Description of job: Provide or assist with basic care or support under the direction of licensed nursing staff. May include medication administration and other health-related tasks. Includes nursing care attendants, nursing aides, and nursing attendants.
Nursing assistants, or CNAs, answer patient call signals, turn or reposition bedridden patients, and ensure each patient receives the appropriate diet. They help patients with daily living activities such as getting out of bed, using the bathroom, bathing, and walking. Nursing assistants measure vital signs, such as blood pressure and temperature. They observe and listen to patients’ health concerns, then document and share them with supervising nurses.
Also known as: Nursing Care Attendants, Nursing Aides, Nursing Attendant
Typical Work Tasks
People who work in this career often:
- Adjust positions of patients on beds or tables.
- Administer basic health care or medical treatments.
- Administer therapy treatments to patients using hands or physical treatment aids.
- Apply bandages, dressings, or splints.
- Assist patients with daily activities.
- Assist practitioners to perform medical procedures.
- Feed patients.
- Give medications or immunizations.
- Hold patients to ensure proper positioning or safety.
- Interview patients to gather medical information.
Typical Working Conditions
- Having face-to-face discussions.
- Close physical proximity with other people.
- Working with a group or team.
- Walking and running.
- Wearing common protective or safety equipment such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, hard hats, or life jackets.
- Exposure to disease or infections.
- Responsibility for others’ health and safety.
- Frequent decision-making.
- The importance of being accurate or exact.
- Meeting strict deadlines.
Source: Minnesota CAREERwise
Most Important Skills for Nursing Assistants
- Helping Others—Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Speaking—Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Being Aware of Others—Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Reading—Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Listening—Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Monitoring Performance—Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Thinking Critically—Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Coordinating with Others—Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Writing—Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Learning New Things—Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Most Important Knowledge Areas for Nursing Assistants
- Customer and Personal Service—Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Psychology—Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
- English Language—Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Medicine and Dentistry—Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
- Education and Training—Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Public Safety and Security—Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
- Therapy and Counseling—Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
- Computers and Electronics—Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Clerical—Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
- Personnel and Human Resources—Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
Different careers may be a good fit for your personality or interests. This career is:
- Social—Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
- Conventional—Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Source: CareerOne Stop
|Wages Per Hour For Nursing Assistants (MN)|
Low indicates 25% of workers earn less and 75% earn more. Median indicates 50% of workers earn less and 50% earn more. High indicates 75% of workers earn less and 25% earn more.
This career is high growth compared to other careers. There will be a need for about 38,522 new Nursing Assistants to meet market demand between 2018-2028. This includes the demand due to replacement (workers leaving the occupation or retiring) as well as growth.
Source: Minnesota CAREERwise
This career is best for those with a high school degree, and many professionals attend some college. CNAs do require a license.
View the local post-secondary education options for this career from Central Lakes College.
Spotlight on Central Lakes College
- Why consider CLC?
- Virtual Campus Tours: Brainerd Campus, Staples Campus
- Learn more about the CLC Honors Program.
- Attend CLC, and you may never need to buy a textbook.
If you have a physical, mental, developmental, or cognitive condition that requires educational support, learn about support options at CLC.
Or, view the local post-secondary education options for this career from MSTATE/Wadena.
If you have a physical, mental, developmental, or cognitive condition that requires educational support, learn about support options at MSTATE.
Helpful High School Courses
Examples of helpful classes that help you prepare for this career:
- Community Health
- Computer Applications
- Human Development
- Medical Ethics
- Research Methods
- Safety and First Aid/CPR
- World Languages
Source: Minnesota CAREERwise