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Healthcare Certified Nursing Assistant
Salary Range Jobs Available
$28,500 - $44,700 192,500+

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). 

A CNA is also called a nursing assistant, nurse’s aide or patient care assistant. The name may depend on the state you work in. As we’ll explain in more detail below, each state sets the rules for training and employment of nursing assistants.

Nursing assistants provide hands-on healthcare to patients. Their responsibilities vary, from recording vital signs to helping bathe and dress patients. In some settings, they assist residents with daily living activities. CNAs ensure the safety of patients and provide emotional and psychological support.

They typically work under the direct supervision of a nurse (LPN or RN). They typically work as part of a broader healthcare team that includes doctors, nurses and therapists. Together, they help patients reach their highest level of independence. In some environments, CNAs may have more contact with patients than any other member of the team.

Certified nursing assistants often see people at their most vulnerable. Being kind while providing dignity to a patient is crucial. 

This in-demand job is an opportunity to work with patients directly and make a difference in their daily lives. If this sounds like a career you want to explore, keep reading to learn more about training and other requirements. 

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:


  • Clean and bathe patients while providing privacy and dignity
  • Help patients get dressed
  • Turn and reposition patients to help them avoid bedsores
  • 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
  • Administer medications (varies by state)
  • Follow infection control procedures 
  • Help maintain a clean and organized environment

How To Become a Certified Nursing Assistant: FAQs

The bottom line:

This is a satisfying career that will allow you to give direct patient care and make a difference every day. The role is also good way to get into the nursing field without having to earn a four-year degree. If this sounds like a good fit for you, check out the training options near you!

Johndarius Akins, certified nursing assistant ambassador

What is it like to be a CNA?

As a child, Johndarius Akins dreamed of being in the medical profession.

“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 certified nursing assistant (CNA). “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 about why he loves being a CNA.

Local Certifications and Requirements

You may need a state license or certificate before you can work in a specific career in your state. Different states may also have different education and experience requirements, fees and application forms. The good news - we make it super easy to find what you need to begin your new career. Just enter your zip code to get started.

Find Certified Nursing Assistant Training In Your Area

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