Resumes for C.N.A.’s: Do Certified Nursing Aides Need a Resume?

Certified Nursing Aide jobs or C.N.A. jobs, are in high demand.  Nursing homes and Assisted Living communities providing senior caregiving services must maintain a minimum staffing level of C.N.A.’s to meet licensing requirements.  Usually a minimum number of nursing assistants are required for each “wing” of a building or for a certain number of residents.  Back-up C.N.A.’s are also required because even if 1 C.N.A. calls off sick, they must be replaced to keep up with patient care needs.


C.N.A.’s complete a training program through a school sanctioned by the state’s Department of Health and then must pass the state C.N.A. exam to become a “certified” nursing aide.


As a C.N.A. certificate provides documentation that you have met the basic criteria for working as a Certified Nursing Assitant, do you also need a C.N.A. resume?


The answer is yes, if you are applying for a competitive position at a preferred nursing home, assisted living community, hospital or senior home care agency.  Top C.N.A. positions are always desired by many because of the desirable benefits and working conditions.  Some of the newer Assisted Living communities are beautiful luxury buildings and you will not be the only C.N.A. who wants to work for them.


Flexible C.N.A. positions also are competitive as many others will desire the flexible schedules to meet their lifestyle demands.  The good news is that at least half of C.N.A.’s do not customize a professional resume.  Follow our C.N.A. resume tips and use our FREE Resume builder tool to set yourself apart from the competition when you apply for a C.N.A. job.


C.N.A. Resume Tips


1)     Organize your work history:  just write out the names, addresses and dates of your prior jobs.



2)     Organize your education history:  list the high school and nursing assistant school you attended along with dates of graduation



3)     Organize your contact information:  write out your name, address, telephone and email address -  be sure to create a professional email address if you do not have one (go to gmail and create a new one if your current email address is your nickname or sassy in any fashion – you want to have an email address that includes your first and last name and just add a “number” such as 1, 2, 3, etc., if your name is taken).


4)     References:  Usually 3 references are required for a job and can be both professional and personal references.  Think of 3 people who were either co-workers, neighbors or long-time friends who can vouch for your character.


5)     Mission Statement:  Why do you want to work as a C.N.A.?  Try to really think of the reasons and events in your life which lead you to work in the industry of caregiving and feel free to add your own personal flair here – this is what will separate you from all the competition.


6)     Volunteer:  If you have performed volunteer work, be sure to add this as it will demonstrate you have an interest in working in senior care or with the disabled that goes beyond just making money to pay the bills.  Although the fulfillment of caregiving is great, the work can be challenging and employers want to see that you are attracted to working as a C.N.A. for more than just a job.  If you do not have volunteer experience, ask around to find a volunteer opportunity at a nursing home or with a community organization as this will also help your application stand out from others.


7)     Proof your information:  double-check the dates, names and addresses to make sure your information and especially telephone numbers and email addresses of your references and former employers are correct.  Run spell-check but remember that spell-check cannot capture everything so have a friend or family member also read your information and provide feedback.


8)     Build your C.N.A. Resume with FREE Online Tool:  you may access Caregiverlist’s FREE Caregiver and C.N.A. resume builder tool to fashion a professional resume to attach to your C.N.A. job application.


Once you have a resume, you are ready to apply for a C.N.A. job.  As seniors are living longer, they also are preferring to age-in-place in areas where there is a nice climate or where they have children and grandchildren.  Caregiverlist’s proprietary hiring tools are used by top senior care companies nationwide and while every city and town in the U.S.A. with nursing homes and hospitals need C.N.A.’s these are the most popular cities for C.N.A. jobs.



Top Cities for Employment as a Certified Nursing Assistant


Chicago, IL:  Apply for a Chicago C.N.A. job


Phoenix, AZ:  Apply for a Phoenix C.N.A. job


Miami, FL:  Apply for a Miami C.N.A. Job


Orlando, FL:  Apply for an Orlando C.N.A. Job


Houston, TX:  Apply for a Houston C.N.A. Job


San Diego, CA:  Apply for a San Diego C.N.A. Job


Los Angeles, CA:  Apply for a Los Angeles C.N.A. Job


San Francisco, CA:  Apply for a San Francisco C.N.A. Job


Portland, OR:  Apply for a Portland C.N.A. Job


Seattle, WA:  Apply for a Seattle C.N.A. Job


You may also take a sample C.N.A. test or a practice C.N.A. test if you would like to explore becoming a C.N.A.  Companion caregivers may not be required to have formal experience and is an easy way to test the waters of working in the senior care field.  You may apply for a companion caregiver job in your area on Caregiverlist.  You may also research C.N.A. schools in your area in Caregiverlist's Career Center.

