CNAs are necessary to the functioning of the health care system, providing vital care and expertise to patients across the country. A CNA salary in NJ depends on several variables, such as their location in New Jersey, the facility they work for and years of experience. However, New Jersey remains among the top states in CNA employment and pay despite the salary variance.
What Is a CNA?
Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) are essential to hospitals and long-term care facilities. While a CNA has many responsibilities, the position is considered entry-level in healthcare. According to the educators at Western Governors University, CNAs help patients while under the supervision of a nurse, but their specific responsibilities often depend on the facility they work at and may even depend on their experience.
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Specifically, CNAs are tasked with various jobs, such as turning or moving patients, gathering medical supplies and feeding, bathing and grooming patients. They will also assist nurses and other medical professionals with specific medical procedures and care for wounds as needed.
CNAs may also be responsible for checking vital signs, answering patient calls, documenting information, cleaning rooms and bed linens and stocking supplies. While daily responsibilities depend heavily on the type of facility, certified nursing assistants are ultimately tasked with ensuring the patients are safe and well-cared for.
CNA employment is not limited to hospitals. Long-term residential facilities, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, adult daycare centers and certain clinical facilities all employ certified nursing assistants.
How to Become a CNA in NJ
To begin on your path to becoming a certified nursing assistant in New Jersey, the experts at the New Jersey State Department of Health write that you must complete all the necessary training, along with a practical skills evaluation, written and oral exam and a criminal background check.
To obtain certification, candidates must complete the Nurse Aide in Long Term Care Facilities Training and Competency Evaluation Program (NATCEP), a 90-hour training course of 50 classroom hours and 40 clinical hours. According to the New Jersey State Department of Health, these training courses are offered by long-term care facilities, private vocational schools, community colleges, county vocational schools and high schools.
Applicants can also seek certification through equivalency or reciprocity if applicable. Certification from another state may be accepted, provided the documentation is current and valid within the state you currently practice. Applicants must not have been convicted of crimes, abuse, neglect or misappropriation of resident property. Additionally, applicants must also have 24 months of full-time employment in their state or have completed 24 hours of approved continuing education units to be eligible for certification through equivalency or reciprocity.
CNA Salary in NJ
So how much does a CNA make a year in New Jersey? The CNA salary in NJ will vary depending on the location in New Jersey, their employer and years of experience. According to the experts at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the annual mean wage for certified nursing assistants in New Jersey ranges between $35,820 and $43,080 per year.
New Jersey is in the top range of nursing assistant employment by state, employing between 33,200 and 94,450 nursing assistants. According to the BLS, the metropolitan area of New York-Newark-Jersey City (NY-NJ-PA) has the highest employment level, with 81,890 nursing assistants. The average annual mean within the New York-Newark-Jersey City metropolitan area is $41,940 per year, while the mean CNA salary per hour is $20.17.
According to the BLS, nursing care facilities employ the most certified nursing assistants, with 471,160 individuals employed. They are followed by general medical and surgical hospitals with 386,510 employees and continuing care retirement communities and assisted living facilities with 140,850.