What is a CNA License?

A certified nursing assistant license makes it possible for you to work as a certified nursing assistant (known as a CNA). As the name suggests, certified nursing assistants work to assist nurses in their daily tasks. However, they do not always work directly side by side with nurses. Certified nursing assistants work in a wide variety of environments. Many work in hospitals, but there are also numerous positions for certified nursing assistants working in the homes of patients.

The Duties Of A CNA

CNAs act as caretakers for patients, and they perform a wide range of duties. Some of their duties involve helping to provide treatment to those suffering from medical problems. However, other duties simply include day to day care-taking of an elderly and/or incapacitated patient on a day to day basis. Sometimes, a patient will want someone to simply help them do things that provide a semblance of normalcy, such as fixing their hair or other ordinary grooming activities.

What Is A CNA License Scope Of Practice?

CNAs have a somewhat limited scope of practice, but their scope of practice varies on a state to state basis. CNAs are not certified to dispense medications without an additional certification. If they have this certification, they can provide the patient with medications after the dosage has been measured by a doctor or nurse.

How To Get A CNA License

In order to get a CNA license, it is typically necessary to take 12-16 months of classes. In addition to taking courses in the classroom, students of a CNA program often shadow doctors and nurses. The length of time that it takes to get certified is far less than it takes to get a nursing certification, which can takes at least 24-36 months. However, it can take four years to complete nursing program. CNA programs are often offered at local community colleges.

Renewing Your CNA License

After you get your CNA license, you will have to renew it. Typically, this renewal must be done very two years. In order to get your CNA license renewed, you will have to go through your state nursing board.

If you have not been actively working as a CNA during the two year period, getting your license renewal will be far more difficult. Most states require that CNAs work a certain number of continuous hours to get a renewal. Otherwise, you will likely have to apply, pass the background check, and take the test again. In addition, it is often recommended that you take continuing education classes after you get your license. If you haven’t, it is possible that you will need up having to take the CNA exam again.

It also is important to keep accurate records. Always save your paystubs and contracts from employers. This will be important for ensuring that you are able to prove your work history to the licensing board.

When wondering whether to become a CNA, many people wonder what is a CNA license and what are the steps to obtain one.  Hopefully this article provide guidance on CNA licenses.

Michael Schultz, RN
Registered Nurse | + posts

Michael Schultz is a registered nurse with work experience at Sparrow Health, Holland Home Rehab, Ingham Regional Medical, and Spectrum Health. He has worked as a medical and surgical nurse and has expertise in gastrointestinal medicine.  Michael graduated from LCC in 2003 and subsequently worked admitting patients at Sparrow ER/Urgent Care for 2 years.  After that, Michael worked for 6 years at Ingham Regional Medical Center, followed by 7 years in Gastrointestinal/Genitourinary at Spectrum Health.