What does a Certified Nursing Assistant do?

A Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) can be found working wherever people need care. This is typically in a hospital or other medical institution. CNAs are responsible for providing assistance and medical care to a wide variety of patients. While most of the decisions are made by the doctor, a CNA typically provides a majority of a patients treatments and care during their visit. CNAs report to a Registered Nurse, Licensed Practitioner or other Licensed Vocational Nurse. Most CNAs will go on to finish their nursing degree and become Certified Nurses.

A bachelor's degree is not required to become a Certified Nursing Assistant. But a secondary certification is required by all employers. This certification covers primary nursing and caregiving practices. This education can be obtained at community colleges, vocational schools, and technical schools. Working with sick and older adults requires a strong sense of compassion. Candidates should have a genuine interest in helping others.

What responsibilities are common for Certified Nursing Assistant jobs?
  • Bath and dress patients
  • Serve meals and assist with feeding
  • Take and record vital signs
  • Ensure bedridden patients are regularly turned
  • Distribute and change bedpans
  • Assist patients with mobility
  • Respond to patients summonsing
  • Check patients for worsening conditions or further injury
What are the typical qualifications for Certified Nursing Assistant jobs?
  • Some medical education a plus
  • Secondary Certification
  • 2 years experience in a caregiving role
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Can follow directions exactingly
  • Capable of moving and standing for 12hr shifts
  • Ability to regularly lift 75+ lbs
  • Willingness to work nights weekends and holidays
  • Ability to pass a background check
Work/Life Balance
3.3 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.4 ★
Avg. Experience8+ years

Certified Nursing Assistant Salaries

Average Base Pay

$45,470 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
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Not enough salaries reported to show distribution
Median: $45K
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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Certified Nursing Assistant Insights

Read what Certified Nursing Assistant professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Medical SolutionsMedical Solutions
Certified Nursing Assistant CNA
Feb 24, 2022

“My recruiter was the best and incredibly responsive and very kind even with my questions.”

Aspen Hills Healthcare CenterAspen Hills Healthcare Center
Certified Nursing Assistant CNA
Jul 29, 2022

“best reason to work here is the staff are always helpful and nice to work with.”

Medustrial Healthcare Staffing ServiceMedustrial Healthcare Staffing Service
Caregiver, CNA
Mar 10, 2021

“One of the best things is you can make your own schedule and the companies we work with are great!”

Wentworth-Douglass HospitalWentworth-Douglass Hospital
Licensed Nursing Assistant LNA
Aug 18, 2021

“Love working here and this place is just the best honestly pay is decent and work experience is fast paced”

Heritage Operations GroupHeritage Operations Group
Certified Nursing Assistant CNA
Dec 4, 2020

“When I first started working there everything was great and everyone worked as a family.”

CrownHills EnterprisesCrownHills Enterprises
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
Jan 3, 2023

“This job can find you good jobs and you work with good people outside the agency.”

Brio Living ServicesBrio Living Services
Certified Nurse Aide
Sept 30, 2020

“UMRC's beautiful facility that's been remodeled recently (and was undergoing renovations before I left).”

VA HealthVA Health
Certified Nursing Assistant CNA
Jan 26, 2023

“The FEDERAL VA is the best place to work as a CNA as far as salary and work load.”

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Certified Nursing Assistant Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of certified nursing assistants

The typical day of a certified nursing assistant includes taking patients' vital signs, assisting with personal hygiene, and moving, turning, or transporting patients. They may also clean patient rooms, change linens, and stock medical supplies. A certified nursing assistant works under the supervision of a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse.

One advantage of being a certified nursing assistant is having the opportunity to help others. Nursing assistants may also use their knowledge and experience in this job to help them move upward into a role as a licensed practical nurse or registered nurse as they get more education.

The average salary of certified nursing assistants is around $45,470 a year. The highest-paid nursing assistants work for the government. Hospitals are the next highest paying industry for this job. Experience and education play major factors in determining your wages as a nursing assistant.

Working as a certified nursing assistant can be physically challenging, as these professionals spend long hours on their feet and often help to physically turn or move patients. Another challenge of this job is dealing with potentially difficult patients. If you're considering becoming a certified nursing assistant, conflict resolution skills are crucial.

Certified Nursing Assistant jobs