CNA Certification and Training in Louisiana
Becoming a CNA is a wonderful way of entering nursing. By helping patients bathe, eat, move around and communicate, CNAs create the foundation of nursing. In addition to these tasks, they often are responsible for taking vitals, preparing rooms and cleaning equipment. They do all of this, while working under the oversight of a licensed nurse. People already working as a CNA in another state can apply to Louisiana’s registry, which is monitored by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, by reciprocity, but non-certified CNAs must take a training course and exam.
The CNA certification exam contains two sections. There is a written test, which focuses on one’s knowledge of protocols, and a skills test, which tests one’s ability to practice clinically. After passing this exam, CNAs are fully licensed. By working eight hours, for pay, every two years, CNAs can keep their active status on Louisiana’s registry.
A high school diploma or GED is recommended for CNAs, but not required by Louisiana. CNA training consists of at least 100 hours of instruction, which is divided evenly between classroom instruction and clinical training. Students should expect to pay around $750 for this training, and most courses take a month to complete. Courses are offered by high schools, vocational programs, technical institutes and adult education institutions throughout the state.
CNAs who are already licensed in a state other than Louisiana can transfer into Louisiana via reciprocity. In order to be approved to practice nursing as a CNA in Louisiana, CNAs should send: an application, verification of their active status on another state’s CNA registry, a copy of their social security card and a copy of their Louisiana ID to: 5647 Superior Drive, Baton Rouge, La. 70816.
In 2010, there were nearly 24,000 CNAs employed throughout Louisiana. These CNAs worked in nursing homes, hospitals and at individuals’ homes throughout the state, but there was a high concentration of them in Shreveport, LA. Over 3,000 CNAs call Shreveport home.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics, which provides these statistics, believes the number of CNAs in the U.S., including Louisiana, will increase significantly. The country has an aging population, with increasing needs for healthcare. More CNAs will be hired in the future, to care for the elderly population in Louisiana.
Once employed, a CNA in Louisiana can expect to earn around $20,000 a year. In 2010, that was the median salary of CNAs across the country. One advantage of working as a CNA is flexibility. Depending upon their financial needs, CNAs can find part-time positions, full-time jobs or ones that offer overtime pay. CNAs can find work, even in a troubled economy, to provide an income that matches their needs.
Investing a month into training to become a CNA is a smart investment. It can be the first step toward a rewarding career. CNAs earn a decent wage and perform an important function in Louisiana’s nursing field. For more information, people can contact the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals or the Board Registry at the address below.
LA Nurse Aide Registry
LA State Board of Examiners for Nursing Facility Administrators
5647 Superior Drive
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70816-6049