Now is an excellent time to consider a career as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in Vermont (also often referred to as Licensed Nursing Assistants, or LNAs, in the state). As the baby boomer population continues to age, CNA employment rates will continue to rise. The United States Department of Labor has estimated CNA job growth will grow by 21% through the year 2022.
CNAs represent the first line of defense in patient care. Nursing assistants, along with their registered nurse colleagues, provide as much as 80-90 percent of direct patient care. In addition to assisting patients with their basic physical needs like grooming, bathing and feeding, CNAs also provide their patients with emotional and social support.
Most often, you can find CNAs working in healthcare settings like hospitals, rehab clinics, transitional care centers and long-term care facilities.
Finding and enrolling in a top CNA program in Vermont is advisable. While seeking out these top programs, take the following into consideration:
Enrolling in a state-approved Licensed Nursing Assistant (CNA) program is the first step that anyone who wishes to become a future LNA/CNA must take. Programs should be approved by the Vermont Board of Nursing. To meet the standards set forth by the VBN, programs should be composed of 80 total hours, with 30 of these hours being dedicated to clinical skills practice.
After a student has successfully completed an approved program, they are then permitted to sit for the state licensure examination. To be eligible to take the exam, CNA candidates must have completed their program within the previous two years. An alternative pathway to sit for the exam is to be a registered nursing student or practical nursing student. Individuals in this situation will need to have already completed classwork in the basics of nursing, and will need to have spent at least 30 clinical hours with adult populations.
Finally, to gain licensure as a nursing assistant, students must past both sections of the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP). The two parts that make up the assessment are theoretical nursing assistant knowledge and practical skills. For the knowledge portion of the exam, students will be required to answer a series of multiple-choice questions in either a written or oral format. For the skills portion of the exam, students will be tested on their proficiency of five different nursing skill duties. CNA candidates are allowed three attempts in total to pass both sections of the exam. In the case that candidates fail after three attempts, they will need to retrain.
Situated in Saint Albans in the western region of the state, Northwest Technical Center is a regional institution which serves 10th, 11th and 12th graders from the surrounding communities as well as adult students who wish to receive career and technical training. Students at NTC have ten programs from which they can choose from. These programs are taught at NTC’s 16 regional education centers across the state.
NTC’s four-credit hour CNA (LNA in the state of Vermont) course seeks to ready students for future employment as direct healthcare workers at a long-term nursing care facility. Course curriculum has been designed so that it meets both state and federal standards. Throughout the course’s duration, students will be introduced to concepts having to do with basic human needs and ways to assist patients in their daily living. The course places a special emphasis on body mechanics and technical nursing skills. Credits obtained in this course can be applied to an Associate of Science (AS) degree in nursing or to a Practical Nursing Diploma. Course lectures meet four hours per week, while labs meet 2 hours per week.
The approximate cost to attend NTC’s Certified Nursing Assistant program is $852. This includes the CNA testing fee.
Located in Rutland, in the middle of the state, Stafford Technical Center is a post-secondary educational institution that offers 17 different technical programs.
STC’s Certified Nursing Assistant program is composed of 100 total contact hours and can be competed in 17 weeks. The program is comprised of a mixture of didactic in-class lecture, lab skills practice and a clinical externship at a local healthcare facility. In addition to these three course sections, students will need to complete a BLS Healthcare Provider course before they take the state certification assessment. Course instructors will seek to impart the appropriate and necessary knowledge and skills to adequately prepare students for the state licensure examination. STC offers this program during daytime, evening and weekend hours, and course enrollment is limited to 12 students per class.
The estimated cost of attendance for STC’s CNA program is $1,350.