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Start Your Healthcare Career with Red Cross Nurse Assistant Training


If you’re interested in a career in healthcare, becoming a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) is a good way to get started. And an American Red Cross chapter near you is a good place to get your CNA training.

CNA training requires just a few weeks of time. As the population ages, job opportunities for nurse assistants are excellent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Becoming a Certified Nurse Assistant is also a good way to enter the healthcare field; many registered nurses found that their CNA was a steppingstone to their RN.

Training, available at dozens of Red Cross chapters across the nation, provides the information and skills needed to become a CNA, delivering basic care and support for residents in nursing communities, clients at home and patients in hospitals. State requirements for nurse assistant certification differ from state to state, and the training, supervised by registered nurses, is designed to meet the requirements of the state in which the Red Cross chapter is located.

The American Red Cross has provided nurse assistant training for more than two decades and has been a leader in the nursing profession for more than 100 years. With its strong tradition of nursing, the Red Cross is a solid choice for people seeking nurse assistant training.

“The facility is always excited when an American Red Cross CNA job applicant comes across our desk,” says a director of staff development at a nursing community center. “We are impressed with the high quality of training the American Red Cross gives their students. They are confident and eager to work.”

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Red Cross offers a four-week Nurse Assistant Training program for $1,300 in Philadelphia and in the suburb of Lansdale. Classes take place on weekdays from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

The program is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, and the chapter has a Pennsylvania Private School License and guarantees clinical classes with a one instructor to 10 students ratio. Fees include nursing supplies, First Aid and the cost of the Pennsylvania Nurse Assistant Competency Certification Exam.

Nurse Assistant training is nothing new at the Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter. Classes have been offered for the past 14 years, and the Red Cross has trained several thousand nurse assistants during this time. In 2010 the chapter trained 231 new Certified Nurse Assistant professionals.

Calhoun, Georgia. The Northwest Georgia Chapter of the American Red Cross started Nurse Assistant Training in 2003. The number of students has tripled over the past three years.

Small classes of no more than 14 students are being conducted. The course cost is $670. Training runs for three weeks. Graduating students pass the Georgia certification exam at higher rates than the state average.

Many students who are working jobs with little potential for growth or who are re-entering the workforce are now taking the course. “It is a great way for students to enter the medical field; Nurse Assistant Training this gives them a jump-start,” says Laura Cleary, regional educational services director.

San Bernardino, California. The Inland Empire Chapter of the American Red Cross has provided Nurse Assistant Training for more than 15 years. The 164 hour program is offered during the day, at a cost of $1,900.

The chapter trains more than 300 nurse assistants each year, and 99 percent of students pass the State Board Competency Evaluations. Fees include the cost of the State of California Competency Exam, all course materials (except uniforms) and CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer and Healthcare Provider certification.

Following graduation, the Red Cross aggressively helps graduates find jobs. The job placement program is a success. A county report of participants in the Workforce Investment Act Job Training program, of which the chapter is a part, finds that 50 percent of Red Cross trained CNAs are employed, compared to about 20 percent job placement rates for graduates from other training programs.

CNA courses are led by Registered Nurses, with the assistance of Licensed Vocational Nurses. Instructors are approved by the Bureau for Private Post-Secondary and Vocational Education, accepted by the California Department of Health Services and certified by the American Red Cross.

Inland Empire Chapter staff like to tell about a family of four, all who graduated from the CNA course—first the mother, then the father, followed by the sister and finally the brother. Some family members have gone on to become RNs and others have remained nurse assistants. The training provided the income and job stability to make it possible for the family to buy a house and a new car.

Where to Get Red Cross CNA Training. For more information, view a list of Red Cross chapters offering Nurse Assistant Training or contact your local Red Cross chapter.