What is Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA)?

Certified Nursing Assistants

If you are looking for a career that is in high demand and requires only minimal training, a certified nursing assistant (CNA) may be the perfect opportunity for you. A CNA can be employed in a variety of work environments, including nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospitals, medical offices, and personal homes. Below is a closer look at what a CNA is and how you can become one.

Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA)What Is a CNA?

If you are considering this career path, you may be wondering what is a CNA and what do they do. CNAs work in a healthcare setting under the direct supervision of a LPN, RN, or a physician.  They will have daily contact with the patient and many times will act as a liaison between the patient and the nursing staff and/or doctors.

The exact duties that you can perform as a CNA will vary from state to state. Typically, you will be able to handle duties, such as administering medications that are prescribed by the physician, clean and change dressings as needed, assist with bathing and grooming tasks, help lift and/or move patients, assist patients to the bathroom and/or with bedpans, and  take and record the patient’s vital signs like temperature, blood pressure, and pulse.

You can expect to spend the majority of your day on your feet assisting patients with various needs. If working in a hospital and/or nursing home setting, you may be the first person to check on patients who have requested assistance. You will also be expected to notify your supervisors if you notice the patients having any type of side effects or if their condition is worsening.

Nursing Assistant ClassesHow Do I Become a CNA?

If the job description listed above sounds like a career you may be interested in, this may be the perfect career option for you. Now you are probably asking yourself, how do I become a CNA? The first step is to make that you have already obtained your high school diploma or GED, because most training programs require this. You should also consider if you have the right skills needed to be a CNA, such as good interpersonal skills, good multitasking, and organizational skills.

You may also be wondering what degree does a CNA need. In many states, a person must first complete a specialized training course to become a CNA. These classes are often offered through community colleges, online schools, and the Red Cross, and take about four to six weeks to complete. Typically, you will be required to have your high school diploma or GED prior to taking any type of CNA training course. Once your training is completed, you will need to take an examination required by your state in order to receive your CNA certification.

CNA Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there will be a 20% job growth in the demand for CNAs over the next six years. The demand for CNAs is expected to increase in nearly every state across the country.  This is primarily due to the fact that many baby boomers will be reaching retirement age, and will likely be in need of additional medical care. The median annual salary for CNAs in 2012 was $24,400, according to the BLS.

If you think becoming a CNA is a good fit, you will have no problem finding a qualified CNA training program in your area. You will also have no problem finding a job once you have completed your training and earned your certificate. This is because this job is currently in such high demand, no matter where you live.