June 15-22 is the 40th annual National Nursing Assistants Week, a great time to find out more about this growing and rewarding career option.
As the senior population rapidly grows, so will the demand for certified nursing assistants (CNAs). CNAs rank in the top 50 fastest-growing professions in Minnesota. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall US growth rate for CNA positions is over 20 percent, and the CNA salary is projected to grow by 19 percent from 2014 to 2024.
CNAs provide direct medical assistance to patients and help patients with basic daily activities, whether through home-based care or at a nursing home or hospital. CNAs often get to know their patients personally and form strong relationships with them. Characteristics of excellent CNAs include compassion, patience, dependability, and attention to detail.
Becoming a CNA requires earning a certificate and passing a competency exam. In Minnesota, CNAs must complete a Minnesota Department of Health-approved program to become certified. CNAs are also required to pass the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) exam. Most certification programs last 12 weeks or less. By furthering their education, many CNAs eventually become licensed practical nurses (LPNs) or registered nurses (RNs).
With a strong job outlook, the CNA profession is a promising career choice for many young adults. To find out more about the CNA profession, check out http://cna-network.org/career-nursing-assistance/.