Let’s start with the most common question. What do CNA’s do, or what might they be expected to do?
Really, that depends on the type of work they take up — either pre- or post- qualification.
CNA Job Scope and Job Responsibilities:
CNA’s can find work in various establishments including:
- Nursing homes
- Medical clinics
- Urgent care centers
- Care agencies for home health
- Agencies that cater to staffing requirements
- Practice groups and doctor’s offices
- Centers for daycare and schools
A point that may be worthy of note here is that the Federal government mandates the appointment of certified nursing assistants in nursing homes only. Otherwise, there is no requirement by law for any of the other aforementioned establishments to hire a CNA.
Nevertheless, the value of the work a CNA provides is not underestimated, and thus the recruitment of such personnel is a popular pursuit — irrespective of the type of care an establishment provides.
The work a CNA is expected to undertake includes (but is by no means limited to) assistance with personal hygiene, such as bathing, oral care, toileting, and more; taking note of vital signs, such as height and weight measurements; using relevant software packages which come under the remit of the healthcare industry; communicating with patients’ or clients’ families whenever the need arises.
In essence, the certified nursing assistant has to become a jack of all trades and a master of some, too.
Never a dull moment to be had in this industry!
Roadmap to becoming a CNA in Florida
The Florida Board of Nursing encourages individuals to follow a step by step approach to becoming a CNA.
Step 1a: Undergo state-approved CNA training program
Individuals aspiring to become a CNA can get trained by professional/approved schools and training centers. A minimum GPA score as prescribed by the Board of Nursing has to be earned from the state-approved training program final examination to further proceed in becoming a CNA. In this training program, a minimum of 120 hours to 5 weeks of sessions may go on with a combination of theoretical and practical lessons as chosen by the training entity.
Step 1b: Get through competency examination
The competency examination involves a mix of written and hands-on (skill demonstration) tests to analyze the skill level of the applying candidates. “Prometric” hosts this competency examination and takes care of the whole process from inviting applications to furnishing the scores. Only eligible candidates are invited to appear for the examinations, and not all those who apply can take up the examination.
A high school diploma or its equivalent, or be 18 years of age, is sufficient to apply for the competency examination when applying without a state-approved training program.
Step 2: Get certified
Anyone clearing Prometric’s competency exam shall apply and receive the certificate from the Board of Nursing. The application process involves the submission of a few forms (Proof of graduation, Prometric exam completion, etc.).
Step 3: Florida’s Nurse Aide Registry
Upon receiving the certificate from the Board of Nursing, individuals are supposed to get them enrolled in Florida’s Nurse Aide Registry and shall begin to seek for employment.
Cost of Training, Certification & Training Curriculum
There are more than a handful number of state-approved nursing training programs in Florida. Although the cost of training programs varies quite a bit, it is generally around $500.
You can also make use of employer and financial funded training, which will make it easy on your pocket. Additionally, it’s perhaps worthwhile to note that if you’re employed in a nursing facility or bag your first job within 12 months of training, you may well be eligible for a 100% reimbursement on your training fees.
At the time of application for the CNA exam, you’ll have to pay 3 types of fees — including $93 for FBI check, $25 for theory and clinical tests, and $43.25 to register.
As mandated by Florida State Regulations, you, as a nurse-aide student, must receive 120 hours of combined lab, classroom, and clinical training. Let’s now look at the split.
40 hours of total training needs to be devoted solely to offering a supervised clinical experience to the residents, whereas 80 hours need to be spent on hands-on jobs and classroom instructions.
Prerequisites & Certification
Becoming a CNA in Florida, just like in any other state, is a good move in terms of career opportunities, career progression, and also potential income: after all, it is a well-paid industry.
To that end, let’s find out the basic prerequisites of becoming a CNA.
- You must have graduated from high school or possess an equivalent degree.
- You must be at least 18 years.
- You must have taken the nursing assistant competency examination and scored the minimum marks established by the rule of the board that functions under Enterprise Florida Jobs and Enterprise Partnership Grant. The exam consists of two parts; one is a written test, and the other is skill-demonstration.
- The application, along with the fees, should be paid to the Prometric.
- Background check conducted on the applicant must come clean of any felony or offense.
The process of getting certified as a CNA may sometimes look prolonged and intricate. But, it is worthy enough to go ahead and complete the certification. The reasons being,
- Experience during employment as a CNA may give you a lot of practical learning that may be of very good use when taking up the higher-level examinations or courses in Nursing.
- A good record of experience as a CNA may help you earn rewarding salaries and offer career growth in the years to come.
Important points to be noted
- A state-approved training program is not mandatorily required for competing in the Prometric’s competency examination.
- An individual is eligible to attempt the Promertic’s competency examination up to 3 tries. Failing in 3rd attempt makes the individual ineligible for reexamination unless completing a training program approved by the Board.
- Individuals with a criminal offense have to duly follow the specific procedure and norms, as stated by the Board of Nursing, whilst applying for certification. Proper furnishing of the required documents is very crucial when the application is in review by the Board. Failure in disclosing the criminal history may lead to rejection of the application.
- Special cases like healthcare fraud may lead to disqualification/withdrawal of the certificate.
The Process and Prometric CNA Exam Curriculum
Let’s now find out the process and some more information about the Prometric CNA exam.
Process of application:
1… As soon as the form, along with the fees, is submitted, Prometric will send you a “fingerprint authorization” letter.
2… You’ll then be scheduled for an electronic fingerprint appointment.
3… Your application gets reviewed. During the review, the application review specialist may ask you to furnish additional information.
4… Prometric is informed of your application status based on the results of your background check.
5… The list of eligible candidates is prepared by Prometric, and then admission tickets for the test are sent out.
6…You take the test on the appointed day.
CNA Exam Curriculum:
The exam is clearly decided into two parts. The first, which is the written part, will have 60 multiple choice questions for you, which you’ll have to answer within 90 minutes by the clock.
An oral test may be conducted additionally if you’ve difficulty reading English. The second part of the exam, manual skill evaluations, will require the applicant to perform five randomly selected nursing skills.
Alternative Option: CNA Training Online
However, your situation may not lend itself to such a commitment in terms of time.
For instance, you may be busy in your current work, or you might care for a young family, in which case, time is rarely on your side. Plus, you have little flexibility.
In such scenarios, CNA training online in Florida offers great potential, as well.
Online training in any pursuit provides an excellent level of flexibility. And this is no different in Florida.
What’s more, online classes are far cheaper to enroll in, in comparison to regular classes.
A quick ‘resume’ of the benefits of online CNA classes goes a bit like this:
Save money – as already alluded to, you can save hundreds of dollars.
Save on money for traveling, too.
Oh, and you save time as there’s little traveling involved.
There are no rigid time schedules for classes.
And that means you can learn entirely when it’s convenient for you.
Touching on the last point, you can choose to study at any time of day or night.
When you have questions with respect to your coursework, simply e-mail your tutor, and it’s probable you’ll receive a timely response.
LPN Training in Florida
Likely you’ll know what an LPN is. If you don’t, then here you go:
LPN: Licensed Practical Nurse.
An LPN’s job role has many similarities to that of a CNA.
However, LPN is very likely more experienced and potentially has a higher level of academic accreditation.
How are you to obtain accreditation as an LPN in Florida?
A very solid first port of call would be to accredit yourself with certified nursing assistant training in Florida.
This will provide you with the core skills of an LPN, which will help you optimize your capabilities while undertaking the necessary examinations for becoming an LPN.