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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 $
Jobs Available
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


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

Piedmont Technical College
Greenwood (0.0 Miles)

Certified Nurse Assistant License

Flathead Valley Community College
Kalispell (0.0 Miles)

Nursing Assistant 1 Certificate

Mt. Hood Community College
Gresham (0.0 Miles)

The Dorothy L. Lougee Nursing Assistant II Program

Forsyth Technical Community College
Winston-Salem (0.0 Miles)

Advanced Bedside Care Technician Certificate

Morton College
Cicero (0.0 Miles)

Nurse Aide Level 1

Vance-Granville Community College
Henderson (0.0 Miles)

Certified Nursing Assistant Workforce Development

Prince George's Community College
Largo (0.0 Miles)
Pensacola State College logo

Nursing Assisting Vocational Certificate

Pensacola State College
Pensacola (0.0 Miles)

Patient Care Technician Certificate

Shelton State Community College
Tuscaloosa (0.0 Miles)

Health Sciences, A. A. S.

BridgeValley Community and Technical College
South Charleston (0.0 Miles)

Nursing Assistant (CNA) Technical Diploma

Waukesha County Technical College
Pewaukee (0.0 Miles)

Certified Nursing Assistant Certificate

Arkansas State University - Newport
Newport (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


Nursing Assistant - 16 hours/Evenings

Plymouth ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 week 2 days ago

Nursing Assistant, 2H ICU

Baptist Healthcare System, Inc.
Lexington ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 5 days 11 hours ago

TSLC McAuley CENA Full Time 2nd

Trinity Health Corporation
Muskegon ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 4 weeks 2 days ago

Medication Technician

Manor Lake BridgeMill
Canton ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 3 weeks ago

Patient Care Associate I

Heritage Valley Health System
Mckees Rocks ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 5 months ago


Presbyterian Homes & Services
Arden Hills ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 2 weeks 1 day ago

Nurse Aide, Telemetry 6 South (FT 7a-3p)

RWJ Barnabas
Belleville ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 2 months 2 weeks ago

Certified Nurse's Aide - SNF

Five Star Quality Care, Inc.
Columbus ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 month 2 weeks ago