Certified nursing assistant (CNA)

Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) are health professionals who work under the direction of a registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, or doctor. CNAs, who are also sometimes referred to as nurse's aides or hospital assistants, assist in the care of hospital, clinic, or nursing home patients.

Certified nursing assistants must complete a certified training program that is usually 9 months in length, followed by a written examination. CNA programs are available at community colleges and through some vocational training facilities. The training program must be approved by the state board of nursing.

Last Updated: August 25, 2008

Author: Bets Davis, MFA

Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine

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