A certified nurse assistant/aide (CNA) performs routine duties in healthcare facilities under the supervision of registered nurses and medical doctors. The main responsibilities of a CNA are helping patients with basic living activities, listening to their health concerns and communicating them to the doctor, managing patient issues and problems, keeping vital signs under observation, and more. Choosing to become a CNA is an excellent choice for those seeking a stable and emotionally rewarding health career in Louisiana. Typically, CNAs can be found working in long-term care facilities (hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities or even private homes) where patients require around-the-clock supervision and care.
To begin a career as a CNA, individuals should do their best to seek out the top program in their area. Prospective CNA students should consider the advantages and disadvantages of each program before making a final decision. Taking into account the following criteria can be useful in the decision-making process:
In order to become a CNA in Louisiana, individuals must first complete a Nurse Aide Training Program which has been approved by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. To be approved, the program must include at least 80 hours of education and training-typically 40 hours of clinical instruction and 40 hours of classroom lecturing. Prior to any direct interaction with a patient, a student has to undergo at least 16 hours of supervised practical training. Students must be of legal age, vaccinated against tuberculosis, and must not have been convicted of certain crimes. Possession of a GED or a high school diploma is not required.
After the instructional training is completed, CNA candidates in Louisiana must pass the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP), which is managed and administered by Pearson VUE. The NNAAP exam is composed of two sections: knowledge evaluation, which can be taken in a written or oral format, and a skills evaluation.
The written examination consists of 70 multiple choice questions-students have two hours to complete the exam. Students can also choose to take this section of the exam orally. In the skills section of the exam, students are given 25 minutes, and are tested on five different nursing skills (i.e. measuring blood pressure, counting respirations, recording weight, hand washing). Students must earn a minimum score of 70% in each section.
First charted in 1921, Delgado Community College is a 2-year institution that has a number of campuses all over the New Orleans area. Its original primary campus is called City Park Campus and can be found in the Navarre neighborhood of New Orleans. DCC represents one of nine community colleges which compose the Louisiana Community and Technical College system. Its student-faculty ratio is 17 to 1.
DCC’s Certified Nurse Assistant program readies students for future jobs in hospitals, long-term facilities, and in other settings as direct healthcare workers. Like many other CNA programs, DCC’s employs a combination of didactic and clinical instruction to prepare students for the state certification exam. During the program, students are required to perform at minimum 80 hours of fundamental nursing assistant care at local healthcare facilities. 40 of the 80 hours should be conducted at a long-term care facility, under the direct supervision of instructors. The program emphasizes rehabilitative care and the importance of helping geriatric patients who are terminal ill.
For current information about CNA program costs, contact DCC’s staff at (504) 671-5000.
Nunez Community College is a public college located in Chalmette, a town in St. Bernard Parish, in east New Orleans. NCC formed in 1992 due to the merging of St. Bernard Parish Community College and Elaine P. Nunez Technical Institute.
NCC’s 7-credit hour, one-semester Nursing Assistant (NURS1000) course seeks to impart knowledge regarding fundamental nursing skills, infection control, and bodily structure/function to its students. The program includes a CPR certification (BLS) and OBRA national skills standards.
NCC’s NURS 1000 course includes both in-class lecture instruction as well as supervised clinical skills training at a local healthcare facility. NCC also offers students a CNA to LPN bridge program option.
For both in-state an out-of-state students, the approximate cost of the CNA certification program at Nunez Community College is $1,294.
Northshore Technical Community College is a private, not-for-profit, 2-year post-secondary education institution located in the city of Bogalusa with a student to faculty ratio of 24 to 1.
NTCC’s Certified Nursing Assistant program goal is to ready students for jobs in long-term care nursing facilities where direct patient care is required. This particular CNA program course represents the first semester of the wider Patient Care Technician Program. The college’s program provides students with an introduction to health care, bodily structure and function, and computer skills that are related to the health care industry. Following the in-class lecture and lab portions of this course, students then must undergo on-site, supervised clinical training at an approved healthcare facility.
For current tuition fees for NTCC’s CNA program, contact NTCC staff at (985) 732-6640.