Congratulations on your interest in a career as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)! CNAs are entry-level positions in the medical field that are in high demand. Choosing to become a CNA will open the door to job security and endless career development opportunities. Now that you have chosen this career path, let’s discuss how to get a CNA license and land your first job.
CNA Licensing Requirements
Nursing licensure requirements are state-mandated. Therefore, to determine if you qualify for this position, it’s best to research your state guidelines. Pennsylvania’s require CNA’s to be:
- 16 years old
- In good physical health
- Up to date on immunizations
- A high school graduate or GED
- Criminally screened and fingerprinted
- A graduate from a certified nursing assistant school in Pennsylvania
- Able to Pass the State Exam
- A Certified CAN
Once you have met these requirements, you are ready to get started! Complete these tasks to obtain your CNA license.
Complete an Accredited CNA Program
CNAs must complete an accredited CNA program. You can find programs by visiting the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s website or speaking to your local community college or vocational school. If the cost of a program is out of your budget, reach out to the Red Cross for free courses. Or you can speak to your nursing school about financial aid and payment plans.
Discuss applying for your CNA licensure while you are completing the CAN program to not miss the time frame.
Take and Pass a Certified Examination
You will need to pass a two-part certification exam. The first part will be written with multiple choice answers, and the second part will be clinical. The clinical assessment will be in reference to specific skills needed for CNA work. These tasks might include following sanitation specifications, feeding a patient, or measuring a patient’s vitals.
Apply For Your CNA Licensure
You will need to submit your application for state licensure. Also, you will need to pass a background check, submit a photo id, and provide proof of completing an accredited CNA program. You can often have your nursing school send in the paperwork for you. Ensure that your paperwork is received in time by requesting this paperwork before submitting your application.
Pay Appropriate Fees
Before obtaining your CNA license, you must pay the appropriate fees. These fees could include an application fee, background check fee, or examination fee. If you are worried about the costs of acquiring your CNA license, don’t fret! Often your employer will cover the expenses to help you obtain your license.
Once you have completed these four steps, you should have your CNA license. If you already meet the education requirements or have the experience, you might be eligible for an alternative CNA licensing path.
Other Ways To Obtain a CNA License
If you have completed nursing school and want to add a CNA license to your list of credentials, you will be able to skip the CNA Program. However, you will still need to pass the CNA licensing examination, submit your application, and pay the appropriate fees. You can contact the Pennsylvania Board of Nursing for more information.
To summarize, obtaining your CNA license will prove your competency to your employer and patients. This is also a state requirement to maintain a CNA position.
If you are ready to pursue your nursing career, Cynamed has compiled CNA resources to help you along the way. Speak to one of our representatives and we’ll find you the perfect position that fits your availability, experience, and skill set today!