Are you thinking about a career in nursing, but aren’t sure if it’s for you? The decision to become a nurse is not one to be taken lightly. Nursing is one of the hardest professions out there. Plus, to become an RN, you’ll need to undergo years of schooling.
Working as a CNA is a good place to start for potential nurses. But, what’s so great about being a CNA? Check out this guide to learn the top benefits of becoming a certified nurse assistant:
What is a CNA?
As a CNA, you’ll provide basic care to patients by assisting them in their daily activities. Due to the personal nature of the job, CNAs must have excellent people skills as well as the ability to be compassionate towards others.
In addition to working with patients, CNAs also work with healthcare software, billing software, medical recording software, and medical technology.
In some cases, CNAs are even responsible for administering medication to patients. All CNAs report to registered nurses or licensed practice nurses. Here are some of the core functions of your job as a CNA:
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Turning or repositioning patients who are bedridden
- Examining patients for bruises or other injuries
- Serving meals to patients
- Taking patients’ vital signs
- Emptying bedpans
- Answering patient calls
- Cleaning and sanitizing public areas
- Changing bed sheets and restocking rooms
- Collecting info about patients’ conditions
- Lifting patients out of bed and into wheelchairs, exam tables, etc
CNAs also serve as a go-between between patients and other healthcare staff. Even though you report to other nurses in this role, the job of the CNA still requires a lot of responsibility.
The Top Benefits of Becoming a Certified Nurse Assistant
So, what’s so great about becoming a certified nurse assistant? Let’s take a look at some of the top benefits.
- Cost-Effective Training
One of the biggest benefits of becoming a CNA is that training is very cost-effective. In order to become a registered nurse, you must first earn a bachelor’s degree.
If you don’t have the money to pay for your bachelor’s degree out of pocket, you could end up going into thousands of dollars of debt.
CNA training programs, on the other hand, typically cost between $300 to $1500. And, if you can’t afford this, there are many scholarship opportunities that you can apply for. Some programs even allow you to pay incrementally.
- Emotionally Rewarded
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of becoming a CNA is that it’s an emotionally rewarding career.
Although the job is very demanding, many CNAs derive a huge sense of satisfaction out of helping patients feel comfortable and cared for.
Also, because you’ll be spending a lot of time with patients, you’ll have the opportunity to develop close relationships with them, especially if you work in a long-term care facility.
- Exposure to Other Health Careers
If you like the idea of progressing into another health career but aren’t sure which one will be right for you, working as a CNA is a great place to start.
As a CNA, you’ll get exposure to all kinds of health careers. You’ll work very closely with licensed vocation nurses and registered nurses, so you’ll get an inside look into what this career is really like.
You may also find yourself working alongside doctors, healthcare administrators, medical researchers, ultrasound technicians, and other medical professionals. By observing other professionals at work, you’ll get a better sense of which healthcare career is right for you.
- Start Your Career Ladder
If you do decide that nursing is the right career for you, working as a CNA is an excellent foundation for becoming a registered nurse.
Although becoming an RN requires quite a bit more schooling, as a CNA, you’ll build a solid foundation for all the practical work that registered nurses do. Many registered nurses find that working as a CNA helped prepare them tremendously for nursing school.
You may also consider transitioning to a career as an STNA. You can click here to learn more about how to become an STNA.
- Excellent Employment Outlook
Once you’ve earned your certification as a CNA, you should be able to gain employment in a matter of weeks, if not days.
This is because the job market for CNAs is currently booming. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook is expected to grow by 9 percent through 2028, which is a rate that’s much faster than the national average.
- No Two Days are the Same
If you like variety in the workplace, a career as a CNA is perfect for you. No matter what your work environment is, no two days will ever be the same.
Because the needs of patients change every day, this means your work will also change every day.
- Flexible Scheduling
As a CNA, you can choose to work either part-time or full-time. Because patients need round-the-clock care, there are shifts available during all hours of the day, every day of the week.
For those looking to supplement their full-time career, working as a CNA is a great option.
- Opportunity to Travel
That’s right, as a CNA, you may have the opportunity to travel.
Once you have some experience under your belt, you can apply for work as a travel CNA. In this role, you’ll take on short contract positions (usually around 3 months) in different parts of the country.
In addition to earning a higher than normal salary, traveling CNAs are also provided extra money for housing.
- Short Training Program
While it’s a long road to become a registered nurse, you can become a CNA in a few short weeks. The typical CNA training program lasts 75 hours, and most programs are structured to be completed in 6 weeks. This means you can start a whole new career in a matter of months.
Are You Ready to Become a CNA?
As you can see, there are a lot of benefits to becoming a certified nurse assistant. Now, all you need to do is sign up for a training program.
If you liked this article, be sure to check back in with our blog for more career advice or…