Certified Nursing Assistant Training in Arizona
Taking on a support position in the healthcare industry can help you get valuable experience in this industry, make connections with healthcare leaders, and make a difference in patients’ lives. One of the quickest ways to get involved in patient care is becoming a nurse assistant.
Nursing assistants provide a wide range of basic services to patients, freeing up nurses’ and doctors’ time to offer more specialized care. In turn, the entire healthcare system benefits from improved care.
Ready to learn more about nurse assistant training and take the first step in this field?
Contact programs that offer CNA training in Arizona to learn more.
What is a CNA?
CNAs fill a crucial role in healthcare across the United States. As certified nursing assistants, they have specialized training in medication administration, personal care, hygiene, and feeding, all of which are fairly common tasks in different medical settings. When you become a certified nurse aide, you take your instructions from a nursing supervisor, who assigns patients or tasks to you.
How Can I Become a Nurse Aide (CNA) in Arizona?
There are many schools and healthcare facilities in Arizona that offer CNA programs. Check out listings on this page and contact local CNA schools to compare your options.
CNA training is designed to be short-term and focused on practical work skills.
In a matter of weeks, you learn the basics of healthcare, medical terminology, and basic patient care protocols. As you develop your knowledge of healthcare procedures and protocols, you also get to test out your skills. By working with actual healthcare instruments and equipment, you become more confident about working with patients.
What Kind of CNA Training Do I Need in Arizona?
Becoming a nursing aide is a big step into the healthcare industry, and it’s one that can pay off for you, your patients, and your local healthcare community. Depending on where you live in Arizona, there may be different training options for you to consider.
Keep reading to find out what qualifications you must meet to become a CNA and what it’s like to work in this field. Contact programs that offer CNA training in Phoenix, Arizona or other Arizona cities with our list of schools.
Getting Into a Certified Nursing Assistant Program in Arizona
As you start to look into nurse assistant training, you may wonder if you can meet the requirements set by CNA programs. One of the benefits of this certification is that it is accessible to almost anyone. There are very few admissions requirements, and with hard work, most students can develop the right skills and move on to the licensing part of the process.
CNA Programs Admissions Requirements in Arizona
- High school diploma or GED (not required at all schools; some accept high school students)
- Negative drug test
- Negative TB test
- Clear criminal background check
- Up-to-date immunizations or titers
Required Application Documents
- Application and fee
- Authorization for a background check
- Drug test screening form
- TB test results
- Transcripts from any high schools and colleges you have attended
- Immunization records
CNA Training in Arizona
Arizona CNA programs are very fast-paced, giving you the option to work through your training modules and start looking into open CNA positions. The Arizona State Board of Nursing oversees training requirements for nursing assistants.
There are two routes you can follow. You can either complete a 120-hour training program or you can go through a 75-hour training program and get 45 hours of work experience.
The curriculum for each program should be fairly similar, since nurse’s assistant education programs must follow a strict structure.
CNA Classes in Arizona
- Communication and documentation
- Safety and emergency procedures
- Patient right and resident independence
- Vital signs
- Cleanliness and organization in a patient’s environment
- Pain management
- Drains and tubes
- Patient status changes
- Perioperative care
- Personal care procedures
Can I Earn My Nurse Assistant Certification Online?
In many patient care career paths, you must go through a specific amount of hands-on training before you begin working. This is the case for nursing assistants; theory isn’t enough to prepare you for the licensing process in Arizona, since clinical experience is mandatory in approved CNA programs.
For that reason, you cannot attend an online school to get your CNA license. However, some schools do have flexible online study options for students. If you go this route, you may be able to do your tests and reading online, while still meeting clinical requirements in person.
CNA Certification as a Prerequisite for Nursing School in Arizona
While some students go into patient care tech programs with the intent of building a career at this level, others become CNAs because licensure is a requirement for nursing school. Nursing programs across the country require CNA certification.
This field gives you a good introduction to the physical demands of a nursing career, the busy schedule, and the high-stress healthcare environment. As a result, you can ensure that nursing is a good fit for you before putting years of work into your education.
You can also use your CNA certification to work as a nurse’s aide while earning your ADN or BSN degree, which is excellent experience for future nursing positions.
Paying for a CNA Program in Arizona
When you choose a short-term training option like CNA certification, you may benefit from lower educational costs. Many CNA programs are designed to be affordable for all students. With that in mind, there are still many financial aid options that can help defray educational expenses.
If your training is part of a registered nursing program, you may qualify for federal financial aid. The best way to find out is filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid/FAFSA. Stay on top of federal aid deadlines to ensure that you don’t miss any opportunities.
