CNA Jobs, Employment, and Career Outlook Find CNA School

The job prospects for nursing assistants in the USA are estimated to grow by 21% between 2012 and 2022. Those who have completed an authorized nurse aide training program and successfully, cleared the competency evaluation test can expect lucrative career opportunities in several health care facilities. As per the figures provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of certified nurse aides employed in May 2013 was 1,427,830. In present scenario, the career outlook for CNAs is very bright, and these professionals enjoy handsome salary packages and other perks due to their ever increasing demand.

Industries with the Highest Level of Employment for Nursing Aides

The top five industries in the United States with the highest level of employment in this profession are:

Industry

Percent of industry employment

Employment

Annual mean wage

Hourly mean wage

Nursing Care Facilities (Skilled Nursing Facilities)

37.59

622,850

$24,970

$12.01

General Medical and Surgical Hospitals

6.63

349,650

$28,150

$13.53

Home Health Care Services

5.60

67,950

$23,940

$11.51

Continuing Care Retirement Communities and Assisted Living Facilities for the Elderly

19.43

158,360

$24,340

$11.70

Employment Services

1.04

34,160

$26,230

$12.61

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Information Source: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (as of May 2013)

Nursing care facilities offered the highest employment to the nursing assistants while the lowest employment was offered by employment services, in May 2013 (as per the BLS). The statistics are shown below with the help of a pie chart.

Industries with the Highest Concentration of Employment for Nursing Assistants

Industry

Percent of industry employment

Employment

Annual mean wage

Hourly mean wage

Nursing Care Facilities (Skilled Nursing Facilities)

37.59

622,850

$24,970

$12.01

General Medical and Surgical Hospitals

6.63

349,650

$28,150

$13.53

Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals

8.81

21,080

$28,290

$13.60

Continuing Care Retirement Communities and Assisted Living Facilities for the Elderly

19.43

158,360

$24,340

$11.70

Home Health Care Services

5.60

67,950

$23,940

$11.51

Information Source: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (as of May 2013)

According to the BLS report, as of May 2013, nursing care facilities offered the highest concentration of employment whereas home health care services had the lowest concentration of employment for CNAs.

Top Employer States for CNAs

State

Employment per thousand jobs

Employment

Annual mean wage

Hourly mean wage

Location quotient

New York

11.56

99,820

$32,130

$15.45

1.07

California

6.62

97,420

$29,910

$14.38

0.61

Texas

7.94

86,630

$23,810

$11.45

0.74

Florida

11.53

85,910

$23,870

$11.48

1.07

Pennsylvania

13.27

74,520

$27,850

$13.39

1.23

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Information Source: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (as of May 2013)

According to the figures provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May 2013, New York employed the highest number of CNAs while Pennsylvania employed the lowest.

States with the Highest Concentration of Jobs and Location Quotients

State

Employment per thousand jobs

Employment

Annual mean wage

Hourly mean wage

Location quotient

Rhode Island

21.63

9,870

$28,750

$13.82

2.01

North Dakota

16.51

6,980

$28,070

$13.49

1.53

Maine

16.29

9,480

$24,610

$11.83

1.51

Iowa

15.88

23,680

$25,310

$12.17

1.47

Arkansas

15.75

18,150

$21,280

$10.23

1.46

Information Source: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (as of May 2013)

According to the reports of the BLS, employment per thousand jobs in Rhode Island was highest, i.e., 21.63 while it was lowest in Arkansas, i.e., 15.75 (as of May 2013).

Job Description of Certified Nursing Assistants

As a nurse aide, you are supposed to perform and fulfill the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Conduct the preliminary interview of patients and greet them.
  • Nursing assistants collect vital information about the patient’s condition including height, weight, respiration, pulse rate and blood pressure.
  • CNAs take care of the patient’s personal hygiene which includes- shaving, bed bath, and nail care, etc.
  • Interact with and observe the residents, and report health issues to the supervisor.
  • Keep the patient’s space clean and organized.
  • Arrange meal trays, feed patients and record the fluid/food intake.
  • Make beds, help toileting the patients and also empty their catheter bags.
  • These nurses perform their jobs under the supervision of LPNs and RNs.
  • They direct the visitors and answer the phone calls.
  • Reposition the bedridden patients, in order to prevent bedsores.
  • Nurse aides’ help patients walk and transport them using wheeled cart or wheelchair.
  • They also assist in caring elderly (geriatric) patients.
  • A nurse aide sets up all the required medical equipments and assist supervisors in medical procedures and personal care.

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Skills and Qualifications Required for Getting a CNA Job

One must possess the following skills to acquire the job of a certified nursing assistant.

Soft Skills

  • Excellent observation skills to identify a person’s actual health condition.
  • Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills.
  • S/he should be proficient enough to prioritize the work.
  • Outstanding literacy skills so as to document the records.
  • A CNA job aspirant should be capable to follow the encoded protocols.

Technical Skills

  • In-depth knowledge of elementary methodologies and infectious disorders is a must.
  • Complete understanding of physiological issues and working system of the human body.
  • CNA job aspirants should be capable of observing the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) regulations.
  • S/he should be multi-tasking and hard working.

Where can you work after acquiring your certification?

There are a wide range of health care settings that provide employment to the certified nurse aides. These are:

  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes
  • Pediatric care
  • Retirement facilities
  • Home health aide and residential care agencies
  • General surgical hospitals
  • Assisted living centers
  • Psychiatric hospitals
  • Rehabilitation centers

Benefits of a CNA Job

The job of a certified nursing assistant gives a sense of satisfaction and proud, since this profession offers you an opportunity to contribute towards the well-being of the society. Some other advantages of being a nurse aide are:

  • Becoming a CNA requires short training program that finishes in 4 to 8 weeks.
  • Financial aid for aspirants is also available.
  • They enjoy several perks such as dental vision, good overtime, medical insurance, retirement benefits, life insurance, AD&D insurance, paid holidays, etc.
  • It is a recession-proof profession that remains unaffected by the national economic conditions.
  • They have a number of working alternatives other than hospitals as they can render their services in residential care facilities, hospice, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, retirement communities, long term care facilities, clinics and day care centers, etc.
  • Flexible job hours make this job more lucrative.
  • They have fewer job responsibilities than RNs/LPNs.

Challenges of Being Employed as a Nursing Assistant

Though the job of a nursing assistant is gratifying, it demands hard work and ability to face challenges.

  • CNAs are considered entry-level professionals; hence, they are rewarded with an average pay scale.    
  • During emergencies they might have to work in night shifts as well.
  • Long working hours make this job very tedious.
  • In order to get promoted, CNAs need to take additional training courses.
  • This physically demanding job requires proper care of bed-ridden patients. They have to assist the patients in their day to day activities which make this job quite taxing and strenuous.
  • Back injuries are quite common in this profession.
  • CNAs come across different kinds of patients. They have to handle their aggressive and inappropriate behavior calmly.
  • Nursing assistants are exposed to the risk of several contagious diseases.

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