Certified Nursing Assistant

Last Updated:
April 27, 2023

Job Description Overview

A Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) plays a crucial role in the healthcare industry by providing essential care to patients in a variety of settings. Their job description includes tasks such as taking vital signs, bathing and grooming patients, assisting with mobility, and helping with daily living activities. CNAs work under the supervision of registered nurses or licensed practical nurses, and they often act as a bridge between patients and healthcare professionals. They provide emotional support and help patients feel more comfortable during their stay in healthcare facilities. CNAs work in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, and other healthcare settings, and they may specialize in working with specific patient populations, such as children or the elderly. To become a CNA, you must complete an accredited training program and pass a competency exam. If you're passionate about helping others and have a desire to work in the healthcare industry, a Certified Nursing Assistant job description may be the perfect fit for you.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Assist patients with daily living activities, such as bathing and dressing
  • Take vital signs, including blood pressure, temperature and pulse
  • Help patients move and transfer from beds, chairs or wheelchairs
  • Escort patients to appointments, procedures and tests
  • Set up medical equipment and assist with medical procedures
  • Record patient information and report changes to nursing staff
  • Monitor patients for signs of distress or complications
  • Clean and maintain patient rooms and equipment
  • Provide emotional support and companionship to patients and their families

Experience and Education Requirements

To become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in the healthcare industry, you typically need a high school diploma or equivalent certificate. Some employers may also require you to have completed a state-approved training program, which usually involves both classroom instruction and hands-on clinical practice. Training programs typically take several weeks to several months to complete, depending on the state's requirements. After completing your training, you will also need to pass a competency exam administered by the state board of nursing. Some employers may also require previous work experience or volunteer work in a healthcare setting before hiring you as a CNA.

Salary Range

Certified Nursing Assistant salary range varies depending on several factors, such as experience, location, and employer. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly wage for Certified Nursing Assistants in the United States is $14.25 per hour, with an annual salary range of $24,000 to $36,000. In some states, the average hourly wage is higher, such as in Alaska where the hourly wage is $19.55.

In Canada, the average hourly wage of Certified Nursing Assistants is C$20.17 per hour, with an annual salary range of C$32,000 to C$45,000. In the United Kingdom, the average hourly wage is £8.50 per hour, with an annual salary range of £11,000 to £18,000.

It's important to note that salary ranges can vary depending on factors such as experience, location, and job demand. Certified Nursing Assistants who work in hospitals or long-term care facilities may also receive additional benefits such as health insurance, paid time off, and retirement plans.


  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics - Certified Nursing Assistant Salary
  2. PayScale - Certified Nursing Assistant Hourly Pay in Canada
  3. NHS UK - Healthcare Assistant Salary

Career Outlook

The career outlook for Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) in the healthcare industry looks promising in the next five years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of nursing assistants is projected to grow 8% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. The growth is expected due to an aging population and a rise in chronic diseases such as diabetes and obesity, leading to an increased demand for healthcare services.

Moreover, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare facilities rely heavily on CNAs to support nursing staff in providing care and minimizing the spread of the virus. CNAs with additional training and advanced skills may have opportunities for career growth and specialization in areas such as palliative care or dementia care.

Therefore, becoming a CNA is a great entry point to a rewarding career in the healthcare industry, offering job security, competitive salaries, and opportunities for growth and specialization.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What is a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)?

A: A CNA is a healthcare professional who provides basic patient care under the supervision of a registered nurse or a licensed practical nurse.

Q: What kind of tasks does a CNA perform?

A: A CNA helps patients with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and eating. They also take vital signs, clean and dress wounds, and assist with mobility.

Q: Where do CNAs work?

A: CNAs work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, home health agencies, and hospice care.

Q: What qualifications are needed to become a CNA?

A: To become a CNA, you need a high school diploma or equivalent, completion of a state-approved CNA training program, and passing a state competency exam.

Q: What are some challenges a CNA might face in their job?

A: Some challenges include physically demanding work, dealing with difficult patients or families, long work hours, and potential exposure to illness or injury. However, many CNAs find the work rewarding and fulfilling.

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