Take the First Step Toward Your Health Care Career Now!
Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) originated in WW1 when the Red Cross created a nurse training program called Volunteer Nurses’ Aide Service. As a CNA, you’re part of the greater good, taking care of people who need you. There’s no greater act of kindness than selflessness.
Find a CNA school near you
CNAs work in healthcare settings such as hospitals, outpatient and assisted living facilities, and nursing homes. You may also find a job as an in-home caregiver. Your typical day as a CNA will look like this:
Becoming a certified nursing assistant is a straightforward process:
Expect the clinical (hands-on) portion of the exam to be a bit harder than the practical (written) section. Be warned, you may have to recruit a friend for the clinical part of the state exam.
Also, depending on your state, you may have to provide your fingerprints and background check to be eligible to sit for the exam.
Many CNAs decide to go back to school in order to advance their careers. If you’ve decided that is what your plan is, then consider the following nursing options:
LPN: Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) usually supervise CNAs. You’ll dive deeper into patient care. More education will be necessary. You can choose to get either a diploma/certificate or an associate degree. It should take between nine months to two years to complete your education. You’ll make about $46,000 per year.
RN: You will need an associate degree if you plan on an entry-level registered nurse position. There are bridge programs available to jump from an associate degree to bachelor’s. Expect to earn around $80,010 annually.
Specializing: As an RN, you can decide to go into one of the many specialties. Consider pediatrics, maternal health, geriatrics, and much more. Or, you can decide to continue your education and get your Bachelor of Science-Nursing or Master of Science-Nursing. You could even get a doctorate in nursing. It’s just up to you and how far you want to take your career.
In 2021, the salary for a CNA was $33,250, with the top 10 percent earning $44,240 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The highest paying industries are government, hospitals, and nursing care facilities. The highest paying states are Alaska, New York, and California (bls.gov).
The projected growth of CNA positions is about average between now and 2030, with expected openings of 118,500 jobs at the end of the decade. Due to the baby boomers aging, which is the largest demographic, more health-related issues will be prevalent. Also, there are a lot of openings due to job burnout because of the nature of the occupation. States where the most CNAs are available are Rhode Island, North Dakota, and Kansas. Industries with the highest concentration of jobs are nursing care facilities, retirement and continuing care facilities, and specialty hospitals (bls.gov).