A CNA instructor is a licensed nursing assistant instructor. CNA instructors are meant to be a guide for students training to become Certified Nursing Assistants. CNA instructors are experienced, knowledgeable and eligible to teach nursing. For a CNA instructor to teach nursing, he/she must be a RN with at least a bachelor’s degree and licensure in nursing.
A CNA will provide one-on-one personal training or will train through lecturing and students must then pass the exam which the instructor has trained them for in order to become practicing nurse assistants.
How to become a CNA Instructor?
Education & Training.
CNA instructors are required to be licensed Registered Nurses to be eligible to teach and train junior CNAs. They need to have either an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree and may also have to take a separate nurse assistant instructor course depending on what state they are from.
CNA instructors are also required to be 1/2 years experienced in the nursing field or have previous teaching experience.
CNA Instructor courses may last either 2 weeks or a full 6 months depending on the training school/college.
CNA instructors must portray positive characteristics including patience, compassion, an excellent problem-solving ability and commitment to their students.
Here are 5 essential nursing instructor characters:
The ability to work with others. This trait is essential in most careers but especially as a nurse instructor so that you can make an impact on the students. A motivational compliment or a supportive smile is enough to go a long way.
Love of nursing. As an instructor, you will need to be clear on what nursing is all about so that you are able to guide your students correctly and when the students see your passion for this career, they will be more effective and motivated.
Expertise. CNA instructors have to take responsibility for the care that the students provide for patients. Nursing students gain a wide variety of experience and must always keep in mind that patient safety always comes first.
Communication skills. Strong and effective communication between instructors and nursing students is of utmost importance because it promotes student confidence and skills. In today’s world, technology is advancing every day and therefore instructors are advised to communicate through internet, emails, texts and basic face-to-face communication.
Skills beyond the clinical setting. The ability of teaching material in a different manner and thinking out of the box because using the same method all the time makes classes monotonous and students get bored. Encouraging more outdoor classes and activities in order to engage students.
Most CNA instructors find jobs in healthcare facilities in colleges, hospitals, universities and technical schools. The average wage for a nurse educator is $74,000 per year. CNA instructors work with high school graduates studying nursing for the first time, nurses who are working towards advancing their degree and nurses seeking to expand their knowledge and skills.
CNA instructors may work either 9 months or up to a year, but they don’t need to work shifts or overnight. They usually divide their time between campus and a nearby healthcare facility. Their day mostly goes in preparing for classes, sharing advises, lecturing, attending faculty meetings, grading tests, researching and keeping up with current nursing knowledge.
The Duties of a CNA Instructor
- Preparing lessons in order to prepare students for the certification examination. This includes hands-on training, preparing lecture notes and practice tests.
- Assessing students – getting to know the students and being able to examine which of them is able to continue as a CNA and which of them need continuing guidance. Evaluating students is done through assignments and exams.
- Instructors must clearly explain the theory and practical parts of a CNA’s job so that students can be qualified as CNAs in hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare facilities.
- Education. Instructors should have splendid nursing and communication skills to be able to share their knowledge and experiences with the students.
How to become a CNA instructor – Step by Step
Step one: Attending nursing school.
All states require CNA instructors to hold a valid RN credential. The two ways of achieving this credential are through a 2-year associate degree program or the 4-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. A certification will be required to apply for any of these programs.
Some tips to achieve success in this step; Take science-based courses in high school such as chemistry and physiology.
Complete a clinical experience under the guidance of an instructor.
Step two: Acquire RN Licensure.
Prepare yourself for the exam by reading materials or study guides.
Step three: Gaining on-the-job experience.
All states require at least two years of experience for CNA instructors. These experiences can be gained in hospitals, schools, urgent care facilities and other locations.
Step four: Complete the Certification course.
Step five: Acquire employment as a CNA instructor.
Jobs can be found at local community colleges, nursing care facilities etc.
Step six: Pursue an advanced degree.
Pursuing an advanced degree is necessary for instructors who want to teach more advanced nursing students.