There is a little-known secret to becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant: you can be employed before you even finish training! While it is impossible to remain permanently employed without having your certification and being listed on the Nurse Aide Registry, there are ways to start working without waiting. In most states, there are provisions that allow for temporary certification of individuals in training to become certified nursing assistants. For the most part, these situations are arranged by employers. But for the most proactive nurse aides, it is possible to arrange your employment so that it begins before you even take a certification test.
Temporary certification was designed for the individuals that are most in need of a regular paycheck. Quitting your job to train as a CNA is not realistic for those people with mouths to feed and rent to pay. But because all state-approved training programs are required to provide hands-on instruction with patient care, CNAs start working during training to gain experience. Under the right conditions, your instructors can pay you for this work. Community colleges and technical schools will not be able to provide this type of assistance because they do not employ nurse aides. You must choose a nursing home for training to be compensated for the clinical hours of your training.
The best way to achieve this arrangement is to apply for it with your instructors in advance. There are many nursing homes that offer state-approved nurse aide instruction, but not all of these institutions are seeking new staff. Find a nursing home that is looking to fill positions and discuss the possibility of temporary certification with your employer. The temporary certificate only lasts for a few months, but can be the difference between having and not having an income. The opportunity is extremely valuable, and the offer should not be taken for granted. You will need to demonstrate that you have the qualities employers are looking for and make the most of your interactions with patients and instructors alike.
Temporary certification is one way to finance your training, but there are other ways to get assistance. Much like the wage of temporary certification, it is possible to get financial assistance with the price of tuition at your training program. Even the qualifications are similar. If an offer of employment is received before or after certification has been completed, you are not obligated to pay for the cost of your training. If the offer is made before you finish, your employer must pay the cost of tuition. If the offer is made within one year of finishing, the state government must compensate you for your expenses on a pro rata basis. The best way to get financial assistance is to impress your employers. Show them that you are interested, committed, and invested in the work you do.