One of the best ways to become a certified nursing assistant is to take CNA classes at a hospital. Many hospitals offer these classes, and they are often free or low-cost. This can be a great way to get your foot in the door of the healthcare field and start your career as a CNA.
Below you will find CNA programs offered at hospitals near you.
There are many benefits to taking CNA classes at a hospital. First, you will be able to learn from experienced nurses and other medical professionals. This can give you a leg up when it comes to your career. Second, you will have the opportunity to work in a hospital setting, which can be very beneficial when you are looking for a job after you complete your training. Finally, taking CNA classes at a hospital can help you build a network of contacts in the healthcare field.
If you are interested in taking CNA classes at a hospital, you will need to identify whether or not they currently offer CNA classes and if so when they are offered. Many hospitals have established programs and offer classes on a regular basis, but some only offer them sporadically. Hospitals may list their class schedules on their websites. You can search on Google for the hospital name + CNA classes to determine if they have a CNA program. Otherwise, you may need to call the hospital to find out about their CNA classes.
Paid vs. Employer Sponsored CNA Classes
Many hospitals offer “free” CNA classes from start to finish: The hospital provides you with classes, training materials, and assists with the certification process. Depending on where you live, you will likely also be placed into an externship at the hospital, which is essentially a short-term job where you work alongside experienced CNAs and gain on-the-job training. Through this externship you also complete your clinical, or out of classroom, requirements.
While this type of program comes at now cost to you, you are expected to enter into an employment contract with the hospital. Once you complete their CNA program, you become an employee of the hospital for a specific period of time. For this reason, completing a “free” CNA program at a hospital only makes sense if you want to work at that location long-term.
Enrolling in a hospital CNA program
Once you have found a hospital that offers CNA classes, you will need to complete an application and submit it to the hospital. You may be able to do this online or in person. Once your application has been processed, you may be contacted by the hospital to schedule an interview. During the interview, the hospital will likely inquire about any previous experience in the healthcare field, your motivation for becoming a CNA, and your long-term career goals.
After you have been accepted into the hospital’s CNA program, you will need to complete a certain number of hours of classroom training and clinical experience, which is dependent on your state’s requirements for CNA programs. The length of the program will also depend on the state in which you live as well as whether the program is full or part time, but expect anywhere from 6 – 14 weeks. Once you have completed all of the necessary requirements, you will be eligible to take the certification exam.
Upon successfully passing the certification exam, you will be a certified nursing assistant and able to work in the state where you completed classes. You will need to renew your certification every two years, but this process is typically very straightforward. You will likely need to complete a certain number of continuing education credits as well as show proof that you have worked a certain number of hours during the past two years in order to renew your certification.
Working as a CNA in a hospital
Once you have become certified, you will be able to work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and home health agencies. Hospitals are the second largest source of employment opportunities for CNAs behind nursing homes in the United States. Hospitals offer a different workplace setting compared to nursing homes and assisted living facilities, as they are typically busier and have a higher patient turnover. In addition, hospitals offer more opportunities for career advancement than many other settings.
If you are interested in working in a hospital, it is important to keep in mind that there are different types of hospitals, each with their own unique culture and way of operating. For example, teaching hospitals, which are affiliated with a medical school, typically offer a more academic environment while community hospitals tend to be more fast-paced. There are also large hospitals and small hospitals, each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Once you have been working as a CNA in a hospital for some time, you may be interested in advancing your career by becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Registered Nurse (RN). Hospitals are typically the largest employers of RNs, so this is a natural career progression for CNAs who wish to continue working in a hospital setting. To become an RN, you will need to complete an accredited nursing program and pass the NCLEX-RN exam. If your long-term goal is to become a LPN or RN, see if the hospital has bridge programs that make it easy to make the transition.