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Top 10 Nurse Assistant Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top nurse assistant certifications, including details on how to obtain them and the benefits of each.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 16 min read

Certifications are important for a nurse assistant in the job market because they demonstrate a level of knowledge and proficiency that employers look for when hiring. They also show that the nurse assistant has taken the time and effort to further their education, which is a desirable trait in any profession. Additionally, certifications are often required by employers in order to be considered for certain positions or promotions. Finally, having certification can help nurse assistants stand out from other applicants, increasing their chances of being hired.

The purpose of this article is to review some of the top certifications for Nurse Assistants and explain how they can help advance a nurse assistant's career.

What are Nurse Assistant Certifications?

Nurse assistant certification is a credential that recognizes an individual's knowledge and skills in providing care for patients in a variety of health care settings. This certification is typically obtained through a training program and/or passing an exam administered by the state.

Nurse assistants are responsible for providing basic patient care, such as bathing, feeding, and transferring patients. They also assist with medical procedures and help ensure that patient needs are met. By becoming certified, nurse assistants demonstrate their commitment to quality patient care and gain greater career opportunities.

Certified nurse assistants may be eligible for higher wages than those without certification, as employers recognize their commitment to continuing education and professional development. Certified nurse assistants are also more likely to be invited to participate in leadership roles within their organization or department. Additionally, some states require nurse assistant certification before an individual can practice as a nursing assistant in that state; this requirement further demonstrates the importance of obtaining certification for those seeking employment in the field.

Overall, nurse assistant certification provides individuals with the opportunity to demonstrate their qualifications and commitment to high-quality patient care while potentially increasing their earning potential and opening up new job opportunities.

Pro Tip: Make sure to review the requirements for nurse assistant certification in your state before registering for any classes or exams. Each state has different requirements and it's important to make sure you meet all of them in order to obtain your certification.

Related: What does a Nurse Assistant do?

Top 10 Nurse Assistant Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Nurse Assistants today.

1. Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

A Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is a healthcare professional who provides basic care to patients in hospitals, nursing homes, and other medical facilities. CNAs typically work under the supervision of a Registered Nurse (RN) or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). They help with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, feeding, and transferring patients.

It typically takes six to twelve weeks to become a CNA. The training consists of both classroom instruction and clinical practice. During the classroom portion, students learn about anatomy and physiology, infection control, communication skills, patient rights, nutrition, and more. Clinical practice involves hands-on experience in a healthcare setting.

To become a CNA you must complete an approved training program that meets the standards set by your state’s board of nursing. After completing the program you must then pass the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) exam which is administered by Prometric Testing Services. Once you have passed the exam you will be certified as a CNA in your state.

The cost for CNA training can vary depending on where you live and what type of program you choose to take. Generally speaking it can range from $400-$1000 for tuition alone with additional fees for books and supplies.

2. Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)

A Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) is a professional healthcare provider who performs administrative and clinical tasks in a medical office or clinic. They typically work under the supervision of a physician or other licensed healthcare provider. CMAs are responsible for providing patient care, taking vital signs, preparing patients for exams, administering medications, collecting and processing lab specimens, performing diagnostic tests, educating patients on health topics, and assisting with minor surgeries.

To become a CMA requires successful completion of an accredited medical assistant program. Most programs require at least one year of study to complete and may include classes such as anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, laboratory procedures, medical terminology, medical law and ethics, first aid and CPR certification.

The cost of completing a CMA program can vary depending on the institution you attend. Many programs also require students to purchase textbooks and other materials needed for the coursework. After completing the program requirements successfully, students must pass a national certification exam administered by either the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) or the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT). The cost of taking this exam is usually around $100-200 depending on which organization administers it.

Once certified as a CMA you will be able to find employment in hospitals, private practices, clinics and other healthcare settings. CMAs are highly sought after professionals due to their knowledge of both administrative and clinical duties within the healthcare industry.

3. Certified Home Health Aide (CHHA)

Certified Home Health Aide (CHHA) is a professional certification for individuals who provide home health care services to people in need of assistance due to age, disability, illness, or injury. CHHAs assist with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, grooming, meal preparation and light housekeeping. They also provide companionship and emotional support.

It typically takes about four weeks to become certified as a CHHA. This includes completing a training program approved by the state in which you live and passing an exam. Training programs vary in cost but usually range from $500-$1000. After completing the training program and passing the exam, you will receive your certification as a CHHA.

