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Become A Certified Nursing Assistant

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Working As A Certified Nursing Assistant

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Getting Information
  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • $22,232

    Average Salary

What Does A Certified Nursing Assistant Do

Nursing assistants, sometimes called nursing aides, help provide basic care for patients in hospitals and residents of long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes. Orderlies transport patients and clean treatment areas.

Duties

Nursing assistants provide basic care and help with activities of daily living. They typically do the following:

  • Clean and bathe patients or residents
  • Help patients use the toilet and dress
  • Turn, reposition, and transfer patients between beds and wheelchairs
  • Listen to and record patients’ health concerns and report that information to nurses
  • Measure patients’ vital signs, such as blood pressure and temperature
  • Serve meals and help patients eat

Some nursing assistants also may dispense medication, depending on their training level and the state in which they work.

In nursing homes and residential care facilities, assistants are often the principal caregivers. They have more contact with residents than other members of the staff. Because some residents stay in a nursing home for months or years, assistants may develop close relationships with their residents.

Orderlies typically do the following:

  • Assist patients with moving about the facility, such as pushing wheelchairs
  • Clean equipment and facilities
  • Change linens
  • Stock supplies

Nursing assistants and orderlies work as part of a healthcare team under the supervision of licensed practical or licensed vocational nurses and registered nurses.

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How To Become A Certified Nursing Assistant

Nursing assistants must complete a state-approved education program and must pass their state’s competency exam. Orderlies generally have at least a high school diploma.

Education and Training

Nursing assistants must complete a state-approved education program in which they learn the basic principles of nursing and complete supervised clinical work. These programs are found in high schools, community colleges, vocational and technical schools, hospitals, and nursing homes.

In addition, nursing assistants typically complete a brief period of on-the-job training to learn about their specific employer’s policies and procedures.

Orderlies typically have at least a high school diploma and receive a short period of on-the-job training.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

After completing a state-approved education program, nursing assistants take a competency exam. Passing this exam allows them to use state-specific titles. In some states, a nursing assistant or aide is called a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), but titles vary from state to state.

Nursing assistants who have passed the competency exam are placed on a state registry. Nursing assistants must be on the state registry to work in a nursing home.

Some states have other requirements as well, such as continuing education and a criminal background check. Check with state boards of nursing or health for more information.

In some states, nursing assistants can earn additional credentials, such as becoming a Certified Medication Assistant (CMA). As a CMA, they can give medications.

Orderlies do not need a license, however, many jobs require a Basic Life Support (BLS) certification, which shows they are trained to provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Nursing assistants and orderlies must be able to communicate effectively to address patients’ or residents’ concerns. They also need to relay important information to other healthcare workers.

Compassion. Nursing assistants and orderlies assist and care for the sick, injured, and elderly. Doing so requires a compassionate and empathetic attitude.

Patience. The routine tasks of cleaning, feeding, and bathing patients or residents can be stressful. Nursing assistants and orderlies must have patience in order to complete these tasks.

Physical stamina. Nursing assistants and orderlies spend much of their time on their feet. They should be comfortable performing physical tasks, such as lifting or moving patients.

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Certified Nursing Assistant Videos

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Career Video from drkit.org

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Career Video from drkit.org

Signature HealthCARE - Walk A Mile In CNA Shoes

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Certified Nursing Assistant Career Paths

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Average Length of Employment
Nursing Attendant 3.8 years
Medication Aide 2.4 years
Nurses' Aide 2.3 years
Med Technician 2.2 years
Resident Aide 1.6 years
Top Careers Before Certified Nursing Assistant
Cashier 21.5%
Waitress 3.8%
Teller 3.3%
Server 3.1%
Volunteer 2.8%
Internship 2.3%
Manager 2.3%
Top Careers After Certified Nursing Assistant
Cashier 9.3%
Server 2.7%
Internship 2.4%

Do you work as a Certified Nursing Assistant?

Certified Nursing Assistant Demographics

Gender

Female

86.2%

Male

11.9%

Unknown

2.0%
Ethnicity

White

64.7%

Hispanic or Latino

13.9%

Black or African American

11.5%

Asian

6.6%

Unknown

3.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

68.0%

French

10.0%

Portuguese

2.5%

Tagalog

2.2%

German

2.0%

Russian

1.9%

Arabic

1.5%

Hindi

1.3%

Polish

1.3%

Chinese

1.1%

Italian

1.1%

Mandarin

1.1%

Hmong

0.9%

Japanese

0.9%

Swedish

0.8%

Vietnamese

0.8%

Filipino

0.7%

Swahili

0.7%

Cantonese

0.7%

Urdu

0.7%
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Certified Nursing Assistant Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

20.5%

Kaplan University

8.8%

Ultimate Medical Academy - Clearwater

6.6%

Ashford University

6.2%

Grand Canyon University

6.0%

Liberty University

5.2%

ECPI University

4.6%

Rasmussen College

3.9%

Community College of Rhode Island

3.9%

Hinds Community College

3.7%

Weber State University

3.6%

Greenville Technical College

3.2%

Walden University

3.2%

Kirkwood Community College

3.0%

Community College of Allegheny County

3.0%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.0%

Trident Technical College

3.0%

Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana

2.9%

Everest Institute

2.9%

American InterContinental University

2.8%
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Majors

Nursing

35.5%

Nursing Assistants

19.7%

Medical Assisting Services

7.8%

Business

6.4%

Health Care Administration

5.7%

Psychology

3.0%

General Studies

2.9%

Criminal Justice

2.4%

Medical Technician

2.3%

Health/Medical Preparatory Programs

2.1%

Biology

1.5%

Human Services

1.5%

Social Work

1.3%

Education

1.3%

Health Sciences And Services

1.2%

Liberal Arts

1.2%

Pharmacy

1.2%

Accounting

1.1%

Management

1.0%

Cosmetology

0.9%
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Degrees

Other

44.7%

Bachelors

16.5%

Associate

16.4%

Certificate

11.1%

Masters

4.3%

Diploma

3.7%

License

3.0%

Doctorate

0.3%
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Certified Nursing Assistant Videos

