CNA Classes Prep Students for Future Careers

Is Nursing for You?


Laci Smith

Mrs. Kim Wasalaski show Brynne Friedrich (24) how to assist a patient with their dental work.

Jobs for certified nursing assistants are slowly declining in 2023 due to people at the age of 65 or older taking up only 15% of the population. However, high schoolers at GHS are willing to take on nursing jobs by taking CNA classes.
Certified Nursing Assistants are considered Nursing Assistants. They work directly with patients in nursing homes, hospitals, rehabilitation centers and many other places.
“In CNA, we have been learning a lot of different skills such as how to properly move and transfer residents from a wheelchair to a bed or wheelchair to a toilet,” senior Jenna Keasling said. “We learn other skills basically with routines, self-care things that they are not able to do for themselves.”
Being in a Certified Nursing class in high school can provide teens with lots of different opportunities and challenges. It gives basic knowledge and can help them get their license to be a certified nursing assistant before they even graduate.
“Being a CNA before becoming a higher nurse, like an RN or NP, definitely provides you with base knowledge,” Keasling said. “You do the dirty work and the hard work.”

Graphic by Laci Smith

Last semester, the class was given the opportunity to go to a nursing home in the community. They made new connections and put all of their knowledge to use.
“We went to Azria right across from Sonic,” Keasling said. “You could tell that we were able to impact them emotionally more than anything. Just holding conversations and engaging with them makes a big difference.”
When taking nursing, students should decide if it is a job for them. They need to have a good work ethic, patience and passion. If students don’t have those things, being a certified nursing assistant may not be the right fit.
“I would advise you to consider if being a CNA is something you’re going to want to do. You will be doing dirty work,” Keasling said. “You have to be motivated, you have to be willing to take on new challenges and be thrown into situations. Just be very open and take the opportunities you are given.”
If students find that CNA may not be for them and they still want to be in the medical field, medical terminology may be an option. Medical terminology offers another insight into the medical field. Students learn about the different body systems, how they work and different types of diseases.
“Medical Terminology, which we offer here at the high school, is really good for anybody who wants to go into the medical field regardless,”CNA instructor Ms. Kim Wasalaski said. “I’ve had students come back and tell me that the class was more helpful to them than anything else.”
In Certified Nursing classes at GHS, students continue to push themselves and succeed. They have a work ethic, patience and passion. So if students find themselves in a position where they want to take on nursing, CNA may be for them.