Becoming a Certified Nursing Aide

Many senior caregivers may come to the profession through caring for a family member or personal friend.  Many of their caregiving skills have been developed "on the job".

Senior care companies provide services staffed by both companion caregivers and certified nursing aides, depending upon the care needs of the client.  Seniors who are dealing with the challenges of memory loss or need extra assistance with their daily household tasks, may only require the services of a companion caregiver.  However, seniors who are suffering from more advanced stages of age-related illnesses, such as Parkinson's Disease and Alzheimer's Disease or who are on hospice care, may require around-the-clock care and assistance with all aspects of daily living.  A certified nursing aide is required for these care assignments.

How do you become a certified nursing aide?

  • Attend an approved nursing aide training program
  • Complete the classroom and field work
  • Take the state nursing aide exam

Once you have passed the state nursing aide exam, you will be able to be hired as a C.N.A.  You may learn more about the skills certified nursing aides learn, find a certification training program near you and apply for a senior care job to begin developing your skills.

As the senior population continues to grow, job opportunities for C.N.A.'s will continue to be plentiful at hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living communities, hospices and senior home care agencies.


Comments (3) -

  • Can you take the state test without getting classroom training??  I have been a caregiver over a year, without certifiation, but i do everything that a CNA does, so why go to class???
  • Hi, Rachel,
    The federal OBRA law requires at least 75 hours of classroom training to become certified as a nursing assistant.  In some states, you are allowed to "challenge" the exam without attending classes.  Your best bet is to contact the Nurse Aide Registry for your state.  This site lists them all.
    Good luck!

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