During CNA schooling, students learn the valuable skills they will need to be successful and helpful in their future career. In order to properly learn all of the procedures and concepts, students must have a thorough education. Classes may be taken at a hospital, college, nursing care facility or the Red Cross. Some locations may have a waiting list, but each of these locations offers state-approved programs. Beware of online programs that advertise the absence of clinical practice necessity.
The schooling requirements vary from one state to the next in the aspect of education hours. The minimum requirement nationwide is 40 hours. Some states still require only 40 hours, but most require between 75-80 hours. Some states also have a specific requirement for contact hours with actual patients. Part of the program takes place in the classroom, but part takes place in a clinical setting.
Students looking for CNA schooling options must always review what the program includes. While they are rare in most states, teams of scam artists sometimes rent an office space, falsely advertise it as a clinic and try to market CNA classes. They are easy to identify, as they have no standing arrangement for clinical practice. Every state-approved program must have clinical practice.
CNA training programs are designed by instructors to include all of the vital information the students need to work with elderly, disabled or ill patients. The program must also include the information that will be on the state test. After completing the classroom session and practice tests, students practice the procedures on mannequins.
After mannequin drills are completed, the program requirements point students to their clinical setting. This is where they work with live patients and are supervised and graded for their practical skills. Most students are able to do this, as procedures include mostly common sense issues. However, students who are unable to complete tasks or lose their desire to continue are urged to seek other career paths at this time.
The final part of the CNA schooling requirement is the state test. This is taken on paper or via the computer, depending on the educational institution and the state of residence. Students who pass are issued a license and are usually put on the state license registry within a week. If students are unable to pass the test, they may retake it. Some states have a waiting period, but others allow immediate re-take exams. Always check with the individual state's licensing department for up-to-date information about schooling, as rules may change each year.