The continuously growing career opportunities in the health field for Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), makes this one of the most desirable professions with a stable career, as more and more fellow citizens need healthcare.
Those who wish to work as a nursing assistants in the state of Maryland, must first complete a CNA training program approved by the Maryland Board of Nursing (MBN) that meets the national guidelines and Federal regulations. The federal government of Maryland ensures that the courses included in the education will prepare properly the students for the certification exams.
Approved CNA training programs can be offered through community colleges, state universities, specialized schools, the American Red Cross, hospitals, nursing facilities and other healthcare establishments, as well as through online courses and distance education schools which make it easy to access the experiential learning. Furthermore, there are several healthcare facilities that offer free training programs and a job position upon completion of the training and the successful certification.
CNAs usually work under the supervision of a head nurse or any qualified professional and are in constant contact with the patient by providing basic care and support, knowing what to do in emergency cases. The basic duties of nursing assistants include the infection control, feeding, bathing and grooming, administering medication, basic life support and emergency procedures, taking vital signs, such as record blood pressure, temperature, pulse, respiration, weight and height, as well as the proper operating and maintaining of medical equipment.
CNA Training Requirements in Maryland (MD)
Most programs require a candidate to be at least 18, while several keep 16 years of age as the minimum age limit. However, nearly all employers will require that the nurse assistants must be at least 18 years old to qualify for employment. The applicants must have a high school diploma or GED certification, be able to read and write in English language, have a clean criminal record and proof tuberculosis test report of the last 6 months.
The Maryland Board of Nursing has approved over 100 certified nursing assistant training programs throughout the state. The fees required to be submitted for enrollment can range from $400 to $2000.
It takes 6 to 12 weeks to complete a CNA training program and the student must attend at least 100 hours of instruction, that should be dedicated to classroom coursework and clinical practice. Each program equip the candidate with sufficient skills and know-how to work as Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in state.
The courses cover basic nursing skills and restorative care, treatment options, communication and interpersonal relations, infection control, safety and environmental responsibilities, hygiene, mobility and positioning, basic nutrition, medical terminology, basic anatomy and physiology. Students are also advised to take additional classes in mental health care, because just so they can provide quality emotional support to patients. Lastly, coursework should involve proper techniques in emergency and first-aid procedures.
Maryland CNA Certification
Within 24 months from the completion of the training program, the student must sit for state certification that is handled by the Geriatric Nursing Assistant Testing Service. The examinee should pass both the written as well as the skills test in order to become a Certified Nursing Assistant and listed to the Maryland Nurse Aide Registry.
The written exam includes multiple-choice questions related to care of patients and responsibilities of nursing assistants. The second section is a clinical exam proficiency skills required for performing nurse aide job, and the examinees are asked to perform five selected tasks appropriate to a CNA job.
The examinee that fail the exam three times must re-take the entire CNA program, before sit for the competency exam again. Renewal of certification is every 2 years and CNAs must have at least 8 hours of paid work. Initial cost of certification is about $20 and re-certification is about $40 every two years.
CNA Jobs & Salary in Maryland
The average salary for CNAs in the state of Maryland is about $28,000 per year. This is aside from the other benefits which are offered to nurse aides such as medical and dental services, paid vacations and transportation expenses.
The job outlook for Certified Nursing Assistants in Maryland is very promising as the state experiences an increase in elderly population which they need health care. The improvements in healthcare also require the services of such health workers in various healthcare facilities in the state including the Franklin Square Hospital Center, Holy Cross Hospital, John Hopkins Medicine and Prince George’s Hospital Center.