THe Wesley Community as seen from the air. A series of buildings, including two 14 story towers, surrounded by an abundance of green areas.

Start a New Career as a Certified Nursing Assistant

Interested in learning how you can start a new career in a caring profession? Here’s what to know about certified nursing assistants.

A happy nurse in front of her house.

The COVID-19 pandemic shined a spotlight on the clear need for compassionate professionals in the health care field. From certified nursing assistants (CNA) and licensed practical nurses (LPN) to registered nurses (RN) and nurse practitioners, the opportunities for growth are limitless. For many, starting as a CNA is an affordable option that allows those with an interest in nursing to gain hands-on experience in the field.

What Is a Certified Nursing Assistant?

If you’ve visited a nursing home or assisted living community, you likely saw a CNA in action. They play a vital role in the delivery of care to residents of senior communities. Here are several of the responsibilities of a CNA:

  • Assisting with activities of daily living including bathing, grooming, and dressing
  • Lending a hand to a resident who needs assistance getting to and from the bathroom or with continence care
  • Supporting residents who need help getting to the dining room or those who just need a reminder that it is mealtime
  • Helping to change linens or clean resident areas if housekeeping needs assistance
  • Working to support the nurses who are responsible for managing resident care

You might also find a CNA working in other settings, such as home care agencies and adult day centers.

How Long Is the CNA Training Program?

The answer to this question can vary depending on the state where you live. Some states’ regulations necessitate little formal training, while others have comprehensive and rigid requirements. In New York, there are roles that don’t require special certifications and those that do.

For people considering the CNA position as a prospective career choice, the Wesley Community has a job known as a Unit Assistant. This is a team member role that provides a better understanding of the key positions in the senior community, but doesn’t require a certification or license. Becoming a Unit Assistant is a way to learn about working as a healthcare professional via an entry-level position.

The Wesley Community also offers a free, eight-week CNA training program that individuals are actually paid to attend. Those who live in New York and are interested in a career as a CNA, will find the training combines classroom learning with clinical time. At the end of the training period, those who successfully complete the program are typically offered a CNA position on our staff. It can be either full-time or part-time, depending on the community’s needs and the employee’s interest.

What are the Opportunities for Professional Growth?

Senior communities often believe in promoting from within. It’s a great way for community leaders to assess a team member’s commitment and work ethic, and reward those who excel. Team members who begin as a CNA can continue their education and training and go on to become an LPN or an RN.

Many senior living companies offer tuition reimbursement to make financing continuing education more attainable. For example, The Wesley Community offers 5 scholarships a year to people who wish to continue their education. Each is underwritten through our fundraising efforts. Visit Recipients of Wesley’s New Nursing Scholarship to learn more.

Learn More About CNA Training at The Wesley

If you’d like to learn more about our CNA training and how it could be an exciting new career, please call us at (518) 691-1668. One of our leadership team members will be happy to share more details, including information on when the next training session at The Wesley begins!