Certified Nursing Assistant Job Descriptions, Average Salary, Interview Questions

What Does a Certified Nursing Assistant Do?

Certified nursing assistants are assistants to the nurses, meaning they handle small daily tasks in medical hospitals and facilities. To be successful in this position, certified nursing assistants need to have excellent teamwork skills and a good bedside manner.

Certified nursing assistants are primarily responsible for performing tasks and monitoring patients throughout their hospital and medical facility days. CNAs in this role are required to have specialized training so that they can provide help, such as assisting with clothes changes, bathroom trips, cleaning the patient, administering daily medication reminders, and more. Certified nursing assistants will also frequently use this career as a stepping stone to becoming a nurse or working in another area of healthcare.

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National Average Salary

Certified nursing assistant salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.

The average U.S. salary for a Certified Nursing Assistant is:


Certified Nursing Assistant Job Descriptions

It’s important to include the right content in your job description when hiring a certified nursing assistant. The following examples can serve as templates for attracting the best available talent for your team.

Example 1

[Your company name] is searching for an experienced CNA for our facility. We are in need of heartwarming employees who love to care for others. For this job, you need to have the proper skillsets to be able to succeed such as interpersonal skills, strong communication skills, compassion, patient, good teamwork skills, proficient problem-solving skills, and have the stamina needed to help patients in their most vulnerable states. In this role, you work directly with doctors and registered nurses. You will need to follow the HIPAA regulations to protect the patient’s information. 

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Assisting patients with hygiene, bathing the patients, brushing their teeth, etc.
  • Frequently checking their blood pressure and their heart rate
  • Help the patients move and get to their destinations, like to the bathroom
  • Feed and change the patients 
  • Stay in communication with the staff about the patients 
  • Help and make sure the patients take their medication
  • Assist the patients with exercise and physical therapy
  • Help prevent bedsores and turn the patients 
  • Gather medical equipment 
  • Prepare the patient’s room 
  • Clean and organize the patient’s room 
  • Document medical information and the patient’s wellbeing

Education and experience

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Nursing assistant certification
  • Up to date CPR certification

Required skills and qualifications

  • Detail-oriented 
  • Strong verbal and written skills
  • Familiarity with medical terms
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Patient
  • Empathetic 
  • Customer service skills 
  • Attentive
  • Compassionate
  • Communication skills
  • Teamwork skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Knowledgeable in nursing care 
  • CPR Certified
  • Physical stamina and ability to lift 50+ pounds
  • Confident in patient care and safety 
  • Follow HIPAA regulations

Preferred qualifications

  • 1+ year experience
  • Other certifications are a plus

Example 2

Your role

To provide care in accordance with the patient’s Home Health plan of care under the supervision of the RN, LVN, or PT. This includes companionship and other household functions for our elderly clients.

Essential duties and responsibilities

  • Provide respectful companionship, personal hygiene maintenance, housekeeping, meal preparation, feeding if needed, transportation, medication reminders, ambulation and transfer assistance, and shopping for our clients
  • Help to maintain a safe and secure home environment, educating families on healthy eating and exercising habits and fall prevention through home assessments and intervention
  • Provide routine updates on client’s physical and psychological progress
  • Perform other activities as instructed by a health professional for specific clients, such as vital sign monitoring and bowel and bladder hygiene care
  • Careful documentation and communication with client, care team, and family

Job conditions

  • May be required to bend, stoop, reach, and move client weighing up to 250 pounds; lift and/or carry up to 30 pounds
  • The position requires the ability to travel within the local area. If traveling by car, must possess a valid driver’s license and adequate car insurance
  • Hearing, eyesight, and physical dexterity must be sufficient to perform duties, understand and communicate with the client/family, and demonstrate client care
  • Must be able to give and receive information orally and use a telephone. Must be able to adequately document care provided in English


  • Preferably a high school diploma or GED
  • Current criminal clearance that satisfies the agency, local, state, and federal statutes
  • Must undergo or provide evidence of TB screening and physical examination
  • Must understand and respect clients including ethics and confidentiality of care
  • At least two years of experience working as a CAN or Home Health Aide
  • Current CPR certification preferred. If not currently certified, CPR certification needs to be completed within 60 days of hiring
  • Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) Certification or Home Health Aide (HHA) Certification in the state

Example 3

ABC Company is currently hiring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) to perform humanitarian work conducting basic health screenings.


