Can CNAs Work in Hospitals?

CNAs Work in Hospitals

Can CNAs Work in Hospitals?

Learn about a Certified Nurse Aide also known as nursing assistants, job duties and work settings. We discuss where CNAs work, including whether or not CNAs work in hospitals. Plus, find out the full scope of practice for CNAs in Pennsylvania, as well as training resources that are available. 

CNAs are considered the basis of nursing. These roles are workers in healthcare, and are additionally referred to as direct care workers. In their roles, most CNAs provide the majority of hands-on patient care duties.They include assisting patients with activities such as grooming, bathing, dressing, assistance walking, transferring from one place to another, positioning and turning bed bound patients, feeding, toileting, and others. These core activities are known as ADLs.

A certified nursing assistant works under the direct supervision of a nurse. Depending on the setting, The nurse can be an LPN, Vocational Nurse, or Registered Nurse. It will vary based  on the facility or healthcare setting that the CNA works in. A CNA may have more or fewer limits in the scope of their duties that they are allowed to legally perform. However, it will depend on the location of the care setting and whether or not they have advanced training.

The state laws that oversee healthcare workers like CNAs can differ significantly. For example, a CNA working in one state may be able to pass medication in a long term care facility. A nursing assistant in another state with different regulations may only be able to supervise or monitor patients that are capable to take their own medications. With varying capabilities, the healthcare and medical settings in which a CNA may be able to work can also vary.

CNAs work in hospital

Certified Nurse Aide CNA Scope of Practice 

To understand the setting a CNA can work, it is helpful to have knowledge about the nursing assistant’s scope of practice. Scope of practice refers to the professional activities that one is allowed to do .However, is a legal term assigned to licensed health professionals. 

CNAs as paraprofessionals

CNAs are not considered to be professional roles, but rather paraprofessionals. Therefore, CNAs do not have a regulated scope of practice. Healthcare paraprofessionals are workers who are not qualified or licensed to serve in particular professions, in this case nursing. However, they handle tasks in support of qualified professionals in those fields. While CNAs are paraprofessionals, they still must be licensed and registered in order to function in their roles. 

With that, they do have professional standards and job responsibilities to which they must comply. CNAs usually work directly with patients, serving an important role as a provider of care and in collaboration with physicians and nurses. They perform tasks such as minor first aid and taking blood pressure and temperature. In addition, CNAs frequently work in physical and occupational therapy environments, helping patients navigate exercises and other activities.Without a regulated scope of practice, many states acknowledge the Code of Federal Regulations (42 CFR x 483) as the unofficial CNA scope of practice. This code is titled “Requirements for states and long term care facilities.”

The regulations help oversee and direct care-based decisions for residents in nursing facilities. Institutions that employ Certified Nurse Aides follow the code to ensure that they will be eligible for Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement. Additonally, the same regulations are used to guide CNA training. They outline workplace duties as well. In particular, the 42 CFR x 483 suggests that CNAs must be trained in how to provide basic nursing care and skills as outlined below. You may have noticed that the code refers to long term care facilities in particular. However, that does not mean that CNAs can only work in long term care settings, as we will discuss later on. 

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Nine Principal CNA Job Responsibilities

CNAs work in hospital

CNAs across America are ultimately regulated by federal regulations. These regulations, referred to as the Code of Federal regulations that we discussed above, list the 9 tasks that are allowable by each state. These 9 duties are as follows: 

  1. Personal care skills
  2. Safety/emergency procedures
  3. Basic nursing skills,
  4. Infection control
  5. Communication and interpersonal skills
  6. Care of cognitively impaired residents
  7. Basic restorative care 
  8. Mental health and social service needs 
  9. Residents’ rights


Additional CNA functions

In total, 11 states allow CNAs to perform workplace tasks that go beyond the 9 core functions listed above. That is, they allow CNAs to perform additional tasks beyond the principal functions listed above. 

Pennsylvania state regulations for CNAs

CNA functions and courses are overseen by the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Nurse Aide Training Program. Pennsylvania state does not allow the CNA to perform workplace tasks that go beyond the 9 core CNA functions listed above. 

Delegation of Nursing Tasks to Certified Nurse Aides

Much of the day-to-day care provided by a CNA is based on the delegation of activities by licensed nurses. Delegation by licensed nurses occurs to make sure that professional nursing standards reach the bedside of a patient or resident. 

Certified Nurse Aide Work Settings

CNAs work in hospital

Can CNAs work in hospitals?

Yes! Many CNAs work in the hospital setting. Thousands of CNAs across America work in hospitals and are very satisfied in their roles. These CNAs also tend to have access to considerable training and development resources of hospital systems. As a result, they may be able to access enhanced skills through training once they are a CNA and continue to work in various capacities. This potential for variety and specialization makes the hospital environment for CNAs an attractive one. Consider the following for current or future CNAs interested in working in a hospital. CNA hospital jobs tend to be the most competitive. As a result, these roles tend to be for those with more experience or with specialty training or certifications. 

