A Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is an important member of an interdisciplinary healthcare team. Their job can be emotionally and physically challenging at times and can demand a great deal of patience. The main duty of a CNA is to assist doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers in looking after and caring for patients. They usually help patients perform day-to-day tasks, often referred to as activities of daily living (ADL), such as eating, bathing, grooming and moving. Measuring and reporting vital signs, listening to the health concerns of patients and housekeeping are also responsibilities of a CNA. The most common work environments of CNAs are hospitals, nursing homes, adult day care centers and assisted living facilities (ALF).
Individuals who are interested to begin a career as a Certified Nursing Assistant should thoroughly investigate a program prior to choosing to enroll in it. Prospective CNA students should take the following measures into proper consideration when looking for top programs to attend:
In order to receive a CNA license in Mississippi, an individual must successfully complete a state approved nursing assistant program. After this initial step has been completed, the individual is then required to pass the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) exam. The examination is administered via Pearson VUE in cooperation with NACES Plus Foundation. The exam has two components: skills and written (oral). The skills section requires the student to carry out five randomly selected nurse aide skills in a 25-minute time span. As for the written exam, CNA candidates will need to answer 60 multiple-choice questions and 10 reading comprehension questions in two hours. The oral exam, if chosen by the student instead of the written exam, is 160 questions long.
Jones County Junior College is a community college located in the town of Ellisville. The 2-year college was first chartered in 1911 under the name Jones County Agricultural High-School. JCJC is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Its student-faculty ratio is 24:1.
JCJC offers its students an 18 credit, 100-hour Health Care Assistant program. The program is composed of four separate modules which are taught to students over a period of one semester: HCA 1115 Basic Health Care Assisting (five semester credit hours), HCA 1125 Special Care Procedures (five semester credit hours), HCA 1214 Body Structure and Function (four semester credit hours), HCA 1312 Home Health Aide and Homemaker Services (two semester credit hours). The training program consists of classroom instruction, clinical practice and laboratory work. A special emphasis is placed on: nutrition, human growth, body structure and function. Students enrolled in the program will also take a BLS certification class which is provided by the American Heart Association
Students who plan to enroll in Jones County Junior College’s program can expect to pay an approximate tuition amount of $250, plus additional fees.
Originally chartered in 1920, Itawamba Community College is a taxpayer funded, 2-year higher education institution that’s located in the northeast region of the state. ICC maintains three campuses in Fulton, Tupelo and Belden. The College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The student-faculty ratio is 19:1.
ICC offers students a 12-week CNA program which seeks to prepares those taking it for the NNAAP exam. Course times are held Mondays and Wednesdays from 5-9 p.m. In addition to in-class lecture and lab skills practice, clinical training and a CPR class are also included in the program.
CNA students who plan to enroll in Itawamba Community College’s program can expect to pay an approximate tuition amount of $425, plus additional fees.
Southwest Mississippi Community College is a two-year community college located in the small town of Summit. SMCC is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Its student-faculty ratio is 24:1.
SMCC offers students a nursing assistant training program which takes 16 weeks (1 semester) to complete. To complete the program, individuals must earn a grade of at least 75% for each section - classroom lectures and clinical skills training. Graduates of the program are granted a completion certificate and are then allowed to sit for the NNAAP exam.
Students who enroll in SMCC’s Certified Nursing Assistant program can expect to pay $1790 for the entire program.
Located in the small town of Moorhead, Mississippi Delta Community College is a taxpayer-funded two-year college. Aside from its main campus in Moorhead, MDCC maintains satellite locations in Greenville, Greenwood, Drew and Indianola. The college was first founded in 1927 under the name Sunflower Junior College. Its student-faculty ratio is 18:1.
MDCC currently offers a one semester “Health Care Assistant” program which takes 16 weeks to complete. The training takes place at two campuses – at the Greenville Higher Education Center and at the Golden Age Nursing Home in Greenwood. Both programs are day-programs and start each Spring and Fall semester. The clinical training section is conducted at local health care facilities. After successfully concluding the training program, students are granted a completion certificate and then are able to sit for the NNAAP examination. Subsequently, graduates can find gainful employment as Nurse Assistants, Home Health Aides, Homemakers or Long-Term Care Aides.
Students coming from inside of the state will be required to pay approximately $2,273 to attend MDCC’s program. Those coming from out-of-state will be required to pay $3,077.
East Mississippi Community College is a community college located in Scooba. It represents one of fifteen community colleges in the state. The two main campuses are located in Scooba and in the ‘Golden Triangle’ (formed by the cities Columbus, Starkville, and West Point). The college also organizes various course and seminars at five other satellite locations. The student-faculty ratio is 14:1.
EMCC offers students a 118-hour CNA program which is available at both Scooba and Golden Triangle campuses. The lectures are held twice a week from 4:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. The program takes 10 weeks to complete. A total of 16-hours of supervised clinical skills training are required for completion of the CNA program. At the end of the training program, students need to pass the final examination – a WorkKeys assessment.
For more information on EMCC’s program tuition, call (662-243-1919). Students are responsible for the cost of scrubs, plain white shoes, stethoscope and any health requirements needed.
Located in the city of Poplarville, Pearl River Community College is a two-year community college that has been operating since 1909, when it was named Pearl River County Agricultural High-School. PRCC was the very first junior college to be established in the state. The student-faculty ratio is 16:1.
PRCC offers students a state-approved Certified Nurse Aide training program. Classes are limited to 12 students. Course instruction sessions are held from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday. Classes begin on the 14th of August and end on the 8th of November. In-class lecturing, lab training and clinical skills instruction and observation make up the program’s entirety.
PRCC’s CNA program tuition cost is $275. This includes the workbook and state exam fee.