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Job Trends and the Best States for a CNA

With so many career options for a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), it can be overwhelming to sort through job descriptions, company information and community spotlights. On top of the search for the perfect career, graduates often move to another state or consider options in new areas.

What are the best states in America for top CNA positions?

When comparing things such as salary, job opening and the vitality of the healthcare industry, there are some states that standout above the rest. The following five states offer the highest salaries and other above-average benefits to new CNAs.

  1. Alaska: Average salary of $14.36 an hour
  2. New York: Average salary of $13.63 an hour
  3. Connecticut: Average salary of $13.54 an hour
  4. Massachusetts: Average salary of $12.77 an hour
  5. Hawaii: Average salary of $12.53 an hour

Common CNA Careers

One of the great things about a degree as a CNA is the diversity of the job opportunities available to graduates. The healthcare industry is always changing and some jobs have been replaced with computers. However, technology can never replace a CNA. The personal skills and expertise of CNAs are required in many different aspects of the field.

Nursing Home Attendants

CNAs often form lasting relationships with their patients as nursing home attendants. It is the CNA’s responsibility to care for the patients and tend to their requests. Common tasks may include taking walks with the patient or assisting with personal hygiene. The relationships that blossom between nursing home patients and their caregivers make this a rewarding career choice for many CNAs.

Hospital Nursing Aid

Much like nursing home attendants, hospital nursing aids often have the most contact with the patients during their hospital stays. Patients trust their CNAs, even if they are only in the hospital for a short amount of time. CNAs may become a confidant for these patients opening a door to assist them with personal care tasks until they are released from the hospital. The needs of every patient will vary so the CNAs who choose this career path enjoy variety.

Home Health Aide

Each state has its own laws regarding the required certifications of home health aides. Some states allow all CNAs to provide in-home care and others have additional mandatory classes or certifications for this field. Regardless, providing in-home care to patients can be an extremely rewarding career. Patients appreciate the effort their CNAs put into caring for them in the comfort of their own homes. They also tend to let their guards down, allowing the CNA to become comfortable in the patient’s home while caring for him or her. Seeing patients in their comfort zones helps CNAs provide the best possible care for those who need assistance but do not want to lose the freedom of their own residence.

It is always a good idea to acquire a little bit of experience before aiming for that perfect higher-paying CNA position. Many internship opportunities lead to careers with the company so it is a good idea to research ideal companies and then search for internships at those locations. If moving isn’t an issue, then try to land a career in one of the top five locations mentioned above to start out above the average pay grade. Earning a degree as a CNA is the first positive step toward a lasting career.

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