Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) play a vital role in most healthcare organizations, and most facilities ranging from large hospitals to long-term care facilities rely on CNAs for direct patient care.
As a result, there are typically plenty of CNA jobs that need filling at any given point, and you just need to know how to find the right position for you.
If you’re unsure of where to start, we can help you determine how and where to find CNA jobs in 2023 that will be a perfect fit.
Whether you’re looking for full-time or part-time CNA jobs, staff jobs or per diem nursing assistant jobs, we’ll show you how to find all of the options available to you.
What Should I Look For to Find CNA Jobs?
When you’re looking for a new CNA job, you’ll want to make sure that it aligns with what you need.
Make sure you’re reviewing each CNA job description for the following:
- The salary range aligns with what you’re looking for. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing assistants had a median hourly pay of $17.18 per hour in 2022. However, it’s worth noting that pay varies significantly depending on your specific role, location, and experience.
- It’s the kind of role you want to work in. Do you want to work with dementia patients in a memory care facility, or are you only interested in working in pediatric hospitals? Consider if you want regular changes in your hours or the type of work you do or if you prefer consistency.
- It’s the type of employment you want. You always want to focus on jobs that align with the type of employment you want, whether that’s a staff job or a contract job, and full-time or part-time. While part-time jobs can sometimes lead to full-time opportunities and contract jobs can result in staff job offers after the fact, try to find what you’re looking for upfront. However, if it’s a great temporary opportunity at your dream location and you’re hoping a contract or part-time position is a good way to stick your foot in the door for a full-time offer later, shoot your shot!
Ready to find CNA jobs that are exactly what you’re looking for? There are six methods we recommend when it comes to finding the perfect fit, regardless of the type of job you’re looking for.
1. Check Job Boards
If you’re looking for traditional employment—specifically staff jobs—and are open to working in a variety of different facility types or even locations, starting by checking job board posting sites is a great option.
Since these sites are typically free to access, you can browse or search for positions. When searching, you can use keywords or filters to find CNA jobs that are in your desired field, salary range, or location.
There are both general and nursing-specific job boards. Check out both because you never know which one your preferred healthcare organization will use, and casting a wide net is always a plus when job searching.
2. Review Healthcare Organization Career Pages
If you know that there is a specific organization you’d like to work for, go straight to the source.
Many healthcare organizations—especially large facilities like hospitals—have a “Careers” page on their site, which can often be found in the footer section of the site or by searching. They’ll list the jobs they’re currently hiring for, and many allow you to sort the jobs by position.
Consequently, if you find a position you’re interested in, apply directly through the site.
In most cases, this tactic works best for those who are interested in traditional CNA hospital jobs (or other traditional staff positions). Facilities working with travel or PRN CNAs often choose to work with agencies or rely on staffing apps, which brings us to our next section!
3. Use a PRN CNA Staffing App to Find Jobs
Working as a per diem CNA (or “PRN CNA”) is an outstanding opportunity to earn more per hour and add both flexibility and diversity to your schedule.
PRN CNAs are contracted workers—not staff employees—requesting work on a shift-by-shift basis. In many cases, healthcare organizations rely on a staffing tool like Nursa to find and select PRN nursing assistants for individual shifts.
Some CNAs choose to work per diem shifts while they search for more permanent employment options, while others prefer to work exclusively on a PRN basis for the higher-than-average hourly pay and flexibility.
4. Consider Travel CNA Jobs
Travel nursing gets plenty of attention, but plenty of facilities seek out travel CNAs, too.
Like PRN nursing, travel nursing typically pays substantially more per hour than staff roles, which many nurses leverage to earn a solid chunk of cash quickly. Unlike PRN nursing, however, travel nursing typically requires relocation for a set period of time, often ranging from a few weeks to a few months.
If you’re interested in travel nursing opportunities, search for travel nurse staffing agencies. Keep in mind that the location options may not be your dream destinations, but you can choose to only apply for contracts in locations where you’re willing to work.
5. Reach Out to Your Network
If you’re a licensed CNA, there’s a good chance that you’ve already dipped your toes into the medical community, even if it was just through your initial education. And especially if you’ve worked as a CNA before, there’s likely a long list of people in your network.
It never hurts to reach out to anyone in your network, including past co-workers, employers, and even teachers. You never know who will know of the perfect opportunity, and having someone willing to put in a good word (or even submit a formal referral) can set you ahead of the other candidates.
6. Turn to Google
When in doubt, turning to Google and typing in “CNA jobs near me” can always give you some job applications to start on.
Search engines (including Google) may be a direct and efficient way to find jobs that you’re interested in.
In many cases, note that Google will likely direct you to job postings that you can see on other job boards or hospital career pages. If you’re looking for something specific, starting directly in those locations can be more effective because it leaves out the middleman.
However, if you want to learn more about what your options are and don’t know where to start (or you aren’t happy with what you’ve found so far), Google can be an asset. Consequently, it can also be a good place to discover job boards or employment options that are a good fit for you.
How to Prioritize CNA Job Applications
When reviewing different CNA jobs, it can quickly become overwhelming. There is likely a long list of jobs to sort through, and it’s difficult to know which you should invest your time in.
First, start by prioritizing any positions that you’re most interested in, whether due to pay, location, facility type, or the job description itself.
Next, prioritize any positions that have an application end date that’s quickly approaching. Some organizations will say how long a job posting will be open for—make sure you meet that deadline.
Third, you’ll want to apply for new positions that you’re interested in as quickly as possible. Many healthcare organizations don’t have set timeframes for application, and they’ll fill the position as quickly as they find someone great. If you see a job you love, don’t wait.
Finally, if you’re unsure about a specific position but have extra time to complete an application, it doesn’t hurt to apply. Remember that you’re never required to take a job that isn’t a good fit, and extra interview practice is always good!
And as you’re searching, keep your mind open to different employment options.
While some CNAs work exclusively on a PRN basis, others use PRN work to learn more about the roles and facilities they’d like to work for and as a valuable networking opportunity. It doesn’t hurt that PRN CNAs make a high hourly pay rate in the process!