Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) are a class of paraprofessionals who provide assistance and bedside care to people who are hospitalized due to injury, mental impairment, physical disability or advanced age. Nursing assistants work under the direct supervision of Licenced Practical Nurses (LPNs) or Registered Nurses (RNs).
The job of a CNA is to meet patients' psychological and physical needs and to perform other assigned duties like dressing, feeding, bathing patients, and taking vital signs. A CNA also ensures the patient's overall hygiene, comfort and safety.
In the US, employment opportunities for CNAs continue to grow due to the aging population. CNAs usually work in long-term residential facilities such as nursing homes, rehabilitation centers or adult care centers. They can also be found working in the homes of patients as well as in inpatient hospital settings.
Selecting a top CNA program is a serious decision which can have a lasting impact on a person's career. It's important to investigate the following key factors when deciding on the best CNA program to attend:
To become a nursing assistant in Nevada, an individual is required to complete a state-approved Nurse Aide Training and Competency Evaluation Program (NATCEP). The nursing program must meet the OBRA (Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) requirements, which means it has to be at least 75 contact hours in total-16 of which have to be clinical training hours. After successfully completing a program, individuals are then permitted to sit for the Nursing Assistant Competency Exam which is administered by Headmaster.
The Nevada State Board of Nursing is the agency which oversees the state certification exam process. Testing centers are located in Las Vegas, Reno, and Elko. Nevada's nursing assistant certification exam is composed of a knowledge section (written or oral) and skills section. The written part is carried out electronically on the computer. CNA candidates have 90 minutes to complete 75 questions. The written section of the test can be taken on a walk-in basis in certain locations. The evaluation of skills takes 35 minutes and requires the completion of 4 randomly selected CNA skills.
Truckee Meadows Community College is a two-year college that was first established in 1971. The college is located in the Reno-Sparks metropolitan area of northern Nevada. TMCC is accredited by the Northwest Commission on College and Universities. Its student-faculty ratio is 20:1.
TMCC’s science department offers students a 6 semester credit hour CNA course (NURS130) that is compliant with Nevada’s State Board of Nursing requirements. The course includes classroom lecturing, lab instruction, and clinical training. Supervised clinical training takes place at healthcare facilities in Reno and Sparks.
Students have the ability to opt for a weekend course where classes are held on Saturday from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm and on variable Sunday hours. Another attractive option for CNA students is the Fast Track version of the NURS 130 course, which can be completed in as little as nine weeks. It’s taught at TMCC’s High-Tech Center in Redfield. Fast track lectures are held between 8:30am and 3:30pm. Lab instruction and clinical training occur between 6:00am and 4:30pm.
Students who are coming from inside that state of Nevada to attend TMCC’s CNA program can expect to pay around $592, plus additional fees. Out-of-state students can count on paying around $1,242.
First founded in 1971, the College of Southern Nevada is a publicly funded community college located in Clark County. CSN has three main campuses all located in the Las Vegas Valley: Charleston, Henderson, and North Las Vegas. In addition to its main campuses, CSN also maintains eight learning centers. CSN is a member of the Nevada System of Higher Education.
NURS130 is a 15-week (or one semester) nursing assistant course offered by the CSN. The course is accredited by the Commission for Education in Nursing and the Nevada State Board of Nursing. It consists of classroom lecturing, laboratory and clinical training. CSN’s CNA lecture portion of the program contains a mixture of online and in-class material.
Students who maintain residence in Nevada can expect to pay $592, plus additional fees to attend CSN’s Certified Nursing Assistant program. Those who are coming from out-of-state can expect to pay an amount of $652, plus additional fees.
Western Nevada College is a community college that’s located in the northwestern part of the state in Carson City. The institution was originally founded in 1971 and has three campus locations: Carson City (main campus), Fallon and Minden. In addition to its campuses, WNC has eight instruction centers.
WNC offers students a 6-credit, 150-hour CNA course which prepares individuals to become certified as nursing assistants. The program begins each Fall, Spring and Summer semester. WNC’s course is composed of a mixture of in-class instruction, lab practice, and clinical skills experience. WNC also provides students with an option for a hybrid web-enhanced class.
For more information on current tuition and fees, contact the WNC directly at (775) 445-3000.
Located in the city of Elko in northeastern Nevada, Great Basin College is a public community college that was established in 1967. Since its inception, GBC has undergone a number of name changes – from Elko Community College to Northern Nevada Community College to its current name. Its main campus is located in Elko, but it also maintains and smaller satellite campuses in 20 communities across the state. GBC is a member of the Nevada System of Higher Education.
GBC offers students a 120-hour CNA course which can be completed in as little as six weeks. Additionally, during the winter time, students have the option to attend a faster paced three-week CNA course. GBC also offers students an online/in-class hybrid option. Regardless of the duration of the program, the curriculum is composed of 80 hours of lecturing/laboratory practice and 40 hours of clinical training.
The tuition cost to attend GBC’s Certified Nursing Assistant program is between $900 and $1,000. This price includes fees for requisites, tests, and exams.
Standards of Excellence Academy is a non-profit educational institution that’s located in Las Vegas. SoE specializes in vocational education that’s specifically tailored for individuals who are looking for professional training in a special field.
SoE Academy has been offering its students a Nursing Assistant program since 2015. The program’s curriculum emphasizes topics like medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, CPR, infection control, and law and ethics. In addition to in-class lectures, students have clinical training eight hours a week at a local healthcare facility and laboratory lessons four hours a week.
To find out more about tuition and fees for SoE Academy’s CNA program, contact them at (702) 550-3261.
Saint Therese Learning Institute is an educational institution that was originally chartered in 2014 by a group of healthcare professionals. STLI’s CNA program has been approved by the state of Nevada.
STLI offers students a 130-hour Nursing Assistant Program which can be completed in just 6 weeks time. The program is composed of 65 hours of didactic lecture, 40 hours of laboratory instruction and 25 hours of clinical skills training. Class sizes at STLI are kept small, so space is limited. Students can opt for day classes or evening classes. Day classes are scheduled each day of the week from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm, and evening classes take place weekdays from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Clinical skills training is scheduled for the last week of the program and is made up of three days of training – two Saturdays and one Sunday – from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm.
For current information on Saint Therese Learning Insitute’s CNA program fees, call (702) 395-1802.