A certified nursing assistant (CNA) is an important member of a patient's healthcare team. The primary duties of a CNA consist mainly of helping patients with everyday living activities like bathing, eating, and reporting progress or concerns to the managing doctor or registered nurse. For individuals that prize job stability and emotionally rewarding social interaction, choosing a career as a CNA can be a great decision.
CNAs are often referred to as the ‘eyes, ears and hands' of the registered nurse, since they're typically the first healthcare professional to observe and report any changes in a patient's health. CNAs, along with RNs, are viewed by many working in the healthcare field as representing the true backbone of the medical establishment. Together, they provide nearly 85% of all direct patient care.
According to the United States Department of Labor, the number of jobs in the nursing assistant field is predicted to grow by 21% from now until the year 2022.
If you're thinking about pursuing a profession as a certified nursing assistant, you should attempt to find the top CNA programs in your area. Taking into consideration the advantages and disadvantages of each program before choosing one is always smart. Future CNA students should consider the following when researching top programs:
For those who wish to eventually become a CNA, the first step will always be to complete an approved nursing assistant program. Students who have completed a CNA course in a different state can challenge the exam but require a written approval before doing so. These students must demonstrate to the state board that they have the education and training that are essentially equal to that of CNA program graduates in the state of New Hampshire.
After students have completed a state-approved CNA program, they must then pass the certification exam which consists of 2 sections: knowledge and skills. The knowledge section can be taken in either a written or oral format. The skills section, which must be completed under time constraints, will test students on a variety of duties that they should be proficient in.
In New Hampshire, the state certification exam can be taken through a number of different organizations. One option is the American Red Cross of Massachusetts. Other options include New Hampshire-based Excel Testing and Pearson VUE.
Located in Portsmouth in Rockingham County, Great Bay Community College is a public, 2-year college that’s part of the Community College System of New Hampshire. It was first chartered in 1945 and is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. GBCC’s main campus is located in the Pease International Tradeport region of Portsmouth. GBCC also operates an additional campus in Rochester.
GBCC offers students a 150-contact hour Nursing Assistant program that incorporates a mixture of in-class lecture, lab practice, and clinical skills instruction. The program’s coursework emphasizes communication skills, basic human anatomy, medical terminology and caring for patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Class instructors are experienced registered nurses (RNs) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) who have been certified by the American Red Cross as instructors. Courses meet 4 times per week.
The total estimated cost to attend MCC’s program is $1,400.
Lakes Region Community College is a 2-year college that’s located in Laconia, a town in Belknap County. LRCC represents one of the seven colleges that comprise the Community College System of New Hampshire. It offers students 29 associate degree programs in a variety of fields.
LRCC offers students a licensed nursing assistant program that’s comprised of a total of 106 clock hours. 46 of those hours consist of instructional theory and lab practice which are both carried out on-campus at LRCC. The remaining 60 hours are made up of clinical skills practice and take place at a healthcare facility in the area.
The total estimated cost to attend LRCC’s CNA program is $1,402.