If you are aiming to become a Registered Nurse (RN) someday or if your current career is not working out as well as you had hoped and plan to switch into healthcare, then becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant or CNA may be one of your top options.
Breaking into the healthcare industry can be quite difficult, as you need to proper training and skills to get gainful employment. Fortunately, practicing to become a CNA makes this a little bit easier, as you get to practice the basic nursing skills while on the job and on the way to acquiring a certificate or a degree in nursing.
For the uninitiated, a CNA is someone who assists the RN or LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) with the routine tasks, in order to give them more time to perform specialized duties such as nursing assessments, formulating care plans, assisting in surgery room preparation and administering medication. The basic tasks of a CNA involve assisting the patients with their activities of daily living, feeding, assisting with personal hygiene, making sure their environment is clean, wound dressing, exercise, repositioning bedridden patients, as well as assistance in the preparation and transport of patients into treatment, examination and surgery rooms.
In the United States, the CNA is also called by names such as PCA (Patient Care Assistant), STNA (State Tested Nurse Aid) or NA/R (Nursing Assistant-Registered).
Offers for CNA classes are widely available in local hospitals and nursing homes, trade schools, vocational schools, technical colleges, community colleges, as well as online. These courses typically involve a certain amount of classroom-type lessons, and some internship. The amount of hours required for internship depends on state rules, however. To be a fully practicing CNA, one also needs to pass the national CNA exam to be allowed to perform all the duties.
If you plan to get the best possible nursing education, you may want to consider one of the Top 10 Nursing Schools for Adult Nursing in the US as of 2009:
1.University of Pennsylvania – Philadelphia
2.University of California – San Francisco
3.Columbia University – New York, NY
4.University of Washington – Seattle
6.University of Maryland – Baltimore
7.University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
8.University of Colorado – Denver
9.It is a tie between University of Pittsburgh and Rush University of Chicago
Although the above list pertains to the Adult Nursing specialization only, the University of Pennsylvania also notably in the top ten lists for Nurse Midwifing, Pediatric Nursing, Family Nursing, Geriatric Nursing and Psychiatric Nursing.