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CNA Job Description Decides Your Salary

Updated on March 20, 2013
Nursing Assistant
Nursing Assistant

CNA is the short form for a Certified Nursing Assistant, and they are also called as nurse aides, orderlies, caregivers, hospital attendants, geriatric nursing assistants, unlicensed assistive personnel, home health aides, patient care aides, private duty CNA and travel nurse aides. They work in a variety of health care settings, and found working in hospitals, rehabilitation centres, mental health care units, nursing homes, old age homes and hospice under the direct supervision of a registered nurse (RN) or medical members. The characteristics of short duration of training, sustainable income and easy employment opportunities have made CNA Job immensely popular among students, housewives and professionals

Federal CNA Requirements for Jobs

There are certain federal requirements that must be completed by nurse aides for working in nursing homes, Medicare and Medicaid funding hospitals, and other facilities. The federal legislation entitled Omnibus Reconciliation Act (OBR-87) passed in 1987, mandates nursing assistant aiming to perform in a long term care setting, hospital and other facilities must complete a Nurse Aide Training and Competency Evaluation Program (NATCEP). The program consists of at least 75 hours Nurse Aide training Program (NATP), consisting of CNA Classes and Clinical hands-on experience, and Competency Evaluation Test (CNA Exam), comprising of two independent, Written Test and Clinical Test.

The federal legislation further requires nurse aides to pass the competency evaluation test, earn a CNA Certification, and list with the Nurse Aide Registry of the state from where they have become successful in the test. The completion of these procedures allows them to work legally in hospitals, nursing homes and other kinds of health care settings.

CNA Job Duties

The nursing assistants have to perform a variety of job duties in the different kinds of health care settings. Primarily, the duties are more or less based on direct nursing and long term everyday routine cares to elderly citizens and chronically ill patients or meets the postoperative care needs of the patients.

The broad range of direct patient duties performed by certified nurse aides include, activities of daily living (ADA) to long term care residents, check and measure vital signs, collect specimen, empty bed pans, assist reposition of patients and their transfer from bed to a wheel chair and stretcher, or vice versa. They also help the patient’s movements through wheel chair, answer signal lights, keep vigil on the continuous changing of patient’s health and condition and reporting to a registered nurse or a physician, keep the room clean and change bed linen and pillow cover. Their other duties also include respect the right & independence of the patients, administer glucose, injection and water, prepare the patient for operating rooms and form spiritual and mutual bond with the long term care patients and meet their spiritual needs.

The job duties of CNAs are not identical in all facilities but vary depending upon their working facility or CNA Job Description.

CNA Job Description

Nurse Aides working in various health care settings perform few common duties, but in addition, they also have to perform additional duties as required by their job. The duties of a nursing home aide are different from a nurse aide working in a physician’s office. Similarly, nurse aides working in hospitals have a different set of responsibilities than nurse aides working in a school. The travel nurse aide job is different from a home health aide or private duty CNA. Even, in the same facility a nurse aide employed in different departments and positions have separate set of job responsibilities.

Below given separate job descriptions of nurse aides clearly shows the variation in their job duties.

Nursing Home Nurse Aide Job Description

CNAs working in nursing homes provide direct everyday routine cares to long term care rehabilitation patients, admitted there for recovery from a chronicle illness, or elderly citizens needing everyday nursing cares. Nurse aides help these patients in feeding, drinking, bathing and grooming, assist them in walking, supervise their exercises, count and measure their vital signs, report everyday condition of the patient to registered nurse, change bed linens, collect stools, blood and urine samples for lab testing, and other ADA duties.

Physician’s Office Work Description

A nurse aide working in a physician’s office executes entirely different set of responsibilities that may include both nursing and official duties. In the office, they welcome patients, fix appointments, collect samples for lab tests, write down medical history of patients, maintain a patient’s data and file them, attend calls, clean and dress wounds, explain treatment procedures to patients and maintain supplies. On many occasion, they also collect cash and fees on behalf of the physician.

School Nurse Aide Work Description

The duties of a school nurse aide is mainly based on promoting the health and wellness of students, staffs and teachers, provide emergency cares for injuries or chronicle illness, counsel on better health and safe practices, food & nutrition, and daily good habits.

Travel Nurse Aide Job Description

Travel Nurse Aide performs regular direct care duties as executed by a hospital, or nursing home nurse aide, but they work under the contractual obligation for a certain period, ranging from a few weeks to months. They visit distant places under a contract and work for the hiring employer. In comparison to other nursing assistants, they are paid attractive CNA salary and Benefits such as housing and travelling allowances, insurance and others.
Even, nurse aides working in the different departments of the same facility have separate job descriptions. The Intensive Care nurse aides have different job duties than nursing assistant working in emergency rooms, OPD, front desk or medical distribution centre of the hospital.

Future Job Outlook

Nurse Aides have bright future job outlook, and CNA employments are also fastest among the average occupations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report released in 2012, nurse aide jobs will see a growth of 21% by 2014, and 17% by 2018. The highest demand will be for nursing home aides, travel nurse aides, home health aides and hospital attendants.

5 Top States with Highest Number of Nursing Job

The state of California ranks as No. 1 among the 5 Top States offering highest numbers of Nursing Jobs. Other states in the ranking are followed by Florida, New York, Ohio and North Carolina.

CNA Job Salary

The salaries of nursing assistants are not uniform for all jobs, but they are decided by their job descriptions. For example, Hospital Nurse Aide, Intensive Care Unit and Travel nurse aides are paid higher than home health aides, school nurse aides or restorative care centre CNAs.

The salary of nurse aide ranges from $18,000 to $37,000 & above, and hourly wage is $12 to $17. Their remuneration is greatly affected by years of job experience, education, training and additional certifications and degrees, job descriptions, job hours and others.

The salary also varies among different States. The US States of California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Alaska and New Jersey ranks among the top 5 best salary paying states, but States such as Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Alabama, and Arkansas are listed as 5 worst paying states for CNAs.

If, it is your wish to earn higher CNA Salaries, you must remember given points and find out your job description before applying for a nurse aide job.

CNA Salary

CNA Salary
CNA Salary


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