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
  • Our mission is to develop skilled nurses who embody the best qualities of the profession
  • SACS accredited with campuses in Virginia, Florida, North Carolina & South Carolina
  • Two workplace externship opportunities to give you hands-on experience
  • Practical Nursing (PN), Nursing Degree (ADN), and Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Qualifying students can take faith in EPCI’s unwavering Fixed Tuition Pledge

Programs:

  • Practical Nursing - Diploma
  • Nursing (RN) - Associate's
  • Medical Assisting - Associate's
  • And more...
Locations: Manassas

100% Online & No Standardized Testing

We are committed to helping you achieve your goals and complete your degree as quickly as possible.

Programs:

  • MSN: Health Policy
  • MSN: Community Health
  • MA: Medical Sciences: Business Management
  • And more...

Building on Purdue's mission to provide greater access to affordable, world-class education, Purdue University Global delivers a fully personalized online experience that's tailored to working adults. By opening the doors to adults who need flexibility to fit learning into their busy lives, we make it possible to achieve a high-quality education from a prestigious university system—completely online.

Programs:

  • Master of Science - DNP Path (Doctor of Nursing Practice)
  • Bachelors of Science in Nursing - RN to BSN
  • MS in Nursing
  • And more...

 

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

Designed by RNs for RNs

Chamberlain’s RN to BSN option offers convenient 100% online coursework, no mandatory login times and no campus visits. This flexible framework allows you to continue in your current role while you pursue your degree. And, because the curriculum is developed and taught by RNs who are also educators, you know you are learning what you need to push your skills forward now – and in the future.

Programs:

  • RN to BSN Online Option
  • BecomeANurseOnline.com - Online/Campus Nursing Diploma Programs Available
  • Are You Ready to Start Earning Your Nursing Degree in 2019? Find Affordable and Flexible CNA Programs Here!
  • Answer a Few Questions to Get Free Info on Online or Campus CNA Programs Within Minutes
  • Choose from Diploma, Associate, and Certificate Level Nursing Degree Options
  • Get Matched to Nursing Programs Today—It's Fast, Easy, and Free!

Programs:

    • Find Online Schools. 100% Online Accredited Courses
    • Get Matched to Programs In A Few Clicks!
    • Earn an Affordable Degree from Home at your own pace
    • Get College info today. Its Free and Easy!

    Programs:

      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