What Does a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Do?

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Certified nursing assistants (CNA) are responsible for providing care to patients and assisting them with day by day sports. This is a palms-on caregiver role providing primary fitness care and assistance, and it typically takes place in a nursing facility, retirement network, or clinic putting, below the supervision of a nurse. 

CNAs are certified in the country they work in, and certification necessities range by means of kingdom. In maximum, although, you’ll need to bypass a state-accepted education software and pass an exam to receive certification. Depending in your region, the task name may additionally vary. This way CNAs may also be certified as a licensed nurse's aide, certified nurse aide, or licensed nursing assistant.

If you’re inquisitive about the career, discover ways to become a CNA in addition to the activity responsibilities and wished qualifications, training, schooling, salary, and task outlook.

Duties & Responsibilities

Nursing assistants assist with basic care beneath the route of nurses and fitness-care body of workers, and that they normally work in a health-care or nursing facility. Duties encompass monitoring health fame, supporting with food, bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, or ambulation of sufferers. Job duties consist of:

  • Communicating with sufferers 
  • Measuring patients’ crucial symptoms
  • Reporting observations of affected person behavior, proceedings, or physical symptoms
  • Administering medicines or remedies
  • Cleaning and bathing patients
  • Helping patients with daily responsibilities, like getting dressed or using the toilet
  • Providing physical aid to assist sufferers with each day residing activities
  • Transporting patients the use of wheelchairs, stretchers, or movable beds
  • Setting up treating or testing equipment
  • Assisting nurses and docs with the operation of scientific equipment

Most nursing assistants paintings complete time, even though some work a component-time agenda. Flexibility to work nights, weekends, and holidays can be required due to the fact fitness-care centers provide round-the-clock care to sufferers.

Thirty-seven percent of CNAs are hired by way of professional nursing facilities or nursing houses. Other employers encompass hospitals (27%), retirement and assisted dwelling facilities (eleven%), domestic health-care services (five%), and government (4%).


A nursing assistant’s revenue varies primarily based on enjoy, certification, industry, geographical area, and other elements. As of 2020, the average nursing assistant makes the following pay: 

  • Median Annual Salary: $30,850 
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: Earned greater than $42,one hundred ten 
  • Bottom 10% Annual Salary: Earned less than $22,750 

Education, Training, & Certification

Most nursing assistant positions require a high faculty diploma or GED as well as participation in a proper training application and nation licensure. 


In many places, nursing assistants must entire a kingdom-approved training application that includes nursing training and supervised clinical paintings. Following this system, people need to additionally bypass a nation competency exam. In most states, a high college degree or GED is required.

Nursing assistant training packages are to be had at high schools, network schools, vocational and technical colleges, hospitals, nursing houses, and other health-care centers. Use CareerOneStop’s Local Training Finder to find a training application near you.


The federal government requires nursing assistants to finish at the very least 75 hours of training. Some states have a better requirement for licensing. For example, Indiana calls for 105 training hours, at the same time as Maine requires 180 hours.


CNAs might also need a nation-issued license or certification. In maximum states, certification is obtained after participating in education and taking a competency examination. Some states have additional necessities and certification alternatives, too.

See the Licensed Occupation Tool on CareerOneStop for facts approximately the certification requirements in your location. 

Skills & Competencies

In addition to having the bodily competencies essential to lift and circulate sufferers, nursing assistants additionally want the following smooth skills to speak effectively with sufferers and body of workers. 

  • Service orientation: This is a provider-oriented function. As such, nursing assistants want to show compassion and kindness whilst dealing with affected person care. They also need the persistence to deal with recurring responsibilities which includes cleaning, feeding, and bathing patients.
  • Communication skills: Nursing assistants require notable interpersonal abilties to speak with patients, circle of relatives, and other fitness-care workers. You will also need true reading comprehension skills to understand work-related files and relay statistics to scientific team of workers.
  • Technical talents: The capability to offer simple hospital therapy, along with measuring vital signs and symptoms, monitoring and recording food and liquid input and output, and administering remedy or remedies, are requirements for this role.
  • Physical energy and stamina: Nursing assistants want so one can elevate and maneuver sufferers and carry out other responsibilities that require bodily energy.

Job Outlook

The process outlook for nursing assistants is robust and will retain to improve as the infant boomer technology a long time. CNAs may be needed to assist care for an increasing number of older sufferers in nursing and residential-care facilities. 

This is a “Bright Outlook” career, specified through the U.S. Department of Labor’s O*Net OnLine. This approach the profession will develop hastily or have a huge range of to be had jobs inside the near future. Employment is projected to develop eight% between 2019 to 2029, a whole lot quicker than the 4% common increase rate of all occupations, in keeping with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Despite challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, there was an increase in hobby in colleges of nursing. In bachelor packages designed to prepare new registered nurses, enrollment extended via five.6% in 2020.

How To Get the Job


Before determining to sign up for the fitness-care industry, it’s vital to do your studies and understand what you'll be entering into. Learn more about the task obligations of CNAs, and examine whether or not the activity is a good suit to your enjoy and pastimes. Also, inspect the education and licensing requirements for your specific region.


You can move without delay to the website of care facilities to your location and observe for jobs published on their websites. Check sites like Care.com that listing caregiving jobs. You also can find nursing assistant job listings on task boards which includes Indeed.com, Glassdoor.com, and Zip Recruiter. Use seek terms like “CNA,” “nursing assistant,” “nurses aide,” and “affected person care aide” to generate a list of job openings.


Take the time to put together on your job interviews. To do so, you may answer commonplace interview questions to your very own or practice a mock interview with a pal or member of the family. Be ready to proportion data on why you are certified and interested by the role, in addition to your availability to work.

Related Job Titles

There are some of task titles that consist of nursing assistant process duties. Job titles will vary based on the function, business enterprise, nursing facility, and whether the assistant is certified, so make sure to do your research. Similar activity titles encompass:

  • Care Assistant
  • Certified Medication Aide (CMA)
  • Certified Nurse Aide (CNA)
  • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
  • Direct Care Assistant
  • Direct Care Worker
  • Geriatric Aide
  • Home Care Aide
  • Home Care Assistant
  • Hospice Assistant
  • Licensed Nursing Assistant (LNA)
  • Nurse’s Aide
  • Nursing Aide
  • Nursing Assistant
  • Patient Care Assistant (PCA)
  • Patient Care Associate
  • Personal Care Assistant
  • Resident Assistant

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