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CNA Training in California

Those who wish to work as certidied nursing assistants (CNAs) in the state of California will need to attend a CNA training program approved by the California Department of Public Health as well as pass the certification exam in order to be listed on the Califirnia Nurse Aide Registry. Every approved CNA program must meets California’s standards and Federal regulations for the purpose of safeguarding the public health.

The Aide and Technician Certification section of the California Department of Public Health administer the examination for candidates who’ve completed their training and secures the necessities that should be met for licensure of CNA.

Most programs can be found in community colleges, vocational and technical colleges, education centers, hospitals, nursing homes and American Red Cross CNA training program. Some facilities offer free CNA training courses in exchange a period of employment after successful completing training and license of the candidate. These courses are usually available through long-term care centers and assisted living nursing homes, which will even pay for the certification exam.

CNAs work under the guidance of skilled and experienced nurses and should perform their duty respecting moral values associated with this profession. The tasks of a CNA may vary with the employer, but usually include basic care of patients, toileting, bathing and grooming, dressing, feeding, administering medication, keeping rooms clean, basic life support and emergency procedures, infection control, taking vital signs, such as record blood pressure, temperature, pulse, respiration, weight and height, observing and noting changes in a patient’s condition or behavior, as well as cleaning and sterilization of medical equipment.

The state of California has placed the minimum age requirement of 16 year olds for applicants who wish to enroll in a CNA program approved by the California Department of Public Health’s Aide and Technician Certification Section (ATCS). Students should have good physical and mental health, clean criminal record and ability to read and write in English.

Also, California is one of the states requiring the most number of hours for training. So, students will need to attend 150 hours of training, but there are some training programs that offer even more hours of instruction. The training can last 6 to 15 weeks and will cost anywhere from $600 to over $1000. Students may also take additional classes to earn skills competency awards in the Acute Care CNA and Home Health Aide programs.

An ATCS approved CNA program will prepare you for both the certification exam and for your employment as a certified nursing assistant. Includes a minimum of 50 hours of classroom training and 100 hours of clinical training usually in a laboratory or in an actual clinical facility under the direct supervision of a licensed nurse.

Irrespective of which program you pick for your training, the topics include:
• Basic Nursing and Clinical Skills
• Body Anatomy
• Caring for Patients with Cognitive Disabilities
• Communication and Interpersonal skills
• Emergency Care Procedures and Infection Control
• Mental Health Care, Restorative Care and Physiology
• Medical Terminology and Safety Techniques
• Nutrition and CPR Services
• Personal Care Skills
• Promotion and Respect of Patients’ Rights and Independence
• Providing Hospice Care
• Providing Dementia Care

CNA Certification Requirements in California

Upon completion of the CNA program, graduates must pass the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) examination, administered at testing centers of Pearson Vue, in order to be listed on the California Nurse Aide Registry.

There are the following basic requirements in order to earn a CNA certificate:

  • Minimum age for qualifying for the CNA certification is 16 years old
  • Present the high school diploma or the GED certificate
  • Must complete a approved CNA training program
  • A negative result for TB test within the past 6 months and proof of immunizations
  • Have to submit 2X2 passport size photos
  • Two finger print impressions
  • Criminal background check

The NNAAP Examination involves both a written exam as well as a skills demonstration test. The written test is a two-hour test with 70 multiple-choice questions covered topics of classroom instruction and is written in English:

  • Basic nursing care
  • Promotion of safety
  • Promotion of function and health of residents
  • Role of nurse aide
  • Specific care provided to patients with changes in health

The clinical test which mimics a clinical setting asks the examinees to show their skills and knowledge in performing 5 randomly selected nursing assistant skills, under the supervision of instructors and senior registered nurses.
If the examinee fails the tests after three tries will need to re-take the training program. The examination fee of written exam is $25 and of clinical test is $82.

After successfully passing the certification exam, CNA can be entered into the Califirnia Nurse Aide Registry, which maintains the records of certified nurse aides in the state and is regulated by the California Department of Community Health. Certification must be renewed every 24 months, and CNA will need to have completed at least 48 hours of continuing education units.

CNA Jobs & Salary in Califirnia (CA)

Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) are in high demand due to the aging population in the state, and will have many career opportunities once they have completed the curriculum and the certification exam. CNAs earn an average of $27,180 per year, but the salary range vary depending on experience, job position, qualifications, place of employment and the type of employer.

Hospitals are of the facilities where CNAs usually want to work because of the high pay and great benefits such as paid vacations and paid sick days as well as insurance and free continuing education. However, there are other places, such as nursing homes, convalescent homes, long-term care centers, private and public health care facilities, mental care centers, clinics of private practitioners, and home health agencies where a CNA can work.

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