What They Do:
A certified nursing assistant, or CNA, helps patients with their healthcare needs under the supervision of a Registered Nurse (RN) or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). The regular responsibilities of a CNA will vary based upon where you work, but can include duties such as:
Administer medications or treatments, such as catheterizations, suppositories, irrigations, enemas, massages, or douches, as directed by a physician or nurse.
Clean and sanitize patient rooms, bathrooms, examination rooms, or other patient areas.
Document or otherwise report observations of patient behavior, complaints, or physical symptoms to nurses.
Apply clean dressings, slings, stockings, or support bandages, under direction of nurse or physician.
To become a CNA, a person most often needs to have at least a high school diploma or GED, and at least some form of post-secondary nursing instruction. This can be obtained from a variety of institutions, such as the Red Cross, online schools, community colleges, and trade schools and usually takes 4-6 weeks.
Students are usually required to pass an examination for their certification.
What They Make:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage was $27,650 in May 2016.
Where They Work:
Adult day care centers
Assisted living facilities
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that demand for the profession will rise at a rate of 17 percent through 2024—much faster than typical job growth. As the population ages, demand for round-the-clock personal services is on the upswing.
Updated October 2020