Before becoming a registered nurse, one must participate in certified nursing assistant training. This program will allow you to get valuable practice working as a nursing assistant under the supervision of a professional registered nurse. In order to take part in this program you must get your certificate as a nursing assistant. Certificate programs are often offered at local community colleges.
Before you are able to take a class in nursing at a community college, you must have your high school diploma or a GED. Without a high school diploma or the equivalent, you will be ineligible to register with a community college and can therefore not take the course. Once you have enrolled in the course, you will find that it only lasts from 6 weeks to 12 weeks depending on if you are a full-time or part-time student.
There are specific time-based requirements that must be met in order to receive the certificate. One must participate in at least 75 hours within a classroom, training as a nursing assistant, and 100 hours on the job studying under a registered nurse. In order to fulfill the 100 on-the-job hours, many students will work in a local nursing home for the elderly or a hospital. Meeting these training hours are required by the federal government for anyone who wants to obtain their nursing assistant certification.
Although the nursing assistant course is a fairly short training period, the community college where you take the class may require a variety of prerequisites to ensure that you have basic nursing knowledge and skills. If you are interested in assistant nursing, you should talk to an advisor upon entering a community college to find out what prerequisites you should be taking. The most common prerequisites are CPR and basic first aid certifications, courses that cover medical terminology, the human body and anatomy, and computer classes. The training course usually consists of one in-class course on patient care and an internship at a hospital or nursing home.
The training course adequately prepares students to become nursing assistants because it requires its students to study procedures such as dressing, bathing and feeding patients, and taking vitals; all procedures that they will be practicing during their internship. No procedures will be performed without the supervision of a professional registered nurse or doctor.
Each state varies in its specific requirements for students to be eligible for their Certified Nursing Assistant Training certificate, but in general, passing the course with the required number of hours should get you a certificate. At the end of the course you must pass an examination that will test you on the skills you have studied and practiced during your training course.