9 Reasons to Consider CNA Training after High School
Graduating from High School is an exciting time – you have your whole life ahead of you, the freedom to be on your own and make decisions regarding your future. Maybe you have had your career choice decided since you were a child. But for some, the decision on the next step to take after graduation is still unclear. Working in healthcare and training for a job as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) is one of the fastest and most affordable ways to get started in a great career for a rewarding future. Below, we’ve compiled a list of some reasons why becoming a CNA is a great choice after high school.
1. No day is the same
Don’t want a boring desk job? Do you want an exciting career? As a CNA, you will always be on the go. Often, no two days are the same. You are a valuable member of the healthcare team, making a difference in the lives of patients. As a certified nursing assistant, you would work under the direction of an RN, providing daily care for patients including bathing, feeding, transporting, and helping with activities, checking vital signs, and providing companionship. You will develop many valuable skills along with having a career with a purpose that gives back to the community.
2. Job security
Jobs in healthcare, especially as a CNA, are in high demand. With the aging population of America, and chronic disease and new illnesses on the rise, there is always a need for CNAs. When other industries face layoffs or furloughs, a CNA healthcare worker will always be needed on the frontlines. There is expected to be a 9% increase in available jobs over the next 10 years.
3. Fast training, flexible class times
CNA training is a great way to get started in your healthcare career. Most CNA training programs offer classes of differing lengths and host a variety of schedules to fit your needs. Some accelerated programs offer classes several days per week for 3-4 weeks so you can get started on your career ASAP. Other programs may offer evening or weekend courses for a longer length so you can fit it in with your other obligations. Some programs only require you to be 18, so you may be able to complete training while you are still in high school. By getting a jump start on this right after graduation, you could be starting your career before summer is over.
4. Affordable training
Student loan debt is a big problem affecting many Americans. The average costs per year for four-year universities are $40,000 per year. State schools can cost on average $80,000 to complete a bachelor’s degree. CNA training is affordable, with most programs costing less than $1,000. Many programs offer payment plans and can work with student loans? Some programs will work with potential employers to foot the bill, with a guarantee you will work for the employer after training.
5. Great pay and benefits
On average, CNAs earn almost $14 per hour, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. By working full- or part-time, you can earn health-care benefits. Because many CNA jobs are in healthcare, employers offer great benefits. You can also start saving for your future through employee-related investments and retirement funds. Some employers also offer intangible benefits like paid continuing education and tuition reimbursement.
6. Flexible schedules
CNAs can work flexible schedules. Some facilities schedule full-time CNAs for 12-hour shifts, working three days a week. Schedules like this give you four days off per week for relaxing, hanging with friends, taking care of family, or taking college courses. It is easy to work full-time as a CNA while maintaining a great work life balance. Are you a night owl? Night shift CNAs are always in demand and get paid more for working the night shift. Evenings and weekend shifts are popular shifts for CNAs due to flexibility. More traditional nine to five hours are also available. Part-time schedules and PRN (working as needed) positions are also available and offer even more flexibility if you need it.
7. Tuition reimbursement
As stated before, you can get started as a CNA for little to no money, and work in a dependable job with flexible hours. But did you know that many places that employ CNAs will also offer tuition reimbursement towards your future career goals? Many employers will help part-time or full-time employees help pay for college. You can work your way through college and minimize student-loan debt at the same time.
8. Intro to a career in nursing
Becoming a CNA is a great start to building a rewarding career in nursing. You will have more opportunities to work with RNs and LPNs, creating a network of colleagues and mentors who can help you create your career path and achieve your career goals. Working as a CNA, you will gain valuable work experience and develop skills that will better prepare you for nursing school. Nursing school applications are competitive, so working as a CNA will help you stand out among all the applicants. The classwork and knowledge gained in your CNA program and on the job will also make your nursing school classes easier. Some nursing schools will also give you credits for your CNA programs, which may shorten your time in nursing school.
9. Open doors to other healthcare careers
CNAs work as a member of a multidisciplinary healthcare team. You will meet and interact with many other healthcare workers – physicians, pharmacists, physical therapists, dieticians, social workers, radiology technicians, and phlebotomists just to name a few. As a CNA, you will have the opportunity to work with and learn from people in these careers. These opportunities can help you learn more about various healthcare careers, their job duties and how each fit in to the great healthcare system. These are great connections to ask questions about their career and schooling. You may also build relationships be willing to write recommendation letters for healthcare programs.