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How do I Choose the Best CNA Continuing Education Courses?

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  • Written By: Anna B. Smith
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 31 October 2016
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To choose the best CNA continuing education courses, students should verify the requirements for certification with their regional nursing board and choose the course provider that meets those criteria. These courses are typically offered through local hospitals, and occasionally through community colleges that offer associate degrees in nursing. Online course material is generally only available through these sources, and some additional classroom time is typically required. Students may wish to receive verification that they completed their training at the completion of the course for their personal records, in the event of an audit of their credentials.

A CNA is a certified nursing assistant, whose responsibilities range from patient care to doctor assistance during non-surgical procedures. Each country, and in the US, each state, has different course requirements that CNAs must complete annually to maintain their certification. Some private facilities, such as nursing homes and doctors offices, may require additional credit hours apart from the number of hours that must be met to satisfy regional or national standards. CNA continuing education courses ensure that these health care professionals are practicing medicine efficiently and safely, and are trained in the most current medical procedures and equipment.

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Individuals should verify what the requirements are for CNA continuing education in the country in which they wish to work before registering for courses, as well as with their prospective employer, to make sure that they receive credit for the correct training. These courses generally cover topics like emergency procedures, lifesaving techniques, communication skills, infection control, and how to handle domestic abuse injuries, among other topics. Course materials are often dictated by the country in which a CNA is pursuing their certification renewal. In the US, the federal government mandates a set number of credit hours that CNAs must take, and allows the state to determine the course topics for the remaining hours and whether additional hours should be required. For example, CNAs renewing their certifications in the state of New York should make sure that the training program in which they are interested offers the 75 credit hour requirements issued by the federal government as well as the 25 additional specialized course hours needed to satisfy the state.

Students should guarantee that the training program they pursue offers a printable or electronic verification that their credit hours were completed. Not every region requires that students mail their course completions into local nursing boards. Instead, some areas prefer to perform random audits on CNAs to ensure they are complying with local laws and regulations regarding their continued education. Nurses should be able to provide the appropriate authorities with evidence that they have completed the requisite amount of CNA continuing education credits on a regular basis to avoid losing their license.

CNA continuing education courses are most commonly offered through local hospitals. The hospital will typically offer the courses for their area which are needed to satisfy local and national guidelines so that students do not have to worry whether they are taking the correct classes. It is possible on rare occasions to satisfy all requirements for these courses through online training, because some hands-on class experience is required. Courses taken through local hospitals may also be lower in price or free for employees of the hospital and local health facilities, whereas online courses must generally be paid for by the student.

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