How Can I Become a CNA Instructor?

Research the training and educational requirements to become a CNA instructor. Learn more about job outlook, key skills, salary and employment opportunities. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a CNA Instructor?

CNA instructors teach postsecondary classes to students registered in a certified nursing assistant (CNA) program. Their goal is to prepare the students to become qualified certified nursing assistants. As part of their duties they will develop lesson plans that cover the course curriculum. They teach classes using these lesson plans. CNA instructors then use tests, assignments and practical demonstrations to assess the progress of their students. They may also be known as nursing professors or postsecondary nursing teachers.

Degree Required Associate's or bachelor's degree in nursing
Training Required Minimum 2 years working as a registered nurse (RN), training course for CNA instructors
Key Skills In-depth nursing knowledge, teaching expertise, interpersonal communication
Licensure Registered nurse (RN) licensure
Job Growth (2014-2024)* 19% (for all postsecondary nursing instructors and teachers)
Average Salary (2015)* $73,150 (for all postsecondary nursing instructors and teachers),
$71,000 (for registered nurses)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are the Job Duties of a CNA Instructor?

As a CNA instructor, your duties involve preparing educational materials for students, reviewing course content and ensuring that the information being taught is up-to-date with current techniques and methods. You identify any issues with the curriculum and make suggestions for fixing them. You also shape the CNA program through setting program goals and objectives.

You teach students in the classroom and clinical settings. You may teach students hands-on care techniques, how to serve meals to patients, the proper way to take vital statistics and the legal issues concerning patient's rights. You also teach students to assess patients for warning signs of medical conditions. In the course, you may teach cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid or you may offer courses in those areas, taught by certified instructors.

Additional duties may include keeping student records, following school policies, offering tutoring, maintaining your classroom and monitoring training outside the classroom. You may gather feedback from students upon completion of the course, having them rate you and the curriculum. You must ensure all students who pass your class are ready to take and pass the CNA certification test.

What Education or Other Training Do I Need?

To be a CNA instructor you first must be a licensed RN. You need a bachelor's degree in nursing and must pass the National Council Licensure Examination. Licensing is handled by each state's nursing board.

Most employers prefer to hire those who have completed a training course for CNA instructors, and you also need at least two years of experience in the nursing field. Some employers prefer previous CNA teaching experience. CNA instructor programs are usually about a week long, providing training in state CNA regulations, teaching techniques, curriculum development and student evaluation.

Where Can I Find a Job?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2015, the highest levels of employment for postsecondary nursing instructors were at colleges or universities, junior colleges, general medical and surgical hospitals, technical and trade schools and business schools.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

The work that CNA instructors do is similar to the work of all postsecondary teachers, particularly those instructing health specialties. Health specialties teachers cover health-related topics, which may be similar to classes that CNA instructors teach. They can enter the field with a bachelor's degree, but the majority have a doctoral degree; like CNA instructors they prepare lesson plans, teach classes and evaluate student performance. Career and technical education teachers also perform some similar duties, and may teach healthcare classes. They prepare lesson plans, teach classes and grade student performance, like CNA instructors, but they work with students who are in middle school or high school. They need a bachelor's degree.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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