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
  • Gain Knowledge and Skills While You Earn Your Nursing Degree at Fortis!

Programs:

  • Patient Care Technician
  • Practical Nursing
  • Associate Degree in Nursing
  • And more...
Locations: Grand Prairie
  • Kaplan University Online Degree Programs
  • Attend college on your terms. Kaplan University offers fully online degree programs that fit any schedule.

Programs:

  • MS in Nursing
  • Master of Science - DNP Path (Doctor of Nursing Practice)
  • Master of Science in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner, Primary Care
  • And more...
  • Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
  • Colangelo College of Business: Features more than 25 programs from the bachelor through the master's level, including several high-demand MBA programs and an accelerated accounting degree.
  • College of Nursing and Health Care Professions: Rich 25-year history providing outstanding health care and nursing degree programs, including an RN to BSN program & master's in nursing degrees.
  • College of Education: Whether you are looking to start or advance your career as a teacher or administrator, GCU offers bachelor’s and master’s in education degrees in key areas.
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Provides a job focused education and features a variety of programs from counseling and psychology to justice studies, history and English literature.
  • Does something else interest you? GCU also offers programs in Doctoral Studies; Theology; Science, Engineering & Technology; and Fine Arts & Production. Speak with an enrollment counselor today!

Programs:

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice with an Emphasis in Educational Leadership
  • B.S. in Nursing (Registered Nurse - R.N. to B.S.N)
  • M.S. in Nursing: Health Care Informatics (Bridge)
  • And more...

CTU can help you connect to what matters most: a powerful professional network, faculty who are real-world professionals and innovative technology. And now several CTU degree programs are ranked by U.S. News Best Online Programs for 2015.  Are you in?

Programs:

  • Master of Science in Nursing - Nursing Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN completion)
  • Master of Science in Nursing - Nursing Education

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!

 

What Are You Waiting For?

Programs:

  • Practical Nursing - Diploma
  • Nursing (RN-BSN) - Bachelor's
  • Nursing - Master's
  • And more...
Locations: Manassas

The University

With over 80 years of academic achievements, Jacksonville University is a traditional, longstanding institution consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of America's best colleges.

Programs:

  • MSN Clinical Nurse Educator
  • RN to BSN (licensed RNs only)
  • MSN Leadership in Healthcare Systems
  • And more...

At Denver College of Nursing, we believe good nurses are the future of quality healthcare. That’s why we strive to achieve excellence in healthcare education every day. We know our students can make a difference in others’ lives while in school by participating in SNA, community service, service –learning and GHP, as well as after graduation—and for years to come.

Programs:

  • Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.  We offer online programs focused on doctoral and master’s degrees in the schools of business and technology management, education, psychology and marriage and family sciences.

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.  We offer online programs focused on doctoral and master’s degrees in the schools of business and technology management, education, psychology and marriage and family sciences.

The field of technology is rapidly evolving to meet the growing demands of modern society. For those seeking a future in tech, this means maintaining skills, increasingknowledge and quickly adapting to change. For today’s students, however, successwill require dedication, commitment and access to education specifically designedto meet the demands of this dynamic industry.


Programs:

  • Doctor of Education - Nursing Education
  • PhD - Addictions
  • PhD - Gerontology
  • And more...

Wilkes University’s School of Nursing offers CCNE-accredited online degrees and certificate programs ideal for working health care professionals, instructed by experienced, respected faculty dedicated to mentoring and personalized support for every student. Our nursing degrees offer the cutting-edge professional knowledge and skills needed in today’s dynamic, evolving health care industry.

Programs:

  • RN to MS - Nursing Informatics
  • M.S. with Major in Nursing - Nursing Informatics
  • DNP - Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • And more...
  • BSN completion program for Registered Nurses is available entirely online.
  • The RN to BSN program is designed to help students advance their career, or prepare for post-graduate opportunities.
  • Courses teach modern health assessment and treatment methods, how to evaluate potential disease or injury, and more.
  • Regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Programs:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

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