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Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

What is it?

A certified nursing assistant (CNA), also sometimes called a nursing assistant or nurse’s aide, provides basic care and support to patients in various healthcare settings like hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and even in-home care settings. They work under the supervision of licensed nurses and other healthcare professionals, playing a crucial role in ensuring patients’ well-being and comfort.

Here’s a breakdown of some key responsibilities of a certified nursing assistant:

Daily Living Activities (ADLs):

  • Assisting with basic needs: CNAs help patients with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, and eating. This may involve providing physical assistance, offering reminders, and ensuring patients are comfortable and safe.
  • Mobility assistance: They may help patients move around safely, including transferring them from beds to chairs or wheelchairs, using assistive devices like walkers or canes, and ambulating with support.
  • Maintaining a clean and comfortable environment: CNAs may help keep patients’ rooms and living spaces clean and organized, changing bed linens, and ensuring a comfortable environment.

Patient Monitoring:

  • Taking vital signs: CNAs may measure and record vital signs such as temperature, blood pressure, pulse, respiration, and oxygen saturation, reporting any abnormalities to nurses.
  • Monitoring patient conditions: They may observe patients for changes in their physical and emotional well-being, reporting any concerns to nurses or other healthcare professionals.
  • Assisting with feeding and hydration: CNAs may help patients who have difficulty eating or drinking independently, ensuring they receive proper nutrition and hydration.

Communication and Documentation:

  • Communicating with patients and families: CNAs build rapport with patients, listen to their concerns, and address their non-medical needs. They may also communicate with families and update them on patients’ conditions.
  • Documenting care provided: They accurately document the care they provide, including patient responses, observations, and any changes in their condition, ensuring clear communication and continuity of care.

Additional tasks may include:

Under proper guidance, CNAs may assist with collecting samples like blood or urine for testing.

They may help prepare patients for certain procedures and assist nurses during the process, following instructions and maintaining a sterile environment.

CNAs offer companionship and emotional support to patients, listening to their concerns and fostering a sense of well-being.

* Salary Range

$31,800 - $41,500

(entry level – experienced)

* Regional Jobs Available


(3 year forecast)

Length of Training

2-14 weeks

Type of Training

In Person/Hybrid

Is it Right For You?

Here are some essential skills and qualities for success as a certified nursing assistant:

  • Compassion and empathy: A genuine desire to care for others and understand their needs is essential.
  • Patience and positive attitude: Working with patients can require patience, understanding, and a positive attitude to create a supportive environment.
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills: Effective communication with patients, families, and other healthcare professionals is crucial.
  • Physical stamina and ability to work long hours: The job can be physically demanding and may involve standing for extended periods, assisting with transfers, and providing hands-on care.
  • Organizational skills and attention to detail: CNAs need to be organized, manage their time effectively, and pay close attention to detail to ensure patient safety and well-being.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team: They need to be able to work independently on assigned tasks, while also collaborating effectively with other healthcare professionals.

Overall, certified nursing assistants play a vital role in the healthcare system by providing essential care and support to patients, contributing to their daily lives and overall well-being. It’s a rewarding career path for individuals seeking to make a positive impact on others and work in a caring and supportive environment.

* Pay Range Data: Occupational Employment Wages Statistics (OEWS). 2023-Q3.
* Demand: Forecast data is based off national projections provided by the BoLS and adapted for regional growth patterns by Chmura.