You’ve decided you want to become a Certified Nursing Assistant. You’re excited and want more information about this career. Some questions you might have deserve answers, and here we will try to do that.

What is a CNA?

As the title suggests, a certified nursing assistant, or CNA, serves as an assistant to registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and other nursing and health care professionals. Entry-level professionals, CNAs, which are also known as nurse aides and nurse’s assistants, provide basic, day-to-day care for patients in nursing homes, hospitals, assisted living centers and other health care facilities. Because minimal training is required and demand is high, this is a very popular profession and one that many use as a springboard into a long, rewarding career in nursing.

The CNA has a high school diploma or GED.

Why be a CNA?

If you’re looking at a career in nursing, being a CNA is a great way to really test yourself on this goal. Being a CNA exposes you to many members of the health care team: You get to see nurses, physical and occupational therapists, doctors, med techs and assistants in action. You’ll soon know whether you have what it takes to further yourself in nursing; perhaps you’ll decide to move to another field of work within health care.

Where can a CNA work?

In any setting provided there is a nurse to oversee the CNA’s practice. This is very important to remember. Always, CNAs work under the direction of a licensed nurse. Only a licensed nurse can delegate duties to CNA’s. Doctors and therapists cannot. Families cannot. CNAs cannot delegate to CNAs.

How does one become a CNA?

You won’t need a degree in order to become a CNA, but you will need to earn a certificate and pass a competency exam. The educational requirements vary from state to state, but expect to invest four to 12 weeks to earn your CNA credential.

What Can I Expect During Training?

In CNA classes, you’ll learn about infection control, taking vital signs and delivering personal care. Topics might also include communication skills and patients’ rights. Upon completing your coursework, you’ll take the CNA certification exam, which usually includes a multiple-choice exam and a manual skills test.

Many schools offer convenient online options for CNA certificate programs. Before you enroll, be sure to check that the course is accredited by a recognized agency.

You should expect to do a lot of reading, and take many quizzes to test your new knowledge. You should know that 100% of your attendance is very critical to your success in any CNA program. Clinical hours refer to the portion of your training that takes you into the actual heath care setting- usually the nursing home. Here, you will be given an assignment of residents (not more than one in most cases). You will be expected to use your newly learned skills to show your instructor you can apply them on real people.

What happens after my training is completed?

Your school will assist you with scheduling a Competency exam administered by your state. This exam is mandatory and you must pass it. It will test your knowledge and competency with skills.

If you are interested in the nursing field, becoming a CNA is a great way to see what it’s like. Training is fast and affordable, and it’s easy to find work. As a CNA, you can see for yourself whether nursing is something you’d like to pursue as a lifelong career while gaining all kinds of relevant work experience.

Contact Northern California Nursing Academy at (650) 992-6262 or visit to register.