Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) are healthcare professionals who provide special care to patients in a wide variety of medical settings. CNAs who work in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes are often the patient's primary direct caregiver. CNAs can also be found working in hospitals, community health clinics, doctor´s offices and in patient homes. In hospitals, CNAs work hand-in-hand with Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) under the supervision of other medical staff like Registered Nurses (RNs).
CNAs generally assist patients with basic needs such as feeding, bathing, and grooming, as well as various medical procedures like taking vitals and blood pressure. Employment as a CNA certainly requires considerable physical and mental effort; however, it can also be a very noble and rewarding profession.
Those who intend to pursue a career as a CNA should take the following measures into consideration when seeking out top programs:
Due to a decision made by the state´s Board of Nursing, becoming a CNA in the state of Maine takes a bit longer than in other states. A prospective CNA in the state has to undergo a 180-hour program (instead of an 80-hour or 150-hour program). Generally, programs are set up in the following way: 90 hours of theory, 20 hours of on-campus laboratory instruction, and 70 hours of supervised clinical practice at a local healthcare facility. The average duration of a CNA program in Maine is approximately 11 weeks.
In order to be accepted into a program, there are certain requirements that have to be met: individuals must be at least 16 years old, hold a high school diploma or GED certification, have no criminal record, and be in a good physical and mental health.
After concluding the training, a prospective CNA has to pass the state CNA competency test. The test consists of two parts: knowledge (oral or written) and skills. The skills assessment requires the prospective CNA to execute a number of nursing assistant duties while his/her ability is observed by a test proctor.
CNAs who are coming from out of state who have completed programs with less than 180-hours training program are allowed to take what's called ‘The Bridge Examination'.
After having successfully completed the CNA competency test, the individual's name is added to the Maine CNA registry, which then allows them to seek employment as a certified nursing assistant. The certification must be renewed every two years.
Eastern Maine College, a public, two-year, post-secondary educational institution, was originally chartered in 1966 under the name Eastern Maine Vocational Technical Institute. EMCC is located in the city of Bangor, just a short distance from Eastern Maine Medical Center. The college has 4 campuses in total: Bangor (main campus), Dover-Foxcroft, Ellsworth, and East Millinocket.
EMCC’s Certified Nursing Assistant Program is composed of 180 total contact hours. Within that 180 contact hours, 70 hours are devoted to didactic lecture and in-class learning, 20 hours are devoted to on-campus laboratory instruction, and 90 hours is devoted to clinical learning off-campus at Eastern Maine Medical Center.
Prospective CNA students considering enrolling in Eastern Maine Community College’s program can expect to pay an amount of $1,225 which includes associated fees, tuition, textbooks/materials, and the competency exam.
Founded in 1969, Washington County Community College is a 2-year community college located in the city of Calais, in Washington County. WCCC represents one of seven community colleges that comprise the Maine Community College System.
WCCC’s Certified Nursing Assistant course (CNA110-90) complies with the state approved, standard 180-hour training program. Instructors seek to impart the following knowledge and skills to their CNA students: medical exams and other procedures, sterilization techniques, taking vitals, medication administration, and other skills.
Prospective CNA students thinking about enrolling in Washington County Community College’s program can expect to pay an approximate amount of $1,195.
Maine College of Health Professions was first established as a diploma granting institution in 1891 under the name Central Maine General Hospital Training School. MCHP is located in the township of Lewiston, in the central region of the state.
MCHP’s Certified Nursing Assistant course seeks to impart the necessary knowledge and clinical skills to students that need to be mastered prior to becoming a CNA. MCHP’s curriculum looks to teach students how to properly care for a patient’s physical system, how to take care of patients during different phases of the lifespan, infection control, and concepts of ethical and legal facets of care, communication, safety, and documentation.
Both class instruction and lab instruction are held on Wednesdays, while additional clinical practice and online coursework are scheduled 3 days a week: Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Prospective CNA students considering enrolling in MCHP’s program can expect to pay around $1,065 total.