CNA Job Description (Salary, Certification, Training, Skills & More)

CNA stands for Certified Nursing Assistant. If you want to join the respectable, celebrated and esteemed workforce of medical professionals, than undertaking a CNA course is highly recommended for you. They are probably the least recognized medical professionals and termed as unsung heroes. The level of satisfaction and care experienced by a patient majorly depends upon CNA professionals.

CNA Job Description

Duties and Job Profile

Like the role of every assistant, the job profile of a CNA moves along the same lines with a special focus on clerical and care-related activities for the patients. Some of the primary duties of a CNA include:

  • Replace, change and clean the bedsheets of the patients
  • Ensure that patients are wearing clean, stain-free, and properly sanitized clothes while being admitted to the hospital
  • Assist a patient is eating his or her food or drinking fluids
  • Give the prescribed medicines to the patients on a timely basis
  • Assist the patient in maintaining an optimum level of personal hygiene by helping him in bathing and brushing his teeth
  • Help the patients in:
    • Moving his limbs
    • Making him walk
    • Changing the sides on the bed
    • Lifting the patient
  • Record the patient’s history and his activities on a pre-generated form
  • Collecting and disposing of the urine collected in the urinary bag allotted to the patient
  • Enabling the patient to pass stools on the bed, if the need arises
  • Monitor the patient on a time to time basis and immediately bring to the notice of the doctor any urgency or emergency
  • Collect the blood, stool, or urine samples as directed by the doctor
  • Engage in phlebotomy

These are some general duties that a CNA has to perform. However, they mostly vary from institution to institution and depend upon a variety of factors such as the scale of operations, type of patients admitted, and the availability of a specialized workforce.


The salary prospects of a CNA is bright and there is a considerable demand for the profession. However, the salary fetched by a CNA depends upon a variety of factors such as,

Factors affecting salaryEffect on salary
LocationA CNA employed at locations having a higher cost of living is expected to fetch a higher salary as compared to his counterparts who are posted at medical institutions located in semi-urban, rural, or primitive areas.
Work experienceWork experience and salary enjoy a direct relationship with each other. The higher your experience is, the higher would be your salary. An experienced CNA is employed by big and reputed medical hospitals and fetches a fat paycheck.
SkillsA skillful and adept CNA is always on the radar of employers and is able to get a job pretty easily. Hence, one must strive to enhance his or her skills by joining practical training courses.
TimingThe timing of joining a medical institution also plays a key role in determining the expected salary. If you are able to join a medical hospital, during a period of medical emergency and distress, it is highly likely that you would fetch a higher salary than getting a salary, available upon joining in normal times.


In order to become a Certified Nursing Assistant you must at least have the following educational qualifications:

  • A diploma from high school
  • Certified Nursing Assistant certificate program of 6 to 8 weeks from a medical college

Post this you can also join a few prominent nursing certification courses for career advancement.

Skills Required

Being in a profession such as medicine, wherein you have to deal with patients, who are already broken, nervous and anxious due to their ailment, there are several skills that a CNA must possess in order to serve the patients both technically as well as emotionally. Several common skills found in successful certified nursing assistants are:

1) Knowledge of Various Medical Terminologies

A CNA has to take orders from its seniors who are most probably qualified nurses, veteran doctors and celebrated surgeons. All these have an extensive knowledge of their profession enabling them to talk and communicate with their juniors using medical terminologies. Hence, a CNA must have a good grip and complete knowledge of all the popular and most frequently used medical terminologies.

2) Basic Medical Measurements

A CNA must be aware and proficient in performing basic medical measurements, such as:

  • Measuring, understanding, and noting down the:
    • Blood pressure of the patient
    • The temperature of the candidate
    • Pulse of the patient
    • The oxygen level of the patient
  • Understanding the vital signs and notice relevant changes in the patient

3) Knowledge of Dressing

In every hospital, there are several patients who have been affected by a wound which may or may not cause extensive bleeding and pus. It is the role of a CNA to dress the wound properly by applying several antibiotic ointments and gauges. The patient might follow up and a CNA is also required to re-dress the wound from time to time.

4) Knowledge of Mobility

There are several patients in every medical institution who experience limited temporary mobility arising due to several sicknesses and/or medical surgeries. A CNA must have knowledge and expertise in assisting the patients with their day-to-day movements.

5) Knowledge of Puncturing Veins

A CNA might be asked by his or her senior to engage in phlebotomy or simply give additional glucose via installing a drip facility. This requires a CNA to learn this skill. This involves a high level of expertise and precision and hence a phlebotomist must strive to practice it from day one.


Medical professionals are treated next to god, no matter it is a qualified surgeon or a certified nursing assistant. Every medical personnel has roles and duties that are specific to him or her, and play an important role in the management and treatment of patients. hence, if you have relevant skills and interests, look no further and become a CNA. If you like our articles then don’t forget to share them with your family and friends. Also, do let us know through the comments section below, how much you like our articles.


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