Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) are healthcare staff that provide long-term care service to medical facilities and may be a very rewarding career, especially if candidates possess the right skills and knowledge to provide quality service to patients and experience in basic nursing skills.
In order to work as a CNAs in the state of Georgia, a candidate should take and complete a CNA training program which is approved by the Georgia Board of Nursing, must pass a CNA certification test and be entered into the Georgia Nurse Aide Registry.
In the State of Georgia, there are over 60 Board-accredited CNA training programs, which are available in community colleges and vocational schools, universities, medical institutions, healthcare facilities, and meet the guidelines of Georgia Board of Nursing and Federal regulations for protecting and safeguarding the public health.
Additional, some medical facilities provide free on-the-job training, in exchange the employment for the particular facility that provided the CNA training.
By attending the CNA training, a student will learn to provide support for doctors and nurses in a health care setting and may perform different CNA skills such as taking patients’ vital signs, keeping health records noting changes in a patient’s condition or behavior, infection control, administering medication, and the proper operating and maintaining of medical equipment. Also, she/he is involved with the patient’s daily needs depending on the directions of qualified professional, such as toileting, bathing and grooming, dressing, feeding, keeping rooms clean, preparing beddings, etc.
In order to gain entry into any of the CNA programs in Georgia, applicants must be at least 18 years old; possess a high school diploma or GED certificate, be in good physical health, and have no criminal record. Also, they should be familiar with English language and mathematics, and have a TB test report of last 6 months and immunization’s proof before admission to the program.
The selected courses should be approved by the Georgia Board of Nursing that include least 85 hours of training, which covers classroom instruction and clinical practice at a nursing home or other living care facility. The classroom instruction involves theory topics which deliver the technical knowledge to the students and cover the basic science, basic patient care, anatomy and physiology, human body mechanics, basic nutrition, personal care and hygiene, infection control, health education, emergency procedures, professional conduct, etc.
The practical session covers clinical practices that a CNA must perform during the career in healthcare field, and need a high degree of skill, precise written communication in English and interpersonal communication skills, as well as accurate performance and the ability to perform the same tasks repeatedly.
Through these training programs in the state of Georgia, all potential CNAs develop the necessary nursing talent and skills. The approved training courses usually last for 6 to 12 weeks and require an enrollment fee that may range from $700 to $1800.
Georgia CNA Certification
After completing a training program, all potential CNAs must sit for a certification exam in order to receive their license and to work legally as a nurse aides in the state.
The state of Georgia uses National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) exam for assessment of certified nursing assistants, which is given by Pearson Vue (is the authorized administrator of the NNAAP in state), that is supervised and regulated by the Georgia Department of Community Health (GDCH) in alliance with Georgia Medical Care Foundation (GMCF). The purpose of the NNAAP Examination is to test that candidate understand and can safely perform the job of an entry-level nurse aide.
The test 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. 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 Georgia Nurse Aide Registry, which maintains the records of certified nurse aides in the state and is regulated by the Georgia Department of Community Health (GDCH). Certification must be renewed every 24 months, and nursing aide must have worked at least 8 hours during the same period. Failure to work the required 8 hours will result in loss of certification and the nursing aide will need to retake the training program and exam.
CNA Employment in Georgia
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as the state’s population ages, the healthcare industry is one of the only sectors to experience consistent growth despite the economic slump. Hospitals are looking for more nursing assistants to assist medical professionals make the best use of their time. Additional, CNAs can work at several settings like nursing homes, medical facilities, clinics, private health care facilities, public health care centers, mental care centers, elderly care centers, convalescent homes, long-term care centers, and they are permitted to continue their nursing practice anywhere throughout the state.
A CNA in the state of Georgia usually earns an average salary of $37,000 per year, however, one of the most important things that affect CNA salary in Georgia is experience. Some employers require at least one year of experience before hiring a CNA.