Quote from LIZ07
Thanks Jamy! So does that mean you don't have to have any schooling for it you just get trained at the hospital? I'm going to be taking my pre reqs this summer and fall to become an RN but would like to have experience as a CNA.
It varies from state to state. In NC, you have to be trained as a CNA by an accredited program- usually the classes are 16 weeks long. Not many facilities in this area pay for your training- maybe LTC places, but certainly not hospitals. You have to have a certificate that is held by the Department of Facilities Services (for CNA I) or the NC Board of Nursing (CNA II). Here in NC, after you've completed your junior year of nursing school, you can automatically be listed as a CNA II, which gives you more autonomy and higher pay rates. For instance, in my job, I routinely insert foley catheters, give tube feedings, set up IV's, stuff like that- plus vital signs, moving patients, measuring I/O, etc. I'd recommend going to the website for your state's board of nursing to see what specific duties CNA's perform, as well as educational requirements.
I highly recommend getting experience as a CNA during nursing school, or before- you can get over that initial anxiety when dealing with a patient, and a lot of the skills that seem daunting when you first start nursing school, like vital signs, making an occupied bed, etc. are a piece of cake once you've been a CNA. My personal opinion is that working in a hospital is more helpful than a LTC facility, unless you want to go into rehab or geriatric nursing; if you already know what specialty of nursing you're leaning toward, getting a job in that area gives you the opportunity to pick up a LOT of information on the job, just from watching and listening.