Certified Nursing Assistant Job Description

The Certified Nursing Assistant job description is something that aspiring nursing assistants need to see before they decide to approach the career. A CNA is a paraprofessional who assists with the care and treatment of several types of patients.

Your patients may be those with mental impairments, or your patients may have physical handicaps or injuries. They generally assist with activities of daily living and bedside care.

A CNA is a personal care worker and provide healthcare services under the supervision of a Registered Nurse, Licensed Practical Nurse, or other licensed healthcare provider.

To become a CNA you will need to go through a specialized training program and pass an exam in order to become certified.

What are the Typical CNA Job Duties?

Typically, a Certified Nursing Assistant will assist with direct patient care, keep constant observation on the patient, as well as recording and documenting of vital information for the patient.

Below we go in to extreme detail about the CNA job duties and job description of Certified Nursing Assistants.

CNA Job Description

The Duties of a CNA in Detail

We cover the CNA job description from day to day duties to the overall scope of the job and much more!

Direct Patient Care

This type of service may be provided to the patient under the supervision of a Registered Nurse (RN), Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), or other licensed healthcare worker.

Your direct patient care may include the following duties:

  • Assisting with motion exercises and other rehabilitation measures involving certain physical therapy treatment exercises
  •  The Certified Nursing Assistant may assist with the ambulation and mobilization of patients within the facility or setting
  • You are to provide emotional and support services for patients and their families
  • You will assist with the personal hygiene of a patient, when necessary
  • Other direct care duties may include meal preparation, grocery shopping for the patient, and dietary planning. Direct patient feeding may be a service that you provide


Observation is frequently part of the duty of a Certified Nursing Assistant. Since you are with a patient more so than other healthcare professionals, you will probably notice CNA job dutieschanges in their condition or mood before anyone else.

All changes must be reported or noted to your supervisor. Some of the observation duties include:

  • Taking Vital Signs
  • Watching for Changes in Condition
  • Obtaining Samples for Lab Work
  • Monitoring Equipment
  • Dietary Intake Changes
  • Watching for Signs of Discomfort or Pain
  • Observing Speech Patterns
  • Measuring Height and Weight
  • Checking for Infections and Bedsores
  • Measuring Stool and Urine for Changes
  • Watching for Any Physical Changes


A Certified Nursing Assistant is generally tasked with taking and recording vital statistical information for your patient.

The vital statistical information for a patient may involve taking the patient’s blood pressure and temperature as well as respiration rate, body weight and fluid or nutritional intake and waste.

Other responsibilities include:

  • Updating Patient Records
  • Tracking All Data from Equipment
  • Measurements of Stool and Urine
  • Recording Fluid and Food Intake
  • List Any Accidents or Errors
  • Keep a List of Medications Taken
  • Report Anything that Happened During Shift
  • Inform Supervisors of Any Concerns or Changes

How Where you Work Effects the Nursing Assistant Job Description

Certified Nursing Assistant Job Description

Work Environments

There are various work environments that this type of certified healthcare worker may be employed at. Most commonly in hospitals and nursing homes.

This work environment is often in need of allied healthcare workers who can assist with direct bedside patient care. Some of the places you can find a CNA working include:

Long Term Care and Nursing Homes

Residential and nursing facilities often employ nursing aides or certified nursing assistants. These facilities need a healthcare worker to record the daily vital information for each patient.

There is a need for this type of patient to be assisted with activities of daily living as well. These daily activities may include feeding, dressing, grooming, and bathing.

A nursing assistant may be involved in much of the daily care for these types of residents. Your CNA certification will allow you to be employed by residential facilities and other skilled nursing facilities.

Private Homes

Private care aides are increasing in demand. The aging population has increased the number of aging Americans and their need for private home health care.

Your certified nursing assistant online training will allow you to work for a home health agency that provides care to the elderly or to handicapped patients living in their own homes.

Mental Health Facilities

Your Certified Nursing Assistant certification allows you to work in various mental health settings as well.  Services for the mentally handicapped often include group homes that employ various healthcare workers.

You may use your nursing assistant training in mental health agencies and facilities as well. Some states do require a specialized certification to work in mental health facilities.

What the CNA Job Duties Show

Your training may be completed through an accredited online CNA class. A nursing aide class includes training in documentation, observation, and direct patient care.

As a Certified Nursing Assistant you can work for several different types of employers. Some of these places include hospitals, nursing homes and private residences. Basically anywhere that direct patient bedside care is necessary.

With the current shortage of healthcare professionals, including certified nursing assistants, there is a lot of opportunities out there for those looking to work in the healthcare sector.

Becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant is a very rewarding profession.

We have provided a great list of accredited CNA programs in the upper right corner of this page. You can use the search option and find the program or classes you would like to attend.

You can start your training today and soon join other healthcare professionals to provide the best medical care in the world.