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Explore the Possibilities of a CNA Career

Learn more about the CNA life and get details about how to enroll in NextStep’s training-to-placement CNA program.

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Certified Nursing Assistant on the job

What is a Certified Nursing Assistant?

December 1, 2021

What is a CNA?

  • Provide hands-on care
  • May work in a home or long-term-care community setting
  • Assist with basic needs
  • Offer emotional support

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 community. 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?

  • State-approved CNA training program
  • State certification exam
  • Online and in-person learning

To become a CNA, you must complete a state-approved CNA 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 as little as six or seven weeks, depending on the state you're in. You complete your theory coursework via app, 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?

  • Monitor condition of those in your care
  • Provide basic personal care
  • Assisting with meal times
  • Participating in conversation and fun activities

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 CNA's 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?

  • Rewarding career
  • Financial stability
  • Opportunity for growth in the health care field
  • Transferable skills

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 blended-learning Nursing Assistant program means you can get trained tuition free and have a guaranteed job offer with one of our employer partners waiting for you after certification. 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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