Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
Certified nursing assistants are the first level in the hierarchy of nursing. The role involves helping patients with the type of tasks associated with daily life, including eating, dressing and bathing. They may also take and monitor a patient’s vital signs, such as their temperature or blood pressure. CNAs often work in nursing homes, retirement homes or hospitals. CNAs usually work under the supervision of licensed nurses, such as LPNs or RNs.
The training and educational requirements for becoming a CNA are not as intensive as the requirements for other levels of nursing degrees. CNAs are required to complete a state-approved training program and pass a competency exam. CNA training programs typically require a high school diploma or equivalent as a prerequisite.
The duties of a CNA are primarily focused on providing patients with basic care, while other levels of nursing involve more direct monitoring of patient health.