Becoming certified as a CNA typically means taking a three- to six-week course at a community college or other state-approved training center. This course teaches all the basic skills that unlicensed staff are expected to perform in a healthcare facility, such as how to give bed baths and change linens (including how to do so for patients who cannot get out of bed), how to reposition patients who are at risk for pressure ulcers or “bed sores” and how to help patients with limited mobility when they wish to walk short distances within their room, such as to the toilet or shower, or on the unit.
A listing of approved CNA training and testing sites in North Carolina is available online at http://www.ncdhhs.gov/dhsr/hcpr/guide.html. Click on the “current listing of state-approved nurse aide training programs” link in the first paragraph to view the complete listing in PDF format. While some online refresher courses are available, students are generally expected to complete a classroom-based training course. With any online training, students are still expected to complete practice sessions in a skills lab and any hands-on practice with patients within a clinical setting. Individuals who are interested in becoming certified nursing assistants may also wish to review the certification test prep materials available online through Pearson Vue at http://www.pearsonvue.com/nc/nurseaides. The Candidate Handbook shows CNA candidates the knowledge and skills that they will be expected to demonstrate on test day.
Everyone who passes the certification test is added to the North Carolina Nurse Aide I Registry. North Carolina’s CNA registry can be found online at https://www.ncnar.org/ncna.html.
Working as a nursing assistant leads to many different and rewarding experiences within the health care field. People who want to make a difference should consider a career as a certified nursing assistant.