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Certified Nursing Assistant: Career Path, Job and Prospects

Certified Nursing Assistant: Career Path, Job and Prospects

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certified nursing assistant


So, you’re considering a career in Certified Nursing Assistant? It’s a noble path to follow. After all, it takes serious consideration and contemplation to pursue a career in the medical field. In particular, becoming a certified nursing assistant entails a considerable theoretical and practical training program. It also takes many nights and days of understanding how the human body works. And, as you journey along this career path, you’ll also soon discover that as a nurse, you have a significant impact on the patients’ mental, spiritual, and physical health.

It’s a huge responsibility, and it’s for this very reason that it’s important to be 100 percent sure that you’d like to follow this route. So, tread carefully, and consider all your options before proceeding with a medical field career. You’ll hold many people’s lives in your hands. For more information about Home Carecheck out the BoomersHub Home Care information page.

If you’d like to know more about what becoming a certified nursing assistant entails, please have a read through the information that we’ve compiled. It’s the information you’ll need to get started. It’ll also give you significant insight into what it’s like to work as a CNA. And from there on, you can derive if it’s a career that’ll suit your personality and career aspirations. 

Let’s get into it! 

What Is a Certified Nursing Assistant? What Does It Stand For?

By now, you should be clear on what CNA stands for. It’s the acronym used for Certified Nursing Assistant. What are CNAs exactly? Well, CNAs are health care professionals trained to provide intimate medical care to their patients. In a nutshell, they take care of their patients under the supervision of a Registered Nurse (RN for short). There are times when CNAs work under the supervision of a Licenced Practical Nurse (LNP) too. 

A CNA’s job description is to provide practical health care such as:

  • Bathing patients
  • Dressing patients
  • Monitoring their medications
  • Checking their temperatures
  • Ensuring that they are comfortable at all times

CNAs provide health care that may seem very basic, but it’s essential to help their patients live satisfactory lives or live their lives as comfortably as possible. They provide the care patients need to heal physically. A CNA’s role is to ensure that the patient is as comfortable as possible. 

As a CNA, you’ll be taking temperatures, continually monitoring patients, providing pressure care, cleaning equipment, and other duties.

A hospice nurse is also a valued member of the medical fraternity; click here to find out why a hospice nurse is so valuable. 

What Kind of Skills and Attributes Does a CNA Need to Have?

CNAs work with people every day, so they must have excellent interpersonal skills. You’ll be working with patients from different walks of life. And for this reason, you’ll need to be patient and kind. It’s the kind of attribute that money can’t buy. So, if you’re a natural caregiver, you’re off to a great start.

CNAs need to show compassion and empathy because they’ll often interact with patients who may have faced personal turmoil or life-changing events. CNAs should also have excellent communication skills. They should be able to listen well and also have superb writing and reading comprehension. 

As a CNA, you’ll need to have these important skills too:

  • Interpret patient charts
  • Make notes when monitoring the patient progress

The medical team will need your notes, so it’s vital to have excellent communication and writing skills. 

If you’re able to work well in a team and collaborate with ease, you’re one step closer to becoming a successful CNA. Also, adapting quickly to changing circumstances, being solutions-driven, and keeping cool under pressure is non-negotiable. You’ll also need to be physically fit because you’ll be on your feet more often than not! 

As a CNA, you should keep up-to-date with patient care policies and regulations too. 

Remember, it’s easy to tick the boxes in terms of a CNA job description, but having these attributes will stand you in good stead. 

Of course, it’s always a good idea to keep healthy whether you’re a CNA or a patient. Check out our tips for improving your health.

How Long Does It Take to Become a CNA?

You’ll have to take a few exams before you’re able to call yourself a certified NA. So, remain patient, disciplined, and focused. Becoming a CNA will take time and many practical and theoretical examinations before you can proudly take care of your first patient. Your exams will entail learning how to do the basics of nursing: patient care, ethics, and safety that goes alongside your training. Everything matters – even hand washing. 

Once you’ve passed your exams, you can apply for certification. Your state will determine the requirements for certification. The requirements are different for each state, so check these out before you complete your application.

Why Do We Need CNAs?

It’s a question that’s easy to answer. Essentially, CNAs assist medical staff. They are a vital link between the patient and the medical team. They are most concerned about the patients’ well-being and the closest to the patient in giving hands-on medical care. CNAs monitor the patient when the medical team isn’t in contact with them. They take care of the necessary treatments that the patient needs to heal. Overall, CNAs don’t merely assist the medical team; they are a great source of spiritual and emotional support (to both the patient and their families). 

What Are the Career Growth Prospects for CNAs?

As a CNA, you’ll have many avenues to consider as part of your career advancement plan. Your training as a CNA is a solid foundation for any other medical professional you choose to pursue in the future because, by the time you’re certified, you’ll know the most vital aspects of taking care of a patient. 

As a licensed CNA with continual education and practical experience, you could consider the following careers: occupational therapist, a medical assistant, licensed practical nurse, or even a registered nurse. 

The truth is that once you’ve qualified, you’re able to venture into many different paths. It’s a fascinating field to pursue. Perhaps speak to other professionals in the areas you see yourself working in and ask as many questions to help you make an informed decision. 

CNAs are angels in disguise. They’re kind, practical individuals who are a significant part of any medical team. There’s simply no getting around this fact.

Top 3 Points

1. CNA stands for Certified Nursing Assistant. CNAs are health care professionals trained to provide intimate medical care to their patients under the supervision of a Registered Nurse.

2. CNAs need to have interpersonal skills, patience, kindness, compassion, and empathy towards their patients. They also need to know how to interpret patient charts and properly relay notes to the medical team.

3. To become a CNA, you need to pass a number of practical and theoretical examinations that cover the basics of nursing such as patient care, ethics, and safety.


We all need a helping hand sometimes. So, can you imagine just how wonderful it’ll be for patients to have you by their side, knowing that you have their best interest at heart? Taking care of others is what your journey will be like as a CNA. Also, remember that a CNA’s job description can never fully list the many great attributes required. Becoming a CNA is more than a career; it’s a calling! 

Frequently Asked Questions

How to advance as a CNA? 

There are many ways to advance as a CNA. Firstly, continue to build your skills by practicing and studying. Secondly, you can become certified in more specialized areas, like geriatrics or pediatrics. You can also become a nursing home administrator, or work as a home health aide or personal care aide. Finally, network with other nurses and healthcare professionals in order to learn from their experiences and develop your own career. 

What to do after becoming a CNA? 

If you have just become a CNA, there are a few things that you should do in order to ensure that you are able to provide the best possible care for your patients: 

  • Get certified in CPR and first aid 
  • Familiarize yourself with the hospital’s policies and procedures 
  • Get to know your patients and take the time to learn their names and their medical history 
  • Attend any training sessions that are offered by your hospital or nursing home 
  • Ask questions! Don’t be afraid to ask your nurses or other CNAs for advice 

What is the next level after CNA? 

The next level after CNA is an LPN (Licensed Nurse Practitioner), a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN), or a Registered Nurse (RN). 

What other jobs can you do with a CNA license? 

There are many other jobs that a CNA license can qualify you for. These include jobs in home health care, long-term care facilities, hospitals, and doctor’s offices. With a CNA license, you can also become a health coach, a certified nurse assistant instructor or a nursing home administrator. 

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