6 Requirements to Become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) While Still in High school
Having a career as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is an excellent opportunity to offer healthcare assistance. Fortunately, CNA is a career that high school students can pursue. The entrants can be admitted to a CNA program without a high school diploma or its equivalent (GED). Different States and CNA certification schools have set out qualifications for eligible candidates. It is essential to check with your respective area and school to know the exact enrollment requirement to train and earn a CNA certification. The most common qualifications on how to become a CNA while still in high school are elaborated below.
Learn about CNA Program Eligibility in Your State
It is vital to know your State’s eligibility criteria for you to become a CNA while still in high school. The respective State must approve the CNA program offered by different institutions including vocational trade colleges. This makes it possible for certification process to all successful trainees. The certification permits CNAs to legally work as caregivers in the healthcare system. Some community colleges offering CNA programs may need a high school student to submit a letter signed by the school principal. This is the case at Hutchinson Community College. Other schools and colleges may demand a letter signed by the school counselor or a career specialist.
In addition, some colleges such as Fort Meyers Technical College (FMTC) require high school students to have a learning program approved by their respective schools. Thus, their learning both in high school and as nursing aide trainees will be seamless. Accredited online platforms offering CNA programs will also have an eligibility threshold. For learners below the age of 18 years, parent or guardian consent may be required. However, they must show that they have the necessary skills and competence. These requirements may change from one State to the other or from one school to the other.
Take Placement Aptitude Tests
These tests are aimed at trying the skills and basic knowledge of the applicants. High school students must undertake the tests to get admission to a State-approved CNA program. The test’s score requirement may vary based on the State and the college offering nursing aide’s programs. It is important to do a background check about the CNA program and the college. That kind of information can help you to get a good score on these placement tests and earn a place to get CNA classes.
Another strategy to pass the placement tests is to talk to the CNA program administrator. Since such people have interacted with students undertaking these tests, it is likely to get appropriate advice on the best way to approach the test. Moreover, talking with your advisor can improve your mental stability and preparedness. In most cases, aptitude tests will cover basic knowledge, basic math skills, and writing capabilities.
As a high school student, these tests are almost inevitable because you do not have a high school diploma or a GED. Hence, approaching the aptitudes test in your best mental state of great significance can positively influence your score.
Complete CNA Coursework
Students enrolling for a Certified Nursing Assistant program participate in classroom learning, laboratory experiments, and clinical practices. Class- learning is done in either in-person class learning or online learning. Students are supposed to read medical books, journals, and articles to gain the necessary knowledge on handling patients. Classroom learning equips CNAs with information about human anatomy and physiology, patient legal rights, patient care practices, safety protocols, and tracking and recording patients’ data. It also prepares aspiring CNAs for the clinical practice phase of training.
Students practice what they have learned in classroom by working directly with the patients. These students work in clinical settings like hospitals and other care facilities. In this training phase, the students learn how to take patients’ vital signs and help them exercise. CNA students take five to sixteen weeks to complete their training.
Once the students have finished their training, they must take a state-certified CNA examination to earn their certificate. CNA exam is divided into two sections and one section is the written section while the other is the clinical skill test. The required score is 70-80% in each area to pass the exam, depending on your State. Students can apply for this course in vocational colleges, community colleges, and local nursing colleges.
Apply for Certification
Certified Nurse Assistants must complete a state-approved CNA program from an accredited institution before starting the certification process. It is recommended to check their State’s requirements for the certification process after completing the course. These requirements include the minimum number of class learning and clinical practice hours, which the student should have completed during the program. Also, the learners will need to submit a CNA certification application and make any required payments. The application form should be submitted within a set time frame after the training session.
Find Employers who will Accommodate your Learning Schedule
Time management is of the essence during training and after training for high school students doubling up as CNAs. After completing the coursework and getting the certification, the next step will be applying the gained skills in the healthcare system. Some high school students may use the CNA certification as a stepping stone to further their studies in medicine after attaining a high school diploma. However, you can still find a job and work as a CNA without halting your high school education.
Local nursing homes and elderly homes may be the first place to look for employment. The places offering assisted living can also provide similar employment opportunities. You can plan for a schedule that works best for your studies. This may include working on weekends or during holidays. You may also apply the skills gained in the CNA program to take care of your elderly family members.
The turnover rate for CNAs is very high as many people opt to advance their studies to get other qualifications in medicine other areas. This means the demand for CNAs is always high and can accommodate high school students.
Age Requirements for Potential CNAs
The basic requirement for a CNA training course is a high school diploma or its equivalent. Many institutions also require applicants to be not younger than 18 years. However, some schools and approved bodies such as The Red Cross offering training for CNA while in high school may have different age requirements. There are CNA programs for 17 year olds or 16 year olds. Parental consent is required to get approved to a CNA program if you are below the age of 18 years. So, can you get your CNA license in high school? Yes! You can.