Best CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) Job Description (+ Free Template Download)

A CNA or certified nursing assistant is a professional who provides varying levels of care or support to physically disabled and mentally disabled individuals. A certified nursing assistant provides an essential role in filling a gap between patients and nurses. A certified nursing assistant provides quality-of-life care in hospitals, hospices, long-term care facilitates, medical facilities, and other nursing or residential settings.

A certified nursing assistant is sometimes referred to as a certified nursing aide, certified nurse assistant, certified nurse, registered nurse, medical assistant, licensed practical nurse (LPN), and nurse aide.

A Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) is a job title specific to California and Texas. It is similar to the role of Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) in other states.

cna job description

CNA Job Description Sample

Our private hospice facility is seeking a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) to provide care when the charge nurse (head nurse) or nurse practitioner is unavailable to attend to the patient or customer. The nursing assistant will assist with patient care, ensuring the guest’s skin integrity (overseeing bedridden patients ulcers, skin tears, repositioning guests), infection control, and general care (changing a bedpan regularly and any gauzes present).

CNA Duties and Responsibilities

Duties and job responsibilities of a CNA include:

  • Assist patients with general healthcare needs.
  • Communicate with the charge nurse regarding patient health care.
  • Transport patients as needed (ambulatory and other transportation needs).
  • Check the vital signs of patients within the nursing home.
  • Communicate and coordinate with the nursing staff (and certified nurse aides) to ensure each patient is provided care regularly.
  • Operate medical equipment to ensure residents receive prescribed regular and basic care.
  • Ensure daily living of the patients is the highest quality of life possible.
  • Assist with the charge nurse and licensed practical nurse (LPN) with helping patients in a variety of administrative style duties.
  • Answer call bells and make rounds.
  • Provide post mortem care.
  • Reposition patients and residents in a bed or char.
  • Assist in ambulation requirements and needs.
  • Assist with personal and dental hygiene (as part of ADL's).
  • Transfer the patient to and from the bed or chair or other locations within the facility.

Assisted Living CNA Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Reports directly to the nurse manager. And may also take direction from licensed nurses on duty or other supervisory staff from the assisted living home.
  • Provides direct care to residents on a daily basis and reports on residents' conditions.
  • Assists with activities, light housekeeping, laundry, and dining services.
  • Assists with services in nature, in performance of duties the resident care assistant is entrusted to assist residents with basic personal care according to procedures and daily assignment.
  • Includes but is not limited to bathing, dressing, dental hygiene, toilet activities, grooming, feeding, transportation/transfer, etc.

Live-in CNA Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Provides companionship and socialization activities to adults.
  • Perform incidental activities of daily living such as light shopping and errands, preparing nutritious meals or snacks, and straightening up the patient/client’s immediate environment.
  • Utilize infection control measures such as universal standard precautions, hand washing, and personal protective equipment as appropriate.
  • Administers medications and tracks patient's progress on a regular basis.

Certified nursing assistant duties may vary based on the state or requirements of the job (for example, dispensing prescriptions and medications).

CNA Requirements

Qualified candidates should have the following:

  • High School Diploma or equivalent.
  • Completed the state issued CNA Program (CNA certification).
  • Previous CNA training preferred.
  • Previous experience working within a healthcare facility.
  • Previous experience in a CNA position preferred.

CNA Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a certified nursing assistant (CNA) earns $14.25 per hour, on average. Equalling $29,640 per year in median wages.

CNA Skills

Top certified nursing assistant candidates have the following skills, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • Communication skills. Nursing assistants and orderlies must listen and respond to patients’ concerns. They also need to share information with other healthcare workers.
  • Compassion. Nursing assistants and orderlies help and care for people who are sick, injured, or need aid for other reasons. They need an empathetic attitude to do their work.
  • Patience. The routine tasks of cleaning, feeding, and bathing patients may be stressful. Nursing assistants and orderlies must be able to complete these tasks with professionalism.
  • Physical stamina. Nursing assistants and orderlies spend much of their time on their feet. They must be able to perform tasks such as lifting or moving patients.

In addition, Winona Suzanne Ball (RN, MHS) says that a key skill of a CNA is communication. Stating, "In a team, everyone relies on accurate information from the others. You want to be able to share your observations with the nurse and document them on the patient’s chart. Your patients need you to listen well and offer support. They also need you to give them clear instructions."

CNA Certifications, Education, and More

The requirements for nursing assistants vary by state. To see a full list of CNA requirements by state, view this resource.

Generally speaking, nursing assistants need to pass a state issues competency exam and be placed on the state registry. Criminal background checks are often required amongst employers. Some states allow a nursing assistant to earn additional credentials, such as Certified Medication Assistant (CMA). As a CMA, the assistant is allowed to dispense medications.

Orderlies do not need a license. However, it's common for jobs to require cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or basic life support (BLS).

Education requirements

Education requirements for this position include completing a state-approved education program. The education program can be obtained through technical schools, vocational schools, trade schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and community colleges. The program consists of learning the principles of nursing and supervised clinical work.

Similar Occupations

CNA Job Boards

Administrators and employers should post job advertisements and job descriptions on "niche" job boards before using national job boards like Indeed or Career Builder. These smaller, more industry-specific job boards can have a higher caliber of job seeker familiar with the job board.

Top CNA job boards

Posting on these job boards have a higher caliber of a candidate who has a passion for advancing their CNA career.

