A CNA license, or a Certified Nursing Assistant license, qualifies an individual to provide support to other nursing professionals, particularly licensed practical nurses and registered nurses. CNA professionals work in varied locations, including hospitals, nursing homes and extended care facilities. CNA licenses typically require less schooling than other nursing qualifications and are seldom subject to strict state licensing requirements.
In most cases, potential applicants for a CNA license must possess a minimum age of between 16 and 18 years old, with 18 commonly being the minimum age for actual employment. Many applicants find it possible to begin training while still in high school (some high schools may even have programs) or to extend it into community college or four-year university curriculums. While college degrees are not typically required for a CNA, high school diplomas or GED equivalency often are. Official training programs are followed by an application process, legal background check, processing fees and a certification exam.
To facilitate CNA training, interested students are encouraged to pursue science and math courses, particularly those involving chemistry, biology, anatomy, algebra and physiology. Because nurses are directly responsible for people in need, administrators and employers expect people applying for CNA licenses to have clean records. While minor transgressions such as traffic violations and juvenile offenses may not present grounds for rejection, felony and misdemeanor convictions, particularly those involving incarceration, may.