What are the pros and cons of being a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA)?

Pros and Cons: The main advantage of being a CNA is that it can be a stepping stone to a career in nursing.

Certified Nurse Assistants often have the opportunity to become nurses if they are willing to put in the extra effort to continue their education.

The main disadvantage of being a CNA is that it can be physically and emotionally demanding, and it does not pay very well.

Pros and cons can vary depending on the individual, so it is important to talk to CNAs to get a better understanding of what the job is like.

So, ask around your community, or look online for forums or groups specifically discussing CNA pros and cons.

However, here you will find a few common pros and cons of being a CNA and what to expect from the job, salary, work schedule, and more.

Who is a Certified Nurse Assistant?

A Certified Nurse Assistant is a health care worker who assists nurses in providing basic patient care.

They may help patients bathe, eat, and dress; monitor their vital signs; and give them medication. CNAs also often perform cleaning duties in the hospital or clinic setting.

The job requires good interpersonal skills, as CNAs must be able to communicate effectively with patients and their families.

The main role of a CNA is to provide support to nurses and other health care professionals.

In the United States, certification as a CNA is offered through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

To become certified, candidates must pass an exam that tests their knowledge of patient care procedures.

If you are interested in becoming a CNA, it is important to research the certification process in your state and make sure you are eligible to take the exam.

First, enroll in a CNA training program that is accredited by NLNAC (National League for Nursing Accredited Commission).

Once you have completed your training, you can apply to take the certification exam.

CNA programs can be found at community colleges, vocational schools, and some hospitals. The length of the program can vary, but typically it lasts around 4 to 16 weeks.

During this time, you will learn about basic patient care procedures, such as taking vital signs and administering medication.

You will also learn how to communicate with patients and their families, and how to provide a safe and comfortable environment.

Once you have completed your training, you will be ready to take the certification exam.

Pros and cons of being a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA)

One of the biggest pros of being a CNA is that you can often find work in a variety of healthcare settings.

CNAs also typically have flexible hours, which can be a pro or con, depending on your lifestyle. Some other pros include the ability to earn a decent wage and the opportunity for career growth.

On the downside, CNAs can often be overworked and underpaid. Additionally, the work can be physically demanding and emotionally challenging.

Certified Nurse Assistant Pros

The main advantages of CNAs include –

Job Outlook

The job outlook for certified nurse assistants is good.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the number of jobs for CNAs will grow by 8 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.

This means that there will be plenty of opportunities for CNA certification holders in the years to come.


Certified nurse assistants can expect to earn a good salary. The median annual wage for CNAs is $30,234 as of 2022.

This means that half of all CNAs earned more than this amount and half earned less.

The highest-paid 10 percent of CNAs earn more than $45,000, while the lowest-paid 10 percent earn less than $21,540.

Your experience, education, and location can all affect your salary as a CNA.

It’s important to research the average salary for CNAs in your area before you start your job search.

Flexible Work Schedule

Certified nurse assistants often enjoy a flexible work schedule.

This can be a major advantage for those who want to balance work with other commitments.

Many CNAs are able to work part-time or irregular hours, which can be a godsend for parents or students.

Variety of Job Duties

CNAs have the opportunity to perform a variety of job duties. This can keep your work interesting and challenging.

You may be responsible for bathing and dressing patients, monitoring their vital signs, and administering medication.

You may also be responsible for cleaning the hospital or clinic setting. This variety can help you stay engaged in your work and avoid boredom.

Demand for CNAs

The demand for certified nurse assistants is high. Hospitals and clinics are always looking for qualified CNAs to join their staff.

This means that you may have a lot of job opportunities to choose from.

It also means that you may be able to find a job in your area that meets your needs and interests.

Certified Nurse Assistant Cons

The main disadvantages of CNAs include –


One of the important disadvantages of being a CNA is the high amount of stress that comes with the job.

CNAs are constantly on their feet and often have to deal with difficult patients or families. They also may have to work long hours, which can be tiring.

Physically Demanding

CNAs must be able to lift and move patients, which can be physically demanding.

They may also have to stand for long periods of time or work in a fast-paced environment.

Limited Opportunities for Advancement

CNAs generally have limited opportunities for advancement within the health care field.

Most positions that offer higher pay and better benefits require additional training or certification, which CNAs may not have the opportunity to pursue.

This is another con that should be considered before becoming a CNA.

Low pay compared to other healthcare jobs

The salary for CNAs is relatively low, especially when compared to other health care professions.

This can be a con for those who are looking to make a good living as a health care worker. The standard of living for most CNAs is also relatively modest.

The average salary in the US for a full-time employee is $53,490 per year whereas the average annual salary of a CNA is $30,234 which is a considerable difference.

This clearly highlights one of the disadvantages of being a CNA.

Unpredictable Work Schedule

CNAs often have an unpredictable work schedule, which can make it difficult to plan for the future.

They may be required to work odd hours or on short notice, which can be frustrating.