How to Become a CNA in Wyoming
The field of nursing offers several career opportunities and certified nursing assistant (CNA) is one of them. CNAs are trained to assist nurses in the day to day care of patients, mostly in long term care facilities. Some nurses get their start working as CNAs while pursuing a nursing degree and many nurses find taking this route enhances their nursing career.
The need for qualified CNAs will continue to outpace supply as CNAs tend to move onto to nursing careers and the population continues to experience longevity. CNA candidates are required to complete a CNA training program approved by the Wyoming Board of Nursing (WBON) and pass a state mandate exam to demonstrate competency in order to become licensed. Candidates have up to one year from completing the training program to take the exam.
Training programs include class work and clinical training. Class work includes infection control, effective communication, medical terminology, patient’s rights, reporting and basic patient care. Students will also participate in a 40 hour clinical training program at a long term care facility.
After completing the CNA training program candidates are required to become licensed. The Wyoming Chapter of the American Red Cross administers the exam and candidates must apply to the Red Cross. Exam applicants are required to complete a criminal background and fingerprint check before taking the exam. Graduates of an approved program may apply for a temporary work permit to allow CNAs to begin employment while in the exam process. The permit is valid for 120 days and become invalid when the candidate takes the exam. If the candidate fails the exam, the temporary permit cannot be renewed.
CNA licenses expire on 31 December of every year and subject to renewal. CNAs are required to complete a minimum of 16 hours of employment as a CNA and 24 hours of in-service education hours every renewal period.
CNAs typically find employment in hospitals and nursing homes, assisted care facilities, group homes, day surgery centers, doctor’s office and with visiting nurse and hospice organizations. CNAs can also find employment in private home care opportunities, must CNAs must work with a registered nurse (RN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN) and that nurse must be available by telephone at all times, if they are not located on site.
The average CNA salary in Wyoming is $30,000 annually. The starting salary is about $22,000 and CNAs can top out at $44,000 annually with longevity. CNAs may also increase their salary by pursuing advanced CNA training programs and taking on greater responsibility. The actual salary depends on the cost of living in a particular geographic location, years of experience and type of facility where employed.
CNAs perform a variety of tasks including bathing, toileting, feeding, and dressing and undressing, transfer from bed to chair and chair to bed and escorting to activities, events and appointments around the facility.
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