In order to become certified as a CHHA you must meet certain requirements set forth by your state’s department of health services or board of nursing. These requirements may include being at least 18 years old, having a high school diploma or GED equivalent, and passing both a criminal background check and drug screening test. Additionally, many states require that applicants complete an approved training program before they can be certified as a CHHA.

The cost of becoming certified as a CHHA varies depending on the state in which you live and the type of program you choose to take. Generally speaking, most programs range from $500-$1000 for tuition and fees associated with taking the course.

4. Certified Nursing Aide (CNA)

Certified Nursing Aide (CNA) is a healthcare professional who provides basic care to patients in hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities. CNAs are supervised by Registered Nurses (RNs) or Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs).

CNAs provide basic patient care such as bathing, dressing, feeding, taking vital signs, assisting with ambulation and providing emotional support. They also help keep the patient's environment clean and organized.

The amount of time it takes to become a CNA varies from state to state but typically requires completing a training program that is approved by the state board of nursing. The program usually consists of classroom instruction as well as clinical experience in a healthcare setting. The length of the program can range from 6 weeks to 12 months depending on the state requirements.

To become certified as a CNA, you must pass an exam given by your state's board of nursing. You must also complete continuing education courses every two years in order to maintain your certification.

The cost for becoming a CNA varies depending on where you take the training course and if you receive financial aid or scholarships. Generally speaking, the cost can range from $500-$2,000 for tuition and fees.

5. Certified Patient Care Technician (CPCT)

A Certified Patient Care Technician (CPCT) is a healthcare professional who has been certified to provide patient care in a variety of settings. CPCTs are trained to provide basic medical care such as taking vital signs, providing wound care, administering injections, and performing electrocardiograms. They also assist with activities of daily living such as bathing and dressing patients.

It typically takes around 6-12 months to become a CPCT depending on the program you choose. To become certified, you must complete an accredited training program that includes classroom instruction and clinical experience. After completing the program, you must pass an exam administered by either the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) or the American Medical Technologists (AMT).

The cost of becoming a CPCT varies depending on the program you choose and where it is located. Generally speaking, the cost can range from $1,000-$3,000 for tuition and fees. In addition to this cost, there may be additional costs associated with textbooks, supplies, and certification exams.

6. Geriatric Nursing Assistant (GNA)

Geriatric Nursing Assistants (GNAs) are healthcare professionals who provide direct care to older adults in a variety of settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, and home health care. They assist with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, grooming, and toileting; provide basic medical care; help with physical therapy exercises; and monitor vital signs. GNAs also provide emotional support to their patients and may be involved in social activities.

It typically takes about six months to complete the education and training requirements necessary to become a GNA. In most states, this includes completing an approved GNA program that consists of both classroom instruction and clinical practice. The cost of these programs varies depending on the school or institution offering it.

In order to become certified as a Geriatric Nursing Assistant (GNA), individuals must pass the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) exam administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). This exam tests knowledge related to providing safe patient care in various settings. After passing the NNAAP exam, individuals must then apply for certification through their state board of nursing. Most states require additional continuing education credits each year in order to maintain certification as a GNA.

The cost for taking the NNAAP exam varies by state but is typically around $100-$150 per attempt. Additionally, some states may charge a fee for applying for certification after passing the NNAAP exam.

7. Long Term Care Nurse Aide (LTCNA)

Long Term Care Nurse Aide (LTCNA) is a professional who provides care and assistance to individuals with long-term health needs. This includes providing personal care, such as bathing and dressing, helping with activities of daily living, administering medications, and providing companionship. LTCNAs are also responsible for monitoring the patient’s condition and reporting any changes to the nurse or physician.

In order to become an LTCNA, you must complete a state-approved training program and pass a competency exam. The length of the training program varies by state but typically takes between 4 to 12 weeks. Most programs include classroom instruction, clinical practice hours in a long-term care facility, and the competency exam.

To get started on your LTCNA training program, contact your local community college or vocational school for information about their programs. You can also find information online through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN).

The cost of an LTCNA training program varies depending on the school and state you live in but typically ranges from $500-$1000.

8. Emergency Medical Technician-Basic (EMT-B)

Emergency Medical Technician-Basic (EMT-B) is a healthcare provider who provides emergency medical care to patients in need. EMT-B's are trained to assess and stabilize patients in a variety of settings, including on the scene of an accident or other medical emergency. They are also trained to provide basic life support (BLS), such as CPR, airway management, and bleeding control.

It typically takes anywhere from 6 months to 1 year to become an EMT-B. The process includes taking classes, completing clinical rotations, and passing the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) exam.

