Have you been trying to decide on what kind of placement you would prefer for your next CNA job? We’ve done some digging into the information available about CNA jobs in hospitals and CNA jobs in long term care facilities to do a comparison for you. Here’s some basic facts and statistics to get started.

Facts and Statistics

  • According to data published by the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) for the year 2019, 35% of CNAs are employed in skilled nursing facilities and 16% of CNAs are employed in continuing care retirement communities and assisted living facilities. Just under 7% of CNAs are employed by hospitals and surgical centers, followed by 5% employed by home health agencies, and 1.5% for individual and family services.
  • Additional statistics from the BLS show that nursing assistants comprise the third largest group of occupations in the healthcare industry. Leading the industry are home health and personal care aides, followed by registered nurses.
  • The BLS reports that as of the year 2018 there were 1,564,200 CNA jobs nationwide. This number is expected to increase in the coming years, with an expected job growth rate of 9%.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as of the year 2016, there were 15,600 nursing homes in the United States, providing 1.7 million licensed beds, and providing a home to 1.3 million Americans.
  • This report titled U.S. Nursing Assistants Employed in Nursing Homes: Key Facts, reports that CNA’s make up 37% of the staff in long term care facilities, followed by licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses at just 13% and registered nurses at 9%.
  • Income for a CNA varies by job setting and state. The BLS reports that as of the year 2019, the median pay for a CNA in the United States was a yearly salary of $29,640 or $14.25 per hour. A further breakdown shows an annual mean wage of $32,540 for CNAs employed by hospitals and surgical centers, an annual mean wage of $29,650 for CNAs in skilled nursing facilities, and an annual mean wage of $29,100 for continuing care retirement and assisted living facilities.

CNA Hospital Jobs

A hospital setting for a CNA offers different patients on a regular basis. Patients are rarely in hospitals for an extended period and the constant flux of intake and discharge don’t provide a lot of opportunities for CNAs to develop bonds or rapport with their patients. High patient turnover leads to diversity on shift. Rarely is every day the same for a CNA. Some hospitals require additional training certifications for CNAs. CNAs in hospitals may find themselves assisting nurses with patients that have a variety of conditions.

CNA Long-Term-Care Facility Jobs

The long-term care facility setting dictates that a CNA’s job involves providing personal care for residents. Because the facility’s patients are residents, there is little expectation of discharge (except in cases when the facility is acting as a temporary home while the patient rehabilitates). The long-term care aspect allows for CNAs to form rapport and bonds with their patients over a period. CNAs can settle into their job duties by becoming accustomed to the needs and personalities of their patients. Usually, a large portion of CNA jobs in these types of settings is helping with the activities of daily living (ADLs) of the residents. ADL’s include but are not limited to the following:

  • assistance with toileting
  • assistance with bathing
  • assistance with personal hygiene such as shaving, combing hair
  • assistance with eating
  • assistance with mobility

CNAs spend over 2 hours per day of hands-on care with their patients in long term care facilities. In addition to helping with ADLs, CNAs support residents in participating in social activities and perform other clinical tasks as required.

Key Differences Between LTC and Hospital CNAs

  1. Patients – CNAs working in hospitals are exposed to a wider variety of medical conditions, patient age ranges, and job duties. CNAs in long term care facilities can build rapport and relationships with their patients due to the very nature of the facility. Hospitals are intended for short term stays, while nursing homes are a long-term arrangement for patients.
  2. Providing Care – CNAs working in long term care facilities spend more time providing hands on care to their patients because their patients reside at the facility. Their patients cannot be discharged to their homes and require hands on care for their quality of life. CNAs working in hospitals may find that they spend more time assisting the nurses than CNAs in other settings.
  3. Learning Opportunities – CNAs often start their careers in long term care facilities. CNA jobs in hospitals are harder to find and obtain, so CNAs without any job experience or with very little often can find steady employment in nursing homes. The routines of working in long term care facilities can help a new CNA become confident and established and perhaps pave the way for them to further their career. CNAs in hospitals will have contact with more variety of medical conditions and situations and may find that they have more opportunities for learning both by observation and hands on.
  4. Wage – In the facts and statistics section above you will note that CNAs employed in hospital settings generally have a higher wage than their counterparts employed in long term care facilities.

The Decision is Yours

The job opportunities available to a CNA are not limited only to hospitals and nursing homes, there are merely the most obvious settings and have the most job opportunity. Whether you want work that is routine and allows you to form bonds and rapport with your patients, or you want to be presented with a variety of medical situations and conditions, the choice is yours. CNA jobs are a vital part of the medical healthcare system and you can take comfort in knowing that the work you do is important. Join Nursa™ today and find CNA jobs in multiple different settings available in real time.

Written by Miranda Booher

Miranda is a 13-year registered nurse with a healthy background in travel nursing and healthcare marketing. She brings an interesting combination of stellar copywriting skills and first-hand nursing experience to the table. Miranda understands the industry and has an impeccable ability to write about it. And speaking of travel - Miranda currently lives in Uruguay, though she maintains an active Registered Nurse license in the state of Ohio and stays current on the latest healthcare news through her writing. When she is not creating killer copy, or serving others through her work as a nurse, you can find her hanging out on the beach with her devoted husband, three beautiful kids, and their beautiful German Shepherd.

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