Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) play an important role in the healthcare team. The primary duty of a CNA is to assist doctors and nurses in and caring for patients. Without CNAs, LPNs, RNs and physicians likely wouldn't be able to do their jobs nearly as effectively. Typically, CNAs assist patients in performing day-to-day tasks like bathing, grooming, eating and moving.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the average salary of CNAs in the U.S. is approximately $25,710 annually as of the most recent data. The United States Department of Labor suggests that jobs in the nursing assistant sector will grow by 21% until the year 2022. With this in mind, beginning a career as a CNA in today's job market is an excellent choice.
Those interested in beginning a career as a Certified Nursing Assistant should delve into the specifics of their preferred program carefully. With that in mind, prospective CNA students should take the following measures into proper consideration when looking for top programs to attend:
The first step to becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant is for a student to complete an approved program. State standards dictate that approved programs must contain at least 75 hours of training. After students have passed an approved CNA training course, they must then pass a written and clinical evaluation. Typically, the state certification exam can be taken either at the community college where the student completed their training program or at the Nebraska Health Care Learning Center (NHCLC) or Providence Healthcare Institute. CNA candidates who fail to pass the certification exam on the first try are permitted to retest twice before having to retrain.
After a CNA candidate successfully passes the certification exam, their name will be added to the basic nurse aide registry through the Nebraska Health and Human Services Regulation and Licensure, Credentialing Division.
Originally established in 1973, Northeast Community College is a 2-year community college system which serves the population living in the northeast region of the state. The college’s main headquarters and primary campus are located in Norfolk; however, NCC maintains additional satellite campuses which serve residents in 20 different counties in the northeast. NCC offers a wide variety of programs which include liberal arts, vocational and technical programs, as well as continuing education programs.
NCC’s 3 credit, Basic Nurse Aide course (NURA1110) combines didactic lecture and lab applications practice with clinical skills instruction in order to foster the development of fundamental skills that are required of CNAs in order to provide effective, safe and empathetic services.
For more information on tuition and fees, call NCC at (402) 371-2020.
Central Community College, founded in 1966, is a 2-year college with three campuses located in Columbus, Grand Islan, and Hastings. CCC also maintains learning centers in Kearny, Lexington, and Holdrege. It represents one of six different regional community colleges in Nebraska.
CCC offers students a 76 contact-hour Nursing Assistant training course that meets all standards set forth by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. During the course, students will undergo a mixture of in-class lecture and discussion, simulated lab practice and clinical skills clerkship. CCC places a special emphasis on teaching its students how to properly care for geriatric patients.
For current information on Central Community College’s program, call CCC at (308) 398-4222.
Southeast Community College is a 2-year community college system that serves the southeast population of the state. The SCC community college system is made up of three main campuses in Lincoln, Beatrice and Milford, and over 20 off-campus sites in 15 different counties.
SCC’s Certified Nursing Assistant offering is a mixed in-class/online course and is made up of 100 contact hours of didactic, in-class instruction and discussion, lab skills practice and clinical instruction. Successful students must complete all course materials covered throughout the course. This includes passing each section’s test. The clinical skills section of this course is held in Lincoln at a long-term care facility during the final few weeks of the class’s duration. The CNA course at Southeast Community College spans approximately 70 days.
The following is a list of the different locations SCC students can take CNA course at:
In-state students who enroll in Southeast Community College’s CNA program can expect to pay approximately $507, plus fees. Out-of-state students can count on paying somewhere around $591, plus fees.
Located in Omaha, Nebraska Methodist College is a non-profit college that was founded in 1981. NMC offers students a wide variety of degrees including associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees—all in the nursing field and allied health professions.
NMC offers students two different Certified Nursing Assistant courses. One course is four-weeks long and takes place on campus. This program boasts small class sizes taught by instructors with extensive experience. The other CNA course is a six-week online/in-class hybrid program which features mainly online coursework, with students required to come to an in-class session once per week. Each of these programs emphasizes the fundamental skills needed to care for a wide variety of patients. NMC’s program also pays special attention to teaching students knowledge pertaining to the aging process and how to assist patients to achieve and retain optimal levels of well-being as they age. Classes during the day, night and weekend are all available.
For more information on the cost of Nebraska Methodist College’s CNA program, contact NMC at (402) 354-7000.
Founded in 1971, Metropolitan Community College, formerly known as Metropolitan Technical Community College, is a public school located in the city of Omaha. MCC maintains multiple campuses in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area and serves students coming from Sarpy, Douglas, Washington and Dodge counties. MCC represents the largest post-secondary educational institution in Nebraska.
MCC offers students a 9-credit CNA program which adheres to the standards set forth by the state of Nebraska. The program is comprised of 82 direct contact hours—attendance is compulsory and is strictly enforced. In-class instruction and lab practice time comprise 59 hours, whereas clinical hours take up 22.5 hours. If at the end of the course the student has a passing grade (70%), they’ll be permitted to sit for the state certification exam. Courses are offered during the day, evening and on weekends at a number of locations.
For current tuition information for Metropolitan Community College’s CNA program, contact the Health Careers office at (531) MCC-4631.