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Caregivers: CNA, PCA, HHA Posted: 5/26/2015 11:16:07 AM

Seven Reasons to Become a Certified Nursing Assistant

Are you interested in a healthcare career? Would you like to have a choice of settings to give patient care? How about getting satisfaction from knowing you’re helping others?
If you answered “Yes!” then consider becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA).

As the population ages and non-acute healthcare facilities expand, the demand for qualified CNAs is skyrocketing. The U.S. Bureau of Statistics estimates that 25% more CNAs will be needed by 2020--about 300,000 jobs! The growth rate prediction is faster than for all occupations.

Need more reasons to become a Certified Nurse Assistant? Here are seven of them:

1. Affordability. Becoming certified is less expensive than earning a degree. Education is available at community colleges and online. Many courses are free. Besides being affordable, becoming a CNA is the quickest way to begin a career in healthcare.

2. Flexibility. Many jobs require a full-time commitment in order to be employed. As a CNA, you are able to find schedule options that match your lifestyle. Choose to work part-time, during the evening, or on weekends. If you work in a clinic, you may have regular office hours, with weekends and holidays off.

3. Benefits. Working in a healthcare facility means that you can be eligible for benefits such as medical insurance, paid vacation, and sick time. You may also earn extra pay for working on holidays, and for overtime. Specialization. While a large number of CNAs work in long-term care or assisted living facilities, there are opportunities to find jobs in specialties. Pediatrics is an area requiring skilled hands-on care. Hospitals and medical centers can provide you with experience in acute settings.

4. Pay. Salary.com reports a 2015 median salary of $30,494, with a range of $25,125-$36,419 across the country. On top of this is about 30% more that your employer pays for your time off, healthcare, pension, and Social Security--bringing the median value to $46,523!

5. Variety. While your job description at your facility may not change, every day will bring different patients, situations, and challenges. Even the seasons and holidays will bring a variety to your workday. Part of the fun of being a CNA is seeing what new lessons you can learn each day.

6. Opportunity. Many employers offer tuition reimbursement, giving you the chance to take classes toward other healthcare careers. You may decide to pursue a degree in nursing, administration, or an ancillary area, such as respiratory therapy. After you’ve seen other jobs, you can return to school and advance your own career.

7. Networking. It’s not only business professionals who network--you can, too! During your job, you’ll meet other healthcare providers who may be able to assist you in the future. Doctors, nurses, and colleagues can serve as valuable references, or give you pointers on how to advance your career.

There’s one more reason to consider: You’re providing direct care and support to people who need you. Making a difference in the lives of others may be the best reason of all!

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