Children's medical associates, also known as the CMAs (Certified Nurses Assisting), provide an essential service to medical facilities and medical professionals by helping prepare health care providers and patients for potential problems in the future. In fact, a CMAs' certificate program demonstrates a basic level of nursing knowledge while offering continuing education opportunities. Many people who hold this certification are able to fill a variety of nursing positions within hospitals and other medical settings, but if you do not have a bachelor's degree in nursing, you may want to pursue further education.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics has released data on the average wages earned by CNs for various CNL-certified nursing positions, including certified nursing assistants (CNA) in the United States. According to this data, CNA's make the highest average salary, with nurse's aides coming in second and the average wage for registered nurses third. While these statistics should not be interpreted to mean that CNA's are necessarily the highest paid nursing position available, it does point to the demand for these types of positions and the need to ensure that current CNAs are being appropriately prepared for career advancement.
The pay for CNAs is certainly competitive, especially for those who choose to focus on specialized duties. For example, most CNA certification programs involve training in one or two areas of clinical nursing. A typical program will include a course in physiology and laboratory procedures, as well as additional coursework in patient assessment and communication skills. However, depending on your specific training goals, you may need to take courses in more than one area in order to specialize in a particular area of nursing care.
You may also want to consider the cost of a children's medical associates certification before pursuing this type of certification. In general, certification programs are priced at a cost of about $500 for a BSN degree or higher. The cost of becoming a certified nurse assistant is typically lower; it usually involves only a high school diploma or GED (General Education Diploma). Even those who already hold a BSN can pursue a children's medical assistants degree to increase their chances of becoming a nurse aid. Those who already have this level of training can complete a certificate program, earning their associate's degree, and can then progress to a higher degree if they choose.
The salary of certified nursing assistants ranges widely depending on a number of factors. For example, a CNA who works in a hospital or long-term care . . . . . . facility can make significantly less money than a nurse assistant who works in a private practice setting. Additionally, working in a medical facility can allow for a higher salary because there are fewer medical risks and the job is safer, which means more money in the pocket.
Certified nursing assistants are required to pass a nationally recognized exam before they can start working, so students interested in a career path in this field will need to be prepared to pass the certification exam upon completion of the program. Those who already have a BSN should find that they can earn a better paying job and advance in their career as quickly as those who do not have a degree. If you do not have this level of education and certification, it is possible to get a degree at an accredited college or university, but there may be a cost associated with enrolling.