CNAs can expect a rewarding, challenging career in the city of Washington DC. Trained professionals working in the city can earn a significant amount per year (one of the highest annual salary rates for CNAs in the nation), and can work within a range of different facilities, from hospitals to trauma centers, clinics and more. Whether you intend to remain a certified nursing assistant for the duration of your career, or are looking to use this position as a stepping stone to something higher up, you’ll need to know a bit more about what to expect before registering for CNA classes in Washington DC.
How to Find Information about Jobs in Washington DC
Information about CNA jobs in Washington DC can be hard to find if you’ve never done any research on the subject. However, there are a few key places that can offer a wide range of vital information. Interestingly, one of the most important resources for you to use is Craigslist – you’ll find that the online classified site offers access to a significant number of job postings. Through those postings, you can get a feel for the industry in terms of job duties for CNAs, what salary you might expect and even where you can find jobs.
Other solutions for finding information about jobs (or finding employment in the first place) include using the numerous medical staffing agencies in the city. These include:
Licensing and Education Requirements for CNAs
Like the states, Washington DC mandates specific training requirements for CNAs over and beyond federal guidelines. The coursework and clinical training requirements are similar to many states, in that Washington DC requires a total of 120 hours of training for aspiring CNAs prior to taking the licensing exam. 45 hours must be spent in specific CNA classes, 30 hours in a clinical lab and 45 hours in a nursing home setting in order to qualify to take the examination.
The licensing exam itself combines written questions and skills assessments. If you do not pass the exam on the first try, you can retake it up to three times. After that, you will have to go through training once more before you are allowed to take the exam again. You will have to renew your license every two years, and you must have 24 hours of on the job experience during that 2-year period to become eligible for renewal.
Key CNA Programs in Washington DC
The District of Columbia has nine approved training providers. The full list of CNA classes in Washington DC can be found with the District’s Health Professional Licensing Administration. Of those listed, several approved CNA programs in Washington DC rank high in terms of quality and effectiveness, including:
- St. Mary’s Health Institute, located at 4515 14th Street NW
- University of the District of Columbia
Key Employers for CNAs
Finding employment for CNAs in Washington DC is not particularly difficult, thanks in large part to the number of high quality medical centers, hospitals and clinics that call the city home. You’ll find a range of employers running the gamut from university hospitals to cancer treatment specialists and everything in between, all of which employ CNAs. In addition to the list of staffing agencies above, you can also apply directly with some of the top employers in the area, including:
- Children’s National Medical Center
- Sibley Memorial Hospital
- MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
- MedStar Washington Hospital Center
Salary Information for CNAs in Washington DC
CNAs can earn a significant salary in the city of Washington DC – slightly above the national norm. The average salary for certified nursing assistants in the city is about $33,000. However, that can vary drastically depending on your specialization and where you choose to take employment. The median annual Certified Nursing Assistant salary in Washington, DC is $33,410, as of August 29, 2016, with a range usually between $30,288-$37,162.
Key Skills Learned in Training
Attending a CNA training course in Washington DC will provide you with the education and skills necessary to help provide the highest quality patient care possible. While you will learn a variety of different skills, the following will certainly be on the list of those addressed in your CNA classes(some skills will vary from one education provider to another):
- Basic infection control and treatment
- Use of basic medical devices and safety equipment
- Effective communication with patients and staff
- How to treat young patients, as well as patients suffering from degenerative mental disorders
- Proper procedures for cleaning, dressing and caring for a patient’s body (both assisted and comatose)
- How to read vital signs and monitor for changes
Any CNA training program you consider must be state-approved, or you risk not qualifying to take the licensing exam.