A Certified Nursing Assistant, or CNA, is someone that gives basic health care to patients while being supervised by a Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse. You must be trained to work as a CNA. Training requirements vary with each state, but typically, it consists of 75 yours in the class room and roughly 16 hours of supervised training in a clinical setting. If you don’t have the money to pay for CNA training, you may be relieved to know that there is funding available through government programs and grants for people eligible. There are several ways that you can look into this for yourself.
You can contact a nursing home or hospital that you think you may want to work for. The government has grants available to health care facilities annually to train their staff. This grant money is used by many facilities to pay for CNA training as long as you sign a contract to work for that particular facility for 6 months to a year following completion of training.
Being tied to a contract isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. If that’s you, then you can go in the direction of checking out your local technical schools or community colleges to see if they have classes for CNA certification. The admissions office will have information regarding government grants and what it takes to qualify for them. It’s possible that you’ll qualify for enough grants combined to pay for your completed Certified Nursing Assistant course.
If you need to be working and can’t afford to take the time financially for 4 – 6 weeks of a CNA course, you can consider applying for a Nurse’s Assistant job rather than a CNA. Once you’ve worked for the facility for a little while, ask them about training you as a CNA. The same government grant money will be used to train you, but as you’re already working there, it’s possible to get paid training.
Some things to keep in mind are:
• You can expect to work as a NA for at least 6 months before you’ll be considered for paid training as a CNA.
• Foundations that promote education following high school to at risk students will also have government grant money to use for CNA training. One such foundation is Job Corps.
• Continue with your education following certification. Most healthcare facilities will offer assistance for their good CNAs to train as an LPN or RN.
• Signing a contract with a facility so you can become trained as a CNA means that if you quit working there before the contract is up, you’ll have to reimburse the training fees.