CNA FAQs, Facts, and Statistics


Article Categories: Jobs & Other

Working as a nursing assistant sometimes makes you think about how you fare against other CNAs in the country. That’s normal! Of course, you’d want to know the average salary, job outlook, or overall job satisfaction on the job.



Here are some of the most frequently asked questions from (or relating to) nursing assistants—answered by facts and statistics:

1. How many CNAs are there in the US?

In 2016, there were 1,564,300 nursing assistants and orderlies in the US.

2. What is the job outlook for CNAs?

A job outlook is a forecast of the growth or decline of employment rates. For CNAs, it is 11%, higher than average. This means that there will be a lot of vacancies for job hunters, even in the future. This forecast is good until 2026.

The very positive job outlook is largely influenced by the projected number of Americans needing long term care, from 13 million in 2000 to 27 million in 2050.

3. What is a CNA’s average pay?

In 2017, CNAs earned an average of $27,510 per year, or $13.23 per hour. The highest paying state is Alaska, with a range of $13.22-23.46 and an hourly average of $17.81. New York is next, paying CNAs $11.39-22.19, with an average of $16.65. Of all the cities in the US, San Francisco pays the highest salary—an average of $45,410 annually.

4. What is the average age of CNAs?

The average age of CNAs is 39 years old. Thirty-four percent of CNAs are aged 45 years old and older.

5. Are there more female nurse assistants than males?

The answer is probably obvious! Yes, there are more female CNAs than males. Among all healthcare workers, direct care workers such as nursing assistants are mostly female. In fact, over 90% of these workers are women.

6. Where do CNAs most commonly work?

In a study conducted by the NCSBN (National Council of State Boards of Nursing), 24% of nursing assistants who participated in their survey worked in an extended care facility and 15.5% in a hospital, particularly in the medical-surgical unit.

In long-term settings, 42.5% worked in a skilled care facility. In 2014, 612,120 nursing assistants provided care in nursing homes.

7. Which cases or patient health conditions do CNAs usually handle?

According to the NCSBN in 2010, the majority of CNAs (43.7%) take care of patients with acute conditions or those that need immediate medical attention. They also assist patients with stable chronic or long-term conditions (42.6%) and those at the end of life (42.5%).

8. How many CNAs are pursuing a nursing education?

We don’t have the exact number, but only 7.7% of CNAs are taking up formal nursing studies, with the majority of those enrolled in either an LPN course or RN associate program. Only 1.4% are taking up RN baccalaureate studies.

9. What are some of the most common problems CNAs encounter at work?

Almost one-third of nursing assistants say that dealing with difficult coworkers and work overload is what makes their work most difficult and least satisfying. They also report problems with leaders and management as well as poor pay and benefits.

10. What factor unrelated to work affects a CNA’s work most significantly?

Thirty-nine percent of CNAs report problems related to childcare or care of a sick family member and that these situations affect their job the most.

11. How well are nursing assistants able to manage their time and complete their tasks?

Only 57% of CNAs report having enough time to help patients with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, eating, and dressing. Also, 56% say they don't have enough time to do other tasks unrelated to personal care.

12. How many CNAs get work-related injuries?

More than 14% of nursing assistants are injured while working, and these injuries are severe enough that they cannot return to work for at least a day.

Now that you have the numbers, what do you think about these figures? Do they sound familiar?

Here's one final (but important!) takeaway: Most nursing assistants become direct care workers because of their burning desire to help others, which is unique compared to other workers of a similar wage range.

A salute to all our CNAs!

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