Q:

How do you train to become a nurse assistant?

A:

Quick Answer

To become a nurse assistant, you must enroll in a nursing assistant program, pass a state examination, secure a job and continue with education. Successful nurse assistants have good communication and patient care skills, along with a desire to help people.

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Full Answer

Begin by checking with the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing and local regulations to find out state requirements before enrolling in a nursing assistant program. Institutions that offer the program include technical and vocational schools, community colleges, local health care providers and the American Red Cross. The program can last up to 16 weeks, depending on the institution.

Next, pass a state-specific examination to become certified. The examination typically includes clinical and practical components. Some states require students to obtain a specific number of education credits over the years or pass a background check. Some states also allow graduates to work for a specific period of time before taking the exam.

Apply for a job as a certified nurse assistant in private residences, adult day care centers, assisted living facilities or health care facilities. Nurse assistants are only allowed to work under the supervision of licensed nurses.

Lastly, continue accumulating education credits to maintain qualification, depending on the state's requirements. You may also consider continuing education for more career advancement opportunities. These include becoming a licensed practical nurse, a registered nurse or a medical assistant.

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