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CNA Instructor

CNA instructors are the registered nurses who are well-experienced in the medical, as well as teaching sector. They are responsible for supervising the CNA Program courses and their primary duties include, inculcating the necessary skills in the students, monitoring their progress, preparing lessons and maintaining the grade and attendance records. They can provide their services at career program institutes, community colleges and private nurse aide schools.

Requirements to Become a CNA Instructor

They are required to meet the following criteria to be eligible for teaching the nurse aide students.

  • Associate or bachelor’s degree in the nursing field
  • Certification as a Registered Nurse
  • Licensure requirements as mandated by the respective state
  • Two years of working experience as an RN
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Current basic life support (BLS) certification

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Job Description and Duties

Responsibilities and job description of a CNA instructor include:

  • Developing lesson plans
  • Preparing lessons
  • Program the applicants and offering practical and theoretical knowledge to the students so that they can pass the state certification exam
  • They are required to design an interesting and informative method of teaching
  • Managing and observing the students’ academic progress
  • Maintaining the grade and attendance records of the students
  • Clearing the doubts of the students by taking questionnaires session
  • Preparing questions and taking internal tests
  • Coordinating with the teaching faculty of the institute in order to organize or implement the nursing instruction program

Basic Skills Required for Becoming a CNA Instructor

You are required to possess certain skills to get excellence in this job. These skills are as follows:

  • Extremely responsible
  • Paying special attention to details
  • Outstanding knowledge of the domain
  • Skills to create a learning environment
  • Patience
  • Calm and composed
  • Excellent communicational skills
  • Management skills
  • Ability to inspire the students to do best of their potential
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Aptitude to develop interest in the mind of the students
  • Passion for the work
  • Ability to solve queries in minimum intervals of time

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Step-by-Step Process to Become a CNA Instructor

  • Attend an accredited nursing school
  • Acquire RN Licensure
  • Gain on-the-job experience and know the CNA instructors’ duties
  • Complete train-the-trainer certification course
  • Obtain employment as a CNA Instructor

Step 1:  Attend an Accredited Nursing School

A certified nurse assistant instructor is required to hold a valid RN (Registered Nurse) certificate. The valid RN credential can be achieved by undertaking a four-year BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) program or two-year associate degree nursing program from a recognized school. For the sake of enrolling in an associate or BSN program, you first need to obtain the CNA certification.

Step 2: Obtain Registered Nurse Licensure

After completing the coursework, a nurse must pass the NCLEX-RN exam in order to achieve the RN certificate.

Step 3: Get On-the-Job Experience

All the states of the United States require a minimum of two years of nursing experience for working as a certified nurse assistant instructor. These requirements may vary according to the state like some states also require experience of caring for the aged/elderly in a long-term nursing facility (i.e. nursing homes or rehabilitation centers). RN can get work experience in schools, hospitals, doctor’s office and urgent care facilities.

Step 4: Complete the Train-the-Trainer Certification Course

To start working as a CNA instructor, you are required to have one or two years of work experience as an RN or LPN in a medical setting. For preparing yourself for instructing and train the students, you must attend Train-the-Trainer certification course. The course may take 15-25 hours to complete and the classes are generally conducted on weekends. The main focus is given on teaching the special needs students.

Step 5: Get Employment as a CNA Instructor

Finally, look for a job. CNA instructors can work at municipal health departments, local community colleges, nursing care facilities, vocational-technical centers, as well as some high schools.

Working Environment and Salary of a CNA Instructor

CNA instructors generally work in classroom settings. They also work in the office for preparing lesson plans and coordinating the teaching staff in designing the learning programs. These professionals may work both full-time and part-time.

As per the reports of payscale.com, in December 2014, the nursing instructor earned an income of $56,447 per annum. In February 2015, the average annual salary of nurse aide instructors in the US was $29,000 (according to indeed.com).

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Career Paths for a CNA Instructor

Nurse aide instructors can choose any of the following paths in order to advance their career:

  • Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (NP)
  • Psychiatric Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ARNP)
  • Nursing Manager
  • Program Management Director, Education
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

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