How to Become a CNA in West Virginia
Working as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) is one of the several fields in the medical world that is very much in demand. With an increase in healthcare options, the advancement of medical technology and longevity, the population is requiring healthcare for longer periods of time. Opportunities for CNAs will continue to increased and an aggressive pace until the year 2020.
Becoming a CNA in West Virginia requires the candidate to meet several prerequisites including the completion of an approved CNA training program and pass the licensing exam mandated by the states Board of Nursing. Most CNA training programs require the student to be at least 18 years of age, hold a high school diploma or equivalent and complete a criminal background and fingerprint check, as well as a complete physical evaluation.
CNA training programs in West Virginia include a 120 hours of classroom study and laboratory training and of clinical training. Class work will cover 65 hours and clinical work will cover 55 hours. Clinical training must be completed in a facility that is approved by Medicare/Medicaid. There is no fee for the training programs for students who have a job offer from a Medicare/Medicaid approved facility. Most CNA training programs can be completed in six to eight weeks. All training programs must be approved by the West Virginia Board of Nursing (WVBON) in order to be a valid program.
When the student successfully completes the training program, the next step is to pass the CNA competency evaluation to become certified and licensed. The Professional Health Care Development company administers the exam. The exam is given in two parts and includes a written portion and a clinical demonstration portion. The clinical part of the test will be performed before an evaluation board and students will be asked to demonstrate five clinical tasks and incorporate safety, good hygiene, privacy practices and dignity when dealing with the patient in the demonstrations.
Both parts of the exam must be completed successfully in order to pass the exam and be placed on the West Virginia Nurse Aide Registry. Licensing is valid for two years and at the end of every two year period CNAs must renew their license.
The average starting salary for CNAs is $22,000 annually. The overall average salary for CNAs is $31,000 and an experienced CNA can possibly earn $40,000. The actual salary will depend on a variety of factors including geographic location coupled with the cost of living, number of years on the job and type of facility where employed. CNAs can increase their salary by pursing a nursing degree and a great many nurses use the CNA profession as a stepping stone in the nursing direction.
CNAs find employment in nursing homes and hospitals, as well as group homes, rehabilitative facilities, doctor’s offices, clinics, visiting nurse and hospice organizations and private home care.
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