  • CPR/ BLS certification required
  • Certification as nursing assistant
  • 1 year of experience

Type of work

  • Ensures the medical provider’s orders are implemented
  • Coordinates health care needs of patients with other staff members
  • Coordinates referrals to off-site providers as required
  • Performs record keeping functions in accordance with clinic policies
  • Obtains medical histories and completes necessary paperwork on patients including vital signs. Any medical problems are referred to the Physician, and/or NP/PA
  • Assists with medical appointments, emergencies, and sick call to include taking vital signs and documenting patient’s medical complaints


  • Full time, Part time, and PRN available
  • Day, Night, and Weekend shifts

Example 4

Cares for patients in ABC Company’s rehabilitation setting, under direction of nursing and medical staff, by performing the following duties.

Essential duties and responsibilities

  • Lifts, turns, moves, positions, and transports clients as appropriate for their condition
  • Assists clients with baths, showers, personal grooming, feeding, and toileting
  • Accurately documents and charts patient care to include vitals and personal interactions
  • Respond to call lights promptly. Resolves client issue at time of initial response
  • Exhibits excellent customer service and a positive attitude towards clients
  • Assists in the evacuation of patients
  • Demonstrates dependable, regular attendance. Arrived to work on time and departs as scheduled
  • Demonstrates ability to concentrate and use reasoning skills and good judgment
  • Demonstrates ability to communicate and function productively on an interdisciplinary team
  • Must be able to sit, stand, bend, lift, push, pull, stoop, walk, reach, and move intermittently during working hours without restrictions
  • Must be able to read, write, speak, and understand the English language. Bilingual in Spanish a plus

Specific job requirements

  • Demonstrates patience, tact, cheerful disposition, and enthusiasm as well as willingness to handle difficult patients
  • Possesses the ability to make independent decisions when circumstances warrant such action
  • Possesses knowledge of practices and procedures as well as the laws, regulations, and guidelines governing functions in the post-acute care rehabilitation facility
  • Demonstrates the ability to implement and interpret the programs, goals, objectives, policies, and procedures of the department
  • Performs proficiently in all competency areas including but not limited to: direct patient care, patient rights, and safety and sanitation
  • Establishes and Maintains professional working relationships with all clients, families, visitors, associates, vendors, etc.
  • Maintains confidentiality of all proprietary and/or confidential information
  • Accept constructive feedback (positive or negative), learns from mistakes and grows from the experience
  • Understands and follow company policies including harassment and compliance procedures
  • Displays integrity and professionalism by adhering to ABC Company’s Code of Conduct and promptly completes mandatory compliance training as assigned

Education and experience

  • High School Diploma or equivalent
  • One-year experience in a rehabilitation setting is preferred

Candidate Certifications to Look For

  • Certified Patient Care Technician (CPCT). This shows employers a candidate’s continually updating their knowledge in this field to be more successful. This authenticates their patient care skills. They’ll need to take the courses at an accredited university to receive their diploma. A certification test is required.
  • National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP). This certificate measures how proficient a candidate’s skills are as a nursing assistant. This requires them to pass a written exam of 70 questions and also pass a skills evaluation.

Sample Interview Questions

  • What made you decide to become a CNA?
  • Do you have any experience working in healthcare?
  • Can you describe a situation where you provided excellent patient care?
  • How would you describe your strengths as a CNA?
  • Can you describe a time when you had to handle a difficult situation with a patient or coworker?
  • When faced with challenging situations at work, how do you handle them?
  • Can you tell me about the Patient Privacy and Confidentiality Act (HIPAA)?
  • What methods do you use to stay organized and prioritize tasks in a fast-paced environment?
  • What are the basic procedures for infection control?
  • When a patient refuses care or is uncooperative, what would you do?
  • What do you do in the event of an emergency or unexpected situation?
  • How do you effectively communicate with patients, families, and members of the healthcare team?

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