Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)


Entry level education: High school diploma or equivalent

Projected 10-year growth: 5% from 2021 to 2031

Number of jobs: 1,389,900 (2021)

Nurse assistants, also known as nursing assistants, certified nursing assistants (CNAs), or nurse aides, play a crucial role in the healthcare industry. They work under the supervision of registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) to provide basic care to patients in a variety of settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, and long-term care facilities.

The primary responsibilities of nurse assistants include assisting patients with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, dressing, and feeding, as well as monitoring vital signs and ensuring patients’ comfort and safety. They also perform tasks like changing bed linens, helping patients ambulate or move around, and offering emotional support to patients and their families.

Nurse assistants are required to complete a state-approved training program, which typically includes both classroom instruction and hands-on clinical experience.

Upon completion of their training, they must pass a competency examination to become certified in their state. As essential members of the healthcare team, nurse assistants contribute significantly to the overall patient experience by providing compassionate, efficient, and high-quality care. Their work is not only physically demanding but also emotionally rewarding, as they often develop strong bonds with the patients they care for. The profession of nurse assistants is expected to grow in demand as the population ages and the need for skilled, empathetic caregivers continues to rise.

CNAs make a median hourly wage of $14.25 in the United States, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2020. However, actual salaries may vary based on factors such as location, experience, and the type of healthcare facility a CNA works in.

pills spilled out of white jar

The Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program curriculum equips students with essential knowledge and practical skills to provide compassionate care to patients in various healthcare settings. The curriculum covers topics such as basic nursing skills, anatomy and physiology, patient care, vital signs, patients’ rights and legal issues, safety and emergency procedures, and special care considerations.

The job forecast for Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) is highly promising, with an increased demand for their services due to factors such as an aging population, the prevalence of chronic conditions, and a growing emphasis on home healthcare and patient-centered care.

person writing on white paper

CNA certification is essential as it demonstrates a nursing assistant’s competency in providing safe and effective care to patients. The certification process ensures that CNAs have the necessary knowledge and skills to perform their duties and adhere to industry standards. Additionally, holding a CNA certification often increases job opportunities, credibility, and earning potential in the healthcare industry.

Financial aid for nursing assistant programs can come in various forms, including federal and state grants, scholarships, employer-sponsored training, workforce development programs, and loans, helping eligible students cover the costs of their CNA education.

Scholarships for CNA programs can range from small grants to larger awards covering tuition, fees, and other expenses. Eligibility requirements vary, but many scholarships prioritize academic achievement, financial need, and a commitment to pursuing a career in healthcare.

a doctor writing on a folder while leaning on the wall
opened notebook with pen on white desk
photo of doctor checking on her patient

When choosing a CNA school, consider factors such as accreditation, curriculum, faculty, program duration, clinical experience, and student support services. Evaluating these aspects can help ensure that the school meets your needs and prepares you for a successful career as a Certified Nursing Assistant.

To become a certified nursing assistant (CNA), one must possess skills such as communication, empathy, attention to detail, physical endurance, and ability to follow instructions.

If you are interested in pursuing a career as a CNA, here are some factors to consider to help you decide if it’s the right path for you.

crop doctor writing prescription on paper

A nurse assistant (NA) and a certified nurse assistant (CNA) both work in healthcare settings and provide basic patient care. However, the key difference between them is that a CNA has completed a state-approved training program and passed a certification exam, while a NA may not have completed formal training or be certified.

opened notebook with pen on white desk

Choosing an online CNA program can offer flexibility in scheduling, convenience, and the ability to learn at your own pace from anywhere with an internet connection.

opened notebook with pen on white desk
spilled bottle of yellow capsule pills

Becoming a CNA can offer numerous benefits such as job security, career advancement opportunities, and the ability to make a positive impact on patients’ lives. CNAs can also gain valuable healthcare experience and develop skills that can be applied in other healthcare fields.

Scroll to Top