There are many benefits to pursuing a career in the healthcare industry; some being a stable income, excellent medical benefits, and almost endless opportunities to further your career. In this piece, we’ll focus on the advantages of becoming a certified nursing assistant (CNA) and why this entry-level position is perfect for people that want to see what it’s like to work in the healthcare sector.

1) Short Training Period for Certification

If you are short on time and want to get into a healthcare position as soon as possible, a state-approved CNA program may be perfect for you. Most CNA training programs (http://www.findcnaclasses.com/) last 8-12 weeks and can prepare you to work as an entry-level certified nursing assistant. The requirements vary state-to-state (http://www.findcnaclasses.com/state/) but most programs will train you on the following subjects:

  • Medical terminology
  • Basic nutrition
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Infection control

become-cna2) A Flexible Work Schedule

As a CNA, you are not tied to a job that regulates your schedule and requires working hours that are set in stone. As a full-time employee, you can choose a shift that fits your lifestyle or chooses a custom-made work schedule that fits your busy schedule. Here are a few options that allow for a flexible work schedule:

  • Working on an “as needed” or “PRN” basis
  • Choosing to work on weekends only or specific days of the week
  • Opting for summer work, holidays or when you are not in classes
  • Work three days of 12-hour shifts and have four days off per week

3) Job Security and Numerous Opportunities

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nursing-assistants.htm), healthcare facilities will need almost 300,000 trained certified nursing assistants by 2024 to meet healthcare demands. With the newly minted health care reform, there is an increase in the number of citizens that have healthcare and they will be in need of additional care. Not to mention the ever aging elderly population that will also need increasing care as they get older. As a CNA, your skills will be in high demand in facilities across the country that include:

  • Hospitals and medical centers
  • Home health care
  • Skilled nursing facilities
  • Walk-in clinics and urgent care
  • Staffing agencies and temporary employment
  • Private duty cases

4) Experience and Access to Future Prospects

As a practicing CNA, you may use your experience to further your education in nursing or a number of other areas in the healthcare field. Many nursing schools require that new applicants complete their CNA as part of their prerequisites to admission. In addition, a CNA position can provide the experience that prepares you for the commitment of a degree or training in an area of healthcare that you have learned to enjoy. CNAs use their experience and training to further their careers in areas such as:

  • LPN and RN positions
  • Medical assisting jobs
  • Physical, occupational or recreational therapists
  • Nurse practitioners and physician assistants
  • Orthotic and therapy technicians
  • X-Ray and sonographer technicians
  1. A Rewarding and Respected Career

If you have the desire to provide a service to your community, caring for those who count on your assistance to maintain their health can give you a feeling of self-satisfaction as a CNA. The healthcare field requires special people who enjoy interacting with their patients and working as part of the healthcare team. Successful CNAs that practice with pride usually exhibit qualities that include:

  • Empathy for those in need
  • A high standard of moral character
  • A person who enjoys working in a busy environment
  • People who like interacting with different cultures
  • A caring individual with a positive attitude

The position of a CNA can be challenging and certain areas of care require physical lifting and constant activity. A position as a CNA can further your career or provide opportunities that shape your future and open doors to other prospects.