Writing an Effective CNA Job Description

When writing an effective job description and job advertisement for a CNA, it's important to consider placing work environment on the job description for the candidate to review. Dynamics and aspects of the work environment might include:

Helping patients with daily activities (known as "ADLs")

Helping patients with bathing, grooming, toileting, eating, and moving.

Serving meals and helping patients to consume food

Ensuring patients have regular meals and their meals are prepared properly.

Lifting and moving patients

CNA's must be able to move their patients from place-to-place with ease. Following safety guidelines and ensuring patients are comfortable. This includes moving patients to a wheelchair or assisting with repositioning patients.

Taking vital signs

CNA's may have to measure blood pressure, take a pulse, and check the body temperature of a patient. They should record their findings for the physician or regular doctor.

Communicating with a healthcare team

Whether in a private home or a medical facility, it's vital that the CNA communicates with patients and nurses, and physicians so that everyone is on the same page. Recording vital signs, ensuring all paperwork is organized, and having clear verbal communication skills is important for a CNA to practice and follow.

Providing companionship and friendship

A key variable in the work environment, being able to spend time with the patient, provide compassion and support, and being a friend to the patient is critical. This includes helping patients who feel lonely, frustrated, and/or scared about end-of-life.

Maintaining a clean environment

Depending on the daily needs, this can involve changing bedpans, spills, changing sheets, and other room needs to ensure that the patient is comfortable and in a sanitized environment.

Where do CNA's work?

These work environment variables should be listed on the job description and job advertisement to ensure that each candidate that applies is knowledgeable of the type of work environment that they're applying for. A CNA can be found in:

  • Hospitals
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Nursing homes
  • Hospice care
  • Adult daycare centers
  • Long-term residential facilities for the elderly

CNA Job Description Tips

Follow some of the tips below to write an effective CNA job description:

Use industry-standard job titles

Use titles like "Certified Nursing Assistant," Staff CNA," or "Nursing Home CNA." Depending on the needs of the position, requirements, and other factors—the job title may change based on the needs. Be sure to use industry-standard titles rather than "Rockstar CNA."

Be sure to speak about Activities of Daily Living (ADL)

Activites of Daily Living (ADL's) are a core part of the CNA job description. Be sure to include these are part of the work environment section on the job description. This will provide the candidate with more information regarding toileting, showering, bathing, changing bedpans, providing backrubs, skincare routines, and other patient hygiene requirements.

Be sure to mention the HIPAA Privacy Act

As part of the job duties and responsibilities, including a HIPAA Privacy Act mention can be essential. This ensures the candidate is aware of following and protecting confidential patient information.

CNA Job Outlook

The job outlook for CNA's is expected to be positive, growing 8% between 2019 and 2029. This is faster than many other occupations. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics provides insight into why there may be a higher demand for this job in the United States. Saying, "As the baby-boom population ages, nursing assistants and orderlies will be needed to help care for an increasing number of older patients in nursing and residential care facilities. Older people are more likely than younger people to have disorders such as dementia, or to live with chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. More nursing assistants will be needed to care for patients with these conditions."

CNA Job Description Template

Job brief
Our private hospice facility is seeking a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) to provide care when the charge nurse (head nurse) or nurse practitioner is unavailable to attend to the patient or customer. The nursing assistant will assist with patient care, ensuring the guest’s skin integrity (overseeing bedridden patients ulcers, skin tears, repositioning guests), infection control, and general care (changing a bedpan regularly and any gauzes present).

Duties and responsibilites
  • Assist patients with general healthcare needs.
  • Communicate with the charge nurse regarding patient health care.
  • Transport patients as needed (ambulatory and other transportation needs).
  • Check the vital signs of patients within the nursing home.
  • Communicate and coordinate with the nursing staff (and certified nurse aides) to ensure each patient is provided care regularly.
  • Operate medical equipment to ensure residents receive prescribed regular and basic care.
  • Ensure daily living of the patients is the highest quality of life possible.
  • Assist with the charge nurse and licensed practical nurse (LPN) with helping patients in a variety of administrative style duties.
  • Answer call bells and make rounds.
  • Provide post mortem care.
  • Reposition patients and residents in a bed or char.
  • Assist in ambulation requirements and needs.
  • Assist with personal and dental hygiene (as part of ADL's).
  • Transfer the patient to and from the bed or chair or other locations within the facility.
Requirements
  • High School Diploma or equivalent.
  • Completed the state issued CNA Program (CNA certification).
  • Previous CNA training preferred.
  • Previous experience working within a healthcare facility.
  • Previous experience in a CNA position preferred.

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Cna Job Description Template

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Using a Job Description Template

Follow these instructions to use a job description template:

Job Description Format

Follow the format below when writing a job description.

Job Title:
[Job Title]

[Job Summary/Job Brief]

Responsibilities and Duties:
  • [List 4-5 essential functions of the job role]
Requirements:
  • [List 5+ qualifications including education level, experience level, key skills, and expectations of the job function]
(Optional) Work Environment:
  • [LIst 2-5 characteristics, traits, and other requirements of the role]
  • [If physical requirements are necessary, include reasonable accommodation details]
This role and job position will report directly to [Job Title] who leads [Department Name].

For more information on writing a job description, visit this resource.

Top Job Boards

Consider posting a job description or job advertisement (referred to as a "job ad") on one of the following national job boards:

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author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.

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