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What Is a Certified Nursing Assistant?

What Is a CNA?

CNAs provide hands-on care to individuals who need assistance—often elderly people or someone who has had an acute healthcare event or injury. CNAs may work in an individual’s home, at a nursing home, or in a long-term-care or assisted-living facility. They assist clients with basic needs such as personal care, wellness monitoring and household tasks. They’re also a source of emotional support during what may be the most vulnerable time in their clients’ lives. 

What Training Does the Job Require?

To become a CNA, you must complete a state-approved program that provides both theory and hands-on skills training. Then, you must pass a state certification exam before you can start a job. NextStep streamlines this process into just six weeks! You can complete your coursework via app or online, and our mentors support you through certification and for the first 90-days of your job with one of our employer partners.

What Does a Typical Day as a CNA Look Like?

CNAs are responsible for monitoring the condition of their clients and noting any changes. They spend more one-on-one time with residents than nurses or doctors, so the information they obtain can save lives! CNAs may take vital signs, such as weight, temperature or pulse. Providing basic personal care is also the responsibility of a CNA. Some clients only need minimal help, while others may require total care, including feeding, bathing, toileting and dressing. Another part of a CNAs role caring for others is ensuring the client has a clean environment and access to meals and snacks throughout the day. In addition to these physical duties, CNAs boost their clients’ mental health by engaging them in conversation and fun activities. CNAs often find their relationship with clients to be deeply meaningful. 

Is a CNA Career Right for You?

If you’re interested in a rewarding career with stability and opportunity for growth that also makes a positive difference in the world, a CNA career might be right for you! Whether your goal is having job stability and satisfaction or eventually moving on to become a nurse, working as a CNA sharpens your communications skills, teaches you creative problem solving and strengthens your time management—all skills that apply throughout your life!

Ready to Get Started?

NextStep’s innovative program means you can get certified tuition free and have a guaranteed position with one of our employer partners waiting for you when you graduate. Click the button below to connect with one of our mentors who can answer your questions and get you started with the course!


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