What does a certified nursing assistant do? A CNA provides essential care for patients that reside in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes. Their typical focus is on patient hygiene, movement of bed-ridden patients, record patient information for nurses to review, measure the vital signs, and serve food to the patients that can not feed themselves. Depending on their level of training and the state they are employed in, they may be able to give medication to patients. Certified Nursing Assistants can not draw blood or perform diagnostic tests.
In nursing homes, the Certified Nursing Assistant is the primary caregiver. They are the ones in closest contact with patients so they may develop close relationships with them. Certified Nursing Assistants work as part of the healthcare team, usually under a nurse with a higher degree.
An ideal candidate for a career as a Certified Nursing Assistant would be patient and empathetic, they would be compassionate, and they would have excellent physical stamina. These are important qualities for Certified Nursing Assistants to possess because the nature of the job calls for it.
CNA Salary & Job Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics website in 2020, the median annual wage for Certified Nursing Assistants as of May 2019 is $29,640 per year and $14.25 per hour. Those in the top 10%, who have been working in the positions the longest, will earn an annual pay of over $40,620. Certified Nursing Assistants just entering the field will make an average of $21,590 per year. The top paying industries for Certified Nursing Assistants are the government, hospitals, and nursing care facilities.
Employment of Certified Nursing Assistants is expected to grow 8% through 2029 which is faster than most other occupations. This is due to the fact that baby boomers, one of the largest parts of the US population, are aging. More nurses will be needed to care for these patients.