Working as a Certified Nursing Assistant is a great way to hold down a reliable job and make a decent salary, but there are ways to get more out of the job. If you want to make more money or find better work, there are a few simple ways to accomplish all these things at once. Generally, the more experience you have, the more you can be paid for your time and energy. But there are some other ways to fast-track your learning process and prove to your employers that you have the experience needed to take on more responsibility and a bigger paycheck too.
1. Look for Extra Shifts
Many of the places that certified nursing assistants are employed – nursing homes, hospitals, assisted living communities – require staff on hand at all times. If you are not getting enough hours of work, being more flexible with your schedule will help you increase your salary. In many cases, there are evening, night, and weekend shifts that have openings for CNAs. With these extra hours, you can get your hours up to 40 a week or more. Your supervisors will appreciate a hard worker looking for ways to contribute more to the staff and may look to reward you in the future.
2. Get your CNA II
After you’ve completed your first certification as a nurse aide, you can go further and get an advanced certificate. The CNA II license is available to all nursing assistants and covers topics related nursing home supervision and personnel training. CNAs with their advanced certification are more often promoted and can start with a higher wage than entry-level nurse aides. Classes for CNA II licensing are available in many places where the first level is offered, but it may take some research to find a nearby program.
3. Take Specialty Courses
Much like the CNA II, specialty courses in healthcare that focus on specific fields of medical science and nursing focuses can improve your resume and increase your salary. Some states require nursing assistants to complete continued education credits for license renewal. Using this opportunity to improve your resume and qualifications can lead to a promotion, pay increase, or new work opportunities. Nurses can study in specific fields like cardiology, pediatrics, or drug rehabilitation. These courses will make your expertise broader and therefore more valuable to a wider range of medical facilities and employers.