Average CNA Salary
While many choose their career based upon their salary, if you’re looking to become a...Read More
CNA Certification is easy and afforable! Find the right CNA Certification Program for you.
While many choose their career based upon their salary, if you’re looking to become a certified nurse assistant, your desire and fulfillment is beyond how much you bring home each paycheck. The satisfaction many CNAs feel after a hard day’s work weighs far more than a few extra zeros at year’s end. However, you must live. Therefore, it’s important to understand how much you can expect to make working as a certified nursing assistant. While the exact amount you’ll earn will vary based upon the state you work in as well as the facility you work out, all CNA positions pay higher than minimum wage.
Average CNA Salary
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for certified nursing assistants is $24,420 per year. However, it’s important to note that this salary amount is based upon data collected in 2012. Other sources claim the national average of CNAs is around $30,000 per year. Using the same data from 2012, the lowest 10 percent of workers earned no more than $18,000 while the top earners within that reporting period earned slightly more than $35,000 per year.
As stated earlier, the exact level of pay you can expect depends on where you live. For example, CNA workers in Washington State tend to make more than workers in Kentucky, as the cost of living is much higher in Washington, thus the average pay reflects this. Also note that how you become a CNA may influence your salary as well. If you obtain a good education from a great school, you can expect your salary to reflect that.
If you’re looking to live in an area that features the highest income for certified nursing assistants, then you may have to relocate to areas that may or may not be close to you. As of 2014, the top 10 highest paying states for certified nursing assistants, starting from highest to lowest, include:
Alaska – Average of $14.36 per hour
New York – Average of $13.63 per hour
Connecticut – Average of $13.54 per hour
Massachusetts – Average of $12.77 per hour
Hawaii – Average of $12.53 per hour
Washington, D.C. – Average of $12.47 per hour
Maryland – Average of $12.47 per hour
Delaware – Average of $12.32 per hour
New Hampshire – Average of $12.24 per hour
Nevada – Average of $12.23 per hour
In case you were wondering, the following are the lowest paying states, starting from highest to lowest, for CNAs:
Missouri – Average of $9.40 per hour
Idaho – Average of $9.23 per hour
South Carolina – Average of $9.22 per hour
Georgia – Average of $9.08 per hour
West Virginia – Average of $8.78 per hour
Alabama – Average of $8.76 per hour
Arkansas – Average of $8.74 per hour
Oklahoma – Average of $8.62 per hour
Mississippi – Average of $8.16 per hour
Louisiana – Average of $7.57 per hour
So you’ve completed your CNA training program and you’re ready to take the next step. While your training encompassed a plethora of information, in order to become a certified nursing assistant you must be able to translate this new found knowledge into a passing score on the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program Exam, or the NNAAP exam. The NNAAP examination is required in all 50 states before a person may begin working as a certified nursing assistant. Even though exams may slightly vary from state-to-state, they all follow the same formula and basic principles. Before taking the examination, make sure to review the Nursing Aide Candidate Handbook distributed by your State Board of Nursing. This document features state-specific exam and career information.
CNA Classes and Exam Prep
While the process of becoming a CNA is quicker than most other medical training programs, the examination can be challenging. Your training should adequately prepare you, although you will need to study outside of your CNA classes. Throughout the process of taking CNA classes you will be trained on the various stages of the CNA exam. These are comprised of the written portion, physical care assessment, the role of the CNA, psychosocial care, and the clinical (or hands-on) exam. The following guide outlines these stages of the NNAAP CNA exam for your review.
NNAAP Examination Explained (CNA Exam)
The primary purpose of the NNAAP examination is to assess the skills, abilities and knowledge that are mandatory for CNAs to successfully and safely perform their job functions. The CNA examination is broken down into two parts:
- Written Examination – This portion of the NNAAP exam covers topics that are necessary for a CNA to be successful. Typically, questions are answered in a multiple-choice format. The written examination generally consists of three primary sections, which include:
- Physical Care Skills – This section typically consists of three primary topics: daily living activities, restorative skills and basic nursing skills.
- The Role of the CNA – This section consists of four primary topics, which include: patient/resident rights, communication skills, ethical and legal behavior and the function of being a member of a medical team.
- Psychosocial Care Skills – This section consists of two primary topics, which include: spiritual/cultural needs of a patient and the mental/emotional needs of patients.
