If you are currently working, attend school, have children or a spouse, you may not have an abundance of time and money for a 6-12 week CNA course at a community college. You may not have your high school diploma or GED and are tired of working retail, fast food and dead end jobs. You maybe looking for a career change or just graduated high school and want to get started working in the lucrative health care industry ASAP. Regardless of your reasoning, becoming a CNA can be a rewarding and lucrative career.
The First Step in becoming a CNA in North Carolina is to carefully choose the program/school you will attend to prepare you for the NC State Exam. There are many different schools and programs an aspiring CNA can choose from. If you don't have time and/or money to attend a lengthy 6-12 week course at a community college, you can choose the 'Fast Track" approach.
What is the "Fast Track" Approach?
NOTE: In the State of North Carolina, anyone can take the CNA 1 State exam with or without formal training. This means that you can take the same State exam as the other individuals who have taken 6-12 week courses, and receive the same CNA 1 certification once you successfully pass the exam.
Individuals get 3 attempts to pass both portions of the State exam before required to attend a NC State approved training program. Upon passing the State exam, individuals are listed on the Certified Nursing Assistant Registry.
The Fast Track Approach is an excellent and expeditious way to acquire your CNA 1 certification, be listed on the CNA 1 Registry and reach your career goals in NC.
There have been fast track programs popping up all over NC and FL. It is important to know that not all of these fast track programs are the same. You should do a little research before investing time and money.
In an upcoming article I will discuss what to look for when Picking The Right Fast Track CNA Program in NC. This article will have a free downloadble checklist for you to use. In the meantime, you can check out Carolina Allied Health Career Training's
After you have taken the necessary training and have passed the NC or FL State exam, you can begin working and making money in your new career! You can choose to work in a nursing home/hospital setting, Doctor's office or become a CNA Entrepreneur and work for yourself!
Salaries for a CNA range from $9.00 per hr - $15.00 per hr depending on your area. For the CNA who chooses the entrepreneur path and contract themselves out to individuals needing special assistance at home, salaries can range from $12.00 per hr to $20.00 per hr depending on your area and client/patient.
Advancement as a CNA can lead to becoming a LPN (licensed practical nurse) to RN (registered nurse) or to a MD (medical Doctor). Keep in mind, the health field is broad, so your opportunities for advancement are endless.
For aspiring CNAs interested in working for themselves, my upcoming articles will be a mini series on "How to make money as a CNA Entrepreneur in the lucrative health care industry".