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Vermont’s certified nursing assistants (CNAs) are in high demand by healthcare employers across the state. To benefit from this rise in employment, aspiring CNAs must complete a brief training program and pass a state certification exam. Fortunately, several of Vermont’s nursing schools offer top-tier CNA certificate programs.

The role of a certified nursing assistant
Nursing assistants play a very important role in hospitals and nursing homes. They are often the primary caregivers to patients in need. Nursing assistants provide basic quality-of-life care to patients undergoing recovery, rehabilitation, or long-term treatment. Nursing knowledge, physical dexterity, and communication are the most crucial skills for successful CNAs. These skills can be acquired through a brief CNA certificate program; indeed, most training programs last no more than ten to twelve weeks. They cover practical skills like anatomy, physiology, excretory procedures, grooming, and bed-making.

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Career outlook for Vermont’s CNAs
Although CNA training is brief, the rewards are significant. Besides the joy that comes from helping others, nursing assistants earn a pretty good living. Vermont’s 3,000 CNAs earn a median annual salary of $26,500 per year, with top earners receiving close to $30,000 in annual pay. In addition, the employment outlook is excellent. Employment for nursing assistants is expected to increase 21 percent over the coming decade, one of the largest occupational growth rates. Genesis Healthcare, the state’s largest nursing employer, is frequently hiring newly minted CNAs. So too are local hospitals like University of Vermont Medical Center and healthcare providers like the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

To help Vermont’s aspiring CNAs prepare for their nursing careers, we’ve listed below several of the top nursing assistant certificate programs in the state.