Becoming a CNA, where to start?

  1. I currently live in Florida, there's plenty of opportunities available down here work wise for CNA's, nurses, etc. I'd like to take the necessary steps to become a CNA. I've decided to take this career path because in January I'll be able to attend school again to begin studies for an ASN. I think this will be helpful while I'm going to school so I can at least become familiar with healthcare and get a bit of experience along the way. Unfortunately I'm not sure exactly where to search for classes to become a CNA. I have family members in different healthcare fields, they've all suggested trying to find a facility that is willing to pay for the CNA classes, then I'd work for them upon completion, I'm having trouble with this though. All I can seem to find are facilities looking for people who are already certified. Any suggestions?
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    About Sgreenleaf

    Joined: May '13; Posts: 2


  3. by   caskey09
    I was in the same boat as you! I just got accepted at an LTC facility for their CNA training class...they pay you for the classes and you are hired immediately. They also guarantee you a job while being certified and after fulltime. I found out the information online. Just go to all the job sites and search for CNA trainee. There are also websites that show you which facilities train you for free or paid!
  4. by   1feistymama
    I'm in CA and in a similar situation --- applying to RN programs this Fall and desire to work as CNA while in school. I went to the CA BON site (a simple google search found it). Once on that site, I started searching for approved CNA schools. There were 2 or 3 pages of them. A few were LTCs that offered training. Some were ROP offered through Adult schools and some were private. I signed up for a private course (most expensive on the list) only because it was offered on weekends and I need to keep my day job for another year. I take my last Final in my last Pre-req in 2 weeks and the 9 days later I attend orientation for the CNA program.

    If your schedule is more flexible, I'd look into the local adult schools and ROP programs --- many are free or almost free.

    I've also discovered MANY companies advertise positions on craigslist. I mentioned this to my mom, who works for an eye doctor. I thought looking at craigslist might be sketchy. She said that's the only place they post their jobs because it's free and she knows other offices do the same. There are individuals posting offerings as well "come take care of Dad" kind of thing and I'm not interested in those, but if an LTC or Home Care agency lists there, I check out their websites. It seems, in southern CA anyway, CNA jobs are extremely easy to come by!

    The local hospitals post a lot of positions as well, but many of them want experience. I have no problem building some experience in LTC (I like the geriatric community anyway and am considering working there long term). I've also heard from several nursing students that they worked home health while in school because they could study at work while the patient was sleeping. They had more down time than those in a LTC. Food for thought...
  5. by   blwilliams10
    It really depends upon your area on what will be the best for you to start looking.

    I had wanted to go into nursing for a while but I couldn't afford to quit my job and take classes so for me it took a while to be able to do anything. I was a salesman before going into nursing and ended up getting laid off from my job. During this time I looked into a vocational training program (this is where they pay for you to take a class at vocational school) offered from the DES in my state. However the only school in my area wasn't offering the class at the that time as the teacher was out with a back injury. But I didn't want to give up on my dream so what I did was went on google and typed in "nursing homes around ***" then just wrote down the phone numbers of every place.

    After getting my list I called every facility in a 30 mile radius, including hospitals. I would call them and ask if they offer CNA training. My list had about 20 places on it, a lot of places had at one time offered classes or weren't at that time for various reasons. But don't get discouraged, it wasn't until I called the very last place on my list that offered classes still.

    If you do go an work for a LTC the one I work at has a Special Care Unit (Alzheimer, Schizophrenia, Bi-Polar Disorder, so on) I would suggest to give it a try. I found that this is my favorite group to work with. Sometimes it can be tough work as they don't always understand, but this group of people really does appreciate the work you are doing for them. For many of them you become a family member for them.

    So my advice is don't give up keep pushing and calling! Also good luck with nursing school, I have 1 more year left of my online general ed classes before I will actually start my RN classes.
  6. by   LightX
    Try the American Red Cross in your area. That's where I did the training.
    Also try the unemployment office/ re-training programs.

    Here in Michigan there are "scholarships" for CNA training. The state will also reimburse the CNA for the training once they start work at a medicare/medicaid funded facility (nursing home).
  7. by   Sgreenleaf
    Thank you everybody for the responses!! I actually put together a list of around 50 different nursing homes in the area I'm currently living. I'll begin those phone calls on Monday. I looked into the American Red Cross but unfortunately they don't have any CNA classes being offered in my area. I'm not in nursing school yet, I haven't even began my pre-reqs that will all begin in January.. I had to clear up some student loan problems from the first time I was in school, it's held me back about a year now & it's quite discouraging.. BUT, there's never been anything I've been so focused on completing & wanting to achieve in my entire life until I realized I wanted to become a nurse.
    . I've also heard from several nursing students that they worked home health while in school because they could study at work while the patient was sleeping. They had more down time than those in a LTC. Food for thought...
    That definitely sounds beneficial because I've been hearing how tough it's going to be as a nursing student & it's necessary for me to keep a job throughout my studies, even if it's part-time! That's why I'm looking into CNA training to hold me over until I become a nurse!