- Clinical/Hands-On Examination – This portion of the NNAAP exam tests your physical abilities to perform certain job functions. Exams are overseen by an evaluator (typically an RN or LPN). Exam takers will be asked to perform essential job functions and are graded by not only their physical actions, but their ability to explain each step.
In order to successfully pass the NNAAP examination, and therefore becoming eligible for CNA certification, you must pass both sections. It is possible to pass one exam and fail the other. If this is the case, you must re-take the failed exam portion. Generally, you’ll have three attempts to pass both exam portions. If you’re unable to do so, your state may require you to go through another round of training before being eligible to sit for the exam again.
Are you interested in how to become CNA how to get an online certification or finding out if an online CNA certification is even possible? As a certified nursing assistant, you’re responsible for ensuring the quality of life for patients is continually met while simultaneously supporting medical staff with various functions. While this is considered an entry level position, the roles and responsibilities of a CNA are invaluable to the success of treatments. Much like any other professional-level health care career, certified nursing assistants require certification in order to work with patients. Based upon regulations set forth by your State Board of Nursing, you’re required to undergo a set amount of training. So if you are wondering While some of these courses may be completed online, can you get a CNA certification online?
Online CNA Certification – Myth or Reality?
Perhaps one of the most confusing topic matters aspiring CNAs will face when it comes to starting this career is whether or not they can obtain an online CNA certification. It’s no surprise that many are confused regarding this process because a simple Internet search reveals countless websites claiming to offer online certification.
While many schools claim to provide aspiring CNAs their required certification, the wording in these advertisements is false. Regardless of where you live, it is impossible to obtain certification online. What they’re really offering is coursework that prepares you for the taking the CNA certification examination. However, this is where things get tricky.
Many states do allow certain portions of a CNA training program to be taken online; however, they must be accredited by the State Board of Nursing. Therefore, the most important factor to look for when searching for an online CNA certification training program is whether or not they’re accredited by your state. The easiest way to confirm this is to navigate your Web browser to your State Board of Nursing website to locate a current list of accredited CNA training institutions.
While you may be able to obtain your theory training online, in order to take the certification exam, you must undergo a set number of clinical, or hands-on, training. The exact duration can vary by state; however, most states require a minimum of 40 hours of hands on training in a clinical setting. Therefore, online CNA training programs are actually blended programs as they combine online training modules with hands-on clinical training. If you come across a website claiming to offer CNA certification online, immediately click out of the site. They are nothing more than a scam looking to take advantage of eager students.
When searching for a stable career, one of the best pieces of advice you can follow is to find a job that features stable job growth. If you’re interested in starting a career as a certified nursing assistant, you’ll be quite surprised at the expected job growth within this field. The reason for this is because our population is growing older. The largest generation, The Baby Boomers, is advancing in age, and as they do the need for qualified medical professionals also expands. Therefore, if you’re searching for a career that’s guaranteed to remain in-demand, and the likelihood of facing layoff is minimal, then you may find that work as a CNA is best for you.
Job Outlook for CNA’s – Job Growth
According to data provided by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, certified nursing assistant job opportunities are expected to increase by 21 percent between the years of 2012 and 2022. When compared to all other positions, certified medical assistant jobs are expected to grow much faster than any other. This is excellent news for those who are interested in a career as a CNA.
This rate projection varies according to the specific medical branch. The main contributing factor for the positive job outlook, is due to our country’s aging population. Therefore, the largest job growth within the CNA industry is within long-term care facilities. These include care facilities such as nursing homes, assisted living centers, and hospice institutions.
Chronic Care Facilities Provide CNA Jobs
Industry experts also report an increase in expected job openings within chronic care facilities. There is a direct correlation between the aging baby boomer population segment and the chronic disease rate. This is a normal part of the aging process, but does provide an increase in job openings for CNA, RN, and BSN nursing candidates.
The projected growth of certified nursing assistants is expected to continue beyond 2022; however, instead of dealing strictly with percentages, it’s essential to understand how this translates into actual job openings. In 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics cites over 1.5 million certified nursing assistant jobs throughout the united states. If job growth remains stable, this reporting agency expects over 1.8 million CNA positions to be available by 2022. This breaks down to an addition of over 300,000 new jobs.
According to data provided by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, certified nursing assistant job opportunities are expected to increase by 21 percent between the years of 2012 and 2022.