Due to the aging baby boomer generation, the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) profession has been deemed one of the fastest-growing occupations in the country. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has estimated that employment in the CNA sector will increase by 17 percent between 2014 and 2024-a growth rate that's substantially higher than most occupations. With this in mind, there should be plenty of opportunities for CNAs to find work and have upward mobility in the healthcare industry.
CNAs work in a wide variety of settings, such as transitional care units, community health centers, doctor's offices, patient homes. CNAs, along with their registered nurse colleagues, provide nearly 85% of all direct patient care.
Those who are thinking about pursuing a career as a CNA should do extensive research in order to find the top programs in the D.C. area. Prospective CNA students can take the following into consideration when looking for the best programs to attend:
For anyone considering becoming a CNA in the Washington D.C. area, the initial step needed is to enroll in a CNA program that has been approved by the DC Department of Long-Term Care. A list of these programs can be found on the Department of Health website.
Following the completion of an approved program, CNA students are eligible to sit for the National Nursing Assistant Assessment Program (NNAAP) Examination. The NNAAP is composed of two distinct tests - skills and knowledge. During the skills exam, students will be tested on how proficient they are in a variety of nurse aide duties. The knowledge evaluation is a series of multiple-choice questions which are meant to evaluate the student's level of knowledge on nursing assistant theory and can be taken in an oral or written format.
Washington D.C. contracts Pearson VUE to administer the NNAAP exam. CNA candidates are permitted a total of three exam attempts before having to retrain.
Bethel Training Institute is a private, for-profit education and training institution that specializes in training nursing assistants, home health aides and medication aides. The institute was founded in 2009.
BTI offers students an accredited, six-week CNA program that seeks to impart the knowledge and skills that are required for employment as a nursing assistant. The program is composed of three sections – didactic theory (in-class lecture and discussion), lab skills practice, and a clinical externship which is conducted at a local healthcare facility. Students must pass the first two sections before they are able to move to the clinical portion. During the clinical portion, students will be supervised and instructed by a licensed registered nurse.
Students who enroll in Bethel Training Institute’s CNA course can expect to pay an estimated cost of $650.
Originally founded in 1851, the University of the District of Columbia Community College is a publicly funded community college situated in the nation’s capital. The school grants a wide variety of associate degrees and Continuing Education and Workforce Development programs.
UDCCC offers students a nursing assistant certificate program that seeks to prepare competent healthcare practitioners to meet the needs of the community. Those who graduate from the program will be eligible to sit for the state certification exam and practice as a CNA in a variety of settings. UDCCC’s fully accredited CNA program has been continually operating for 29 years.
For current tuition and fee rates for UDCCC’s Certified Nursing Assistant program, call them directly at 202-274-5000.
Allied Health and Technology Institute is a private, for-profit educational facility which specializes in training nursing assistants and home health aides. The institute also offers a number of allied health education programs.
AHTI offers students an accredited 120-hour CNA program which seeks to prepare its students to pass the National Nursing Assistant Assessment Program (NNAAP) Examination and to find employment in the field. The program consists of a blend of in-class instruction and discussion, lab skills practice, and a clinical externship which is conducted at a local long-term healthcare facility. AHTI’s instructors are qualified nurses and physicians.
The cost of AHTI’s Certified Nursing Assistant program can be found by calling 202-526-3535.