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Advice for New CNAs


Are you a new certified nursing assistant (or CNA)?


It’s not easy to start a new career or position, but we have a team of cracker jack CNAs with experience to share. We polled them for must-have tips for CNAs just entering the workforce and taking on their first placement.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Know when you work best. One of the best parts of being a CNA is the ability to work at any time around the clock. Maybe you’re an early bird who likes getting your day started with the sun. Maybe you’re a night owl who prefers working late hours. Maybe you’re somewhere in the middle. If you aren’t sure, it’s your job to figure it out and state your preferences clearly. Not doing so can lead to frustration, exhaustion, resentment, and burnout.
  • Stick to the buddy system. Some of the most successful people begin by not knowing anything, but they found someone who could give them a leg up. When you first start at your new position, find a buddy who can show you the ropes – preferably someone who has been there for a while and who stays away from workplace drama.
  • Get codes for all the doors and utility rooms. This one cannot be understated. The last thing you want in the middle of a shift is to find yourself locked in, locked out, or unable to access important supplies. Keep a notepad on you and write down all the information you need to remember, including door codes (but don’t let anyone else see it!).
  • Eat and drink Hunger and dehydration are one of the many reasons nurses struggle during their shifts. Working eight hours straight (or more) in a fast-paced environment makes it easy to forget to feed yourself. Pack lots of food and fluids for your shift and take short breaks to make sure you’re eating and drinking. If you want to take care of others, you have to take care of yourself first.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Remember: no one expects you to know everything right off the bat. If you don’t know, ask someone. In the right environment, your coworkers and managers will be more than happy to help you.

Looking for a new position? Let us know!