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Certified Nurses Aide as a Career

Looking to start a Certified Nurses Aide career? In the U.S., a large percentage of our population is aging, and this can contribute to more opportunities for Certified Nurses Aides (CNAs) as people enter nursing homes and other healthcare facilities. This opens up many options for a certified nurses aide career as many of these jobs involve working with the elderly.

Oftentimes, elderly patients will live in nursing homes, long-term care facilities, and other assisted residences for many months or even years. The long-term nature of their stays can allow CNAs to develop long-lasting and rewarding relationships with their patients.

In addition to job opportunities with elderly patients, there are CNA opportunities in hospitals and other facilities which serve patients of all ages.

There is not one job title for a certified nurses aide career. Depending on the healthcare facility, a certified nurses aide could be called a hospital attendant, nurse’s assistant, or a different title altogether. Here are some of the job titles that you might find in your new field.

  • Certified Nurses Aide
  • Certified Nursing Aide
  • Certified Nursing Assistant
  • Certified Nurses Assistant
  • Nurses’ Assistant
  • Nurses’ Aide
  • Health Care Assistant
  • Hospital Attendant
  • Patient Care Technician
  • CNA Clinical Support Associate

Professional Settings

Careers as a Certified Nurses Aide are found in a variety of different healthcare institutions, such as hospitals and nursing homes. In most cases, CNAs are required to wear scrubs or a special uniform. In this role, you will be required to stand for a good part of your shift, and be energetic and active in serving your patients’ needs. You may need to work weekend hours or evening hours.

Below are some of the facilities where CNAs often work:

  • Nursing homes
  • Long-term care residences
  • Hospitals
  • VA hospitals or medical centers
  • Hospice facilities
  • Private residences

Employment Outlook

Each year the U.S. Department of Labor releases data on the estimated change in demand for a variety of careers. If you want to know about future projections for job growth among certified nurses aides, a useful resource is the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook.

This handbook predicts that employment of nursing aides, attendants, and orderlies will increase by 18 percent over the time span of 2014 to 2024. This rate is higher than average when considering all of the occupations shown in the handbook.

The handbook attributes this job growth to the increase in the elderly population. “Because of the growing elderly population,” the handbook says, “many nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants will be needed in long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes.”

Earnings/Salary for a Certified Nurses Aide Career

The wages of certified nurses aides differ based on a number of factors. Wages could be higher or lower based on your years of experience, your level of skills, and even your geographic location within the country. People early in their certified nurses aide career will usually earn less than those with more years of experience. As you gain more experience in the field and perform your job well, you can expect that your earnings will increase. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook provides more details on potential earnings for CNAs.

Certifications

The CNA program at Harris is designed to prepare students to sit for the Connecticut Nurses Aide state exam. Students have to do well in their classes in order to earn the privilege of taking this exam at the Danbury campus. In order to qualify to take the exam, students must (1) earn at least a 75% grade point average on all tests, (2) attend all classes, (3) be in good standing. The certification exam is offered at the Danbury campus for an additional fee. The cost of the exam is not part of your tuition. Students are responsible for paying the exam fee.

After a student passes the certification exam, there are still more steps to take before the certification is complete. The student must submit an application to the Connecticut Nurses Aide Registry. Once on the registry, students are allowed to work as CNAs.

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