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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 $
30,000
Jobs Available
163,360+
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: Photographee.eu/Shutterstock)
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

Coordinates

Nurse Aide

Sinclair Community College
Dayton (0.0 Miles)

Certified Nurse Aide Certificate

Wichita State University Tech WSU Tech
Wichita (0.0 Miles)

General Technology - Patient Care Technician, A.A.S.

Piedmont Technical College
Greenwood (0.0 Miles)

Technical Competency Area in Nurse Assistant

Louisiana Delta Community College
Ruston (0.0 Miles)

Nursing, Assistant Certification

Merced College
Merced (0.0 Miles)

Nursing Assistant / Home Health Aide Certificate

Saint Paul College
St Paul (0.0 Miles)

Nursing Assistant/ Home Health Aide Short Certificate

Snead State Community College
Boaz (0.0 Miles)

Nurse Assistant, Long Term Care Career and Technical Certificate

Tallahassee Community College
Tallahassee (0.0 Miles)

Nursing Assistant Certificate

Arizona Western College
Yuma (0.0 Miles)

Health Care Technology Certificate

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College
Mount Gay (0.0 Miles)

Certified Nursing Assistant Certificate (Non-credit)

Harrisburg Area Community College
Harrisburg (0.0 Miles)

Nursing Assistant 1 Certificate

Mt. Hood Community College
Gresham (0.0 Miles)
Meet Ambassador
Johndarius Akins
Image
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

Coordinates

Certified Nursing Aide (CNA)

Gardant
Moline ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 4 months 2 weeks ago

Personal Care Assistant (Non Certified)

Life Care Centers of America
Punta Gorda ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 2 months 3 weeks ago

Patient Care Technician II Certified M/S Medical Full Time Nights up to $3000 Sign On Bonus

Adventist Health System
Tavares ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 month 2 weeks ago

PCT Part-time, Nights, Nursing 4th Floor

RML Specialty Hospital
Chicago ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 month ago

Student Nursing Assistant, Staffing Office

Baptist Healthcare System, Inc.
Lexington ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 3 weeks 4 days ago

State Tested Nursing Assistant (STNA)

Prestige Healthcare
West Jefferson ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 2 weeks 5 days ago

CNA, PT 3p-11p- Farmville

PruittHealth
Farmville ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 week 6 days ago

Resident Assistant

Five Star Quality Care, Inc.
Saint Paul ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 week 4 days ago