The healthcare sector is booming and offers countless opportunities, but people find it hard to get in due to the massive investment required in terms of both time and money. In most cases, earning college degree requires a minimum of four years and can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
But it’s possible to get started in the industry without spending a fortune, by starting as a certified nursing assistant, also referred to as a CNA or STNA. Anyone with a high school diploma or GED can complete the training in a matter of a few weeks, at a cost of under $1,500 – $2,000. Compare THAT to getting a college diploma!
This path differs from other medical careers in that individuals do not need to obtain a specialized degree. CNAs can get a certification by passing a test. It doesn’t matter what background you have. The test is open to all, and those who pass can immediately become certified.
There’s no better time than now to become a nurse’s aide. The population continues to age, and more seniors are beginning to need medical attention. The Baby Boomers are a particularly large group, and they are reaching retirement age en masse in the next few years. The healthcare system is anticipating their needs by supporting nursing aide programs across the country.
Students will learn both the theoretical and practical side of things. They will need to read books that contain the key concepts that they must master. They will also attend classes that provide hands-on training for a chance to hone their skills and become familiar with medical equipment.
Finishing the coursework entitles them to take the certification exam. Naturally, this exam will test both their theoretical knowledge and their practical mastery. They will tackle the written part before moving on to the skills test. They will have to do procedures on actual people. In some testing centers, the patients are provided on the site. In others, the examinees must bring their own.
Passing marks for the written test and the skills test will be rewarded with certification. Successful examinees will become Certified Nursing Assistants. They can then look for jobs through their training facility or the community health centers. There are plenty of CNA/STNA job openings for qualified candidates.
For those who want to move on to other sectors in the healthcare industry, the nurse’s aide training provides a good basic experience from which to start, and a steady income from which to save for future training.