How to Become a CNA & Find High-Paying Jobs Near Me

picture of a CNA
Written by
Miranda Kay, RN
August 21, 2022

What is a CNA?

CNAs are certified nursing assistants, also called state-tested nursing assistants or STNAs in some states. Their duties are to provide primary care as part of a nursing and medical team in patient care, and they respond to registered nurses (RNs). For example, some of the tasks they perform include:

  • They help with the general cleaning of the patients. In addition, they assist with toileting and dressing when patients need it.
  • They record any changes in the patient's health status and communicate these changes to the nurses and the rest of the health care team.
  • They move patients to prevent ulcers, transfer them from one side to the other, or help them move, depending on the patient's condition.
  • They monitor the patient's vital signs, such as blood pressure or body temperature.
  • They serve food to patients, help them eat when they cannot do so on their own, and get them the items they need.
  • They respond to patient calls and set up beds and rooms for the arrival of a new patient. Occasionally they also change linens or restock cleaning supplies.

All the functions performed by the CNAs are essential so that the patient is well cared for and the patient's health safety is guaranteed. The CNAs provide the basic support that patients need at all times and are an essential part of the recovery of their health. 

How to Become a CNA?

The CNA training consists in having finished high school to be able to do training to become nursing assistants. Once prospective CNAs have completed their training, they must take a certification exam to obtain a license to work. The training to become a CNA usually takes one year, and sometimes CNAs choose to continue their education when they have already become CNAs and are working.

Before beginning the training program, they must ensure that their state board of nursing approves the program they are utilizing. The exam consists of two parts: a written portion and a practical component, demonstrating the clinical skills obtained during CNA training.

CNAs have several options for training as CNAs/STNAs, although this can vary from state to state. Therefore, here they can find a list of requirements to become CNAs. Generally, community colleges, some medical facilities such as the Red Cross and some hospitals, and even some trade schools offer training for CNAs. However, it is important to remember that enrollment in these schools may not be certified for their state, so it is best to confirm and research this before beginning the program.

There is an increasing demand for CNAs in the medical sector, as preventive care is on the rise, and there are shortages in the nursing sector. The U.S. Bureau of Statistics estimates that the profession will increase by 9% over the next ten years. It is also important to note that in 2018 the median annual salary for CNAs was $28,530. Of course, the salary can vary significantly based on the region they are in, and any extra training CNAs may have. For example, in some states, CNAs can become certified to administer medications, which increases the value of their hourly wage. Another option to earn more as a CNA is to work PRN (pro re nata) shifts, which are temporary shifts that medical facilities offer to cover shifts when they are short-staffed or have sick staff, and the wages are considerably higher.

How to Find CNA Shifts Near Me?

PRN shifts have many advantages. For CNAs, in addition to having a higher hourly wage, a significant advantage is that they vary their work and work areas constantly, so they get more experience in the nursing field, have a different routine, and can adapt to more types of work. CNAs can also plan their schedule better since they choose PRN shifts, choose which holidays they want to work or if they're going to have a weekend off, in contrast to a fixed job where the hospital usually sets the schedule.
Nursa's app connects hospitals and employers with certified nursing assistants to find the best PRN jobs for CNAs. There is the possibility to search by the area they want to work in the app, create an account on Nursa, upload the certifications that certify them to work, and start looking for jobs.

Miranda Kay, RN
Blog published on:
August 21, 2022

Miranda is a Registered Nurse, Medical Fact Checker, and Publishing Editor at Nursa. Her work has been featured in publications including the American Nurses Association (ANA), Healthcare IT Outcomes, International Living, and more.

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