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Certified Nursing Assistant Resume: Examples and Tips

Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) assist patients with daily activities such as medicine administration, meals, helping patients to eat, bathe and dress, checking vital signs regularly and cleaning and sanitizing patient living areas. This job is typically an entry-level position, with the next career step being a licensed nurse.

To make your nursing assistant resume stand out, use the resume writing tips and examples on this page.

Top 4 Characteristics of a Best-in-class Certified Nursing Assistant Resume

  1. Summary Your summary statement should present your top nursing skills and most significant achievements. Mention qualifications such as knowledge of medical terminology and regulations, as well as any specific knowledge or experience in a particular medical specialty.
  2. Skills Focus on the job description, picking out the skills that match the ones you possess, and then including them here. As a CNA, employers will be looking at abilities such as providing emotional support, personal care, expertise in tube feedings, documenting behavioral changes, being proficient in EMR/EHR systems, and excellent communication and decision-making skills.
  3. Work history Rather than just listing everyday tasks, focus on your best accomplishments, and provide metrics wherever possible. For example: “Devised a system that helped in reducing incorrect medication administration by 99.9%” or “Monitored a team of 4 CNAs independently, in absence of a nurse manager, without incident.”
  4. Education A CNA credential is the most essential requirement for this position. Some additional certifications and training that can help improve your position as a certified nursing assistant include:
    • CPR certification
    • Basic Life Support (BLS) certification
    • State Tested Nursing assistant (STNA)
    • Associate degree or Bachelor of Science in nursing

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Do’s and Don’ts for Your Resume

  • Double-check your resume for errors Attention to detail is crucial for a nursing assistant — apply that same level of detail to your resume. Review your document several times before sending it in, making sure you don’t have typos or grammar errors. Let a trusted, reliable contact look at your resume if you can — sometimes a second pair of eyes can spot additional errors Just know that hiring managers are quick to discard resumes with grammatical or spelling errors.
  • Organize your work history in reverse chronological order Managers will always want to know your most recent work experience first, when evaluating your career. Follow the standard protocol of placing your most recent job at the top of your work history section, and then working your way back to your earliest position. Just remember to focus on your top accomplishments rather than mundane tasks, and limit your employment history to the last ten years.
  • Customize for applicant tracking systems (ATS) Many businesses now use ATS to filter out resumes, based on relevant keywords. To ensure that your resume makes it through ATS and into a hiring manager’s hands, use a clean, simple format (fancy fonts and design elements like tables might confuse ATS), and zero-in on the right skill keywords, based on the listed requirements of the job position.
  • Don’t lie or exaggerate Don’t make the mistake of inflating your skills or experiences to make your resume more impressive. The last thing you want is to be caught in a lie if an employer runs a background check on you. Be honest about your professional experience and skills — if you feel like you’re lacking in certain areas, look for ways to make up for shortcomings (e.g., emphasizing other skills that could prove to be useful in nursing work, or taking on additional training in particular areas of inexperience).
  • Don’t create an over-long resume Recruiters only take a few seconds on average to read a resume. This means concentrating your best skills and qualifications, rather than stringing them out over several pages. Aim for one page for your resume. Focus more on relevant achievements than an exhaustive list of all your previous job tasks. Concentrate on including skills that directly address the potential job’s requirements.
  • Don’t use weak verbs to describe your skills and accomplishments Rather than starting sentences with passive language such as “was responsible for”, use robust action verbs to energize the details of your achievements. Verbs like prepared, developed, created, devised, coordinated and managed signal to employers that you’re in charge of your accomplishments.

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Resume FAQ

1. What are the skills you should emphasize for this specific job?

Look to feature skills related to patient care, such as collaborating with nursing staff, and assisting patients with daily activities. Don’t forget to include hard skills that you can apply to the nursing field, such as being proficient at maintaining and updating patient records, or knowledge of medical equipment and software systems like EHR/EMR.

2. What are some examples of training and certifications that fit this specific resume?

Many courses and certifications are available for CNAs and aspiring CNAs to help them stay up-to-date in the nursing field, including:

  • Basic life support and CPR certification
  • State Trained Nursing Assistant certification
  • Advanced degrees in nursing, health services and healthcare
  • Nurse Aide Program
  • Patient Care Technician Program

3. How should you format your resume?

Your resume format will depend on your background as well as the role you’re applying to. If you are just starting out your career, use the functional format to emphasize your education and relevant skills, as well as any applicable extracurricular experiences, such as volunteer experience at a local senior center. If you have more than five years of experience in the field, use the chronological format, which features an expanded work history section. Regardless of your format, draw attention to your core competencies as well as other helpful skills, such as administrative, organizational and management abilities.

4. How should you craft your resume if you’re looking to take the next step forward in your career?

The skills and knowledge you gain as a CNA are of immense value. It can inspire you to think about advancing your career in the nursing field. The next step in this career path is to become a Licensed Nurse Practitioner (LPN) or Registered Nurse (RN). In addition to university programs and courses in this field, look to gain experience from LPN training programs in skills such as inserting catheters, checking vital signs, administering medications and changing sterile dressings. To become an RN, the education options are:

  • Diploma in a nursing program
  • Associate of Nursing degree program
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program
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