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Choosing a Career as a Nursing Assistant

Evaluating the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) career path

Written by Calysta on January 31st, 2012

Many young people are making the decision to become a Certified Nursing Assistant, commonly known as a CNA. This career is rising in popularity due to three primary factors; rising demand for health care services, short amount of training required to enter the profession and amount of compensation relative to training/education requirements. These factors combine to make the CNA career path attractive to those interested in starting a career quickly and entering a strong sector of the economy. Lets examine each of these contributing forces more in-depth.

As people are choosing to have fewer children, the elderly population is rapidly increasing in proportion to other age groups. Since elderly citizens consume the majority of health care services this leads to driving demand for health care. While this type of demand can be stressful on the economy in the short-run, this necessity encourages job growth and economic prosperity in the long-run. This bodes well for anyone employed within the health care field since jobs will remain plentiful and employment opportunities are widely available. When an individual makes an investment in a particular career path they are bound by the current economic conditions within that industry (for better or worse). Therefore, it is wise to consider the future outlook of a particular profession before embarking upon that career path.

Many careers require a significant investment of time to acquire the necessary education and job training. The CNA position only requires a 3-month training course to gain certification. This amount of time is very short compared to many other professional designations. This allows individuals to get started earning money sooner than they would be able to in other employment positions. This also reduces the cost of the education and training requirements and makes this career choice more widely accessible to people of all economic classes. For those who cannot afford prolonged educational endeavors the quick CNA training course can be very appealing.

The true value of a formal education or career training program must be measured according to the value obtained by the individual upon receiving employment based upon these credentials. One could also argue that there is inherent value in learning new information and practical skills. Once becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant an individual will be able to earn well in excess of minimum wage. Such persons will also be able to find employment positions that offer additional benefits such as full-time work status, health benefits and retirement plans. This can be very valuable and pay off well in the long run. Those who make the initial investment of $500-$1500 to complete CNA training and certification will see a nice return on their investment once they become employed. This makes the CNA career even more desirable since there is extremely low risk of losing money by investing in the occupational training necessary to become a CNA.

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