With a scholarship guide like Peterson’s, you can search for grants in your community and field of study. Quite a few local organizations and associations provide scholarship opportunities. The Arizona Nurses Association offers funding to student members.
Working as a Certified Nursing Assistant in Arizona
After you finish your nurse assistant education, you may be ready to start working and honing your skills. The majority of healthcare institutions use CNAs, since they can provide care to a large amount of patients and move quickly from task to task. As a patient care tech, you can work within a limited scope of practice to keep patients safe, healthy, and comfortable.
CNA Requirements in Arizona
The next step is becoming certified. The Arizona State Board of Nursing sets specific requirements for nurse aides. One option is becoming a certified nursing assistant; this level of registration only requires proof of education and adding your name to the registry. The next step up is a licensed nursing assistant, or LNA. When you submit your application and your transcripts, you must pay a $50 fingerprinting fee and a $50 application fee. Fees may be paid via check, money order, or credit card. The State Board also requires proof of citizenship or legal residency and proof of graduation from an approved program. From there, you can take your licensing exam.
To keep working as a nurse’s assistant, you have to keep your license up-to-date. Renewal documents are due every two years with a fee of $50. CNAs need eight hours of work experience every two years, while LNAs need 160 hours of work experience every two years.
Where are the Best CNA Jobs in Arizona?
When you get close to completing your education, you may start applying for certified nurse aide positions in your community. As a new nursing aide, you may want to get some experience in a nursing home or assisted living facility. These settings give you lots of experience in core CNA skills and help you develop your ability to work in high-stress situations. From there, as you build your specialized skills, you may move on to more advanced or demanding work environments.
No matter which work setting you select, be ready to work long shifts at all times of the day and night. Many institutions have around-the-clock staffing requirements, which means that you may have to work evenings, overnights, holidays, and weekends to meet the needs of your facility.
Work Settings for Nurse Aides
- Nursing homes
- Group homes
- Adult day programming facilities
- Rehabilitation facilities
- Home care and hospice institutions
Common Hiring Expectations for CNAs
- GED or high school diploma
- Current placement on the CNA registry or LNA certification
- Previous experience in healthcare
- Ability to spend long periods of time on your feet
- Flexible scheduling
What Does a Nursing Assistant Do in Arizona?
Throughout your nurse assistant career, you must remain within your scope of practice. If you work outside what you’re permitted to do as a CNA or LNA, you may incur fines and disciplinary actions. In addition, facilities that employ CNAs working outside their scope of practice may be forced to pay heavy fines. Stick to what the Arizona State Board of Nursing allows you to do to protect your patients and your career.
Certified Nursing Aide Duties
- Admitting, transferring, and discharging patients under the supervision of a registered nurse
- Pre-surgical and post-surgical care
- Communicate with patients to meet their standards of care
- Take and record vital signs
- Communicate changes in patient status to supervisors
- Provide oral and denture care as needed
- Feeding and hydration
- Adapting behavior in response to patient actions
- Provide culturally sensitive care
- Assist with diagnostic tests
- Recognize and report abuse
How Much Does a CNA Make in Arizona?
Your salary is dependent on where you live in Arizona, which type of facility you work in, and how much experience you have. In Arizona, the average income for a certified nursing assistant is $28,890 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017).
Salaries are slightly higher in several parts of Arizona. In Flagstaff, the average annual income for a CNA is $31,590 (BLS, 2017). Phoenix nursing assistants earn an average of $29,950 per year (BLS, 2017). Some employers have bonuses or higher pay rates for those who work overnights or weekends.
The job outlook is strong for certified nursing assistants. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects job openings for CNAs to increase 18% between 2014 and 2024 (2017).
Important CNA Resources in Arizona
- Arizona Nurses Association
- Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association
- National Network of Career Nursing Assistants
- National Association of Health Care Assistants
From trying to answer the question “What is a CNA?” to finding the perfect position after graduation, you can always use a strong professional network as you build your career.
By getting involved in local and national organizations, you can delve into advanced CNA skills, learn about changes in legislation and standards, and attend specialized continuing education events. Networking with nursing assistants and registered nurses can give you insight into local hiring patterns and help you exceed the expectations of employers.
The field of nursing is growing rapidly in Arizona, increasing the need for nursing professionals at all levels of education. After you complete your certified nursing assistant training, Arizona healthcare facilities may use your skills in a number of ways. Whether or not you currently want to advance your education and go into nursing, you may find that becoming a CNA is a great first step into the field of nursing.
As Arizona’s nursing shortage becomes more severe, colleges and universities have expanded their program offerings to increase the amount of working nurses in this state (AZ Family, 2017).
You can get started right now with our list of Arizona CNA schools.