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With the high demand for certified nursing assistants, it isn't difficult to get a CNA license today. At one time, classes were rare and had long waiting lists. More programs have opened up as the projected need for more of these valuable workers has risen with the Baby Boomers generation now aging. The process for obtaining a license isn't difficult.
The first step is to contact the licensing department in the state of residence. Each state has slightly different rules and regulations. For example, some states may require 40 hours of training, while others require 80 hours. In addition to this, some states require different amounts of continuing education.
Another important thing to inquire about is background screenings. Most states only require a regular criminal background check to be performed. Some criminal convictions are permissible under certain circumstances, but incidences of theft or abuse of any kind are intolerable to licensing divisions. In the state of California, a live scan fingerprint check is performed at the expense of the applicant.
The most important step in obtaining a CNA license is to take training classes. The classes consist of both lecture and clinical practice sessions. Lectures are used first, teaching students the various care procedures and important information required to provide assistance to the disabled, ill patients and elderly residents. Clinical practice is performed after that to test students' real-life capabilities and give them a true look at the job.
After training and clinical practice sessions are over, a final test must be taken. Depending on the frequency and length of classes, the entire session of training may last two weeks or a month. The final test may be taken electronically in some states or on paper in other states. The instructor provides a final grade, but most students pass the test.
Once the test is completed, the instructor notifies the state licensing division that the student is eligible to be licensed. The student may submit his or her application with any state-required fees. In some cases, a nursing home or hospital offering employment may take care of these services if they're pre-arranged. Once the application has been submitted, the student can usually begin working within a few days. In some states, the actual license may be needed before employment is offered. In order to maintain a CNA license each year, the CNA must complete the state-required amount of continuing education and provide proof of it. When renewal time arrives, the CNA must pay the required fee for official license renewal.