What Is a CNA?

Certified nursing assistants or CNAs are the medical workers who mainly transport patients and assist with their day-to-day living in a healthcare facility or in the patient’s home. They also do tasks that do not involve direct patient care. Basically, they are assistants and are supervised by staff such as nurses.

It is vitally important to be informed!
Be sure to request information from more than one school in order to compare which program is best for you.

Popular Schools — Or Choose A State —>

Matching School Ads

Fortis Institute can give you the skills you need to train for a career in the healthcare field.

* Programs vary by location

* Please contact each individual campus for accreditation information


Programs:

  • Practical Nursing
  • Associate Degree in Nursing
  • Medical Assistant
  • And more...
Locations: NorfolkRichmond

Experience the Rewards of Caring, With ECPI’s Medical Careers Institute, you can Earn Your Bachelor’s Degree in 2.5 Years or Your Associate’s Even Sooner through Our Year-Round Schedule!

Programs:

  • Practical Nursing - Diploma
  • Nursing Education - Master
  • Nursing Leadership - Master
  • And more...

At Kaplan University, we offer over 180 degree and certificate programs. With three different ways to learn, you can choose the format that works best for you:

  • Study wherever you have an Internet connection, because almost all of our courses are 100% online, or
  • Take campus-based classes(with day and evening options available), or
  • Combine campus learning with online classes (blended).

Programs:

  • Master of Science - DNP Executive Leader
  • Nurse Educator Graduate Certificate
  • MS in Nursing
  • And more...
Locations: Hagerstown

Virginia College  continues the tradition ofgiving lives new direction, fulfilling our mission statement tostudents wherever they live and offering the chance to pursue adegree while maintaining commitments to work and family.

Programs:

  • AAS - Medical Assistant
  • DIP - Medical Assistant
  • AAS - Medical Office Administration
Locations: Richmond

About Brightwood College

Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.

About Education Corporation of America

Education Corporation of America's institutions broaden access to postsecondary educational opportunities.

Programs:

  • Medical Assistant
Locations: Beltsville

 

Get hands-on training with Brookline College. We offer diploma and degree programs in the areas of health care, business, nursing, criminal justice, paralegal, and computer security. We understand that today's student is busy with many responsibilities, so we offer day, evening, and online classes, giving you options to fit school into your schedule.

Programs:

  • Bachelor of Science Nursing - RN to BSN
  • Master of Science in Nursing-Health Systems Administration
  • Master of Science in Nursing-Education
With Miller-Motte you can expect the focus to be on you, the student, and your career. We are committed to Changing Futures, Changing Lives, and it all starts with you. You can rely on challenging programs, interesting curriculum, and educators with industry experience preparing you for your new future.

Programs:

  • Medical Assisting - Associate of Occupational Science
Locations: Roanoke

Centura College, with campus locations in Virginia, South Carolina and Florida, is dedicated to helping students gain the skills and attitudes necessary to succeed. Drawing from over 30 years of career school experience.

Programs:

  • Associate of Occupational Science Degree in Medical Assisting-Clinical Concentration
  • Dental Assistant Diploma
Locations: Norfolk

Established in 1897, Bradley University is a private, independent institution of higher learning in Peoria, Illinois. Inspired by our founder, notable philanthropist Lydia Moss Bradley, we pursue excellence in teaching, research, scholarship and service; and we celebrate leadership, integrity, diversity and collaborative learning. Today, we offer an impressive array of more than 130 undergraduate, graduate and continuing education programs across five colleges and the Graduate School.

Programs:

  • Online Master of Science in Nursing (BSN to MSN-FNP)
  • Online Doctor of Nursing Practice - Family Nurse Practitioner Track (BSN to DNP)
  • Online Doctor of Nursing Practice - Leadership Track (MSN to DNP)
  • And more...

For over 35 years, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals.  Our student-centered approach remains at the foundation of the Keiser University mission and continues to attract students who prefer a more personal learning experience.

Programs:

  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Doctor of Health Science

CNA’s At a Glance

CNA Training LocationsOther Job Titles: Nursing Aide, Attendant, Orderly
Salary Range:
$17,000-$35,000; Median $24,000
Education/Training Required:
Post-secondary certificate; on-the-job training for those not involved with direct patient care
Desired Skills/Aptitude:
Communication skills, patience, compassion
Certification/Licensing:
Certification varies among states; Typical is the CNA
Locations with Best Opportunities:
Alaska, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts
Employment Outlook:
20% growth through 2020 (faster than average)
Opportunities for Advancement:
Typically seek new opportunities in the medical field through continued education; Most do not stay in this position long; certification as a Certified Medication Assistant (CMA)

What a CNA Does

The typical duties of a CNA are:

  • Providing assistance to nurses and doctors
  • Helping patients in a home health care environment
  • Assisting patients with daily living tasks
  • Moving patients (wheelchairs, hospital beds, between bed and chair)
  • Checking vital signs
  • Serve meals to patients
  • Listen to patients

A CNA works under the supervision of a licensed medical professional such as a nurse or doctor. This is an important distinction because CNAs are not to be confused with LPNs (Licensed Nurse Practitioners). A CNA is certified whereas an LPN is licensed and must take a state licensing examination. An LPN will have more duties than a CNA however their duties will overlap in some cases.

Another scenario where CNAs are employed is in the home healthcare business. They help patients who are shut in and unable to take care of their daily living tasks such as eating, bathing, and dressing. In this situation, the CNA is probably the person a patient sees the most and is the primary caregiver.

CNAs also need to be good listeners because oftentimes a patient will express their concerns while in a healthcare facility. The patient typically does not know the difference between a CNA and other nurse employee. The CNA needs to be able to listen and relay the concerns of the patient to the appropriate staff.

The Workplace

As indicated before, the workplace of a CNA is most often in a nursing home or other long-stay healthcare facilities to include a patient’s home. They also work in hospitals. The work can be quite strenuous as well as stressful because the CNA must perform cleaning tasks such as changing bedpans and sheets that are soiled. They may have to lift patients who are heavy thus the CNA’s risk of injury is increased. Furthermore, since these facilities are a 24 by 7 operation, there must always be one or more CNA’s present to perform these tasks at all sorts of odd hours to include holidays and weekends.

Education and Certification

Many enter the field with a high school diploma but can open the door to more opportunities in the healthcare field through continued education. Those who want to have more involvement with direct patient care (with limitations) need to obtain a post-secondary certificate through a program at a community college, trade, or vocational school. Typically these programs teach the basic fundamentals of nursing and the student benefits through supervised clinical sessions.

Once they have finished their education program, they may take a competency exam as prescribed by the state where they will work. Successful passing of the exam results in certification as a CNA. Upon achieving certification, they will most likely be placed on the registry of CNAs in the state and will need to be on that registry in order to be employed by a healthcare provider. It is best to check with your state as to specific requirements.

*Salary Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2012