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cna requirements

The Requirements and Skills Needed to Become a CNA

As a certified nursing assistant (CNA), you have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of older adults and help them to live their best lives. 

If you’re passionate about helping others and interested in pursuing a career as a CNA, or making a stable and secure career change, a nursing assistant may be the job for you. 

Certified nursing assistants play a vital role in providing high-quality care and support by helping seniors with basic care, monitoring vital signs, administering medication, and maintaining patient records. 

Learn more about CNA requirements, how to advance your career, the benefits of working in a senior living community, and where to join a team that feels like family. 

How to become a CNA

To become a CNA, you must meet certain requirements and learn skills through a CNA training program. 

These may vary by state and employer, but generally, you will need the following requirements, skills, and documents:

  • A high school diploma 
  • Complete a state-approved training program
  • Pass the CNA certification exam 
  • CPR and first aid certification 
  • Immunization records 
  • TB testing results
  • A government-issued identification 
  • Good physical health and physical ability 
  • Good communication skills 
  • Emotional stability 
  • Attention to detail 
  • Compassion 
  • Flexible and able to adapt to changing circumstances

By meeting these requirements, you’ll be well-prepared to earn your CNA license and begin your career in healthcare.

How do I earn CNA certification?

Check your state’s certification requirements for certified nursing assistants, but you can generally expect the following:

Complete CNA education program

In most states, you will need to have a high school diploma or GED and complete a state-approved CNA program. 

These programs typically involve a combination of classroom instruction and clinical practice, and may take several weeks to several months to complete. 

Pass the CNA certification exam 

After completing your training, you will need to pass a certification exam to become a CNA. 

The certification exam will test your knowledge and skills related to patient care and may include a written portion and a skills demonstration. 

Apply for certification 

Once you have passed the exam, you will need to apply for certification through your state’s nursing board or regulatory agency. 

This process may involve submitting an application, paying a fee, and providing proof of your education and training.

Renew your certification

In most states, you must renew your CNA certification every two years. 

To renew your certification, you will typically need to complete a number of continuing education units and pay a renewal fee. 

CNA education

CNA programs may be offered through community colleges, vocational schools, and healthcare facilities. 

They typically involve a combination of classroom instruction and clinical practice.

Classroom instruction covers topics such as anatomy and physiology, patient care, communication, infection control, and emergency procedures. 

Other topics that will be on the certification exam will include: 

  • Activities of daily living 
  • Aging process 
  • Client rights 
  • Cultural and spiritual needs 
  • Ethics and legal issues 
  • Medical terminology 
  • Mental health 
  • Nutrition 
  • Personal care 
  • Role and responsibility of the CNA
  • Vital signs and testing

You will also need clinical practice, where you will gain hands-on experience working with patients under the supervision of a registered nurse or other healthcare professional. 

What’s the job market like for CNAs?

The job market for CNAs is generally strong, with a high demand for qualified candidates. This is due to the aging population and the increasing need for healthcare services. 

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, employment of CNAs is expected to grow by 5% from 2021 to 2031.

CNAs can work in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living and memory care communities, home healthcare agencies, and outpatient care centers. 

Private individuals may also employ them to provide in-home care. 

By continuing your training, you can also become a lead care manager and neighborhood supervisor. 

With the right education and passion, there are various growth opportunities.

Kensington Park Senior Living is always looking for compassionate CNAs and healthcare professionals to add to their team. 

Whether you have already received your certification or are completing your training now, our community is a great place to learn, grow, and advance your career. 

At Kensington Park, we prioritize our team member’s ambitions and encourage growth. 

Benefits of working in senior living 

There are many benefits to working in a senior living community as a CNA. 

Some of these benefits may include: 

  • The opportunity to make a difference 
  • Building personal connections with residents and their families
  • Flexible scheduling 
  • Career advancement and professional development 
  • Competitive pay 
  • A supportive work environment
  • Personal growth and fulfillment 
  • A growing industry 
  • It is a stable and secure career choice 
  • The healthcare industry is getting larger and stronger

Join a team that feels like family 

Kensington Park Senior Living is an independent living, assisted living, and memory care community that specializes in Alzheimer’s care and dementia care

Our Promise is to love and care for our residents like we do our own family, and we extend that promise to our team. 

If you’re compassionate and looking to make a positive difference in the lives of older adults and other residents, and help them live a high-quality life—you’ll enjoy working at our community. 

As a part of our team, you help to ensure our residents are emotionally, mentally, and physically healthy, receive rehabilitation services, meet their basic care needs, engage in life-enrichment activities, and socialize. 

Benefits we offer our team members include: 

  • Competitive salaries
  • Health, Life, 401K & other benefits starting at 30 hrs/wk
  • Generous paid time off 
  • Employee assistance program 
  • Complimentary lunches and dinners 

Contact us or check out our blog to learn more about our communities, services, job, and volunteer opportunities, and upcoming events.