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The choice to become a CNA is one that can offer immense rewards. While a certified nursing assistant is technically an entry level position, there’s really no better place to start for those who are seeking a way to get into the medical field with a job that offers challenges, the rewards of working with real patients and plenty of opportunities for advancement. The future is bright for CNAs all across the country – the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that job growth should be excellent, with good earning potential as well. However, to become a CNA, you have to have training and education in order to take the licensing exam and meet your state’s requirements. You have two primary choices here – you can attend a traditional school, or you can take CNA classes online.
Know Your State’s Requirements
Before you start considering online CNA classes, it’s important that you understand one thing. Your state will set specific education and training requirements for anyone hoping to enter this position, and you must ensure that the certified nursing assistant training online program you take adheres to those requirements.
The simplest way to determine what education requirements your state requires is to check with your state’s Department of Public Health website (or the equivalent). Here, you’ll be able to determine how many hours of theory work are required, as well as how many hours of clinical, hands-on training you must have prior to taking the exam. You will also find out which CNA classes online have been approved by the state for aspiring nursing assistants to take.
Is CNA Certification Online Right for You?
Before you make the decision to pursue CNA classes online, you must ask yourself several questions. CNA certification online is a form of distance education. As such, it offers a number of benefits, but it also requires that you be able to learn in an independent study situation.
In order to take advantage of these education programs, you’ll need to have:
- A high speed Internet connection
- A computer capable of accessing the Internet
The Benefits of Certified Nursing Assistant Classes Online
As mentioned, taking CNA classes online offers a range of benefits over going the traditional route. Before you make up your mind one way or the other concerning your required training, it’s important to know what these are.
Flexibility – Perhaps the most important benefit offered by distance education is the ability to be flexible in your learning. In a traditional school setting, you’re pretty much at the mercy of the school’s class schedule, though you may be able to choose either day or night classes. With online classes, you actually get to choose when you want to study and complete coursework – morning, noon or night. This makes it an excellent choice for those who already have full-time jobs or other responsibilities that require they spend the majority of their time outside the home.
Learn at Your Own Speed – Another very important advantage to understand is that CNA classes online allow you to learn at your own pace. Whether you’re above average or you struggle with certain topics, learning at your own pace ensures that you are able to enjoy maximum information retention of all necessary skills. You will be learning a lot of new things, all of which are vital for job performance, patient care, teamwork and more, and learning at your own pace helps cement that newfound knowledge.
What to Look for in CNA Classes Online
Before you leap into the world of online education, it’s important to understand a few of the things that should be featured in any online CNA classes you might be considering. These include the following:
Accreditation – As with any other type of education, you need to ensure that the school you choose is accredited. Accreditation from a reputable, recognized third party proves that the school takes its promise to students very seriously and regularly updates its educational programs to reflect the newest in CNA duties, specializations and education. You’ll also find that attending an accredited school will help make taking your NCLEX-PN easier – many states require that you attend an accredited course in order to enroll in the exam.
State Approval – Some states do not require that the school you attend be accredited. Instead, they require that your CNA certification online come from an “approved” school. These institutions may or may not have accreditation from a third party, but they have approval from the state’s Board of Nursing (or the equivalent). Whether you choose an accredited school or not, it must be on the list of approved training providers. Otherwise, you run the risk of not being able to sit for the NCLEX-PN exam after completing your training.
Two Parts – As a final note on choosing CNA classes online, you should ensure that the program you select offers both theory work and physical training. All states in the country require that you have at least some physical training in a hands-on environment before taking the NCLEX-PN. This ensures that you have familiarity with the equipment with which you’ll be working, as well as the specific environments in which you’ll find yourself. However, the problem here is that some online courses only offer bookwork. Make sure the course you select combines both aspects in order to meet your state’s training requirements.
Check State Enrollment Requirements
After you graduate from your online CNA classes, you’ll have to enroll to take the state’s licensing exam. Each state makes students satisfy all necessary aspects of the enrollment process and fulfill basic requirements. Make sure that you know what you need to do in order to sign up for testing. Reputable online CNA classes will include this as part of their service for you, but that’s not necessarily true across the board.
Taking CNA classes online can be an excellent solution for any number of students hoping to enjoy a rewarding career with a bright future. Follow these simple tips and you can make an informed decision regarding your education needs.