Certified Nursing Assistant Programs

The health care industry is a recession-proof field for those seeking a stable, lucrative, and rewarding career. The industry continues to grow as specialization increases and the population of the country grows older. Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) fill an important niche in this large field. If you are wondering how to become a CNA, there are several important steps to consider: finding a school, gaining professional experience, choosing a specialty, and acing the professional interview. Reaching the professional interview is a long process, but it can be worth the effort and the expense. Candidates should use the knowledge and experience they gain over the course of their training to good advantage during the interview. An exciting career as a CNA awaits those who prepare wisely.

One of the first questions that a CNA candidate can expect should be why they chose nursing as a calling. It is good to respond with one’s own strengths. For example, if you are a compassionate person, emphasize this trait when talking about patient care. Empathy and sociability are also needed qualities in the profession as CNAs spend a lot of time with patients as they are prepared for procedures and monitored in after-care. The intellectual nature of medicine might be another way to emphasize positive personal traits. In the health care industry, there is so much room for specialization that one can always learn a new technique or be trained on a new instrument. Focusing on a passion for learning and continued self-improvement is a good position to take.

Many employers ask candidates what they would do in the case of a procedure that goes wrong. The interviewer might present a particular scenario or ask the candidate to describe a negative situation from which they learned. Before you begin a career as a CNA, you must complete a certification process. This includes a requirement for professional experience, which is often accomplished through an internship or postgraduate work at a hospital under the tutelage of experienced nurses and nursing assistants. This is an opportunity to learn from one’s own mistakes or the mistakes of others. We often learn more from our failures than our successes, so mishandling patient care is a teachable moment. There is also a standardized test that nursing assistants must take to become certified. Questions on the test ensure that all nursing assistants are familiar with the technical jargon of the trade and are equally prepared in technical expertise. Many questions ask what the appropriate response is in specific situations. Many of the situations discussed are emergency scenarios or problems that arise in relation to patient behavior. Passing the credentialing test will prepare nursing assistants for these kinds of questions from interviewers.

Candidates should also be prepared to show their dedication and knowledge by asking perceptive questions of a potential employer. It is wise to ask about how much training new hires will receive and how new hire can expect leadership and mentorship. Inquire about the size and makeup of the staff, including questions about how many patients a CNA might be expected to see on a shift. It is also important to emphasize longevity. Employers want a dedicated employee who is in it for the long haul. Asking about room for advancement and continuing education demonstrates seriousness about making a career out of this job. Finding out how to become a CNA is the first step to achieving a career as a certified nursing assistant.

Last Updated: 05/22/2014