Certified Nursing Assistant Practice Test
Take your time and good luck!
Take your time and good luck!
A CNA, or certified nursing assistant, is an entry-level member of a patient’s healthcare team, performing important patient-centered tasks under the supervision of licensed nursing staff. Although a CNA is not a nurse, they work very closely with nurses, physicians, and other healthcare providers.
Becoming a CNA is the path that many people take to start their career in healthcare. Some may move onto more advanced levels of nursing, while others are satisfied with the many rewards of working as a CNA. In either case, it will take you an average of only 10 weeks—and possibly as few as four—to complete the necessary education to become a certified nursing assistant.
This page will discuss typical CNA responsibilities and tasks, where CNAs work, the types of patients they interact with, the pros and cons of the job, and more.
What Does a CNA Do?
CNAs ensure the wellbeing of their patients by performing a variety of tasks that help with daily living activities. Because CNAs typically spend more time with patients than nurses or doctors, they understand their behaviors and health statuses.
They get to know each patient, their typical behaviors, and their general state of health and are often the first to notice physical or emotional changes. Whether identifying decreased mobility, increased pain, or memory issues, CNAs play important roles in the early detection of symptoms and may identify issues that other healthcare personnel do not.
Is CNA Considered a Nurse?
As their titles imply, certified nursing assistants “assist” nurses and other physicians rather than working as official nurses themselves. That said, CNAs are vital members of the nursing profession. For CNAs to practice, they must be under the supervision of registered nurses or licensed practical nurses. Because they are not legally responsible for the medical care of the patients, they must practice under those who are.
Where Do CNAs Work?
CNAs work in various healthcare settings, including general and specialty hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living establishments, and rehabilitation facilities. In some cases, their non-routine duties may be somewhat dependent on where they work.
The patient populations CNAs work with can also vary along with the work setting. CNAs in hospitals might work in wards with specific age groups, such as infants or young children. They may work in specialty hospitals with cancer patients or patients with other specific health conditions.
CNAs who work in nursing homes deal with elderly patients, while those who work in rehabilitation facilities may interface with patients of all ages with various ailments or diseases. CNAs in memory care facilities have the challenge of working with patients who have Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
As a CNA, you have an abundance of options. You can work in environments and with populations that you are interested in and most comfortable with.
How Much Do CNAs Make?
As of May 2020, nursing assistants earned average annual salaries of $32,050. Those in the top 10% of earners received an average of $42,110, while those in the bottom 10% earned just $22,750. Salaries for CNAs can vary substantially, so individuals considering this path should research and make sure typical earnings meet their needs.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?
Becoming a certified nursing assistant can take varying lengths of time, from four weeks to three months, depending on specific programs and student schedules. Those who want to enter the field as quickly as possible can find accelerated programs that take just a few weeks to complete, while students with busier schedules may prefer a longer part-time option. Look into several different programs to find the one that meets your needs.
Is CNA the Same as Medical Assistant?
Both CNAs and medical assistants operate in healthcare support roles, but their training requirements and responsibilities differ. CNAs spend their days providing direct patient care, including many of the responsibilities outlined throughout this guide.
Medical assistants straddle the line between administrative and clinical tasks. Part of the day, they may answer phones, schedule patient appointments, or organize filing systems. At other times they may administer shots and medication, assist physicians during exams, or take vital signs.
Is Nursing Assistant the Same as a CNA?
While some nursing assistant positions don’t require certification, those jobs may not involve the medical care responsibilities that CNAs typically have. Individuals who plan on completing further education at some point to become an LPN, RN, or other nursing professional should make sure they become certified. Earning this qualification will also help you stand out from other candidates during the job interview process.
Is CNA a Degree?
CNA is not a degree but rather a certification. Because it takes only a few weeks to months to become a CNA, these training programs are much shorter than nursing degree programs. That said, nursing assistants who decide they want to continue on the CNA career path can pursue a degree.
How Do I Get My CNA Certification?
The first step to receiving CNA certification is to complete a certified nursing training program. Many state boards of nursing provide a list of approved programs to help students pick a reputable option.
After completing all requirements, graduates must take the CNA certification exam administered by their state and receive a passing grade. They can then apply for licensure. To maintain licensure, CNAs must follow continuing education hour requirements set by their state board of nursing.