How Long Does it Take to Become a CNA

If you want to become a certified nursing assistant or CNA, then you must be dependable and have the strength to regularly handle stressful situations. If this is true about you, then as a CNA, you will be an asset to whatever hospital or medical building you work at. This article will help answer any questions you have about how long does it take to become a CNA.

1. Before you try to become a CNA, you must make sure you have the proper education. Typically, this position does not require a college diploma, only a high school one. If you have not yet obtained your high school diploma and are past high school age, then you will need to get your high school equivalency diploma or GED.

2. Once you have your degree, you will need to take training as a nursing assistant. These CNA courses are typically at community colleges or trade schools. Some programs are offered online as well.  Depending on where you live and what institution you pursue your CNA degree through impacts how long your CNA training takes. CNA training usually lasts between 4 and 12 weeks. The CNA courses that are taught give a full range of your duties, from personal care and communication with patients to basic nursing to aiding patients in long-term care.

3. Following your completion of training, you will need to take an exam to certify your competence as a CNA. The final CNA training exam takes about two hours to complete.  It is composed of two parts: a multiple choice section and a part where you demonstrate the clinical skills you have obtained through your CNA training, which takes between 25 and 45 minutes.

4. Once you have passed the exam, you will be well on your way to becoming a CNA. In addition to your passing grade on your exam, you will also need to meet the minimum number of hours of training and instruction, based on your state’s board of nursing. You will also need training in HIV/AIDS as well as a statement regarding your physical and mental status, along with any other pertinent personal information. As long as you have completed your CNA courses, passed your exam, and are of sound mind to become a CNA, it should not take long for you to get approved.

5. Every 24 months, you will be required to take 48 hours of training in order to retain your certification. The training you will receive in this time will largely depend on what healthcare topics are deemed the most in need of attention.

As a CNA, you will be an active member of the facility’s staff. If you find you have the strength and stamina to be a great CNA, you can use that as a launching pad to further your medical career in whatever way you see fit.  How long your cna program or school takes will indeed depend on where you live and the type of educational path you take.  We hope that this article has been of great service to you and answered your question about how long does it take to become a CNA. If you’re interested in the career, we suggest taking a shot at part one of our CNA practice test series to see how much you already know about the position.