With 8,000 Baby Boomers retiring each day, the need for Certified Nursing Professionals (also referred to as CNAs) has never been greater. As more people look to certified nursing to grow a career, many people often ask, "what does a CNA do?" Our quick tip CNA duties guide covers the essentials of on-the-job CNA duties.

CNA Duties Guide Overview

Here's what you can learn in the following four sections:
  1. What being a CNA will prepare you to do
  2. Where do CNAs typically work?
  3. Basic CNA duties
  4. What to expect in terms of CNA pay

What being a CNA will prepare you to do

Becoming a CNA will prepare you to enter the medical the field. A CNA job offers hands-on healthcare experience to care for aging, disabled, or other populations in need that are unable to provide care for themselves. As a CNA, you'll work with nurses, either RNs or LPNs, in performing care to patients. Most often, CNAs play a critical role in following a detailed care plan, outlined by an on-staff RN. Becoming a CNA also prepares you to further a nursing career if you chose to do so. Many nurses, pursue Certified Nursing Assistant jobs to learn the ropes of caregiving while in nursing school. For others, being a CNA is the career path. 

Where do CNAs typically work?

The biggest factor to keep in mind is that duties of a CNA can vary greatly based on the environment in which you chose to work. Here's where most CNAs work:
  • In the home of an aging client (most of the CNA jobs at myCNAjobs fall in this category)
  • In a nursing home
  • In an assisted living community or other retirement type of establishment
  • In hospitals
  • In urgent care centers 

Basic CNA Duties

Most all CNAs are responsible for following a detailed care plan that includes some or all of the following:

1. Helping patients/clients in and out of beds and getting around
2. Light cleaning 
3. Changing and making beds
4. Monitoring and reporting on changes in a patient’s condition
5. Taking vitals 
6. Reminding patients/clients to take proper medication and dosages
7. Assisting with bathing and grooming 
8. Administrative duties (recording is so important!)
9. Transporting to and from appointments
10. Being a companion, listening, talking, and sharing (and we think this is the most rewarding part of a professional caregiver job!). 

As a CNA, you provide a critical link between the patient, nurse, and families. Your efforts are crucial for the patient’s health, however a CNA job can be taxing - you must be prepared to be physically and emotionally challenged. 


The three biggest factors determining CNA pay are:
  • Location
  • Type of employer
  • Experience 
The average pay for a CNA is at a low end of $8.55 an hour to a high end of $16.62 and a median of $11.54. CNA pay is also influenced with overtime hours, weekend, night, and holiday shifts. Your pay may also depend on how well you keep up with your continued CNA training and required CNA CEUS.  For in-depth information about pay, please see the Caregiver and CNA Pay resource guide.

If you're interested in pursuing a career in the caregiving space, consider filling out a caregiver job application.  You can work as a non-medical caregiver while in CNA school and then pursue a CNA job afterwards.  If you apply on myCNAjobs, you'll be considered for all jobs in your local area as you grow your career. To apply for caregiver jobs now visit: JOB APPLICATION

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