However, hospitals in general are usually competitive for any role that they hire. Therefore, the same holds true for a variety of hospital positions. However, there is huge demand for CNAs in all sorts of positions. Because of this, a CNA that is interested in working at a hospital will find many opportunities. They are bound to get the role they are interested in with the right mix of education and experience. 

What is the job market for CNAs working in hospitals?

cna jobs hospital

The job market for CNAs across all healthcare settings is strong, including for nursing assistants in the hospital environment. This is demonstrated on this search for “Hospital CNAs.” This returns hundreds of results in and around the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area, for example. 

Projected job growth

The job outlook for CNAs will grow much faster in comparison to other occupations in America, according to projections. The BLS estimates an overall 8 percent increase in nursing assistant jobs in America through 2028. The overall projected increase in all occupations is half that, at just 4 percent during the same period. Best of all, this figure only includes future CNA jobs to be added. This does not take into consideration the thousands of open CNA jobs across America right now.

What other healthcare settings does a nursing assistant work in?

cna courses

The most common job for CNAs is working in a long term care facility or nursing home. In addition to jobs in a nursing home, all CNAs will gain experience in a long term care setting. This is because nurse aide students spend part of their training working clinically in this environment. 

In addition to nursing homes, as we mentioned many CNAs work in hospitals. Plus, nursing assistants are found in all sorts of medical settings. You’ll find CNAs working in doctor’s offices, home healthcare settings, urgent cares, and assisted living facilities as well, among others. 

Do CNAs working in hospitals have different responsibilities than other healthcare settings?

Most CNAs in a hospital will have similar functions as compared to a nursing assistant that works in a nursing home or in home healthcare. That is because all CNAs are taught the same core functions. However, with experience and possibly additional training and certifications, many CNAs may have varying responsibilities both in a hospital or other environment. Sometimes, these additional responsibilities are for training done before being hired, but in many cases settings such as hospitals offer their own enhanced or specialized training for CNAs to function adequately in their jobs. 

Do aides need to be certified?

To be able to work as a Certified Nurse Aide, an individual must be trained and certified as a nursing assistant before taking a job as a CNA.

How can I get certified to be a CNA?

To obtain your CNA certification, interested individuals will need to take a CNA course that is regulated and approved by their state. For example, candidates can look at the PA Department of Education’s Nurse Aide Training Program page for more information and CNA classes available in the Pennsylvania area. 

cna certification

CareBridge Academy’s CNA course in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is a great option to get you trained and ready to work as a CNA quickly and affordably. Located in central Philadelphia, CareBridge Academy offers comprehensive courses designed to create the best-equipped CNAs in the region. Best of all, you can complete the course in as little as four weeks! Because of the high and growing demand for Certified Nurse Aides, an CNA certification is a surefire way to jumpstart your career in the medical field. 

Do I have to take a certification test?

Yes, the state requirement for CNAs is to first complete an approved course and then successfully pass a state examination. Note, this test is administered separately from an approved state training course and taken only after successfully completing a CNA class. Pennsylanians can find testing information here. 

Can the cost of my CNA course be reimbursed?

certified nurse aide reimbursement

Yes! Federal law requires CNA program reimbursement by all states, including Pennsylvania.

If you get employed by a Medicaid participating nursing home facility, you are entitled to the reimbursement of your CNA program. This also includes the cost of certification testing fees as well. Requirements also include that the candidate graduates with:

  • Successful completion of a state approved CNA course. CareBridge Academy’s program is a qualifying program
  • A passing score on your written and manual state certification exam
  • Employment in a skilled nursing facility or nursing home within 12 months of certification
  • Pass a criminal background check upon employment


What about CNAs working in hospitals? Are CNA courses reimbursed when nurse aides work in a hospital?

Unfortunately, new CNA graduates cannot get their CNA courses reimbursed if they begin working in the hospital setting, as federal law only mandates reimbursement for CNAs in long term care facilities. However, CNAs may be able to take the program for free under some federal or state funded programs. Contact CareBridge Academy today to see if you might qualify for free or discounted classes

Certification and career resources

Take a look at our FAQ page as well as our extensive resources page for more information on programs, school, and information on CNA training and careers. This should help prospective students answer any questions they may have as it relates to a new healthcare career.

CNA classes pennsylvania

CareBridge Academy was designed to provide students with a CNA course option that is flexible, convenient, and affordable. With a total cost of just $1395, the CareBridge Academy CNA program has a reasonable training cost which provides its graduates a path to certification that is highly flexible and not restricted to just one long term care facility.

CNA job placement

Additionally, CareBridge Academy has community and business partnerships and relationships with many different long term care facilities, home healthcare companies, and hospitals. We utilize these relationships to help place CNA graduates with Philadelphia, Pennsylvania employers in need of Certified Nurse Aides. 

Finally, CareBridge Academy also offers Home Health Aide (HHA) courses, which allow even more career and course options. 

Do you still have questions about the CNA course, healthcare careers, or CareBridge Academy? Contact us today by email, text, or phone call and we can gladly assist with any questions or inquiries you may have.

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