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What Does a Certified Nursing Assistant Do?

If you’re looking for a fulfilling job that makes a difference, then consider becoming a certified nursing assistant (CNA). Frequently referred to as nurses aides, they provide hands-on healthcare to patients in hospitals, nursing homes and other medical settings. Their responsibilities often vary from recording vital signs to helping bathe and dress patients. At long-term care facilities, they often assist residents with the activities of daily living.

They generally work as part of a health care team that helps patient reach their highest level of functioning and independence.

Certified nursing assistants often see people at their most vulnerable, so being kind while providing dignity to the patient is crucial. CNAs ensure the safety of patients and provide emotional, psychological and even spiritual support.

Night, weekend and holiday work is often required.

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Median Salary $
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Certified nursing assistants provide hands-on care to patients
Openings for nursing assistants are expected to grow faster than the average job as baby boomers age. (Credit:
Duties + Responsibilities
  • Clean and bathe patients while providing privacy and dignity
  • Help patients get dressed
  • Turn, reposition to avoid bed sores
  • Transfer patients between beds and wheelchairs and help them maintain or increase their ability to walk
  • Observe, listen to and document patients’ health concerns or changes in condition and report that information to nurses
  • Measure patients’ vital signs, such as blood pressure and temperature
  • Serve meals and help patients eat
  • Follow infection control procedures 
  • Help maintain a clean and organized environment
Education + Training

Nursing assistants often need to complete a state-approved education program that includes both instruction on the principles of nursing and supervised clinical work. These programs are available in high schools, community colleges, 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. Rules vary by state, but most students must pass a state certification exam and get listed on their state's CNA registry. CNA certification typically lasts two years.

You May Be a Good Fit for This Position If You
  • Have excellent communication skills
  • Are compassionate to those in need
  • Have the patience and physical stamina to perform routine tasks
  • Have a good understanding of medical technology
  • Are a good problem-solver
  • Have the ability to adapt and improvise

Certified Nursing Assistant training in your area


Advanced Nursing Assistant Certificate

Iowa Western Community College
Council Bluffs (0.0 Miles)

Certified Nursing Assistant Certification

West Los Angeles College
Culver City (0.0 Miles)

Certified Nursing Assistant/ Geriatric Nursing Assistant (CNA/GNA) Workforce Training Certificate

College of Southern Maryland
La Plata (0.0 Miles)

Nursing Assistant/Home Health Aide Certificate

Middlesex Community College (MA)
Bedford (0.0 Miles)

CNA Certificate

Chaffey College
Rancho Cucamonga (0.0 Miles)

Nursing Assisting Certificate

Lakeland Community College
Kirtland (0.0 Miles)

Nursing Assistant I Refresher

Mitchell Community College
Statesville (0.0 Miles)

Nursing Assistant Certificate

Calhoun Community College
Tanner (0.0 Miles)

Technical Competency Area in Nurse Assistant

Louisiana Delta Community College
Lake Providence (0.0 Miles)

Enhanced Nurse Aide Certificate I

Paris Junior College
Paris (0.0 Miles)

Certified Nurse Aide Certificate

Wichita State University Tech WSU Tech
Wichita (0.0 Miles)

Patient Care Technician Certificate

Midlands Technical College
West Columbia (0.0 Miles)
Meet Ambassador Johndarius Akins
Johndarius Akins, certified nursing assistant ambassador
Meet Ambassador Johndarius Akins

As a child, Johndarius Akins dreamed of becoming a pediatrician.

“I knew that I wanted to be a part of the medical field so that I could help people who were in need physically, mentally or emotionally,” says the 31-year-old certified nursing assistant. “It brings me a sense of joy to lend a helping hand, have a listening ear and to provide the utmost care to others.” Learn more of his story.

Find Certified Nursing Assistant Jobs in Your Area


Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) CV Step Down

Atlantis ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 week 6 days ago

Nursing Assistant (CNA) $3,000 Sign-on Bonus - 60% FTE, Day/Evening - Thoracic-B4/3 - University Hospital

UW Health Partners
Madison ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 week 2 days ago

Cert Nursing Asst 8th Floor - 12 Hr - SFMC Med Surg

Mission Regional Medical center
Lynwood ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 2 months ago

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

Centers for Specialty Care Group
Saratoga Springs ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 month 2 weeks ago

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

Life Care Centers of America
Chattanooga ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 6 months 3 weeks ago

Patient Care Tech (PCT) - Pediatrics

LifePoint Hospitals
Las Cruces ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 3 months 2 weeks ago

Certified Nursing Assistant

Genesis Healthcare LLC
Warwick ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 4 weeks 1 day ago

Nursing Assistant (NA) Full-Time Days

Select Medical Corporation
Danville ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 2 weeks 4 days ago