The certified nursing assistant, or CNA, provides an invaluable service to patients in a range of facilities. CNAs work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, residential care facilities, residences and hospices. The CNA uses his skills and knowledge to provide compassionate, attentive and ethical care to patients suffering from a range of conditions. The CNA salary ranges depending on a number of factors, including job location, employer and experience.
What Is the CNA Salary?
If you have ever wondered, how much does a CNA make, CNAs earn a range of salaries that rely significantly on several factors. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that nursing aides, orderlies and attendants earned a median annual salary of $24,190 or $11.63 per hour, as of 2011. Salary.com reveals that the median annual CNA salary in a long-term care facility was $25,641 or $12.33 per hour, as of September 2012.
There are a number of factors that determine salary. For example, CNAs who worked in general medical and surgical hospitals earned $27,290 ($13.12 hourly) annually and those who worked in substance abuse facilities earned $23,500 ($11.30 per hour) annually. The highest paying industries included scientific research and development services ($36,910, $17.75 hourly), the federal branch of the government ($35,850, $17.24 per hour) and colleges and universities ($32,200, $15.48 hourly).
Wages By State
The CNA salary by state also varies. The highest paying states for this occupation included Alaska ($34,700, $16.68 per hour) followed by New York ($31,830, $15.30 hourly ) and Nevada ($31,610, $15.20 per hour). The lowest paying states were concentrated in the southern region of the United States and included Mississippi ($19,890, $9.56 hourly), Louisiana ($20,630, $9.92 per hour), Arkansas ($20,890, $10.04 hourly) and Alabama ($21,570, $10.37 per hour). Each of these salaries were median annual wages as of May 2011.
CNA Job Description
The health-care industry regularly utilizes the abilities of certified nursing assistants. Nursing assistants perform a range of duties that keep patients comfortable in a safe environment. The CNA performs basic techniques in the care and assistance of patients. For example, many nursing assistants transfer patients from their beds to a wheelchair or bathing area. The assistant is also responsible for recording concerns voiced by the patient and conveying that information to a nurse or doctor. The nursing assistant also performs health-related tasks, such as taking vital signs, including a patients temperature and blood pressure. In addition, cleaning the patient’s area and assisting with bathing are essential skills the nursing assistant needs. The assistant may also help patients eat during mealtimes.
How to Become a CNA
The certified nursing assistant must meet basic requirements established by her state and employer. Each state offers is own guidelines, but typically, job candidates must meet basic eligibility requirements to be listed in the state registry. Generally, achieving a post-secondary award, such as a diploma or certificate, from an accredited program is suitable. Colleges and vocational and technical schools offer nursing assistant training. Many programs require that students undergo a criminal background check and testing for common contagious diseases, such as tuberculosis.
Most programs offer courses that emphasize the development of technical and restorative care principles. In addition, many programs offer the training required to pursue the Certified Nursing Assistant credential. The Certified Nursing Assistant credential is usually required at the state level to begin working in the field. Many states offer a variety of certification options or specialties, including geriatric, dialysis and home health aide.
The nursing assistant field offers rewarding work to those interested in helping people. The CNA salary varies depending on several factors and obtaining the CNA credential is often required before work can begin.