A CNA, or Certified Nurse’s Aide, is a person who assists patients in their activities of daily living. They may work in a variety of places including private practice offices, hospitals, assisted living facilities and skilled nursing facilities. This is a career with a promising future as it can be used as a stepping stone to future training as an LPN or even an RN. Many people have been able to get CNA training for free through the Workforce Investment Act. This is a program that helps both young people who need a hand up and adults who have been displaced due to various obstacles in their life. It is a program that continues to help get people into the workforce to boost the nation’s economy.
Also read: Transition from CNA to LPN
What is WIA?
The Workplace Investment Act was initially designed for those people who have been laid off from their job and needed to be retrained for a new career. The program has since evolved to include displaced homemakers. The latest development in the WIA is that they will also help youth who need assistance. Youth aged 14-21 may qualify for this program if they meet the strict requirements. Those who are pregnant or already have children, those who are runaways or considered a ward of the state and those who have committed certain crimes are all eligible for WIA assistance. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that most states require a CNA to be at least 18 years of age and never convicted of a felony.
What is CNA Training?
CNA training will last anywhere between one and three months depending on the length of the class. Some WIA-approved colleges offer full day long classes while others will offer classes for a few hours in the evenings. The first portion of the course will take place in a classroom. During this time, students will learn about the different types of diseases that need special treatment, like AIDS and MRSA, as well as patient confidentiality and what needs to be charted. They will also learn about how to interact with patients and how to help them with their activities of daily living.
The second part of the program will be the clinical training portion. Throughout this time, students will work under the direct supervision of an experienced CNA. This CNA will teach and then supervise students as they complete each skill required for their state’s certification examination. After this portion of the CNA training, students will be qualified to participate in their state’s written and clinical examination.
What is Next?
After students have completed their WIA-approved CNA training, they can begin working right away. Most of the approved colleges will even offer to help find the right job for those who complete the training. As they begin working, graduates will watch and learn from the nurses they work with, which can give them the desire to go on with further training. The CNA portion of the training can be the last stop in their training, in which case, they can remain a CNA as long as they want, or it can be the beginning of a career in nursing. After individuals have experience as a CNA, they will find that they are eligible for various opportunities to have their nursing school paid for. CNAs are also get preferential treatment in most accredited nursing programs.
The WIA has been giving people a new chance at a career. This is much more than just free training; it is a fresh start to begin a career and make a better life, not just the new CNA but also for their family. There are WIA-approved colleges throughout the country where interested individuals can begin their career training and start to live the life they’ve have always wanted.