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November is National Family Caregivers Month

As the election dust settles and President Obama prepares for his second term in office, let’s look at the Presidential Proclamation he signed on November 1, declaring November 2012 as National Family Caregivers’ Month. The president put forth the proclamation in order to acknowledge the selfless efforts of caregivers and “help caregivers access services, provide quality support, and reinforce their support through respite care options.”

According to the National Family Caregivers Association, President Clinton signed the first presidential proclamation in 1997 and every president since - Democrat and Republican alike - has issued an annual proclamation appreciating family caregivers.

Family caregiving is non-partisan. As our population — Democrats, Republicans, third and fourth parties alike — ages, the need for care grows. Most times, that care begins at home and most times, the first caregiver is a family caregiver.

In trying to get a snapshot of today’s family caregiver, my research took me back to a 2009 report published by the National Alliance for Caregiving in collaboration with AARP and funded by MetLife Foundation. This companion report focused on those providing care for someone age 50 or over. Statistics in that report showed that:
  • 89% of caregivers are assisting relatives, who is most often the caregiver’s mother (36%).
  • Over half (61%) of family caregivers have other full- or part-time employment.
  • Family caregivers provide an average of 19 hours of care per week.
According to the 2010 paper, Estimating the Impact of Caregiving and Employment on Well-Being. Outcomes & Insights in Health Management, “Unpaid family caregivers will likely continue to be the largest source of long-term care services in the U.S. “

The stress and responsibility of caring for seniors at home can make caregiving feel like a full-time job in and of itself. As a nation, we need to champion flexibility in the workplace. Caregiver burnout is a real concern, so family caregivers should seek support through respite care. We suggest utilizing a quality home care agency for your family’s intermittent care needs.

Are you a family caregiver to a senior? Are you charged with spousal care and find that you yourself might benefit from some caregiving as well? Do you find yourself part of the “sandwich generation”, caring for both children and aging parents? If you are otherwise employed, does your employer make special concessions for your situation, allowing you to come in late, leave early, or take time off for caregiving?

We at want to advocate for you. Which existing programs make your life easier? What programs would you like to see put in place to assist in alleviating the overwhelming tasks and concerns associated with family caregiving? Help us to help you make your voices heard so that the appreciation and support of caregivers during Family Caregivers’ Month can extend throughout the year.


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Caregiver Job Seekers: Be Mindful of Facebook Posts & Tweets

Senior caregivers working as professional caregivers for senior home care agencies, hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living communities receive the benefits of ongoing professional training and support in their caregiving roles.  But because many individuals are involved in care - from family members to medical professionals - it is even more important that caregiver and Certified Nursing Aides and Home Health Aides who are applying for jobs are thoughtful about the online reputation they are showing on social media platforms.

Senior caregivers may even have higher standards to live up to than many other workers, simply because of the personal nature of senior care.  While all professional caregivers are coached to keep their personal issues out of the work place and nursing assistants receive specialized training in C.N.A. school, it is important to realize that both senior care employers and family members of a senior will probably check out the caregiver on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.  Remember that what you post online can also "go viral" and be forwarded to others or reposted or retweeted. 

A good rule to follow is to only post or tweet items you would feel comfortable having on the front page of a newspaper and having your Mother read.  If it doesn't pass this test, don't post it.

A California woman, Denise Helms, was fired this week after calling President Obama an inappropriate word and also mentioning "assassination".  While everyone has a right to their own political views, if your viewpoints seem to show irrational behavior or the desire to do harm to others, it is a red flag for employers.  If someone is making bad decisions in one area of their life, it is going to transfer to other areas.  Don't let what happen to Denise Helms in California happen to you.

Senior caregivers will continue to be needed to work as Companion Caregivers, C.N.A.'s and Home Health Aides as the senior population ages and desires to age-in-place in their own homes.  Working as a senior caregiver delivers many rewards beyond a paycheck and offers both part-time and full-time employment opportunities.  Review a caregiver job description and apply for a senior caregiver position in your area.  Update your social media profiles to show you are a compassionate individual who has consideration for everyone in your life, including seniors!


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Longer Shifts Result in Higher Turnover for Hospital Nurses

Senior caregivers often work long hours or consecutive shifts which brings added challenges to working as a professional caregiver.  A recent review of nursing job turnover at hospitals in 4 states shows that longer shifts result in quicker burnout and higher turnover of nurses.

Nursing working shifts of ten hours or longer were up to 2 1/2 times mroe likely than nurses working shorter shifts to experience brunout and job dissatisfaction and to intend to leave their job.  Extended shifts undermine nurses' well-being and can also negatively affect patinet care.

Professional senior caregivers should also be mindful of choosing schedules which fit their lifestyle and the needs of the senior client.  Days off are vital to make sure the caregiver has time to care for themselves and recharge from the emotional demands of working as a senior caregiver.  Certified Nursing Aides are taught stress-management skills in their C.N.A. courses and it is important that professional caregivers also receive training in learning how to manage caregiver stress.

