Nursing assistant certification in the state of California is a bit different than in other states. This is not to say that any state is doing things the right or wrong, just that they are being done differently. In the state of California, all things involving certification are overseen by the Aide and Technician Certification Section of the California Department of Health.
The ATCS, as it is called is the group that determines how many hours of study a nursing student must complete before they are allowed to take the examination. Nurses who have already completed the required number of course hours are allowed to challenge the exam, or in other words take it immediately without having to sit through it again. Registered nurses are a good example of this.
Nurses who have passed the certification exam in another state do not have to attend another nursing assistants course provided that they have the required number of classroom, lab, and clinical hours. These requirements vary from state to state. The only minimum requirement is seventy five hours and that is a federal law.
State governments are in agreement that the federal requirements do not give the nursing student enough training in critical areas. Different states have different requirements, as to the number of additional hours that may be required. If the nurse is transferring from another state they may wish to take additional courses to get more time on the books.
The ACTS also regulates the course material offered to nurses who wish to certify as nurses assistants. It oversees the teaching of courses in many places throughout the state. Many community colleges have approved programs. You can also find them as part of the curriculum in many four year schools as well. For those who didn’t get that far in school, nursing assistant courses are offered in many trade and vocational programs.
The nursing assistant certification course prepares the student for a full time career working in the field of their choice. The classwork and lab-work is suitable for giving the student the necassary knowledge to pass the examination, but it is the clinical part of the course that will determine how the nursing student will perform in real circumstances.
Clinical work is often done at the medical facility which is offering the course. If the course is offered at a college, chances already are, they have an agreement with a licensed facility to allow their students to do clinical rotations there. The nursing student works with other medical professionals and the patients, in a variety of tasks, and in different settings. This is the best way to prepare the nursing student for life after school, this is also the best way to determine how well they learned what they were taught.
It is here that a lot of students decide to pursue other career paths as well. Sometimes working hands on is a life changing experience for the nursing student. Some decide they don’t have the constitution for it. Others decide they were born to do it. Becoming a nurse of any kind is a full time job. Only those who are really dedicated to the well-being of others should even consider this as a career.
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