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Explore the Possibilities of a CNA Career

Learn more about the CNA life and get details about how to enroll in NextStep’s training-to-placement CNA program.

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CNA taking blood pressure

Career switch: Caregiving opens health care doors

December 1, 2021

If you’re just beginning to consider a health care career, you may feel a little overwhelmed by the maze of roles, education options and certification requirements. How long is this going to take me? How much will it cost? Will there be opportunities for career advancement?

Caregiving is a great solution because it is in its own right a rewarding, high-demand career. And, it opens doors to future career growth in the health care industry.

Personal Care Aide (PCA)

Typical salary: $12 to $14 per hour

Required education: High school diploma or GED (typically)

Training: NextStep National COVID-Ready Caregiver Certification

PCAs help their clients with everyday tasks such as household cleaning, running errands and personal hygiene. Just as important, they provide companionship. PCAs might work in someone’s home, a residential community or a senior center. They may report directly to a client’s family, or they may work for a facility or agency. 

NextStep’s National COVID-Ready Caregiver Certification gives you the tools you need to protect yourself and the people you care for from COVID-19. The course is delivered through a series of short videos featuring expert instructors like Dr. Vin Gupta, a pulmonary and intensive care physician and medical contributor to NBC News. 

Start learning now.

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

Typical salary with NextStep employer partner: $15 to $18 per hour

Required education: Nursing Assistant training and certification

Training: NextStep Nursing Assistant training-to-placement program (currently available in Colorado, Oregon and Washington)

Certified Nursing Assistants provide care for individuals who need help with daily tasks. CNAs may care for elderly people or someone who has had an acute health care event or injury. They may work in an individual’s home, at a nursing home, or in a long-term-care or assisted-living facility assisting clients with basic needs such as personal care, wellness monitoring and household tasks. They’re also a source of emotional support during what may be the most vulnerable time in their clients’ lives. 

NextStep’s blended-learning CNA program is flexible, easy and fast — you can finish in as little as six weeks. And, there’s a guaranteed job offer waiting after you're certified! You’ll learn CNA skills on your mobile or web device then get hands-on experience in practice labs and clinicals. 

Start learning now.

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

Typical salary: $25 to $28 per hour

Required education: One-year certification program

Training: NextStep training coming soon!

Licensed practical nurses provide a broad range of care for individuals ranging from administering medication to maintaining medical documentation and consulting with a registered nurse on care plans. LPNs have broad flexibility of work environment. They may provide care in an individual’s home, at a physician’s office, or in a long-term-care facility — or they can take a more adventurous route and become a travel nurse or work in the military.

Registered Nurse (RN)

Typical salary: $35 to $50 per hour

Required education: Bachelor of Science or associate degree 

Registered nurses provide a wide range of services to the individuals in their care, from administering medication to consulting with the rest of the health care team on treatment and care plans. RNs can work in a broad range of care environments, including hospitals. Working as a CNA is a great way to support yourself and gain valuable on-the-job skills as you study to become an RN.

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