How to Become a CNA in North Dakota
Nursing is an exciting and often times fast paced career choice. It is an ideal fit for individuals who want to take care of the elderly and infirmed without becoming an LPN or RN. However, some CNAs use the profession as a stepping stone to becoming a nurse. The valuable experience gained while working as a CNA will help the graduate nurse find optimum nursing employment opportunities. Nurses continue to be in demand and that includes CNAs as well. The nursing profession will continue to thrive and expand at a rate of 18 to 20% through the year 2018.
Expanded nursing opportunities include new positions that continue to become available because of the increase in new technology and care options, including more home care. The North Dakota Department of Public Health (NDDPH)oversees the certified nursing assistant (CNA) training programs and maintains the states nursing registry of all licensed nurses in the state, including registered nurses (RN), licensed practical nurses (LPN) and CNAs.
The NDDPH requires CNA programs to include a minimum of 75 hours of class work and clinical training. The class work includes medical technology, basic nursing skills, nutrition, effective communication, patient’s rights and bedside manner 101. Clinical training must include hands on patient care within a healthcare environment. All CNA programs must be approved by the NDDPH.
CNAs are required to be licensed according to a state mandate. Upon completion of the program, CNA candidates must apply to the NDDPH to take the CNA exam. The exam application includes a criminal background and fingerprint check and a 2”x2” passport type photograph. Upon approval of the application , the candidate will schedule the exam through the NDDPH.
The exam is a two part exam and includes a written exam and a clinical training demonstration exam. CNA candidates must pass the written exam by a minimum score of 75% and pass the clinical portion of the exam with a minimum score of 80%. Successful candidates who pass the exam will be notified by postal they passed the exam and will receive a CNA license.
All licensed CNAs are required to renew their licenses every two years. The requirement to renew a license is to be employed for pay and perform the required CNA duties for at least 8 hours during the 24 months prior to renewal. There is no fee to renew a CNA license. If the CNA was not employed during those 24 months prior to renewal, the license cannot be renewed and the CNA will be required to take the competency exam in order to be licensed.
CNAs in North Dakota can expect a starting salary of $20,800 annually and an average salary of $38,000. CNAs will make more money in metropolitan areas and facilities such as hospitals. Salary will increase with longevity. CNAs typically work one of three shifts, day time, evening and night.
CNAs will find employment in hospitals and long term care facilities such as nursing homes, rest homes, assisted living care centers and private and home care. CNAs must be physically fit to meet the rigors of patient care and some facilities may require lifting up to 50 pounds.
CNAs are responsible for the basic, day to day care of a patient and provide basic day to day that includes helping a patient dress and undress, toileting, hygiene care, feeding, observing patients changes in physical appearance, personality and character and reporting to the nursing staff. CNAs also transport patients to special events in other parts of the facility, as well as diagnostic testing. CNAs also provide conversation and entertainment.
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