One misconception that many nurses have is that it is necessary to do a series of tests in order to get a nursing license or become a Certified Nursing Assistant. That’s simply not true. Although it is true that a CNA has to successfully pass a CNA exam, that exam only measures one aspect of nursing – patient care. To become an effective CNA, you will need much more than a CNA certification. Let me explain.
A CNA needs to learn how to deal with difficult patients, how to recognize risky symptoms, how to work with sick and frail patients, and how to give directions to doctors and/or nurses in a humane manner. These are skills that cannot be taught in a classroom. A nursing student who has not learned these skills by studying under a registered nurse or taking a CNA course will not be a suitable candidate for certification when he or she graduates.
Another misconception is that it is necessary to have been performing community nursing for a long time in order to have a lot of experience. In fact, plenty of CNAs have started their careers without ever having even been certified by R Nurses (registered nurses). On the other hand, I know of some CNAs who started working as home health aides or as receptionists within six months of getting their nursing licenses. There is no reason for a nursing student to expect to be employed immediately after passing the state exam. It takes at least three years to complete the state nursing licensure course, and even longer for a certified nursing assistant to gain full-time employment as a nurse. If you want to become a CNA, start your job training as soon as possible.
Most students believe that the CNA test can be taken online. That is not true. While it is certainly possible to take tests online today, the exams are typically administered over the telephone and require a lot more attention than they do online. If you are going to have success with taking tests over the phone, you might as well get a teacher.
Another common myth is that you do not have to reapply for the NCLEX every year. In fact, many schools now post a reminder on the school Web site not to forget to apply for the NCLEX every year. This is not just a tradition designed to make students feel good about renewing their nursing degrees. There are important considerations to think about when it comes time to apply for another exam. Even if you don’t have to reapply, it’s a good idea to do so anyway to keep track of your progress toward earning your nursing license. If the NCLEX exam has not yet passed and you believe that you may need to take it again, you’ll know exactly how much time you’ve lost since your previous attempt.
Some people believe that their scores will be lowered because of having taken the wrong tests in the past. This isn’t true. Your scores are calculated based on how much you’ve learned throughout the year. If you’ve spent three years studying and you still haven’t earned a nursing license, it’s likely that your scores won’t be lowered too much by the time you take the licensing exam.
When it comes to studying and getting those needed nursing tests, it helps to know when the right time is to do so. Taking into consideration the test dates, and knowing what’s ahead of you, is definitely one way to get the most out of your studying and exam preparation. Knowing the right times to study for your test is important for those who are planning to sell a timeshare.