Careers/Jobs

Everything You Want to Know About Being a CNA

Working as a CNA, or Certified Nursing Assistant is a job with many benefits. It also produces consistent reports of high job satisfaction among those who currently work as CNAs or who have held the job in the past.

For one thing, the pay is higher than average for people with a high school degree or GED. CNA positions tend to be highly flexible. The cost of the six to 12 weeks or training is often reimbursed fully to the successful graduate.

But most of all, people say they enjoy working as a CNA because of the rewarding feeling they get from helping people every day. Work environments are safe, clean and friendly. Patients routinely express gratitude for the help they get from CNAs. CNAs often form deep bonds with the people they serve.

The Job

A CNA most often works in nursing homes or elderly care facilities, although many also work in hospitals or clinics. They provide the basic hands-on assistance that elderly people require daily. That means help with bathing, feeding, dressing and getting in and out of bed.

Yes, it also means helping patients with bathroom routines, including handling tasks like providing bedpans, emptying catheter bags and changing sheets that have been soiled with urine or feces.

Supervision

CNA work most directly with nurses, both RNs and LPNs. Nurses supervise CNAs and tell them what needs to be done with each patient every day.

CNAs also help nurses with other tasks, such as filling out medical charts, recording eating habits and sometimes taking the vital signs of patients, such as taking blood pressure measurements, pulse and temperatures.

Pay

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average pay for a CNA in America is $26,590 per year or about $11.68 per hour.

This can vary widely depending on the region of the country where the CNA works, or kind of facility. Some CNAs earn as much as $34,600 while some earn about $17,800 of the low-end of the scale.

Getting Certified

The training for a CNA takes between six and 12 weeks or an average of 80 hours. Again, this varies state by state. All states have different requirements. Most often training takes place at a local community college or vocational/technical school.

The average cost for CNA training is $200 to $350. This may not include extra fees that can run from $50 to $100. Also, some programs require expense for books which can be $50 to $100. The Red Cross offers a CNA training program for $825. This can be taken in all 50 states at a variety of locations.

There are some CNA courses that are more expensive. For example, Florida’s St. Augustine Nursing Assistant School charges $1,200 for CNA training.

Training Tuition Reimbursement

Many facilities offer full or partial reimbursement of CNA training because they are eager to recruit new workers with this skill.

Check with your local facility first to see if they offer reimbursement. Most will require successful completion of the training and several months on the job before reimbursement is made.

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I have been a professional content writer since 2011.

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