As a CNA, do employers know/care if you never took a class?

  1. 0
    I recently challenged the CNA exam and passed, after never having taken any CNA classes before. I thought a CNA certification is a CNA certification, regardless of whether or not you took a class, but now, looking for jobs, many employers say things like this on their websites:
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    Qualifications

    REQUIRED EDUCATION: High School Dip or GED and CNA Tech training

    REQUIRED LICENSURE: FL cna license
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    This implies that they want not only someone who is CNA certified, but someone who took a specific class for CNA, rather than someone like me who just challenged the test. Will they know if I didn't take a CNA course? Would they care? I can't imagine them asking someone to supply them with a copy of their transcript to prove they took a CNA class. Thank you.

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  2. 10 Comments...

  3. 0
    I'm not an expert on this by any means, especially with anything Floridian (I'm in CA), but the one thing they really, really want with CNA's here is...floor time. Experience. Successfully challenging the state CNA exam(s) will probably help, but without floor time they tend to be a little leery of extending an offer primarily because a fair number of people accept the position, find out what's involved & boogie over to Taco Bell for (a) more money, and (b) less butt-wiping.

    Big thing with not having any schooling is that you most likely haven't done any clinicals either - which means no floor time. So...only thing I can recommend is just go ahead, apply & see what happens. Depending on their needs at the time, you may be able to get your foot in the door - but you're really going to have to sell yourself in the interview. Given the state of the job market you'd have to do that anyway, but not having a school that can vouch for you is going to make it just that much tougher. And, yes, they do check whether you attended or not - did with me, anyway.

    ----- Dave
  4. 0
    This makes me want to laugh. I actually went to CNA classes in Tennessee, and when my first employer asked for proof I showed him, but it didn't really matter. After 1 year experience I was never asked for proof again, and no other employer ever asked me for it. If the ad asks that you have gone though a CNA program in FL, they probably want proof. Maybe they've had bad experiences with CNA's who said they challenged the test?

    I always list my school, but nobody calls it, nobody asks what experience I had during the program, nobody asks if it was state certified. The only entity that cared if my CNA school was Florida state certified was a nursing program I was going to apply to, so I just didn't apply...a TN program won't be FL certified.

    If you have no experience working as a CNA, you should take some sort of class. I would advise you to try to find a course through a nursing home as they are usually cheaper, but if you're looking for FL state certified program you won't get it through a nursing home.
  5. 0
    Quote from SuperMeghan91
    If you have no experience working as a CNA, you should take some sort of class. I would advise you to try to find a course through a nursing home as they are usually cheaper, but if you're looking for FL state certified program you won't get it through a nursing home.
    Yeah... there is just no way I can justify paying hundreds of dollars to take a course for a test I already passed.
  6. 0
    Quote from Maui79
    Yeah... there is just no way I can justify paying hundreds of dollars to take a course for a test I already passed.
    Florida is ridiculous with the cost for CNA programs. Want to know how much it cost me for my TN program? $40.00 and that was just for the book. All other costs were covered by the state and the nursing home! I think that would be impossible to find in Florida. At my local CC, it's over $1000.00 for their CNA program.
  7. 0
    $1500.00 at the community college plus any books and additional fee for the testing etc here in NH. Gah.
  8. 0
    I obtained a nursing license through the challenge process and no employer has ever denied me employment because of that. All they care about is that my employment history checks out and that my license is clear.
  9. 0
    Quote from SuperMeghan91
    Florida is ridiculous with the cost for CNA programs. Want to know how much it cost me for my TN program? $40.00 and that was just for the book. All other costs were covered by the state and the nursing home! I think that would be impossible to find in Florida. At my local CC, it's over $1000.00 for their CNA program.
    Think that's bad? Try $1,900 here in CA. Thankfully I was able to write it off on my taxes.

    ----- Dave
  10. 0
    Quote from caliotter3
    I obtained a nursing license through the challenge process and no employer has ever denied me employment because of that. All they care about is that my employment history checks out and that my license is clear.
    But what if you don't have an employment history? Therein lies the problem - with a saturated job market, even the LTC's around here are pretty choosy about who they hire. Might not be that way where you are (and if you challenged more than a few years ago, it almost certainly wasn't then) - sure as h*** is like that here.

    ----- Dave
  11. 2
    Is it going to make you less employable as a CNA? Until you have some experience, yeah, it would. After youve worked as a CNA for a while it probably wouldnt make much difference, although it still might with some employers. I guess the first thing I would ask if I was hiring is what other education or experience do you have that would replace the formal training you skipped, as there are plenty of applicants out there who HAVE passed a CNA course.

    Some employers in my state will list under job requirements that you completed a state approved CNA course, they dont even require that you have taken the actual CNA exam and been certified, although anyone they hire must take the exam and become certified within 90 days of being hired I believe. This is relevant because it shows that employers are more concerned that you have been properly trained and less concerned about how you did on one test that only tested you on a few areas based on skill sheets anyone can memorize, even if they have no training.

    The last thing any employer wants to do is have to train somebody from scratch, which is why most require job experience. Having no formal training and no experience, they WOULD have to train you completely from scratch. This might not be an issue in assisted living, but I doubt you would be hired at a busy skilled nursing facility or hospital, which are the ones who pay the best.

    There is also the question of whether they would know you never took a CNA course. I cant imagine they wouldnt know, as every job application has a section on education, and most employers would want to know where you did your training at, since reputations among schools vary. The only place that wouldnt realize you never had any training would be a facility with horrible hiring practices who hire anybody with a CNA and a pulse who passes a background check. Im sure these places exist, especially in Florida with the large elderly population, but they probably dont pay very well and probably wouldnt be a very nice place to work(or live).
    Last edit by northernguy on May 4, '12
    RmCU_nA and Merced like this.


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