You want to work in the medical field, because you have heard that the job security is high, how do you go about starting the process which will culminate in becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant.
Frequently Asked Questions to Become a Certified Nursing Assistant(CNA) in Rhode Island
What kinds of people make good CNA’s ? People who are committed to being helpful, compassionate people, who do not like to see people suffer, people who are patient, understanding and are not afraid of hard work, long hours, and low pay.
How do you find out what courses are required to take to become a certified nursing assistant? Again do your research and you will find nurse’s aide courses that are state approved, that you can sign up for.
What exactly does the Rhode Island training course cover as far as subject matter? The following topics are covered in the CNA training course in Rhode island; infection control, patient care, interpersonal communication, emergency response, CPR, Basic Life support, use of the AED, and basic nursing protocols.
What are some of the requirements for enrolling in a state approved CNA course? The applicant must pass a criminal background check; a behavior check may also be run if needed. Of course a fee must be paid, usually running between 400 to 800 dollars.
How long does the training course take? The CNA training course is 100 hours in length and must be completed in 90 days. There is a classroom portion and a clinical (manual) skills section which must be at least 20 hours. Most courses end up being more than this with the clinical practice that the students complete under the direction of their instructors or a registered nurse(RN).
What happens at the end of the training course? The applicant is then allowed to sit for the CNA final exam.
What is included on the exam? There is a written section and a clinical section which must be passed together to receive certification and be placed on the Nurse’s Aide registry.
Is there a way to avoid having to take the certification exam? Yes, if the applicant is a CNA from another state, and has certification in good standing from that state, they can petition Rhode Island’s Nurse’s Registry to be exempt from the exam. Also RN’s and Licensed Practical Nurse(LPN)’s can be considered exempt from the exam as well.
Does the Red Cross offer a lower priced training course? Yes, they do, for 35 dollars for running of a background check, which is refundable after the check is done, plus a fee of 100 dollars to sit for the exam, you can become a Certified Nurse’s aide, working in a medical facility within 90 days, if you pass the exam.
How long is the CNA certification good for in Rhode Island? Renewal must be completed every two years, or it will lapse.
How does one renew their CNA certification? A certified Nurse’s Assistant must have a minimum of eight paid working hours in the previous 24 months or the aide will be considered “inactive”.
Are there employers who will pay for a CNA’s recertification? Yes, often they will pay for renewal if the CNA is an active employee.
What is the result if a CNA is considered “inactive”? They cannot work until renewal is completed or the aide retakes the final exam.
Can CNA’s work independently of RN’s? No they cannot, they must take direction from RNs, LPNs, or MDs.
How can you receive free CNA training in Rhode Island? There are free Certified Nursing Assistant classes offered by nursing homes and other medical institutions.
Are there other ways to receive certified nurse’s training? Yes, for the classroom component, there are online classes you can take that will prepare you for the final exam. However for the clinical component, there is no online class that you can take. For the clinical section, only supervised practice under an instructor, RN, or LPN will do.
On average, how many certified Nursing jobs are there available at any one time? The answer in part, depends on where you want to work, and how much salary you are willing to accept. Certified nursing assistants are not very well paid medical employees. They are “bridge” employees. Not really a nurse, but they do have medical training that allows them to care for sick patients under the direction of a RN.
In Rhode Island is there a real difference between a Certified Nursing Assistant and a Patient Care Technician? Yes, there is, while in some states the job descriptions are very similar, in Rhode Island, they are two separate licenses. To become a PCT(Patient Care Technician) you have to take phlebotomy and EKG classes that are not covered on the Certified Nursing Assistant exam. And since the PCT has more responsibilities, their pay scale is higher than that of a Certified Nursing Assistant.
Is the job title of Certified Nursing assistant a new one? No, the term certified Nursing Assistant has been used for about thirty years, as a way to differentiate the job duties of RN’s and their assistants.
What is the average hourly salary for a CNA in Rhode Island? Depending on what shifts they work, and the location of their workplace (hospitals, correctional institutions, hospices, assisted living facilities), certified nursing assistant’s salaries range from a low of 12 dollars an hour to a high of 17 dollars an hour. They can do basic patient care, i.e. feeding patients, cleaning up patients, reading to patients, palliative care, making patients more comfortable, but no administering of medications, or changing of soiled dressings.
Is there a way for Certified Nursing assistants to make more money? Yes, with more education, it is not beyond the realm of the possible, that certified Nursing Assistants can become nurses, someday.
View a complete list of scholarships for CNA’s here.