February 13, 2019

Benefits of Becoming a CNA

As the country’s population ages, employment opportunities are maturing and expanding, too, especially for credentialed, trained Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) caring for seniors.

The U.S. Census Bureau reports the segment of the nation’s population older than 65 is projected to nearly double in the next three decades.

Not surprisingly, some 300,000 new jobs are expected to be created by the growing needs of this growing segment of the population. CNAs will have an important role to play in meeting those needs in skilled-nursing facilities, assisted living centers and, most notably, in the homes of seniors.

As the Baby Boom generation becomes a Gray Boom, the seniors in it increasingly want to age in place. Independent caregivers and private companies providing caregivers will have to meet that demand where it lives; and where it lives is at home.

Demand for trained, home caregivers will be strong, and the caregiver who wants to be competitive for the best jobs will have the special training that comes with being a CNA.

The aging population of seniors means CNAs will have exceptional job stability.

Working as a CNA in a home also offers other non-tangible benefits that come from working directly with patients and their families.

“It was amazing the life journeys the people I cared for had been on,” a northwest Arkansas-based caregiver said. “They were able to share that, and I gained a lot of information I would not have learned otherwise. I saw a lot of faith. I saw strength and endurance. I’ve written notes to families about how much their loved one enriched my life.”

Emotional rewards also will come from helping people to feel better and developing deep relationships with them. Many CNAs work with people who will need care for the remainder of their lives.

The expectation of a day-to-day job in the home of a senior may be one of routine, but a CNA has to deal with a wide variety of situations and people. Those often will include relationships with physicians, pharmacists and other nurses with higher qualifications. CNAs may discover new professional mentors as they help their patients navigate the health care systems as well as experience the different medical specialties that might present new opportunities in the future.

Being a CNA in home caregiving can be rewarding economically, psychologically and professionally. Through the home, it can be a gateway job to an enriching future of options and experiences beyond its gabled roof and walls.

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