In order to become an EMT-B, you must first complete a state approved training program. These programs can be found at community colleges, technical schools, or through private organizations. Once you have completed the program, you must pass the NREMT exam in order to become certified as an EMT-B.

The cost of becoming an EMT-B varies depending on the program you choose and your location. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $500-$2,000 for tuition and fees associated with the program. You may also need to pay for additional materials such as textbooks or uniforms. Additionally, there is a fee associated with taking the NREMT exam which is typically around $80-$100.

9. Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)

Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) is an advanced level of medical care designed to help save the lives of people who are experiencing a cardiac arrest. ACLS is a two-day course that teaches healthcare providers how to recognize and treat life-threatening cardiac emergencies. The course includes in-depth instruction on how to perform CPR, use an automated external defibrillator (AED), and administer medications. It also covers airway management, rhythm recognition and interpretation, and other topics related to resuscitation.

To get ACLS certification, you must first complete an American Heart Association (AHA) approved training program. These programs are offered by various organizations such as hospitals, universities, or community colleges. The AHA also offers online courses for those who cannot attend a traditional classroom setting. The cost of the course varies depending on the provider but typically ranges from $150-$300 USD.

The length of the course varies depending on the provider but typically takes two days to complete. During this time, participants will learn about the science behind ACLS and practice skills in simulated scenarios with their peers. After completing the course, participants must pass a written exam in order to receive their certification card.

Overall, Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) is an important skill for healthcare providers who may be called upon to respond to life-threatening cardiac emergencies in their patients or community members.

10. Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers (BLS/CPR)

Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Providers, also known as CPR, is a set of life-saving techniques used to provide emergency care for victims of cardiac arrest and other medical emergencies. BLS is typically administered by healthcare professionals such as doctors, nurses and paramedics.

BLS consists of chest compressions, rescue breathing and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED). Chest compressions are performed on the victim’s chest to circulate oxygenated blood throughout the body. Rescue breathing is performed when there is no pulse or if the victim is not breathing adequately. An AED is used to deliver an electrical shock to the heart in order to restore a normal rhythm.

The length of time required to complete BLS training varies depending on the program and provider. Most courses take around 4-6 hours to complete, although some may be longer or shorter depending on the complexity of the material covered.

In order to get BLS certification, individuals must attend a training course provided by an accredited provider such as the American Heart Association or American Red Cross. The cost of these courses vary but generally range from $50-$100 per person.

Once completed, individuals will receive a certification card that can be used to demonstrate competency in providing BLS/CPR care in healthcare settings.

Do You Really Need a Nurse Assistant Certificate?

Yes, it is important to have a Nurse Assistant Certificate if you want to become a certified nurse assistant (CNA). A CNA is an important figure in the healthcare industry and they are responsible for providing basic patient care. Having a certificate shows that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to provide quality care.

The Nurse Assistant Certificate program will teach you about safety regulations, patient rights, infection control, medical terminology, vital signs and more. You will also learn how to perform basic nursing skills such as bathing, feeding, dressing and helping patients with their activities of daily living. These are all important skills that will be needed when working as a CNA.

Having a Nurse Assistant Certificate can open up many opportunities in the healthcare field. It is often required by employers when hiring CNAs and can help you get better job opportunities or higher pay. It also demonstrates your commitment to providing quality care and shows potential employers that you are serious about your career path.

In conclusion, having a Nurse Assistant Certificate is an important step in becoming a certified nurse assistant. It helps show that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to provide quality care and opens up many opportunities in the healthcare field.

Related: Nurse Assistant Resume Examples

FAQs About Nurse Assistant Certifications

1. What are the requirements to become a certified nurse assistant?

Answer: In order to become a certified nurse assistant, you must complete an approved training program and pass a competency exam. Additionally, each state has its own specific requirements that must be met in order to become certified.

2. How long is the certification valid for?

Answer: The length of validity varies by state, but typically certification is valid for two years from the date of issuance.

3. Are there any continuing education requirements for certified nurse assistants?

Answer: Yes, most states require that certified nurse assistants complete continuing education in order to maintain their certification status. This usually involves completing a certain number of hours of approved courses or seminars within a given period of time.

4. Is there an age requirement for becoming a CNA?

Answer: While there is no set age requirement, most states require that applicants be at least 18 years old before they can apply for certification as a CNA.

5. Do I need to have any prior experience to become a CNA?

Answer: No prior experience is necessary in order to become a CNA; however, many employers prefer applicants who have some type of healthcare-related experience or knowledge.