Senior caregivers may also interact with other caregivers to have a peer group share their experiences with as just talking and sharing also has been shown to assist with stress management.

Apply to be a senior caregiver in your area - but only ask for hours that you know will be a fit for your lifestyle as both part-time, full-time and weekend caregivers are always needed.  Caregiver training assists in understanding how to professionally manage the caregiving needs of seniors while also managing the emotional care needs.


Michigan Voters Reject Home Health Care Registry Amendment

Michigan voters turned down Proposal 4, supported by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).  The Michigan legislature had booted the union from requiring home health care workers to be members earlier in the year and this proposal was presented to change the constitution to force the health care workers, many of whom are paid via Medicaid programs, to chip into union dues. 

Background checks and caregiver training are already required for senior caregivers working for licensed senior home care agencies.  The Michigan legislature defunded the Michigan Quality Community Care Council in 2011 moving the 60,000 home health care workers away from the Service Employees International Union Healthcare Michigan which had been collecting $30 million in dues from their wages.

The SEIU contributed more than $5 million towards the campaign to pass Proposal 4 in Michigan.  As it did not seem the proposal brought anything fresh and new to the table for home health care workers - - such as an increase in pay, more benefits - it was opposed by most community groups such as Citizens Protecting Michigan's Constitution.

Worker's compensation, unemployment insurance and the new healthcare law which grants healthcare benefits to everyone are all positive additions to working as a senior home caregiver.  And for companies to grant these benefits, required by law, they must conduct criminal background checks on all employees and provide proper training.

We looked to see if the $30 million the SEIU would have collected from home health caregiver wages would have gone towards added benefits for seniors and caregivers and just could not find any information on this - the SEIU promotes background checks and a "registry" of workers but that is not anything new and different -  background checks and training are already part of the criteria for home health care.

As more and more seniors live longer, perhaps new ideas will be brought to voters - ideas that will improve care and decrease costs and deliver improved benefits and training programs to caregivers. 

Private duty senior care, which means care provided by a senior companion caregiver, Certified Nursing Aide or Home Health Aide (which is a designation created in a few states such as New Jersey) does require active care management for the caregiver and senior.  The private duty senior care industry had promoted a basic caregiver training program which was passed in a few states such as Illinois.  The Caregiverlist Certified caregiver training provides 10-hours of online caregiver training and meets this basic training criteria for senior caregivers.

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Michigan Ballot Proposes Union Membership for Home Health Caregivers

Michigan's ballot today will offer an option for voting for Proposal 4, the Michigan Home Health Care Amendment.  This statewide ballot is being offered as an amendment to the constitution and will require all in-home caregiver workers to be union members.  The SEIU has heavily supported this initiative.

Senior caregivers often do not have a full plate of benefits such as health insurance and retirement, because they work part-time. 

The Michigan chapter of the National Private Duty Association does not support this initiative as the Governor of Michigan has also stated it is bad policy.  The Michigan NPDA has commented that the proposal is over-reaching and possibly illegal and that the SEIU is the main benefactor.

Read more about Michigan's Proposal 4 and if you are looking for where to vote in your area, remember that today's Google Doodle will help you find your local precinct.

Senior caregivers do not have to be union members in most states and you may apply for a senior caregiving job near you.

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$50 Donated to Cancer When You Write a Letter to Cancer

Caregivers can help the fight against cancer by writing a letter to cancer and Varian Medical Systems will donate $50 to the American Cancer Society for each letter.

Cancer has many forms and nearly everyone has had a relative or friend who has had cancer.  The fight against cancer can be long and costly.  Early detection is still the best defense.  However, the longer we live, the odds for cancer increaser - especially with breast cancer.

Take a moment to write a letter to cancer and score a $50 donation for your efforts. 

Senior caregivers may also share their stories with others on Caregiverlist's Share-a-Caregiver Story section and apply for a caregiving job in their area..

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Seniors Keep Active with Go4Life

On October 19, the National Institute on Aging marked the one-year anniversary of launching its Go4Life campaign, which encourages older people to incorporate activity and exercise in their everyday lives. And they also provide a handy Spanish-language tip sheet!

Exercise has been proven to enhance quality of life. To that end, the American Geriatrics Society Foundation for Health in Aging (FHA) partnered with the NIA to provide a site to help seniors stay active.

The site covers the four types of exercise: Endurance, Strength, Balance and Flexibility.

Also known as aerobic exercise, endurance exercises help keep heart disease and diabetes at bay. This type of exercise includes:
  • Brisk walking or jogging
  • Yard work (mowing, raking, digging)
  • Dancing Swimming Biking
  • Climbing stairs or hills
  • Playing tennis
  • Playing basketball
Lifting weights, even light weights, is the best way to build muscle and develop strength.

