If you’re a person who likes to help people, particularly the elderly and the sick, then maybe you can consider becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA).
As a CNA, you help senior nurses in providing direct care to patients in healthcare facilities.
You assist patients with their daily living activities, such as:
Further, you use observation skills for any signs of mental, emotional, and physical changes that can affect their condition.
If there are, you’ll report these to the senior nurses for immediate healthcare action.
Yes, the work will require you to be on your feet for most of the day, making it stressful and taxing.
But if it means that your patients are safe and comfortable, then it’s worth it.
If you’re still hesitating, then here are 13 reasons to convince you that becoming a CNA is a good career choice.
- Affordable Education
- Shorter Training and Certification Period
- Doesn’t Require a College Degree
- Positive Job Outlook
- Good Salary and Benefits
- High Job Satisfaction
- Diverse Employment Options
- Unique Work Experience
- Closer Relationship with Patients
- One Step Closer to Nursing School
- Going Up the Career Ladder
- Easy Job Change
- Continuous Learning
The average cost of taking a CNA training program is $1,300.
True, it’s still quite a high cost, but when compared to other healthcare programs, it’s quite affordable.
Once you’ve completed the training, you’ll proceed with the state exam and registry.
You might have to spend at least…
- Around $80 to $120 for the state exam
- $50 for the registry (sometimes can be free or included with the exam fees)
Shorter Training and Certification Period
At a minimum, you’ll spend 75 hours of classroom instruction and clinical practice in the program.
That will take you two to 12 weeks to complete.
Then, after the program, you have until the eligibility to test period to take and pass the state exam.
If you can pass the exam on the first attempt, you can earn your CNA certification in less than six months.
Doesn’t Require a College Degree
A CNA is a postsecondary non-degree certification.
As such, you only need to meet these requirements to start your CNA journey:
- Must be at least 16 years old
- Have a high school diploma or GED equivalent
- Pass the medical/physical exam
- Pass the criminal background check
Positive Job Outlook
The demand for CNAs is increasing about as fast as the average for all occupations.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the projected employment growth will reach 8% by 2030.
This growth is due to the increasing needs of the baby boomers residing in long-term care and nursing facilities.
Good Salary and Benefits
As of May 2021, BLS reported that CNAs will earn an average salary of…
- $30,290 per year
- $14.56 per hour
Depending on your workplace’s location, your salary can be higher.
Also, full-time CNAs can receive up to 25% more due to the benefits they get, such as:
- Medical insurance
- Paid leaves
- Retirement contributions
You may also qualify for tuition reimbursement.
For this, you will have to confirm the qualifications with the CNA regulatory body in your state.
High Job Satisfaction
Work can be demanding, but helping to improve someone’s life is extremely satisfying.
Each day presents you with a chance to make a difference in their lives.
Diverse Employment Options
Plenty of employers await to hire you, allowing you to choose the work environment you like.
You consider working in…
- Long-term care facilities and nursing homes
- Retirement communities
- Home health care agencies
- Academic institutions
- Research and development services
And if you happen to earn a CNA specialization, your options will become much broader.
Unique Work Experience
Working as a CNA, you’ll experience different things each day.
That’s because your actions will depend on what your patients do every day.
In short, you can’t predict what will happen to you at work.
So if you’re someone who likes variety, then you’ll like working with surprises.
Closer Relationship with Patients
As a CNA, you’re the primary caregiver in long-term care facilities and nursing homes.
Because of this, you’re the person who comforts, listens, and accompanies patients every day.
Over time, you’ll become friends with your patients, even practically a family member to them.
One Step Closer to Nursing School
With your experience as a CNA, you can get into an RN or LPN program if you want to.
In fact, nursing schools consider you good nursing student candidates because of it.
Going Up the Career Ladder
Working as a CNA is a solid career choice if you plan to advance into the healthcare field.
You can use being a CNA as a stepping stone toward becoming an RN, LPN, or other healthcare professional.
Easy Job Change
After a while, your preferences change, leading you to consider another job.
One good thing about being a CNA is that you can have an easy career transition to…
- Hospice care
- Other relevant jobs
Like many healthcare professions, your education doesn’t stop at completing the CNA training program.
It’s continuous, spanning through your career, because of the continuing development of the healthcare field.
And so, your knowledge, skills, and experience become a valuable resource for family and friends who need your expertise.