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Career Video from drkit.org

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Career Video from drkit.org

Signature HealthCARE - Walk A Mile In CNA Shoes

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Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Certified Nursing Assistant Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Lead CNA and Staffing Coordinator Victoria Special Care Center El Cajon, CA Sep 15, 2016 $75,234
Nursing Aide/Assistant Lonika's Place Mission Viejo, CA Jun 05, 2008 $47,897
Nurse Assistant Lita & Ava Inc. DBA A Grace Sub-Acute & Skilled San Jose, CA May 31, 2016 $38,958
Nursing Assistants SAH-Rang-Bong Care Inc. Columbia, MD May 21, 2015 $31,970
Nurse Assistant George Primbs, Md Santa Barbara, CA Oct 02, 2007 $31,305
Nursing Assistant Arizona and 21St. Corp. Santa Monica, CA Oct 28, 2015 $30,742
Certified Nursing Assistant The Saratoga Hospital NY Jun 03, 2013 $30,679
Nurse Assistant Lita & Ava Inc. DBA A Grace Sub-Acute & Skilled San Jose, CA Jun 06, 2016 $29,682
Nursing Assistant Cecilia Joy Bollers Lanham, MD Mar 20, 2008 $29,162
Nursing Assistant Cecilia Joy Bollers Lanham, MD Sep 23, 2008 $29,162
Certified Nursing Assistant Elms of Cranbury Cranbury, NJ Nov 12, 2009 $28,571
Certified Nursing Assistant Elms of Cranbury Cranbury, NJ May 29, 2008 $28,571
Nursing Assistant Andover Partners LLC Houston, TX Sep 15, 2013 $28,000
Nursing Assistant Presbyterian Homes & Services Ankeny, IA Jul 25, 2016 $27,893
Certified Nursing Assistant Carrington Court South Jordan, UT Apr 15, 2016 $25,044 -
$29,218
Nursing Aide/Assistant Golden Coast Senior Living, Inc. Mission Viejo, CA Feb 01, 2008 $24,460
Nursing Assistants McIntosh Senior Living McIntosh, MN Nov 17, 2014 $24,209 -
$26,296
Nursing Assistant McIntosh Senior Living McIntosh, MN Nov 17, 2014 $24,209 -
$26,296
Nursing Assistant/Social Assistannce Services A & M Assisted Living Facility, Inc. Palm Bay, FL Apr 01, 2015 $24,001 -
$29,218
Certified Nurse Assistant Virginia Hospital Center Arlington, VA Dec 17, 2009 $24,001 -
$26,734
Nursing Assistant Carrington Court South Jordan, UT Feb 18, 2016 $24,001 -
$25,044
Nursing Assistant Heath Village Hackettstown, NJ Jun 27, 2008 $22,748
Certified Nursing Assistant Arcadia Nursing & Rehabilitation Center Hamilton, NJ Sep 23, 2015 $21,798
Nursing Assistant Master Staffing Inc. Glendale, CA Dec 27, 2016 $21,778
Nursing Assistant Master Staffing Inc. Glendale, CA Aug 25, 2016 $21,778 -
$21,840
Nursing Assistant Master Staffing Inc. Glendale, CA Aug 26, 2016 $21,778 -
$21,840

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Top Skills for A Certified Nursing Assistant

  1. ADL
  2. Personal Care
  3. CNA
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Certified Nurse's Assistant, Bergen Regional Medical Center Assist patient with ADL and personal hygiene.
  • Assisted patients in meeting their personal care needs and provided individualized attention while encouraging patient involvement in self-care.
  • Worked as a CNA in the vent unit, providing ADL care for paraplegic, quadriplegic and other patients requiring venting.
  • Assisted the registered nurses with checking vital signs and kept the nurses informed about pertinent information about patient's condition.
  • Recorded vital signs, including temperature, blood pressure, pulse and respiration rate, as directed by medical or nursing staff

What is it like to work as a Certified Nursing Assistant

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CNA

April 3, 2019 on Zippia

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Top 10 Best States for Certified Nursing Assistants

  1. Minnesota
  2. Alaska
  3. New Hampshire
  4. New York
  5. North Dakota
  6. Rhode Island
  7. Oregon
  8. Florida
  9. Wisconsin
  10. Vermont
  • (1,109 jobs)
  • (70 jobs)
  • (373 jobs)
  • (1,542 jobs)
  • (84 jobs)
  • (178 jobs)
  • (431 jobs)
  • (1,760 jobs)
  • (811 jobs)
  • (137 jobs)

Top Certified Nursing Assistant Employers

Jobs From Top Certified Nursing Assistant Employers

Certified Nursing Assistant Videos

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Career Video from drkit.org

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Career Video from drkit.org

Signature HealthCARE - Walk A Mile In CNA Shoes

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