Everything You Want To Know About Being A CNA

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Are you looking to build a career as a healthcare professional? If you are interested in direct hands-on patient care, then being a certified nursing assistant (CNA) may be for you.

If you’re curious and want to learn more about this career, here’s what being a CNA generally entails.

What is a CNA and What Do They Do?

CNAs, sometimes called nursing aides, are important members of a health care team.

They help provide basic hands on nursing care to patients, residents or clients in hospitals, nursing homes, and other long-term care facilities under the supervision of a nurse (RN/LPN/LVN).

CNAs often take vital signs and body measurements of the patients which is documented in daily logs.


Other than that, they provide assistance with patients’ personal hygiene (giving bedpans, urinals, baths), feeding, and administering adjunct care.

A CNAs job is physically active and often involve lifting and moving patients. They also may answer patients’ call lights and report observations in documentation logs and to the nursing supervisor.

Why be a CNA?

If you’re interested in a nursing career, being a CNA is a great way to assess whether this is the right career for you. A CNA works with many members of the health care team, ranging from nurses, doctors, therapists, and other medical technicians.

If you’re just looking for a job to collect a paycheck, then being a CNA is not for you.

There are many easier jobs that pays more that what a CNA makes. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a CNAs median annual wage is $25,710 in 2015. CNAs employment is projected to grow 17 % from 2014 to 2024 due to the growing elderly population.

Take note that training to be a CNA is hard work; being responsible for caring of the sick is something to be taken seriously with dedication. If you have a sincere will and desire to help people, then proceed on.

Although a CNAs job is physically demanding, the experiences gained in this career is not often found in any other career.

How does one become a CNA?

There are many institutions that offer CNA training programs ranging from colleges, private institutions, to nursing homes.

The costs of training programs vary by region and location. Make sure that the program you choose is approved by your state’s Board of Nursing or agency before starting.

Another important thing to know is to stay away from online or correspondence courses for CNAs because most of these courses are not state approved and you don’t get the hands on clinical training that is required be properly trained.


A CNA training program may take 3 weeks(full-time) or 8 weeks(part-time) of classes and clinical hours. You should expect to do a lot of reading assignments and quizzes in a CNA class.

A full attendance is crucial to your success in a CNA training program. A portion of your training, which is referred as clinical hours, will be done in an actual health care setting, usually a nursing home.

After completing the training, a state competency exam must be taken in order to be certified. The exam may be done in two parts: a written exam and a clinical exam. Your CNA program instructor may assist you with the scheduling of exam. It is mandatory to pass this exam in order to get a job as a CNA.

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