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What is a Nursing Assistant?
Nursing assistants, sometimes called nurse aides, are important members of the health care team. A certified nursing assistant (CNA) is an individual who has successfully completed a state board-approved training program and has passed the national licensing examination.
A typical job description includes a variety of tasks that change daily depending on the number of patients and specific needs of patients under their care. Duties vary based on different work environments. These variables make the job unpredictable and challenging.
As a nursing assistant, you will work under the supervision of nurses and other licensed medical professionals to provide direct care to patients in hospitals, clinics, long-term care centers, community health centers, and home health services. Duties include maintaining patient hygiene and supporting doctors and nurses in some diagnostic procedures and technical treatments, patient charting, and patient instruction. Nursing assistants provide individualized attention to patients and are the primary caregivers in meeting the day to day needs of patients. They play a significant role in relaying information about the condition of patients to other members of the health care team since they are the one having constant contact with patients.
Who Can Enroll?
The Nursing Assistant course at CWC is available to anyone 16 years of age or older. Becoming a nursing assistant could be a stepping stone for continuing your education and becoming a registered nurse or seeking out other types of health care 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.
How Do I Register?
For registration assistance, contact an academic advisor at 307-855-2270. You may also contact the Nursing Assistant Program Coordinator at the college at 307-855-2256.
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. Additionally, some employers may either pay for your training or reimburse you upon successful completion. At times, the agency that provides clinical opportunities for nursing assistant students will offer employment to students who demonstrate ability.
Cost considerations include tuition and fees, textbooks and workbook, stethoscope, bandage scissors, uniform/scrubs, immunizations, background check, drug test, CPR card, and certification fees upon completion of the course.
You will attend a classroom learning environment prior to receiving hands-on patient care 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 64 hours, and the clinical component is 36 hours of actual patient care (100 total hours). Students must independently work through the chapter readings and workbook assignments outside regularly scheduled meeting times. The on-campus meeting times will be for skills instruction 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.
Basic Life Support Certification
Students must successfully complete the BLS Healthcare Provider course by American Heart Association. This will be taught during class time. You will not be allowed to attend clinical without current BLS certification.
Immunizations and Lab Work
Immunization requirements vary among clinical agencies and the student is expected to abide by the rules and regulations of the respective agency. A copy of your records must be presented to the instructor prior to the first clinical date. Check with your instructor for exact requirements, which may include any or all of the following: TB skin test, MMR, Tdap, hepatitis B, varicella, and influenza.
Background Check and Drug Test
Per clinical agency requirements, a criminal background check and drug test are required. Information regarding how these are obtained will be provided the first day of class.
Upon successful completion of the Nursing Assistant course, students have the opportunity to submit an application to the Wyoming State Board of Nursing for licensure as a certified nursing assistant. The certification examination is conducted monthly at various test sites throughout the state. Your instructor will provide you with a test schedule. You have two years from the time of course completion to take the certification examination; however, faculty encourages you to take the exam soon after 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. Successful completion of the Nursing Assistant course does not guarantee certification.