A certified nursing assistant job calls for a certain kind of person and disposition. You need compassion for another human being's suffering and a willingness to work with patients in all kinds of scenarios. CNAs start at the bottom rung of the nursing profession ladder, and advance by gaining experience and additional schooling. A few key textbooks can help you prepare for the CNA examination and certification in your state.
American Red Cross Textbook
The American Red Cross sponsors a Nurse Assistant Training Program that prepares you for the CNA examination and certification process in your state. The required classroom, lab and clinical hours vary based on the state in which you want to become a CNA, but the Red Cross uses its own textbook for its program, available online in a PDF format. In its second edition, "Nurse Assistant Training," copyrighted by the American Red Cross, includes information from a distinguished panel of nurses, doctors and health-care professionals.
Textbook for Nursing Assistants
While you can certainly study ahead of time by going through any number of textbooks, be aware that any textbook you decide to study may be out of date and may be different from what the coursework demands. Because states often require clinical experience, lab work and classroom time before you can sit for the test, it's likely you will still need to take the state's required courses to meet the prerequisites for certification. With that said, "Mosey's Textbook for Nursing Assistants," in its eighth edition at the time of publication, is the most common textbook used by many nursing schools and colleges. It also has an accompanying workbook that you fill out as you study.
Because textbooks for CNA courses can vary across the country, make certain that the textbooks you chose to study cover three basic areas: nursing qualities and patient care, germ and infection control, and safety and emergency practices. You also might need to study specific caregiving techniques if you're planning on working with children or seniors, or if you want to help in a hospital. Other topics include the art of caregiving, patient hygiene, dressing and grooming patients, patient nutrition and hydration, elimination, life sign monitoring, time management, life skills training responsibilities, understanding people's rights and communication. Note that some schools provide textbooks as part of the curriculum, while others require you to purchase textbooks separately.
CNA Program Requirements
To gain admittance to a CNA program, you will need to be tested for tuberculosis and a go through a physical exam, as well as undergo a fingerprint and background check in most states. Most states require you to be at least 18 years of age, but some may only require you to be 16. You'll need a state-issued identification card or driver's license, a social security number and possibly a drug test. Coursework necessitates at least a fifth- or sixth-grade English reading level and comprehension. Finally, note that you're not eligible for a CNA program if you were convicted of a felony.
- American Red Cross: Certified Nurse Assistant Training
- American Red Cross: San Rafael New Student Information Packet
- Mt. San Antonia College: Certified Nursing Assistant Program
- National Council of State Boards of Nursing: The 2011 National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) Written or Oral Examination Content Outline
As a native Californian, artist, journalist and published author, Laurie Brenner began writing professionally in 1975. She has written for newspapers, magazines, online publications and sites. Brenner graduated from San Diego's Coleman College.