Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Job Description

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Job Description

A job description for Certified Nursing Assistant(can) outlines the duties and required qualifications for this role. The certified nursing assistant, often called a nurse assistant or CNA, provides health care for clients and patients at home, hospitals, and other facilities. They do this under the supervision of a nurse.

The job description for a CNA should outline that the role frequently assists persons in their care with day-to-day duties and is important in hospitals and other facilities. CNAs help patients with everyday activities such as eating, bathing, grooming, and movement. They help to ensure the well-being and comfort of patients in their care. To succeed in this profession, a certified nursing assistant must have a certification and a nursing degree from a recognized CNA program.

Individuals who enjoy helping others are especially compatible with this role. To evaluate a patient's needs, certified nursing assistants must be able to listen to their concerns and ask questions. A CNA is frequently the primary caregiver for a patient in a nursing or long-term care facility. The ability to form personal ties with patients and make a difference in their lives can make this an emotionally satisfying career. A good job description for a CAN must reflect these requirements to attract the right candidates.

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CNA Job Description: Overall Purpose

Provides care and treatment to people suffering from accidents, illnesses, or impairments by assisting patients in daily activities, providing emotional support and monitoring the patients condition.

CNA Job Description: Primary Duties


  • Assists patients with everyday duties such as bathing, dressing, grooming, and toileting by providing physical support.
  • Records vital signs such as blood pressure, temperature, pulse, and respiration rate regularly by employing the proper equipment and adhering to the set protocols.
  • Helps patients with mobility by assisting them to move, transition from beds to chairs, or properly use mobility devices such as wheelchairs or walkers.
  • Assists patients who cannot feed themselves by feeding them and ensuring that they are well hydrated, frequently by delivering fluids and monitoring intake.
  • Ensures infection control measures are adhered to by following protocols on hand hygiene, proper waste disposal, and ensuring patients are in clean environments.
  • Assists in the medical treatment of patients by administering medication, such as oral or topical medications, under the supervision of a licensed nurse.
  • Reports a patient's status change to the nurse by monitoring the patient's condition: indicators of pain, symptoms, or emotional distress.
  • Maintains accurate records of patient care activities, such as vital signs, intake/output, and any patient condition changes by recording the information in a clear and simple document.
  • Creates a caring and compassionate environment by providing emotional support to patients and families.
  • Safeguards the safety of patients by following established protocols like using bed rails, keeping call bells within reach, and keeping the surroundings clutter-free.
  • Assists nurses and doctors with medical procedures like wound care, catheter management, and minor diagnostic testing by strictly following directions.
  • Provides compassionate care to patients in their final stages of life by alleviating pain, and offering comfort, and emotional support to the patient and family.
  • Stays up to date with the patient's conditions by obtaining a wide range of information regarding patient problems, treatment plans, and suggested activities from physicians, caregivers, and nurses.

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Job Description

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CNA Job Description: Educational Qualifications

  • Most health facilities require a state Certified Nursing Assistant Certification to ensure that CNAs satisfy the minimum requirements specified by regulatory organizations, ensuring their competency to offer patients safe and effective treatment.
  • Some health institutions also desire a Nursing degree from a CNA program as it offers a structured curriculum that includes a range of topics necessary for providing basic patient care. This education extends beyond on-the-job training to provide CNAs with fundamental information.

CNA Job Description: Experience

  • Entry-level CNAs have most likely received directly relevant experience due to their certification training.
  • Some institutions desire CNAs with experience as they may have numerous experiences and years of service as CNAs. Previous experience caring for individuals with unique requirements or conditions may be advantageous.

CNA Job Description: Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Other Characteristics (KSAOs)




  • Knowledge of fundamental medical concepts is required to assist in understanding patient's medical conditions and administering basic treatment.
  • Knowledge of infection control practices is essential to prevent the spread of infections among patients and to maintain a healthy environment.
  • Knowledge of ethical and legal principles is important to uphold patient rights such as informed consent and confidentiality.
  • Knowledge of Activities of Daily Living is important to help patients maintain their hygiene, comfort and independence.


  • Good Communication skills are necessary to interact with patients, families, nurses and other healthcare professionals.
  • Excellent Patient-care skills are required to assist patients with activities of daily living.
  • Good observation and reporting skills are necessary to identify signs of pain or illness and accurately report the issues to the healthcare team.
  • Good time management skills are required to ensure patient activities are done on time and medications are administered as scheduled.


  • The ability to think and work independently is required to be able to adapt to situations where independent thinking is required.
  • Being compassionate and empathetic is required to create a healthy mentally and emotional environment for the patient.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What does a CAN do?

In brief, CNAs provide vital support to both patients and nurses.

What are the characteristics of a CNA?

A CNA must be empathetic, compassionate, a good listener, and an effective communicator.

What are the 5 principles of CNA?

Safety, Dignity, Independence, Privacy, and Communication.

What are the 5 C's of caring in nursing?

According to Roach (1993), the Five Cs are Compassion, Competence, Confidence, Conscience and Commitment

Natasha Chimphondah
This article was written by Natasha a Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd

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