Your Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) training should include many tools for passing the CCNA Exam. The main tools should include some type of CCNA reading material along with a CCNA lab, and any other CCNA lab workbooks that you can get your hands on. If possible video courses would be great if you're choosing the self study route while extra lab time would be a good idea if you're taking an instructor based course.
The CCNA is the foundation for building up to the more challenging Cisco exams. Cisco is currently dominating the networking market so learning their equipment is really ideal before moving on to others. Many real world organizations depend on Cisco's technology and equipment for adapting to the fast past world of information Technology.
During your CCNA studies you will learn many valuable concepts and technologies that will no doubt help you in your future networking world. Such concepts as VLAN's, routing protocols, routing devices, and so on. You will also learn how to troubleshoot certain technologies and when. Don't be afraid to run those show and debug commands in your labs to really get a good grasp of what's happening in there.
The CCNA certifications are valid for three years. If you wish to recertify it, you should pass at least one of the following exams. The Interconnecting Cisco networking devices (ICND) part 2 exam, the current CCNA or CCDA written exam, Cisco specialist exam, or really any of the higher level exams such as the CCNP.