Training to become a Certified Nursing Assistant is a great way to put your GED to good use. The GED is accepted by 97% percent of employers and educators, making it the most popular alternative to the high school credential in North America. To begin training as a CNA, you must have at least a high school diploma or GED. If you’re looking for a rewarding career that will be valuable for many years to come, consider CNA training as the next best step to take after you’ve got a high school credential.
All certified nursing assistants are required to enroll in a state-approved training course and pass the state certification exam upon graduation. Most training courses only require between 4 and 12 weeks to complete, making CNA certification one of the most easily completed titles in the healthcare field. Students will be exposed to basic nursing procedures and gain hands-on experience providing patient care. Programs are offered at community colleges and small vocational nursing schools. Community colleges have longer courses and generally cost more than small private programs. The benefits are a more reliable selection of instructors and thorough training. Vocational schools offer classes at a faster pace and can provide more one-on-one instruction due to their smaller class sizes and individualized learning plans.
The job growth for nursing assistants and nurse aides is higher than average. With a projected growth of 21% in new job opportunities, CNAs are one of the fastest growing entry-level fields in the country. By 2022, there is expected to be a total of 320,000 new jobs created for qualified nurse aides and nursing assistants. The best places to find work as a new nurse aide is at nursing homes. They are the main employers of CNAs, accounting for about 70% of employment. Other places to check for a job are hospitals and private caretaking companies. Many individuals are in need of home health care, offering a large network of work opportunities for CNAs willing to work for individuals.
The average salary for nurse aides is $24,000. This is a good wage for most entry-level positions available to high school graduates. The top-earning workers can make as much as $35,000 while beginning workers start with a salary that is closer to $19,000. There is a significant range of wages because of the wide variety of work opportunities available. Depending on where you work, your salary will vary. Home health aides can make good money working for wealthy private clients, but hospitals offer the best pay in general.