How to Become a CNA Instructor in Florida: 4 Steps to This Rewarding Role
So, you're working in healthcare, and you live in Florida – two excellent decisions – you're off to a great start!
The need for more healthcare professionals is probably obvious to you. If you’ve been working as a nurse or a certified nursing assistant (CNA) yourself, you’re very familiar with the shortages that have many healthcare systems scrambling. Becoming a CNA instructor will let you train in more people who can ease this burden—and it will also provide a break from the bedside work and give you a change of scenery.
The the path to becoming a CNA instructor is pretty straightforward, but these four critical steps can’t be skipped! If you’re interested in making this role your own, read on!
First, what is a CNA?
If you aren’t already working in this position, it’s important to clarify that a certified nursing assistant provides essential support to patients.1 CNAs work directly with registered nurses in various medical settings, such as hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, as well as in-home healthcare and more. (CNAs are also known as nursing assistants.)
Nursing assistants make a meaningful difference in their patients' lives by assisting with their daily living activities. A CNA helps their patients with personal hygiene, which is a health concern as well as an important part of simple human comfort and dignity.2
Here is a quick glance at some of the responsibilities of a CNA:
- Assist in daily living activities (such as bathing, dressing, grooming and using the restroom)
- Transfer patients from one place to another
- Monitor and record vital signs
- Dress wounds
- Assist with feeding
- Operate and maintain certain medical equipment
- Provide emotional support and companionship
- Clean patient rooms
In this work, nursing assistants take on many different responsibilities to allow nurses to focus on other aspects of patient care.
Become a CNA instructor in Florida in 4 steps
If you are interested in stepping away from the bedside work of a CNA or nurse, becoming a certified nursing assistant instructor will give you a way to change what you do while still utilizing your valuable experience. CNA instructors have a direct hand in shaping the caretakers of tomorrow.
If you become a CNA instructor, you’ll teach students clinical skills and nursing fundamentals through a training course accredited by your state's board of nursing.3
In Florida, certified nursing assistant instructors must possess either an LPN or RN license (in the state of Florida) to train CNA students. If you have an LPN license, you’ll need to train certified nursing assistant students under the supervision of the program coordinator – who must hold an RN license in Florida.4
If you don’t already have a LPN or RN license, becoming a nurse is the first step you’ll need to take. Working CNAs can apply for a nursing school in Florida to take that next step in education.
If you’re already a nurse, skip ahead to step 2!
Here are the 4 steps you need to complete to become a CNA instructor in Florida:
1. Obtain LPN or RN licensure
You need to be a licensed nurse in the state of Florida to become a CNA instructor. This means prospective instructors must complete a state-approved LPN or RN program, pass their board exams (NCLEX-PN® and NCLEX-RN®) and a background check, and then apply for state licensure.
If you’re licensed as a nurse in a different state but want to work as a CNA instructor in Florida, send your credentials to the Florida Board of Nursing. If you hold a multistate nursing license, you may be qualified to practice in Florida without additional verification. Contact the Florida Board to verify that your license is the one you need.
2. Gain one year of nursing experience
You will need to have some practical clinical experience working in the field before becoming a CNA instructor in Florida. To be eligible to teach students, the Sunshine State requires you to have one year of clinical experience under your belt.
3. Gain teaching experience
According to the Florida Board of Nursing, you won’t be eligible to become a CNA instructor in Florida (also called a program instructor) until you also have one of the following three options on your application:4
- You’ve completed a course in how to teach adults
- You have at least one year of experience teaching adults
- You have at least one year of experience supervising nursing assistants
4. Complete CNA instructor training
Most states mandate the completion of a Train-the-Trainer® certification program – and Florida is no different. This specialized course meets federal guidelines for CNA training and will be tailored to the state of Florida.
When you've finished the course, you’ll receive a certificate of completion which you can show to employers.
*Note – You will not need to take this instructor course if you’ve had at least one year of experience teaching adults or at least one year of experience supervising nursing assistants.5
Is becoming a CNA instructor for you?
The first step to CNA instructor is to become a nurse! If you haven’t done that yet, take a look at what nursing school is like to decide if that’s a good move.
Becoming a CNA instructor can be transformative. If you are already working as a nurse and looking for something different, this role can also give you an idea of if you’d like getting into nursing education, which can open up all sorts of career options.
Would teaching be a good fit for you? Check out “Would I Be a Good Nurse Educator? 7 Qualities You’ll Need to Succeed.”
NCLEX-PN® and NCLEX-RN® are registered trademarks of National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc.
1U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Outlook Handbook - Nursing Assistants and Orderlies. Date accessed 7/31/23. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nursing-assistants.htm Information represents national, averaged data for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries, and employment conditions in your area may vary.
2EveryNurse. Personal Care: Bathing, Dressing, and Grooming Techniques for CNAs. Date accessed: 7/31/23. https://everynurse.org/providing-personal-care-techniques-for-cnas/
3Learn.org. How Can I Become a CNA Instructor? Date accessed 7/31/23. https://learn.org/articles/How_Can_I_Become_a_CNA_Instructor.html.
4Florida Department of Education. R Duckworth. Licensed Practical Nurse Teaching Certified Nursing Assistant Students. Date accessed 7/31/23. https://www.fldoe.org/core/fileparse.php/7671/urlt/LPNTeachingCNAMemo.pdf
5Case Text, Fla. Admin. Code R. 64B9-15.005 (2023). Date accessed 8/15/2023 https://casetext.com/regulation/florida-administrative-code/department-64-department-of-health/division-64b9-board-of-nursing/chapter-64b9-15-certified-nursing-assistants/section-64b9-15005-standards-for-certified-nursing-assistant-training-programs