Essential Tips to Succeed as a CNA

Much like any other career, succeeding as a certified nursing assistant requires far more than simply showing up to work. Although your attendance plays a direct role in your success, to truly succeed as a certified nursing assistant, you must go above-and-beyond your minimum expectations. Even though you may find yourself stressed and anxious, especially if you’re new to this profession, the following tips can help ensure you maintain a specific level of professionalism guaranteed to keep you successful throughout your career.

Tip #1: Take Notes…Lots of Notes

A common habit the most successful certified nursing assistants is note taking. Throughout your day you’ll be bombarded by a host of details and requirements. Unless you have an extremely good memory, it’s easy to let things fall through the cracks. To avoid this scenario, document as many details as possible.

Not only does writing information down ensure you remain on track, it’s an excellent way to recall information. Therefore, avoid writing notes down on your phone or laptop. Instead, keep a handwritten notebook in your pocket. Research studies have proven when you physically write information, you retain and recall this information much faster than if you were to keep notes in your phone or on a computer. Good note-taking skills will also reduce your workplace anxiety. Many new CNAs are stressed by the sheer amount of information they must remember. If you are diligent in taking notes, all the information you need will be at your fingertips.

Tip #2: Do Your Job…No Really, Just Do It

This may seem common knowledge, but you’d be surprised at the number of CNAs who show up to work and simply sit around. If you wish to truly succeed in this profession, then you must simply do your job. Regardless of what’s happening in your life, either professional or personal, leave these issues at the door. You’ll be surprised at how successful you’ll actually be if you simply perform your expected job duties.

The most effective way to execute your job is to know what’s expected of you. What elements do you need to discover upon walking through the door? Are there new patients? Are current patients doing well with their care plans? What changes have occurred since your last shift? All of these questions are essential to answer immediately upon walking through the door.

Go above-and-beyond what’s expected of you. Doing your job requires far more than simply showing up. While you have minimum expectations, showcase your dedication to your job by going above your bare minimum job requirements. Regularly communicate with your supervisor and other nurses. Ask how you can assist them. A certified nursing assistant who’s eager to learn and assist are typically the most successful.

Tip #3: Be Prepared for Everything

Preparation is the key element of success. Ill-prepared certified nursing assistants will not go far in this industry. A primary aspect of preparation is carrying essential tools with you. Always make sure you have a notebook, pencil, pen, tape measure, gloves and all other items you’ll be required to use throughout your day. Having to waste time hunting down an essential item will destroy your productivity and your professionalism.

Often, the next step after a successful term as a Certified Nursing Assistant is to become a Registered Nurse. For those interested, learn how to go from CNA to RN. This will undoubtedly open a new door to the medical world, with a more lucrative salary and more prestigious prospects.

Be sure to read my post, Can I Pay for Nursing School without Going into Debt, before committing to a CNA to RN bridge program.