So you've decided to become a Certified Nursing Assistant, or CNA. Embarking on this career path is exciting, and you are probably eager to get the ball rolling. The first step is to complete your CNA program. If you live in or near Portland, OR, you can take your pick from a wide assortment of approved CNA programs. Some are located right in Portland while others are out in the suburbs. Either way, these programs are geared toward ensuring that you pass the certification exam the first time. With that out of the way, you can apply for and obtain your CNA license and start looking for work.
Top 4 Portland CNA Programs
If you've done any searching at all for CNA programs in Portland, you already know that there are all kinds of options. In fact, you may be feeling fairly overwhelmed and uncertain about how to proceed. It's crucial to select a program that is reputable and has a track record for helping students pass the certification exam. A great way to quickly identify such programs is by considering popular Portland CNA programs. Here are four particularly good examples to get your search off to a productive start:
- University of Phoenix's program - This school has campuses nationwide, including one that's right in Portland. It offers a Medical Assisting program that's a bit more extensive than the typical CNA program, but it's worth it if you have the time to devote to several months of school. Like most CNA programs, it includes classroom lectures, laboratory exercises, and clinical practice at local skilled nursing facilities. The latter is especially important because it exposes you to typical CNA work environments and gives you a feel for what it is like to work directly with patients.
- Clark College's program - Clark College is located in Vancouver, WA, which is about 10 miles from downtown Portland. If you need your certification to be in Oregon, however, this is the wrong program because it is designed to help you pass the State of Washington Nurse Assistant Exam. If you are fine with working in Washington, it's worth your consideration. This 10-credit-hour program runs about 10 weeks in length; if you take it during the summer, it's only eight weeks. You must be at least 18 years old to enroll. A high school diploma or GED is recommended, but not required.
- Lower Columbia College's program - Another school that is based in Washington, Lower Columbia College is located about 45 miles from Portland in Longview. Its Nursing Assistant Certificate Program arms you with the knowledge and skills that you need to pass the NNAAP, which is the national certification exam for CNAs. The nice thing about this is that it applies to the entire country. However, you must apply for your license in the state in which you plan to work. The program is eight credit hours, so it's middle-of-the-road in terms of length. However, it is highly regarded, and students tend to pass the exam with ease.
- Portland Community College's program - Portland Community College, or PCC, is located in Sylvania, which is about 10 miles from downtown Portland. Because it is approved by the Oregon State Board of Nursing, or OSBN, you can rest assured that it includes all of the elements that are needed to properly prepare you for the exam and for your career as a CNA. Its Certified Nurse Assistant Program consists of 80.5 hours of classroom instruction and labs and 75 hours of clinical, hands-on education at local skilled nursing facilities. Conveniently, daytime and evening options are available, so this program can accommodate just about any schedule.
At this point, you should have a fairly clear idea about what to look for in a CNA program. As luck would have it, there are numerous such programs in and around the Portland metro area, so finding one that suits your requirements should be a snap. However, don't rush the process of selecting one. Take your time and do lots of research to ensure that you choose a great program the first time. That way, you will complete your education quickly, and you will earn your CNA license and be eligible to start applying for jobs before you know it.