If you are interested in working in the medical field or community healthcare, a career in certified nursing can be an option. While many take it as an entry point or stepping stone to various career paths in nursing, pursuing it full-time is also rewarding. It is the best option if you are looking for job stability, a variety of workdays and numerous opportunities of advancement. 

Note, however, that the CNA profession involves various aspects that may be challenging, and there are lots of things you need to do first before making an entry. Without proper information and guidance, it might be a little bit. So, to help you overcome a few challenging aspects, this article shares the most important things you need to know. 

Things You Need To Know About Becoming a CNA

The work of a CNA is to take care of patients’ basic needs, either in a hospital or a nursing home. Work includes activities that aim to achieve basic comfort levels through bathing, eating, and other care activities. Note that these roles are different from those of a nurse. A nurse, on the other hand, provides a higher level of care services and coordination to patients. A nurse also works under a doctor. 

To provide patients with basic care services, a CNA needs to complete training and pass certification and take note of other things, including the following:

  1. You Have To Get Certified and Recertification Regularly  

All careers in the medical field require you to undergo training and get certified before you can start practicing or offering your services. Such a process is not only meant to facilitate your acquisition of a license but also has other important roles to play. 

For instance, by getting certified and recertified regularly, you do the following:

  • Enhance your professional credibility
  • Validate your special knowledge in the field
  • Demonstrate your level of competence
  • Enhance your job prospects 

Arguably, undergoing training and getting certified or recertified can be a hassle. Thankfully, there are ways that you can use to make your journey easy. One such method is by doing a free CNA practice test before you do your actual state exams. When you do practice tests, you develop confidence and familiarity with the actual tests. That way, you enhance your chances of success and overcome unnecessary anxiety. 

  1. Being a CNA Is Different from Being A Medical Assistant  

It is pretty easy to confuse the work of a CNA from that of a medical assistant. You can only differentiate them if you have done both or learned what each entails. Indeed, there is a difference worth noting. CNAs provide care services to patients such as eating, dressing, bathing, and related stuff. While medical assistants can also do these, their responsibilities are more than those of CNAs. 

Medical assistants often do other special tasks. They include drawing blood, sterilizing medical equipment and sanitizing medical exam rooms, among others. Further, note that becoming a medical assistant may require you to undergo special training. To make the right choice, you need to know these differences to help you choose the best path. 

  1. Long-Term Care Facilities and Nursing Homes Are the Greatest Employers of CNAs

Once you complete your training as a CNA, you are most likely to work in a nursing home or a long-term care facility. While hospitals also employ CNAs, their demand is not as high as in the other facilities. That means that when undergoing training to become a CNA, you need to know your potential places of work. In doing so, you prepare and pursue a line of work you love. 

Note also that despite the variation in your places of work, the services or jobs you will be performing will be similar. You will be serving patients and helping them with care. The difference between hospital CNA jobs and those of long-term care or nursing facilities is compensation or salary. If you want a higher salary, hunt for jobs in hospitals rather than nursing homes. 

  1. You Need Excellent Interpersonal Skills 

It takes a few months to undergo training and get certification to become a CNA, but to do your work, you need excellent interpersonal skills. With such skills, you will truly become a great provider of care services. You will be dealing with various people every day. To manage them, you need people skills. 

Some of the best interpersonal skills you will need include but are not limited to the following:

  • Communication 
  • Empathy 
  • Conflict management 
  • Listening 
  • Positive attitude 

Without all these and other skills, it might be a bit difficult for you to make real connections with patients. Remember that you need to offer them quality service, enhance their comfort and listen to them. You can only do all these if you have excellent interpersonal skills. Thankfully, these are skills that you can build over time as you work as a CNA. 

5.You Might Have To Do Your Certification Tests Again If You Move To Another State

Regulations and certifications for CNAs may vary from one state or city to another. So, if you relocate to a different place and would like to continue offering care services, you might have to redo your certification tests or exams. Note also that the qualifications for becoming CNA tend to vary from one state to another. This is the case for most requirements related to service in the medical field. 

To avoid the inconvenience of moving and redoing exams, you may need to do your research first before you relocate. You should choose a state you are comfortable with and would like to work in for a long time. That way, you train to know that you serve in your state without redoing certification exams. You can, however, continue building your credentials for transition to other careers within the medical field. 


A certified nursing assistant provides essential patient care services. It is a career that many love because of the rising demand for such services and the fact that one can use it as an entry to other medical fields. You, however, need to learn other things before you finally decide to serve. 

This article explored the most important things you need to know about becoming a CNA. While it is a great career that almost guarantees you job security, prepare well and understand what it takes to succeed. If you keep the points we have shared in mind you will pursue your career comfortably and even transition without many hassles if you wish.