The population of senior citizens is growing, and that will lead to a higher demand of Certified Nursing Assistants or CNA’s Because of the physical and emotional demands of the job, individuals interested in entering the field should be compassionate and patient. CNA’s, sometimes referred to as nursing attendants or nursing assistants, provide basic care for their patients and assist them with the everyday activities of life. If you are seeking a job as a CNA, it is important to create a resume that clearly states your skills and accomplishments to portray you as the best candidate for the job.
Job Description for CNA’s
Nursing aides are typically part of a healthcare team, and they perform their duties under the supervision of licensed or registered nurse. CNA’s help people dress, bath, use the bathroom and move about. To keep their patients healthy, they measure vital signs like blood pressure and temperature. CNA’s may physically turn their patients while they are in bed and help transfer them from the bed to a wheelchair. They may prepare and serve meals, and in some cases, they may be called upon to help their patients eat. Some assistants dispense medication. Those that work in nursing homes may be the main caregiver for the individual. CNA’s may be required to work on weekends and at night.
Occupational Outlook and Salary for CNA’s
An increasing population of the elderly population has resulted in a rising number of CNA’s being hired. These positions are in long-term care facilities including nursing homes, and in private homes. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment growth for CNA’s is expected to increase by 20 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average growth rate for other occupations. The median annual wage for nursing aides, orderlies and attendants was $24,010 in 2010, and the top 10 percent earned over $34,580.
Becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant
A Certified Nursing Assistant must know the basic principles of nursing, and they are expected to complete supervised clinical work. They can attend programs in community colleges or in a technical or vocational school. Some hospitals and nursing homes also offer CNA programs. Each state regulates the specific requirements for CNA programs. Upon completion of the educational program, CNA’s must take a competency examination that allows them to use the title Certified Nursing Assistant. Some states assign a different name to this position.
After passing the exam, CNA’s are placed on a state registry that enables them to work at a nursing home. Some states require continuing education and a criminal background check. It is possible to receive additional credentials in certain states, like the CMA, Certified Medication Assistant, that allows the individual to dispense medication. To find out the specific requirements in your state, contact the board of health or the board of nursing.
Preparing a Resume for a CNA Position
Whether you are sending along your resume by email or mailing it, remember the old saying “neatness counts” and make sure it has a professional look. That means, for most people, fitting it onto a letter-sized 8.5 inch page and using a businesslike font like Times New Roman or Arial in a 10 -12 point font size and black ink. Leave a 1-inch margin all around the page, top, bottom and sides. Consistency is important. Be sure to use italics and bolding for comparable elements, and list company names, location, your position and your responsibilities in a consistent way. If you list the company name in italics first, all companies should be listed that way. Use bulleted lists and phrases instead of sentences.
Choose a Resume Format
When it comes to resumes, one size definitely does not fit all. If you are an experienced professional with an uninterrupted job history, you can consider a chronological resume which lists the companies you worked for and the positions you held in reverse chronological order. Recent graduates, people changing careers and those who have been out of the workforce for one reason or another can consider a functional resume which includes a Skills section to highlight experience and abilities. These skills may have been acquired on the job, as a volunteer or as part of an internship. The functional resume may not go into where the skills were acquired.
Resumes are changing, along with everything else. Employers no longer want to see only a long list of your previous jobs. They are more interested in what skills you can bring to the job at hand. Instead of listing a career objective, which can be limiting, write a brief Career Summary or Profile under your letterhead with your name, address, email and phone number. In two or three brief sentences, tell the story of your accomplishments to date. You can then list your skills in bullet format under the heading Skills Summary. Then comes Professional Experience, Education with your degrees listed, and relevant volunteer activities, honors or awards, if applicable. Feel free to emphasize any portion of the resume to make it suit your particular credentials.
Making Sure Your Resume is Read
The sad truth is that even after all of your hard work, your resume may not even be seen. Nowadays, a computer system called an Applicant Tracking System or ATS may do the selecting. So how to you make sure that yours is one of the resumes chosen for consideration? Experts say you should read the job description carefully and use the same job title and list the skills they want with the skills you have, using the same words. Do not use fancy font, borders or logos.
Sample Resume for a CNA
1234 Sunny Drive, Anywhere, NY 123456 444.444-4444 email@example.com LinkedIn URL
Certified Nursing Assistant
(career summary or profile)
Healthcare professional with a solid background in nursing theory, acute care, pediatrics, Intensive Care Unit and outpatient surgery. Excellent clinical, decision–making and assessment skills. Compassionate, calm and focused individual with a proven capability to take charge in emergency situations.
(list as many as you can)
- Excellent verbal and written communication
- Knowledge of medical terminology
- High level of clinical skill
- In-depth knowledge of age specific developmental factors for geriatric patients
- Experienced in administering injections and medication
- Skilled at providing routine care in a home environment
(list in reverse chronological order)
Certified Nursing Assistant, XYZ Corporation, Brentwood, New York, 2013-present
Education and Certifications
(list in reverse chronological order)
XYZ School, Syracuse, New York: 2006
Nurses Aide Program
Completed 60 hours of clinical training
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), 2006