Certified Nurse Assistant
What you’ll do: Working closely with patients, you are responsible for basic care services such as bathing, grooming and feeding patients, assisting nurses with medical equipment, and checking patient vital signs. CNAs give patients important social and emotional support and also provide vital information on patient conditions to nurses.
Where you’ll work: Hospitals, nursing care facilities, community care facilities for the elderly
Degree you’ll need: High school diploma or GED and completion of a 6-to-12 week CNA certificate program
Median annual salary: $24,420*
Education & Certification
You can complete your certified nursing assistant program in a very short period of time. In addition to a high school diploma or GED, you’ll need to complete a 6-to-12 week CNA certificate program at a community college or medical facility.
Classroom instruction in a certified nursing assistant program generally includes the following:
- Basic nursing skills
- Anatomy and physiology
- Infection control
Students also gain plenty of hands-on-experience during clinical activities.
Regulations on nursing assistant certification vary from state-to-state. However, most CNA programs offer a certification exam. The National Association for Home Care offers national certification for home health aides.
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014-15 Occupational Outlook Handbook; Nursing Assistants and Orderlies.
*The salary information listed is based on a national average, unless noted. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.