistants use on a daily basis will be learned, so it is an essential part of preparatory training. Programs can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to complete, but the great majority will take around two weeks to go through.

Once these courses and training are complete, in order to become a certified nursing assistant, students must pass a state-administered exam. The exam will consist of two parts, written and clinical, that reflect the dual training the student has previously received. In most states, certification will be granted if students pass the exam and they can begin working as nursing assistants. Throughout their careers, however, assistants may need to complete additional training through lectures and workshops to ensure they stay up to date and professionally engaged.

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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