You can begin your career in nursing with only a few weeks of training. Referred to as a certified nursing assistant or CNA, this job is one that offers support to the nursing staff. In the past, some of the work done by a CNA today was done by a registered nurse. Today, with the growth of the health care industry, the field of nursing has expanded. There are several levels of nursing that exist and they are divided according to education as well as the skills applied on a daily basis.
Nursing is a great career path to take, and you will have many great opportunities once you begin to walk down this road. Although it is a great idea to get as much education as possible from the beginning, this is not always an option for many people. They must work to earn a living.
You can begin to work as a CNA after a few weeks of training. Once you are in the work force, you can can go to school part-time and get more eduction. Your work experience, combined with your education, is what will produce your income over time. Health care is a field where people are always learning new things both on the job as well as programs of continuing education.
There are several places that offer CNA training in Pittsburgh. Some hospitals will offer training for free. Usually this is to train an individual to do specific jobs that the hospital needs done. The training may not be as complete as what you will receive in a CNA program. It is also possible that you will not get enough training to pass the CNA examination in Pennsylvania. Becoming state certified is important because it gives you a better chance of being hired by hospitals and other institutions that use nurse aides.
To become a CNA there are no prerequisites other than being at least 18 years old and having a high school diploma or equivalent. In addition, you cannot have a criminal record. Depending upon which program you want to sign up for, you may first have to apply and be accepted. There may be other requirements that are specific to a particular program. You also want to make sure that the training program is accredited by the Pennsylvania Board of Nursing.
The Red Cross is the organization that gives the CNA test. Since they provide the certification, they are often the best place to start looking for an accredited training program that is near your home. The amount of time it will take to complete the course will depend upon how much time you have to dedicate to study. There are programs that are offered part-time that are ideal for those already working a full-time job. If you are one of these people you will need to attend class two or three nights a week. This type of part-time program will last about three months. There are full-time programs that will take two to 2 1/2 weeks. In this type of program you are attending class at least eight hours a day.