Updated: Apr 27
A Certified Nurse Aide is an important position in a hospital setting. You may have heard about a Certified Nurse Aide because you’re interested in becoming a Nurse, but you’re not sure where to start.
The first step in becoming a Certified Nurse aide is an education. To become a Certified Nurse Aide, most states require you to enroll in a state-approved NATCEP program. A nurse aide program focuses on long-term facilities.
This complete Certified Nurse Aide Guide for New Jersey is an overview of all the information you need to know as a Certified Nurse Aide. Becoming a Certified Nurse Aide is a rewarding career.
Certified Nurse Aides are among the top ten occupations with the largest job growth.
Our team of researchers and instructors spent the past few months putting together a guide just for you.
We’ve compiled the most common questions that include the following questions:
What is the Department of Health?
A Certified Nurse Aide in New Jersey must undergo New Jersey programs that are 90 hours altogether. Before you decide to jump into training, here are some common questions and a guide to help you get started.
What is a Certified Nurse Aide?
A Certified Nurse Aide is a healthcare professional who provides care for their patients. CNAs have many responsibilities that make them a vital part of the patient process in healthcare. While being a CNA is considered an entry-level position, it does make a great introduction to other health care professions such as Nursing or Doctor.
Certified Nurse Aides (CNAs) act as personal caregivers to people who need assistance in their day-to-day activities due to a medical condition. Due to their longer training, nurses can work in hospital facilities. Certified Nurse Aides perform critical tasks that ensure patients are well-cared for.
You may have heard Certified Nurse Aides by other names such as:
Patient Care Assistant
Nursing homes, hospitals, and long-term residential facilities are where Certified Nurse Aides can find work.
Agencies that employ aides are regulated by the Division of Consumer Affairs. The aides themselves are regulated by the Department of Health.
This is an overview of what you can expect as a Certified Nurse Aide.
The common tasks that Certified Nurse Aides are responsible for:
Turning or moving patients
Gathering medical supplies
Grooming patients by brushing their hair, teeth, shaving them, etc.
Feeding patients and documenting their food and liquid intake
Checking vital signs such as blood pressure and heart rate
Answering patient calls
Cleaning rooms and bed linens
Assisting with some medical procedures
Taking care of wounds
Certified Nurse Aide Qualifications / Skills:
Strong attention to detail
Excellent communication skills
Knowledge of Medical Terminology
Empathy and Compassion
Common Certified Nurse Aide Benefits:
Flexible schedules and good pay
Retirement savings plan with company matching contribution
Holiday pay (time and a half)
Paid sick leave (up to 40 hours per year)
Supportive office staff
Career growth and opportunities
Employee referral bonus program
Support and supervision by an RN
How to Get Training as a Certified Nurse Aide in New Jersey?
There are many individuals who will use their CNA to bridge the gap to further their careers. After doing your research, you’ve decided that you want to become a Certified Nurse Aide because it’s rewarding and you really enjoy helping others.
If you want to be certified as a Certified Nurse Aide, you’ll want to find a school that is approved by the Department of Health. Certified Nurse Aide schools in New Jersey are few. The training program must be 90-hours in New Jersey. Courses vary in price and quality.
Prices can vary between $1000-$2000 for a Certified Nurse Aide program. Certified Nurse Aide classes enhance your real-world application and knowledge.
How Long is a Certified Nurse Aide Course?
A Certified Nurse Aide course is required to be 90-hours in the State of New Jersey. The length of time will vary between the schools. However, programs are required by law to have 90-hours that split the course into 50-hour in class and 40-clinical.
Financial aid is available. Courses may be offered for free, but you may have to sign a yearly contract with the agency you plan to train with. You’re better off paying out of pocket. Since there is a high demand, after one year of working with a long-term facility or a hospital, their required, by state law, to issue you a refund.
Due to the increasing demand, courses can be offered in morning or evening sessions. There are no online classes available at this time for Nurse Aide.
What are the requirements of a Certified Nurse Aide?
There are requirements that you need to have before becoming a Certified Nurse Aide. This is a list of requirements of a Certified Nurse Aide includes the following:
90 Hours of end-to-end training including 50 hours of Educational Training and 40 hours of hands-on clinical instruction.
Must be at least 18 years of age
Must be a US citizen or eligible to work in the U.S.
Pass Competency Test issued by the state
Mandatory Attendance for the full required time.
Clear Criminal Background
Employment or Promise of Employment by an Accredited Home Care Agency.
Where Can Certified Nurse Aides Work?
Certified Nurse Aides have the flexibility of where and who they want to work for. Typically, CNA's can be found in the following facilities:
Adult daycare centers
Pay and Outlook for Certified Nurse Aides?
In recent years, the home health pay outlook continues to get better. Since the pandemic, Certified Nurse Aides are receiving more recognition and are considered a vital part of the team.
According to the U.S Bureau of Statistics, Certified Nurse Aides and personal care aides can earn a median salary of $30,000. Their pay continues to grow in a number of states due to their value and their need. You can expect some Certified Nurse Aides to make way above the average with excellent benefits too
What makes Nurse Aide an attractive option is the educational benefits too. Many healthcare facilities will offer a 50% or sometimes 100% reimbursement on educational advancements into fields such as LPN and RN.
