Continuing Education for Nurses

While a registered nurse that you would find in every hospital has gone through a lengthy education process at a university, obtained a degree, and then passed the national licensing examination, there is no question that it is important to stay up to date with everything. The reality is that medicine changes and advances all the time, which is why it is a very good idea for nurses to continue to study throughout their entire careers.

We are at a time and place in history where everything seems to be moving at warp speed, especially when it comes to technology and the medical field. There are things that are being discovered each and every day, which many nurses will not have learned while they were in school getting their degrees. There are new ways to treat patients, brand new methods of healing illnesses, and it is very important that nurses stay up to date with everything and learn along the way.

This helps them to treat the patients that they see each and every day with a higher level of care and a lot more knowledge. Luckily, just about every hospital knows that this is an important thing and most do everything they possibly can to help nurses to learn new information. There are classes that are available to nurses for free and a lot of nurses are paid to continue their education as they get older and work longer in their careers. Being a nurse is a job that truly calls for continual education, so if you are trying to become a nurse, expect to be studying the medical field throughout your entire career, as this will undoubtedly put you in a greater position to be of the best service to your patients possible. There are also seminars and various other meetings, such as ISDP 2013, that take place to help nurses advance and learn about new things in medicine.


How to go from a CNA to a RN

The goal of most certified nursing assistants is to eventually become a registered nurse (or go from a CNA to a RN), which pays a lot more money. Becoming a registered nurse is the end goal and is a step by step process, which involves going to school and getting a degree, as well as working in the field. In the end, while there are steps that must be taken and certifications that must be acquired to go from a CNA to an RN, the end result is really a degree and passing the examinations.

Every aspiring registered nurse needs to obtain a four year degree and should have quite a bit of work experience. The great thing is, most people that are on this path end up getting work experience while they are actually going through college, which gives them a great advantage. After a person has gotten their degree from an accredited institution, they must do a few things. First and foremost, they must pass a background check in the state that they would like to be working in as a registered nurse.

They also have to pass the national licensing exam, which really is the final step in the overall process of going from a certified nursing assistant to an actual registered nurse. If you really want to become a registered nurse, it is highly advisable to take the National licensing examination right after completing college and getting your degree. The reason for this is the fact that some people wait a while and end up forgetting certain things, so it is imperative to take the exam when you have everything fresh in your mind. The added benefit of this being that you likely have been studying a huge amount for the end of the year to get your degree, so if you are wanting to become a registered nurse, you really should do this right after you graduate from a college program.

Those unsure about whether or not they want to become a nurse, should consider becoming a CNA first. This requires a lot less training and also gives you the experience of working side by side other nurses. For those individuals looking to become a CNA, they can start CNA classes online today. This is a fast and relatively low cost way to get your foot in the door in the medical field or hospitals.

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CNAs in the Hospitals

Everyone knows what a registered nurse does and has likely been treated by many of them throughout their lives. They take care of a massive amount of tasks that are needed at a hospital each and every day. There are also a lot of certified nursing assistants, who help the various nurses by assisting them in daily tasks. There is a hierarchy in a hospital when it comes to nurses of all levels, and certified nursing assistants are essentially at the bottom of the totem pole. However, the great thing is, CNA’s still make quite a bit of money and it is a great career to have.

You can kind of think of the work that a certified nursing assistant does as the tasks that they are not qualified to do yet. A registered nurse may go around and see a lot more patients than the certified nursing assistants, as they possess a higher skill set and are needed for more complicated things. They may send a CNA over to do simple tasks that still are needed to be done with each patient. A CNA will do things that are not really going to be in any type of way life threatening to a patient, or have any major ramifications. For instance, they may wrap up an injury with a bandage, take a blood or urine sample, help get a patient things such as blankets and generally keep them comfortable while they are in the hospital.

Certified nursing assistants are basically there to help out with just about anything that the Registered nurses need, which is why they are so great to have around. A registered nurse can go from patient to patient and deal with more complicated matters, while they can count on the fact that they have certified nursing assistants to take over the smaller tasks that require an overall lower base of knowledge.

The training required for someone to become a CNA is not very strenuous compared to nurse training. In fact, a person interested in becoming a CNA can do so completely online. People often search fro “can you take CNA classes online” and they answer is absolutely! There are many great online programs, and this is one of the fasted ways to obtain a career in the medical field.


CNA Requirements

CNA Defined

A certified nurse assistant (CNA) or known in many locations as a nurse aide, provides assistance to the licensed vocational (practical) or registered nurse on duty. A CNA will find employment in an array of healthcare facilities.

CNA Requirements

Each state has their own requirements to becoming a certified nurse assistant. Training hours must be met in each state in order to register for certification.
Breakdown by Hours
All but fourteen states require less than 120 hours of training. These hours also include clinical experience.
•    Alaska
•    Arizona
•    California
•    Florida
•    Idaho
•    Indiana
•    Maine
•    Maryland
•    Michigan
•    Missouri
•    Oregon
•    Virginia
•    West Virginia
•    Wisconsin
A minimum age requirement must be met in every state. Most states require that the applicant to a CNA program be at least 18 and have a high school diploma or general education diploma (GED).

CNA Continuing Education

Continuing education is a great way to expand a knowledge base. Every state has their own requirement in which continuing education, is handled. There are typically three different types of requirements for continuing education for a CNA. They are: in-service education, continuing education, and minimum hours worked. In-service education is offered by hospitals and facilities. An instructor from the facility or one that is hired in will come to the facility to teach pertinent skills and up to date medical information. States that require continuing education will expect that a CNA go to classes provided online or at a college to maintain certification. CNA classes online cost significantly less than those offered at an institution. Some states only require a minimum number of hours to be worked in order to keep a license or certification. The state requirements are broken down as follows:

  1. In-Service Education- This is done at the facility in which, the CNA works.
    •    Alabama
    •    California
    •    Deleware
    •    Florida
    •    Georgia
    •    Illinois
    •    Indiana
    •    Iowa
    •    Kentucky
    •    Massachusetts
    •    Minnesota
    •    Missouri
    •    Nevada
    •    New York
    •    Wyoming
  2. Continuing Education
    •    Alaska
    •    Colorado
    •    New Hampshire
  3. Minimum Hours Worked
    All the other states require that the CNA show proof of hours worked within a 24 month time period.

If you are planning on becoming a CNA or you are currently working as a CNA and are curious about what is required in your state to maintain your license or certification, visit your state’s nursing board website. Most nursing board websites contains pertinent information for certified nursing assistants as well. You can also conduct a simple online search to research CNA requirements for individual states.


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