The certified nursing aide field is wide open in Colorado. In this state, 32 percent of the current nurses are approaching retirement age. On average, 2,000 nurses face retirement each year. The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment predicts that the need for certified nursing aides, CNA, in Colorado will grow 29 percent in the next five years. This translates into much needed jobs in a state where unemployment hovers around eight percent. This means the time is ideal to become a CNA, in Colorado.
Starting in the nursing profession as an aide has advantages. Some of the advantages are the amount of schooling is short, cost of schooling is low, and jobs are numerous.
To become a nursing aide takes a person who does not mind shift work, can take long hours on their feet and does not mind working weekends and holidays.
To enter the field of nursing as a second career is done all the time. The average age of nurses in this country is around 45 and 11 percent of the nurses in the country are over 60. So a person is never too old to think about entering a new career as a nursing aide.
There are no age limits in becoming a CNA in Colorado. In fact, high school students can attend programs and even some high schools in Colorado have CNA programs.
A student wishing to become a nursing aide needs to enroll in approved Colorado Board of Nursing CNA program. Once the student has finished his 107 hours of training which usually takes 12 weeks or one college semester, the student must fill an application out to take the final board exam.
The applicant pays a fee of $95 in the state of Colorado which is not refundable. This fee allows the applicant to take the Board of Nursing exam. The State Board of Nursing exam of Colorado has 70 multiple choice questions on the exam and then the students need to complete a practical exam. This is known as the skills portion of the exam. On this part, the applicant has to perform five skills in 25 minutes. Both parts of the test must be completed that day.
During the application process an applicant for whatever reason can request an oral test. The oral test has the same amount of questions but is administered by cassette tape.
A criminal conviction is not an automatic disapproval. The ultimate factor is patient safety. All crimes must be reviewed by the board of nursing. The board reviews any criminal activity before making a decision. The board makes a review only after the applicant passes a board approved program.
The nursing board reviews any crimes an applicant committed to see if the applicant is fit for licensing. Rosemary McCool, Colorado Director of Division of Registrations, said “One way the Division safeguards consumers is by issuing licenses to fully qualified, competent and ethical applicants.” She also adds that applicants must comply with this process and submit all criminal activity. Any omission on part of the applicant will be grounds for denial of the applicant.
This means an applicant must be sure to list all relevant disciplinary complaints, arrests, charges and convictions. McCool reiterated that licensure is a privilege not a right.
Colorado faces a need for nursing aides and nurses in the next five years. Tuition costs are low and a person can work while they attend classes at night. In some cases, financial aid is available. What a great time to make a career change or start a new one.