Qualifications and Requirements
California has a lot of specific requirements for aspiring Certified Nurse Assistants. An applicant must be at least 16 years of age and pass a full, criminal background check without any felonies on record. The state requires applicants to complete a state-approved precertification CNA training program consisting of at least 60 classroom hours. On top of this, applicants must also complete 100 hours of supervised and on-the-job training within a healthcare facility or intermediate care institution. Two hours of the 60 classroom hours and four hours of the 100 supervised clinical hours must address the treatment of patients with development and mental disorders or mental illness. Further specifications on training include at least six hours of recognizing and preventing resident abuse, with another four hours spent to recognize and report resident rights violations. If you plan to work at a Medicare or Medicaid facility, another 16 hours must be spent on orientation for that specific facility before a CNA is permitted to provide patient-care there. Most of the state-approved training programs will be subject to these requirements and take responsibility for ensuring that CNAs in training receive all the necessary components, but it is helpful to know for yourself in order to make sure you are in the right program. With your application, you must include a fingerprint card or already have yours on file with the state department.
Wage and Cost
The average salary of a CNA working in California is around $26,500 along a pay-scale ranging between $21,800 and $31,200. This is one of the widest ranges of pay among all of the states and reflects the massive size of the west-coast state. Your location in California and the type of institution that employs you will influence your salary. For example, if you work in Eureka, in the northern region of the state, you can expect a lower salary than if you work in the more populous southern region in a city like Los Angeles. Among the other CNAs across the United States, Californian CNAs make relatively more money. But again, remember that the location within California may determine your salary, which may not be as competitive as other regions. There are no application fees, but state-approved training programs and test vendors may have many different rates and prices. Check the California Department of Health website for specific information on approved programs and test centers. CNA classes and online training is available through multiple programs.