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Certified Nursing Assistant Career Factsheet

By: CareerFactsheet.com- Jun. 21, 2017

Professional Profile
# of people in profession 1,443,150
Avg. hrs per week 32-40 (varies per facility)
*75th percentile earn $31,370
Median Wages $26,590
25th percentile earn $22,470
Education Complete State-Approved Program

Alternate Titles: CNA, Certified Nursing Aide, Orderly, Patient Care Assistant (PCA), State Tested Nurse Aid (STNA) and Nursing Assistant (NA)

Certified Nursing Assistants, or CNAs, are one of the more versatile healthcare jobs available for those who want to explore a career in the healthcare system without committing to extensive education. CNAs work with both Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) as well as Registered Nurses (RNs) in order to deliver well rounded and comprehensive care to their patients. CNAs are so versatile that they can be called several different titles, depending on their education and where they are employed. The most common variations on can include Patient Care Assistant (PCA), State Tested Nurse Aid (STNA) and Nursing Assistant (NA).

What does a CNA do? The duties and responsibilities of a can vary from location to location. Typically, CNAs are employed at hospitals, nursing homes and as part of a healthcare team for home health care. In each of these roles, a can is responsible for gathering data on a patient's vital signs, helping them walk and generally offering hands on support in whatever capacity a patient may need.

Education & Training Requirements

In order to become a can, students must complete a certification process. Certified Nursing Assistant programs and courses are available through local community colleges, health care universities and online education programs. Many of these schools offer flexible course times as well as financial aid as many people attend these classes while still maintaining their current job.

CNA courses can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months depending on the school and schedule. The coursework itself covers basic patient care, infection care, patient rights and privacy laws as well as other fundamentals of nursing care. Once the coursework is done, can students must then complete clinical training where they spend time learning and working alongside other healthcare workers in a hospital setting. This additional clinical component of their education gives can students the chance to get their feet wet, so to speak, in order to see what their jobs will actually be like. It can also be invaluable as it allows them to see real world problems and solutions while learning from others who have already been in their field for many years.

Nursing Assistants Employment Opportunities

The Labor Statistics Bureau also reports that the field for support workers such as CNAs is expected to grow by 17% between 2014 and 2024. This is due, in very large part, to the growth of the elderly population. Since most CNAs find employment through nursing homes and home health care work, this means their field itself will be experiencing growth which, in turn, will place them in a higher demand.

The field for CNA professionals is expected to grow year on year as the elderly population swells. CNAs have become an increasingly valuable part of any healthcare team as these professionals are able to offer focused patient care which can help patients to feel better emotionally as well as physically. The attention and care a CNA can provide to a patient can help improve their entire outlook on their disease or treatment which can, in turn, make the difference in a patient's outlook as well as their prognosis.

Video Career Profile

Salaries Overview

The US Dept. of Labor includes Nursing Aides, Orderlies and Attendants as one group of the work force. According to their most recent reports, as of 2016, the median wage for this entire group of professionals averaged just over $26,590 per year. CNA salaries can vary depending on their education, experience and location. For example, Alaska tops the list for CNA pay rates, with a state wide average of $37,520 per year.

For further career advice on the CNA Job Profile read our articles below:

CNA Duties
Job Description of a CNA and Earnings
Find out what the career as a CNA entails and discover pay ranges, job description and much more.
Becoming a Certified Nursing Aide
The Fastest Path To Becoming a CNA
Discover the educational requirements to becoming a Certified Nurses Aide and specializations that will get you hired.

*Source: Salary ranges obtained from : Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages 2012

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