Health Evaluate

Considering Becoming A Certified Nursing Assistant?


If you are interested in the medical field and like helping people, a career as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) might be worth considering.

A Certified Nursing Assistant, sometimes referred to as an orderly, home-health aide, nurse’s aide or attendant, assists medical professionals; most often either Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) or Registered Nurses (RNs) in settings like hospitals, healthcare clinics, nursing homes and, in some cases, private homes in providing care to patients.

The responsibilities of a Certified Nursing Assistant can vary depending upon the setting and/or a patient’s particular needs. They can include, but are not limited to:

*Helping reposition and/or assisting bedridden or immobile patients to their feet.
*Taking and recording a patient’s vital statistics, such as pulse rate, blood pressure and body temperature.
*Documenting a patient’s concerns and discussing these matters with other medical professionals.
*Feeding and bathing patients.
*Cleaning and dressing a patient’s wounds.
*Assisting medical professionals in executing medical tests or procedures.

Prospective Certified Nursing Assistants can enter the field without having to earn a two or four-year degree from a college or university. However, completion of a Certificate Program will be necessary. Educational standards for Certified Nursing Assistant Certificate Programs are established at the State level. Typically, however, a Program can be completed in anywhere from one to three months. Many community colleges and trade schools offer Certificate Programs in a classroom setting, in addition to online instruction.

Upon completion of training, a graduate will be expected to pass a competency exam before receiving full certification. The exam is often administered in two parts, the first being a multiple-choice test, with the second a manual skills demonstration. Prior to entering any Certificate Program, prospective enrollees are advised to conduct thorough research to ensure their program of choice has been approved by either the State Nursing Board in which they reside or where they plan to seek employment.

Working as a Certified Nursing Assistant requires interpersonal relations with many different types of people, some of whom may be quite ill or injured. Therefore, those thinking of entering this line of work must possess a great deal of compassion, a quite personable demeanor and a significant degree of patience.

With the aging population on the rise, employment opportunities for Certified Nursing Assistants is expected to grow. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that, by 2024, the need for Certified Nursing Assistants is expected to increase by 17 percent.

Those preparing to take the competency exam can get a better idea of what it entails by visiting