How to Become a CNA in Texas
A certified nursing assistant, or CNA, is a fulfilling job for someone wanting to work in the healthcare industry.
These individuals help care for patients in nursing homes, hospitals, and during at-home care.
Education and Training
In order to legally work as a CNA in the state of Texas, you will need to fulfill certain education and/or training requirements. Unlike other professions, aspiring CNAs do not need a high school diploma or GED.
Certified Nursing Assistant Program
The only education requirement a person will need is the completion of a certified nursing assistant program, whether that be in-person on online, from an accredited institution.
Topics that you may expect to cover while in a certified nursing program are:
- Infection control
- Basic nursing care
- Healthcare laws
- Personal care and hygiene
- Social service
Once a person completes their training, they must pass the official CNA examination. This exam consists of two parts: a written section and a clinical skills test. There are 60 multiple-choice questions and test-takers have 90 minutes to finish. In the second part of the exam, individuals will need to demonstrate five CNA duties in 30 minutes.
Where to Take the Exam
You must take the exam at a certified testing center in the state, or one of the Pearson VUE testing sites for the National Nurse Assistant Training and Assessment Program.
For the CNA exam, you can expect to pay the following fees when taking the test:
- Written & Skills Evaluation – $104
- Oral & Skills Evaluation – $104
- Written Exam Only – $27
- Oral Exam Only – $27
- Skills Exam Only – $77
Curious how much a certified nursing assistant program is? The cost of a CNA can differ depending on a variety of factors. You may be able to earn an education as a CNA for under 1k, while some programs may cost as much as 2k. Additional fees may include classroom materials, uniforms, and textbooks.
Earning a Certification
Earning your CNA certification from an accredited program is mandatory to work as a certified nursing assistant in Texas.
Attending a CNA Program
A necessary part of becoming a CNA, these programs provide students with the knowledge they’ll need to be successful certified nursing assistants. While enrolled, you’ll have the opportunity to learn from experts in the field, engaging in hands-on training that will prepare you for your future career.
How Long Does It Take?
CNA programs vary in the length it takes to finish. Certain programs can be completed in at little as a few weeks. Other programs can take several months, sometimes even up to a year. During this time, CNAs in training in Texas will need to complete at least 100 hours of training, which includes at least 40 hours of hands-on clinical training.
Texas CNA Requirements
There are several state requirements when becoming a certified nursing assistant in Texas. To become a CNA, you must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be up-to-date on immunization records
- Pass a criminal background check
- Be in good physical health
- Graduate from a CNA program
- Pass the State Exam
- Register as a CNA
CNA Salaries in TX
CNAs can earn a good living while doing what they love. Prospective certified nursing assistants should know, however, that a CNA salary in Texas can depend on region, type of workplace, and amount of experience you have. CNAs that work in larger cities and who have been in the workforce for several years will likely make more than those who have not.
A few salaries you may be able to make as a CNA in the state of Texas are:
- Houston $36,743
- Forth Worth $35,187
- Austin $35,516
- Dallas $35,877
- Waco $32,742
These nursing assistants play a vital role in the day-to-day care of patients. These workers provide patient care in places such as hospitals and nursing homes. CNAs can also offer home care to patients who need it. As part of their job, a CNA helps patients with basic needs like eating, grooming, bathing, and more.
What Do They Do?
Some job duties a CNA in Texas may be responsible for are:
- Monitoring the food and liquid intake of a patient
- Helping patients with everyday tasks such as eating, bathing, and exercise
- Observing and recording conditions and vital signs of a patient
- Updating care team on any changes with the patient
- Answering call buttons for patient needs
- Alerting nurses to any issues or emergencies
- Ensuring patient comfort
- Repositioning patients in their beds
- Helping patients move from the bed to their wheelchair and back
- Help with lifting patients from their bed to exam or surgical table
Other Skills Needed
A CNA needs a wide range of skills to complete the job successfully. In addition to strong interpersonal and communication skills, CNAs should be patient, since they will likely often work with sick or confused patients. Other skills that a CNA should possess are:
- Attention to detail
- Knowledge of medical terminology
- Flexibility when it comes to scheduling
Wondering what the job outlook for a CNA is in the coming years? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, CNA jobs in Texas are expected to be on the rise. With a five percent growth from 2021-2031, experts predict an additional 220,000 job openings each year. Numbers will likely increase due to the increase in demand for CNAs, current workers retiring, and individuals leaving the field for other jobs.