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Find out what is the best resume for you in our Ultimate Resume Format Guide.

How to Format a CNA Resume

If you want to advance your career as a certified nurse assistant, pump up your resume with the correct format. The proper format guides hiring managers straight to their most outstanding qualities, whether extensive work experience or impressive skills.

If you have 10+ years as a certified nurse assistant, the chronological resume is the format for you because it highlights your long work history.

For fresh graduates or those new to the nursing field with less than three years of experience, a functional resume shifts the employer’s attention to your skills, knowledge, and volunteer work.

However, mid-level candidates with a work history between three and nine years can benefit from a hybrid/combination resume.

Hybrid Resume

Candidate A

  • 4 years in the workforce
  • 4 years at this job

Work Experience

Certified Nurse Assistant, Los Angeles Community Hospital
February 2019 – present, East Los Angeles, CA

  • Cares for individuals with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, physical disability, and those undergoing post-operative recovery and convalescents.
  • Takes vital signs such as temperature, blood pressure, pulse and respiration rates, and blood sugar.
  • Monitor patients’ intake of oral medications as directed by physician or nurse, and note that time and amount are given.

Functional Resume

Candidate B

  • 3 years in workforce
  • 11 months at this job
  • HS High School Diploma

Professional Skills

Patient care

  • Assists with personal tasks such as dressing and bathing.
  • Participates with patients in leisure activities and transportation so that they can remain engaged in their communities.
  • Ensures patients can have an excellent quality of life by providing nutritious home meals.

Nutritional Services Skills

  • Prepares and serves food or feeds patients needing assistance and recorded food or liquid intake and output.
  • Improves their food and exercise habits by planning according to their needs.
  • Assists nursing staff with providing vitamins and supplements as a CNA when needed.
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CNA Duties and Responsibilities

CNAs have many duties depending on the type of facility in which they work. However, most share several essential responsibilities:

Assist Patients with Daily Tasks CNAs provide assistance to patients with everyday tasks. This can include delivering patient meals to hospital or care facility rooms, helping patients to dress, use the restroom, or groom themselves. CNAs determine the best way to help their patients, checking if they need anything to keep them comfortable and healthy.

Assess and Record Patient Vital Signs During intake and throughout a patient’s stay, CNAs monitor and record the patient’s vital signs using a variety of medical technologies. These primarily consist of checking the patient’s pulse, breathing patterns, and blood pressure to determine whether they are within acceptable levels. Depending on the facility, a CNA may also be approved to draw a patient’s blood for further testing.

Maintain Patient Rooms CNAs are responsible for cleaning and organizing patient and examination rooms. This can include changing linens on a patient’s bed, cleaning areas where fluids may have spilled, and ensuring that the patient and doctors have everything they need on hand at all times. For examination rooms, this may include restocking supplies, such as gloves, and following proper disposal methods for potentially hazardous materials.

Prepare and Clean Medical Equipment In many healthcare facilities, CNAs prepare and clean medical equipment that doctors and nurses use for procedures and patient care. This can include specialized machinery and tools that are used throughout the facility. CNAs also maintain clean facilities, preventing infection by sterilizing equipment before and after use, maintaining use records, and ensuring that items are properly stored between uses.

Observe Patient Conditions and Behaviors CNAs work closely with patients every day, contributing to long- and short-term treatment by carefully observing patients’ health and wellness from day to day. These observations include overall patient health, recovery progress after a procedure, and reactions to treatment. Additionally, CNAs update patient records to reflect new information and report any changes or potential health issues to doctors and nurses.

Communicate with Patients and Care Providers Because CNAs spend a significant amount of time with patients, they frequently communicate with patients, doctors, and patient representatives. These communications may fall under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), so CNAs need to follow procedures regarding patient confidentiality while maintaining a flow of helpful information between concerned parties.

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CNA Skills and Qualifications

CNAs work with patients day to day, supporting their health and wellbeing at a variety of healthcare facilities. CNAs typically have completed vocational training, achieved certification, and possess the following skills:

  • Medical assessment – during patient intake and continued care, CNAs assess patients’ vital signs and other health indicators
  • Patient care – exceptional patient care skills and bedside manner are important as CNAs interact with patients frequently to provide physical, mental, and emotional support and contribute to ongoing care efforts
  • Attention to detail – CNAs interact with and observe patients to find out about health changes and symptoms to report to doctors and nurses
  • Critical thinking – CNAs possess the ability to make rapid decisions and changes to care plans and routines in response to changing patient circumstances
  • Communication skills – CNAs interact with patients, doctors, nurses, and patients’ families to provide daily care and updates on health and wellness
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CNA Education and Training

Generally, CNAs complete vocational training, typically at a community college or vocational school. Many hospitals and nursing homes also offer certification programs, which provide further opportunities for hands-on training and practice. Additionally, CNAs have to pass licensing and certification examinations, which vary from state to state. There are many opportunities for on-the-job-training as CNAs gain familiarity with policies, procedures, and best practices.

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CNA Salary and Outlook

While CNAs’ earnings can vary depending on the setting in which they work, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides helpful salary guidelines. As of May 2017, the BLS found that nursing assistants earned a median annual salary of $27,520. The lowest-paid 10 percent of workers earned less than $20,680 per year, while the highest-paid earned more than $38,630. The BLS expects employment for nursing assistants to grow at a faster-than-average rate of 10 percent between 2016 and 2026, particularly in long-term care facilities.

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Helpful Resources

If you’re interested in a career as a CNA, we found several resources on the web to help you take the next steps:

National Association of Health Care Assistants (NAHCA) – CNAs may join this professional organization to keep up with industry developments, connect with other nursing professionals, and access educational and professional development resources.

CNA Exam Secrets Study Guide: CNA Test Review for the Certified Nurse Assistant Exam – Read this book to prepare for the CNA exam, with sample questions that cover the major responsibilities of CNAs.

Certified Nursing Assistant Guide – This Nurse.org post provides an in-depth exploration of the CNA’s role, with a focus on the differences between a CNA and medical assistant (MA), along with career prep information.

Mosby’s Textbook for Nursing Assistants – This book by Sheila A. Sorrentino and Leighann Remmert provides a thorough look at the responsibilities of a CNA and is packed with visual illustrations and practice scenarios for core concepts.

CNA Resume FAQ.

What is a certified nurse assistant?

A certified nurse assistant, or CNA, assists patients with healthcare needs. They work under the supervision of a Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse.

A day in the life of a certified nurse assistant can include:
Some of their responsibilities include

  • Assisting patients with mobility
  • Helping patients with personal hygiene
  • Assessment of patients’ food intake
  • Checking vital signs such as blood pressure and heart rate
  • Answering patient calls
  • Stocking supplies
  • Transporting patients
  • Taking care of wounds

What are the top skills needed for a certified nurse assistant resume?

Working as a certified nurse assistant comes with unique challenges. Master these top four nursing assistant skills for 2023:

  1. Compassion
  2. Attentive to detail
  3. Medical ethics
  4. Adaptability

As a nursing assistant, you are a part of the patient’s recovery. This is a rewarding career, especially when you are directly responsible for a patient’s rehabilitation and well-being.

What is the difference between a certified nurse assistant and a medical assistant?

A certified nurse assistant provides support to nurses. Medical assistants, however, work directly under the supervision of doctors to assist them as needed.

A nursing assistant helps patients with basic needs, mobility, nutrition, and hygiene. On the other hand, medical assistants help doctors conduct exams, prepare examination rooms, or administer vaccines. Their duties can include updating patient medical records and administering medications.