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What is a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)?
A Certified Nursing Assistant is an individual who has successfully completed an approved education program and meets the certification requirements prescribed by the state board of nursing. Nursing Assistants are also referred to as Nurse Aides and are important members of the healthcare team.
Role of the Nursing Assistant
As a CNA, you will work under the supervision of the nursing and medical staff to provide direct care to clients in hospitals, nursing homes, healthcare facilities, clinics, private homes, and community health organizations. Duties include maintaining patient hygiene and supporting doctors and nurses in diagnostic procedures and technical treatments, patient charting, and patient instruction. Nursing Assistants are the primary providers of activities of daily living for patients. Exact responsibilities will vary depending on the agency you work for.
Who Can Enroll?
The Nursing Assistant course at CWC is available to anyone 16 years of age or older. Nursing assistant certification is a prerequisite for entrance into many registered nursing (RN) programs. Becoming a Nursing Assistant could be a stepping stone for continuing your education and becoming a registered nurse or seeking out other types of healthcare careers.
When is the Nursing Assistant Course Offered?
Central Wyoming College offers the Nursing Assistant course during the fall and spring semesters and the summer session. The course is not restricted to a semester schedule, which makes course offerings more opportune. It doesn't take long to become a Nursing Assistant and you will continue to learn once you find employment. Contact the Nursing Office at the college for the most current schedule.
Course Delivery Information
You will attend a classroom learning environment prior to receiving hands-on training in a clinical agency where you will be under the direct supervision of a clinical instructor. The classroom and laboratory components of the course comprise approximately 64 hours, and the clinical component is 36 hours of actual patient care (100 total hours). You will be required to independently work through lecture presentations in the online classroom outside regularly scheduled meeting times. The on-campus meeting times will be for skills instruction/demonstration and test taking. Absence from scheduled class times is discouraged since frequent absence is associated with poor performance and being unsuccessful in the course. There can be no absences from clinical.
Your Nursing Assistant training will cover:
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Certification
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation certification must be by American Heart Association for Healthcare Providers. CPR is taught during class time. You will not be allowed to attend clinical without current CPR status.
Nursing Assistant students must meet the physical requirements of the respective clinical agency. It is the student's responsibility to inform the instructor if a potential problem exists in meeting these requirements.
Nursing Assistant students are required to have a tuberculin (TB) skin test within the past 12 months. The record must include date given, date read, reaction, and signature of a qualified healthcare provider. If positive result, you must provide a chest x-ray interpretation or a symptoms review/questionnaire. Students must also have documentation of two doses of MMR vaccine, or a positive rubella/rubeola titer demonstrating immunity to the disease. The hepatitis B vaccine series is strongly recommended for Nursing Assistant students, but is not required at this time.
Most Nursing Assistant courses are four to six weeks in length and the cost is affordable. Some community agencies may offer assistance with the costs of completing a course. Some employers may either pay for your training or reimburse you upon successful completion. At times, the clinical agency that provides clinical opportunities for Nursing Assistant students will offer employment to students who demonstrate ability.
Background Check and Drug Screen
Per clinical agency requirements, a background check and drug test are required prior to participating in clinical education. In addition, the Wyoming State Board of Nursing requires a criminal background check and fingerprinting upon application to take the certification examination at the successful completion of the course. Information regarding how these are obtained will be provided the first day of class.
Upon completion of the Nursing Assistant course, you will submit an application to the Wyoming State Board of Nursing. The certification examination is conducted monthly at various sites throughout the state and the cost is $223. Your instructor will provide you with a schedule. You have two years from the time of course completion to take the certification examination; however, faculty encourages you to take the certification examination soon after the completion of the course. The Wyoming State Board of Nursing determines eligibility to take the certification examination and is responsible for the oversight of nursing in the state of Wyoming.
How Do I Register?
For registration information, contact the Nursing Assistant Program Coordinator at the college at 855-2256. You may also contact an academic advisor at 855-2270.