Could you be a CNA?

CNA nursing aide

Would a nursing career work for you?

Nurse Aides (CNAs) perform an essential service across the United States, at hospice care facilities, hospitals and nursing homes. CNAs help individuals with eating, getting out of bed and bathing. Certified Nursing Assistants also aid RNs, by preparing equipment, obtaining vitals and responding to patient’s calls for help. CNAs are compensated well, in return for their labour.  Anyone looking to begin a new and exciting career should consider becoming a CNA.

CNAsA growing field

The Bureau of Labour Statistics, which is abbreviated BLS, believes that the need for CNAs in the coming years will increase by 20 percent. In 2008, the BLS stated that they expect a growth rate in the field of up to 18 percent, but in 2010, that number was in creased. Right now, it stands at 20 percent.

That forecast is encouraging, but people are always forecasting growth. For instance, the stock market supposedly grows over time, but it has performed poorly over time. So, what’s the difference? The BLS’ forecast for CNA growth is based on a known fact.

The baby boomers are aging. As they age, they will have more and more healthcare needs. CNAs will be needed to perform basic healthcare services to this aging population. Along with the increased demand, certified CNAs can likely expect more job opportunities and higher salaries.

CNA starting salary

Nurse aides earn a respectable wage for their work. These numbers, which were supplied by the BLS, have probably increased in the past two years, but they are the most recent statistics available. In 2010, the median salary in the U.S. for an aide was over $11.50. This is a very respectable salary for people who only need a couple of weeks’ worth of training. This number also varied from one state to another. In some areas, CNAs earned more than $30,000 a year. The median U.S. salary translated into $24,000 in 2010.

CNA training

CNA certification is governed by states, so the process of becoming licensed is not uniform. However, all states require students to take a course and pass an exam. This course contains at least 70 hours of training, and as much as 200 hours. As numbers, these seem large. Yet, when they are considered in the context of a week, it becomes evident that CNA training only takes two to four weeks. Furthermore, it only requires a GED, at most. Some states allow people to become CNAs without GEDs.

CNA advancement opportunities

People can become CNAs and work at the level of a CNA for their entire career, or they can advance into higher levels of medical care. Some states have advanced or specialized CNA training. People who undergo this training are able to perform more duties, have more job opportunities and earn a higher salary. CNAs can also train to become RNs or LPNs.

There are many reasons to become a CNA. From a career standpoint, this field of work is growing, provides and honest living and allows people to advance their skills. CNAs also help people every day at work. Training to work as a CNA is a great career choice, for both of these reasons.

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