What Do You Learn as a Certified Nurse Aide?
There are plenty of rewards for working as a Certified Nurse Aide. You build strong and meaningful relationships.
Certified Nurse Aides learn a number of skills. It’s a great experience builder for medical professionals. In addition to learning people skills and soft skills, you learn how to
Certified Nurse Aides can expect to learn the following:
Turning and repositioning patients
Gathering supplies for RN or MD
Using equipment such as Mechanical Lifts
Emergency and Safety Procedures
Components of Communication
Introduction to Human Behavior
Obtaining vitals per protocol
Anatomy and Physiology
Assisting patients with elimination
Throughout your time as a Certified Nurse Aide, you’ll learn how to use the following equipment too:
• Adult scale
• Alternating mattress or the like, egg crate stick, sock donner, button loop
• Bedpan (regular and fracture pan)
• Catheter equipment (tubing, drainage bags, leg bags)
• Colostomy/ileostomy equipment
• Enteral feeding equipment
• Feeding utensils (e.g. plate guard, rocking spoon)
• Gown/gloves/ mask/ face shields
• Hi-rise toilet seat
• Hospital bed
• Hoyer lift
• Infant/child equipment (e.g. bathtub, formula, scale, hi-chair)
• Old clothes for practice with dressing and donning
• Over-the bed table
• Oxygen equipment (nasal cannula, mask, tank, concentrator)
• Personal Care items (e.g. emesis & bathing basins, toothpastes, denture cups combs)
• Shower chair/bench/handrail
• Sink (for handwashing RDC)
• Slide board
• Slings/immobilizer, ace wraps)
• Thermometer (electronic)
• Transfer belt
• TV, AV equipment
• Walker (e.g. rolling, platform
What is the Department of Health?
Their main responsibility is to enhance the health and well-being of americans. For Nurse Aides, it's the state department that governs the licensure.
The Department of Health is responsible for regulating the nursing and Certified Nurse Aide profession.
Does Being a Certified Nurse Aide Lead to Better Jobs and Careers?
Students who are searching for a career builder. This is it.
Certified Nurse Aides that lead to better jobs and careers. It’s an awesome starting point for those who aren’t sure healthcare is for them.
You can start as Nurse Aide and progress towards Nursing. Did you know that, in order to become a Nurse in New Jersey, you must undergo a Nurse Aide program? It’s a prerequisite.
Registered Nurses can earn up to $100,000 per year or higher depending on where they work. Directors of Nurses can especially earn more if they're in charge of a home care agency.
Certified Nurse Aide jobs can lead to rewarding career advancements such as management, nursing, or other medical professionals. It’ll give you a nice experience builder while you decide what your next choice is.
With you working with people, if you decide to transition to another field, you have plenty of soft skills experience.
Can I transfer My New Jersey License to Another State?
This varies from state to state. There are some states where a New Jersey license can be transferred over to while others may require you to take another course or finish a set amount of hours.
Do Certified Nurse Aide Licenses Last Forever?
Certified Nurse Aides must renew their license every two years and must have a specific amount of work hours to renew. It’s a great license to have, but you must use it to keep it.
If your license becomes expired, you’ll need to look into reinstatements. In some cases, you will need to undergo the full training again.
What is the Difference Between a Certified Nurse Aide and a Certified Home Health Aide?
The difference between a Certified Nurse Aide and a Certified Home Health Aide is that one works with one client at a time while the other supports a patient‘s health.
Home Health Aides provide basic personal care to clients.
These are other notable differences you can consider.
Certified Nurse Aides can perform job duties that home health aides may not. For instance, in nursing homes or facilities, a Nurse Aide is usually the primary caregiver and has more contact with the patient than any other staff member.
Home Health Aide Responsibilities:
shop for groceries
help clients eat
perform light housekeeping duties, such as laundry
provide occasional transportation where state regulations allow
Certified Nurse Aide Responsibilities:
transfers in and out of a bed, chair, or wheelchair
monitoring vital signs
documenting changes in health condition
reporting to doctors or nurses.
You’ll typically find Nurse Aides at a nursing home or facility whereas a Home Health Aide works one-on-one with a patient at their home.
You won’t make a wrong choice by being a Nurse Aide. There are directions that you can take to further your career. Whether you decide to be a Nurse Aide or move on, you’re in a good place.
For those interested in learning more about becoming a Nurse Aide program, there are organizations out there with great resources such as the National Network of Career and Nursing Association of Healthcare Assistants.
These two associations both discuss growing trends in healthcare and the impact that nursing assistants have.
A Nurse Aide program is rewarding. Certified Nurse Assistants can save up to 50% in tuition and books and become an RN faster when they pursue a Nurse Aide program. It’s essentially a bridge career.
It is important to note that Nurse Aides in New Jersey are needed. In addition to being needed, they can lead to better opportunities. Certified Nurse Assistants are currently in high demand and the need is projected to continue in the next decade.