Each year, thousands of qualified young people graduate college with little idea of what they want to do, and even less available job options. Many highly qualified graduates could be a part of a highly successful industry, with an equally high demand.
The health care industry has a huge need for capable certified nursing assistants to become home health aides for elderly people in need, and while becoming one can be difficult and time consuming, it is also extremely rewarding, as it provides an opportunity to connect with other human beings on a deep level. Curious to see if you have what it takes? Take a closer look into one of the more successful areas for home health aide jobs in New Jersey.
Federal Requirements needed before obtaining Home Health Aide Jobs in New Jersey
There are several different options one can take if you are looking to become a health care professional, but one of the most common is to receive a certificate through federal training.
The National Association for Home Care and Hospice provides a set of minimum requirements through the National Licensing Program, which include completing a set amount of hours spent training and applying hands-on skills that display a general knowledge of home care subjects, from bathroom hygiene to nutritional needs. Upon gaining these hours and passing an examination, many CNA’s and Home Health Aides are able to find jobs very quickly, and depending on the state, can receive full reimbursement for their education as long as they are employed within a year of passing their exam.
Home Health Aide jobs in NJ State Requirements
Home Health Aide jobs in NJ are definitely worth the training. At 9% higher than the national average, the average Certified Nursing Assistant (or “Certified Nurse Aide”) in New Jersey brings in around $32,000 per year, including benefits. Even with offering one of the highest CNA salaries in the country, the state still presents a huge demand for full time, licensed Certified Nursing Assistants.
The state is one of the best examples of health care as a “recession proof” industry. The high salaries do come at a price: some of the stricter regulations for obtaining a Certified Nursing Assistant license.
New Jersey’s standards for CNA Training include a much higher total number of hours than prescribed by federal requirements. A minimum of 90 hours of course training are required, 15 hours higher than the federal minimum of 75. 50 of these are designated for classroom participation, and 40 for on the job, hands-on instruction by a supervisor.
Upon gaining all 90 hours, a two-part test must be passed, with a written section and a live demonstration of the tester’s skill set.
The exam, ringing in at $86, is administered by Pearson Vue, which also offers some practice tests before the big day itself. After passing the exam, the certification must be renewed every two years by providing proof of at least eight hours being employed as a Certified Nursing Assistant.
There are many opportunities for reimbursement of Certified Nursing Assistant training in New Jersey. Once a candidate has completed the training and testing, and has attained a CNA license, they can receive 100% of their money back from training as long as they have begun work in a long-term care facility.
Personal Care and Support Professionals
The standards set by the The National Association for Home Care and Hospice for Certified Nurses Assistant certification are considered mandatory for any worker looking to find employment in a federally funded hospital, but for those who are looking more to be employed under their own auspices, other possible options are available.
In 2011, the Direct Care Alliance created the Personal Care and Support Credential, which was created to provide would-be home health aides with a direct opportunity to prove essential abilities in the personal care industry. This 50 questions exam costs $140 to take, and successful test takers are given the title of “Personal Care and Support Professional.” It is passed by many (almost 80%) on the first attempt. The test is constantly being improved and updated through the work of an in-house group of experienced direct care professionals, and each exam question is assessed for accuracy and changed accordingly if needed.
This test has been formed to provide a more direct certification route for self-employed home health aides, but it has come under some fire by some critics. It has not been given any approval by the federal government, or any of the 50 states’ health certification programs.
The most commonly voiced criticism has been that the effectiveness of this exam is only intended for health care professionals who are under the employ of private duty agencies, and of little to no benefit for anyone who is already working for a federally funded health care program. While it is a great credential to be considered a Personal Care and Support Professional for the self-employed, one must consider other options if they are looking to extend their services elsewhere.
Taking in stride the rigorous amount of hours needed for certification, the opportunities for home health aide jobs in NJ are some of the best in the country, if not the east coast. If you can stand weathering the tests, and the 90 hours of training, a salary that’s 9% higher than the national average, benefits, and almost guaranteed employment await you. Not a bad way to begin a career path. Clearly, in New Jersey especially, the health care industry is alive, well, and enthusiastic to introduce new professionals into its field.