Certified Nurse Assistants are professionals who work beside physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to provide direct patient care in a variety of healthcare environments. They play a vital role in the healthcare delivery setting, often having more patient contact that any other team member including doctors and nurses.

Certified Nurse Assistants help patients with many tasks that they cannot do for themselves while they are in hospitals, rehabilitation clinics, assisted living facilities, nursing homes or long-term care facilities.

CNA certification courses include both hands-on experience at healthcare facilities and basic biology and health coursework with an emphasis on areas such as safety regulations, CPR, infection control, and patient care. The classes include communication, recording vital signs, personal hygiene, and basic nutrition.

Upon completion of the CNA classes, students are eligible to take the State of Texas Nurse Aide Certification Examination. Upon passing the exam, students' names are added to the Certified Nurse Aide State Registry.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), employment of Certified Nurse Assistants is expected to grow through the year 2012 because of technological advances in medicine as well as the growth of an aging population.

This career will be a good choice if you are interested in medicine and want to care for others.

Requirements to enter this program are a high school diploma or a GED, current TB skin test and CPR, and a criminal background screening.