Exercises such as Tai Chi help promote balance and prevent potential falls.

Yoga is a perfect example of an activity that stretches your muscles and keeps you limber.

Free tools like their Exercise Audiobook, Tip Sheet (which includes Activities by Season, nutrition information and and free tracking tools) and answers to common exercise questions are designed to get even the most sedentary of older adults up and moving for their health. There is also a Workout to Go routine — a portable downloadable booklet with 13 easy-to-follow strength, balance, and flexibility exercises.

The site also features video success stories, from seniors like Tony L., 71, who lives along Chicago’s lakefront and rode over 7,100 miles on his bike last year, to Charlie E, 93, 2012 Gold Medal winner in archery at the Virginia Senior Games. It was his first competition.

The trick to keeping up with any fitness regimen is, of course, to find something you enjoy doing. This will ensure that you do it every day. Of course, before embarking on any exercise routine, especially if one hasn’t exercised in a while, a doctor should be consulted.

In addition to keeping seniors fit, exercise has been known to relieve stress in caregivers. Why not build a buddy system? If you are a senior caregiver, try to build some mild exercise into every home visit. You, as well as your client, will reap the benefits. If you already practice some form of exercise, share your experiences here. We are such proponents of Healthy Aging here at, we encourage you or a senior you love to get out (or stay in) and get moving!

Assisted Living Jobs: Senior Caregivers & Resident Care Assistants

Assisted Living has become the "new normal" for seniors looking for retirement options.  And the newer Assisted Living communities are places we all would want to live at any age.  Americans are living longer and also enjoying what is now being called the Third Age.  However, with longer lives, comes more years of help with care - which is why senior caregiver jobs continue to be available (senior care companies are constantly hiring part-time and full-time caregivers).  And some of these caregiver positions are available in the attractive and even posh Assisted Living communities.

The Villages, in Florida, is where one of my friend's parents have found a home for their retirement years.  They love it and their children and grandchildren also love this community.  My friend Lisa's father plays on 3 softball teams and her Mother enjoys a golf league, a knitting group and a book group.  In addition, one of their spare time activities has become a booming business.  They enjoy going to estate sales and auctions and now have a booth at an antique mall and even resell items on ebay.  Their knack for finding great items has been going so well that they have had to expand into 3 booths at the antique mall.

Back at The Villages, they can enjoy actiivites such as yoga at one of the recreation centers, go for a swim or enjoy live music at a Mexican restaurant.  If the time should come that the would need more assistance with senior care or even assisted living, these options are also available.

Assisted Living communities now often have spas and one in the Chicago area even has a rainforest.  The good news is that these Assised Living communities do need senior caregivers or resident assistants.

Caregiver duties at Assisted Living centers may involve assisting the residents during  meals and with mobility from one activity to the next.  Activities many times involve learning a new skill through creating a new craft project or discussing a movie or book.  Many times a Resident Assistant Caregiver will assist the residents in these activities.

Senior caregivers are available for residents of Assisted Living communities and usually when more assistance is needed with personal care a Certified Nursing Assistant is assigned to the resident.

Caregiver job descriptions for senior caregivers are similar for caregivers in assisted living communities to those working with a senior in their home.   If the caregivers is hired as a Resident Care Assistant they will provide some hands-on care but their primary is role is helping all the residents on one wing with Activities of Daily Living (ADL"s).  Smaller Assisted Living communities may also have the Resident Care Assistant help with meal prepration and activities.  If a senior has memory loss and is in the memory care unit of Assisted Living, the Resident Care Assistant may need to be a Certified Nursing Assistant (C.N.A.).

Apply for a senior caregiver job near you and review requirements for working in an Assisted Living community on Caregiverlist'sCareer Center.





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National Memory Screening Day

Memory loss occurs for all of us at certain moments: where, oh where are my keys? Right? And everyone will begin experiencing some memory loss after the age of 85. 

Alzheimer's disease presents a certain form of memory loss where there is confusion of person, time and place. Because of this, many refer to Alzheimer's disease as the "long goodbye".  Senior caregivers know the challenges that come when caring for someone with memory loss but the good news is that medications can slow the progression.  In addition, by implementing a steady daily schedule and mental exercises and meditation, seniors can lesson the impact of memory loss on their lives.

The Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) is inviting healthcare professionals to participate as screening sites for the 10th annual national memory Screening Day on Tuesday, November 13th, 2012.  Community sites nationwide will offer free, confidential memory screenings and educational materials to the public. 

Learn more about the memory loss screenings where the AFA will provide a comprehensive toolkit, including screening tools and marketing and educational materials all at no cost.  The memory loss screening sites are searchable by zip-code and state. 

Sign-up as a Memory Loss Screening Site.

For more information you may contact melissa Austen, AFA"s National Program's Manager:






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