More than likely, you reached this page because you are interested in starting a career as a certified nursing assistant. You might even have some questions about certified nursing assistants, such as “what do they do” or even “how can I become one?”.

The following are the most-frequently asked questions we receive about certified nursing assistants. If you have other questions we have not addressed, please use the Contact Us page so we can answer your question.



What is A Certified Nursing Assistant?

Certified nursing assistants (CNA) are much seen but unsung heroes of health care. Working under the direction of a Registered Nurse (RN) or a Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurse (LPN/LVN), CNAs assist other nurses with basic patient care duties. Some of these duties such as feeding, bathing, monitoring vital signs and any other way to help maintain the quality of care for patients.

Since certified nursing assistants spend so much more face time with patients than other health care professionals, CNAs are sometimes called the “eyes and ears” of doctors. Not only is it likely that a certified nurse assistant will notice even a minor change in a patients attitude or condition, but they are the ones who get to know the patient better than anyone else in the facility. It is also due to this interaction with the patient that CNAs can serve as a morale booster for the patients and their families in this time of need.

How to Become A CAN

CNA FAQIf you are looking to become a CNA, you will need to attend a training program that has been accredited either by your state’s board of nursing or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). You can find certified nursing assistant classes at community colleges, vocational or career schools, some hospitals and nursing homes or through an organization like the American Red Cross. Another place to look for CNA classes is through an online program.

What You’ll Study

CNA classes are taught both in a classroom as well as in a live clinical setting. You will cover a wide range of basic skills and medical subjects such as anatomy, physiology and medical terminology, to name a few of the subjects you will need to learn about.

The clinical setting will help you get live experience performing some of the duties and responsibilities required as part of the CNA job. The clinical experience is extremely important since you will be learning the actual skills of a certified nursing assistant in a real setting. Learning how to properly move or bathe a patient can be taught in the classroom but it is much easier to understand if you have the practical experience in performing these tasks.

Getting Certified

After completing your CNA certification training, the next step would be to take your state’s certification exam. The certification exam is separated in to two parts covering all aspects of your training and competency as an aspiring certified nursing assistant. The first part is a multiple-choice test covering more of the theoretical topics covered in the classroom. The second part of the exam is the hands-on testing in which you prove your skills and abilities in a clinical setting. You must pass both parts of this exam in order to become certified by the state.

Where Can I Find Certified Nursing Assistant Training?

If you are looking for certified nursing assistant classes, look no further than your internet. There are plenty of CNA programs around the country as well as some CNA classes online. We have provided a way to search for some of the more popular CNA programs in the upper corner of this page.

How Long Does It Take To Complete CNA Classes?

certified nursing assistantThe simple answer to this question is that there isn’t a set length of time for CNA classes. The actual time is more depending on the type of program you are enrolled in or your ability to learn. A good rule of thumb is at most six months and at the very least three weeks will be necessary to complete both the classroom and clinical training. This is comparatively short period of time to train for a career in the health care field.

What is the CNA Job Description?

As previously mentioned, the position of certified nursing assistant is one which provides the basic care services for a patient and report to either an RN or LPN. What exactly does that mean? Here is a brief run down on the some of the duties involved in the CNA’s job description.

  • Helping patients move, stand or walk

  • Assisting a patient dress or undress

  • Reposition of the patient as well as checking and treating for bedsores

  • Bathing and cleaning patients

  • Checking and recording vital signs

  • Changing the linens and sheets on the bed

  • Helping the patient eat and recording the amounts of food and drink consumed

  • Talking with patients to ease stress and seeing what they are feeling

  • Keeping rooms and living areas clean and disinfected

  • Collecting, recording and measuring bowel movements and urination

  • Reporting to supervisors any changes to the patient’s condition, behavior or appearance

  • Recording all medications administered, patient activities and any other developments

What is the Median Certified Nursing Assistant Salary?

Believe it or not, the salary for certified nursing assistants is among some of the highest for health care related careers not requiring at least a two year degree. The median salary for a CNA in the United States is roughly $24,000 a year, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics .

What is the Importance of CNA Certification?

There are a few reasons on why certification is so important for certified nursing assistants. Some of these include:

Reasons for Certification for CNA

Certification of nursing assistants is an important step not only towards employment opportunities, but also towards the profession in general. It proves the general public that the person caring for you or a loved one has properly been trained for their position. This provides a sense of relief and ease for people who are already stressed out over their situation. Plus, this adds the idea of responsibility for the certified nursing assistant as well as the patients.

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