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Are you a certified nursing assistant (CNA) looking for alternative career paths? The good news is that there are many jobs you can do with a CNA license. While CNAs typically work in nursing homes, hospitals, or home health care settings, there are other industries that require their skills and expertise.
One of the benefits of being a CNA is that it provides a strong foundation for a career in healthcare. CNAs are responsible for providing basic care to patients, such as bathing, dressing, and feeding. They also take vital signs, assist with medical procedures, and help patients with mobility issues. These skills are highly transferable and can be applied to many different healthcare settings.
In this article, we will explore some of the other jobs you can do with a CNA license. Whether you want to work in a hospital, clinic, or private practice, there are many opportunities available. We will also discuss the education and training requirements for each job, as well as the salary and job outlook. So, if you’re ready to explore new career paths as a CNA, keep reading!
CNA Job Opportunities
While working as a Certified Nursing Assistant is a fulfilling career choice, many CNAs may be interested in exploring other job opportunities in the healthcare field. Fortunately, there are several job options that CNAs can pursue with their license and experience.
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Home Health Aide
Home Health Aides (HHAs) work with patients who require assistance with daily tasks, such as bathing, dressing, and eating. They may also provide light housekeeping and companionship services to patients who are elderly or disabled. As a CNA, you already have experience in providing basic patient care, making the transition to an HHA role a natural fit. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of HHAs is projected to grow 34 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.
Medical Assistants (MAs) work in physician offices, clinics, and other healthcare facilities, performing administrative and clinical tasks. As a CNA, you already have experience in taking vital signs, recording medical histories, and communicating with patients. These skills can be easily transferred to a Medical Assistant role. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of MAs is projected to grow 19 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.
Patient Care Technician
Patient Care Technicians (PCTs) work in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities, providing direct patient care under the supervision of a registered nurse or physician. As a CNA, you already have experience in providing basic patient care, making the transition to a PCT role a natural fit. PCTs may perform tasks such as drawing blood, inserting catheters, and assisting with procedures. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of nursing assistants, including PCTs, is projected to grow 8 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations.
While many CNAs choose to stay within the healthcare field, there are plenty of non-medical jobs that can utilize the skills and experience gained as a CNA. Here are a few examples:
Personal Care Assistant
Personal care assistants work with clients who need help with daily tasks, such as bathing, dressing, and grooming. As a CNA, you have experience in providing personal care, making this a natural transition. Personal care assistants may work in clients’ homes or in assisted living facilities.
Nursing Home Administrator
A nursing home administrator is responsible for overseeing the operations of a nursing home or long-term care facility. While a CNA may not have the educational background required to become an administrator right away, gaining experience in the field can be a stepping stone to this career path. CNAs have firsthand knowledge of the daily workings of a nursing home and can use this experience to inform their decisions as an administrator.
Medical Equipment Sales Representative
Medical equipment sales representatives sell medical equipment and supplies to healthcare facilities. As a CNA, you have experience working with medical equipment and can use this knowledge to help sell these products. Additionally, CNAs have a deep understanding of the needs of healthcare facilities and can use this knowledge to help match the right products to the right customers.
Advanced Medical Careers
Registered Nurse (RN)
As a CNA, you can take the next step to become a Registered Nurse (RN). RNs provide and coordinate patient care, educate patients and the public about various health conditions, and provide advice and emotional support to patients and their families. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the workforce of registered nurses is projected to increase by more than 430,000 jobs by 2026. The median annual wage for registered nurses was $75,330 in May 2020.
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
Another career option for CNAs is to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). LPNs provide basic nursing care under the supervision of registered nurses and doctors. They work in various healthcare settings, including nursing homes, hospitals, and physicians’ offices. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses is projected to grow 9 percent from 2020 to 2030. The median annual wage for LPNs and LVNs was $48,820 in May 2020.
Physician Assistant (PA)
If you are looking for a more advanced medical career, becoming a Physician Assistant (PA) may be a good option for you. PAs practice medicine on teams with physicians, surgeons, and other healthcare workers. They examine, diagnose, and treat patients. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of physician assistants is projected to grow 31 percent from 2020 to 2030. The median annual wage for physician assistants was $115,390 in May 2020.
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