What Determines a CNA Salary?

There are a lot of moving parts to a CNA salary, and they are determined based on a combination of factors. Typically, these include:

In addition to these factors, CNAs can expect a much higher salary within more specialized areas of nursing. These specializations often require more experience and specific training – things that tend to increase salaries. The following CNA specializations offer a much more competitive salary for these reasons.

Critical Care CNAs

Embarking upon a journey within critical care settings, such as intensive care units (ICUs) or emergency departments, mandates a heightened level of expertise and finesse owing to the gravity of patients’ conditions. Critical care CNAs are responsible for administering direct care to patients grappling with life-threatening circumstances, necessitating adroitness in monitoring vital signs, facilitating procedures, and providing unwavering emotional solace to patients and their families. Given the demanding nature of this specialization, critical care CNAs invariably command remuneration that aligns with the challenges they adeptly surmount. On average, critical care CNAs make around $41,000 a year, according to payscale.com.

Surgical CNAs

Surgical CNAs occupy a pivotal role in assisting surgical teams not only during procedures but also in the preparatory and post-operative phases. Their responsibilities encompass the meticulous preparation of operating rooms, the sterilization of equipment, and the seamless facilitation of communication among members of the surgical team. The precision underpinning their mastery of sterile techniques and surgical procedures renders them an indispensable component of any surgical department. The specialized skill set that this role mandates invariably culminates in more favorable compensation arrangements. As a surgical CNA, you can expect to make an average of $53,000 dollars per year.

Pediatric CNAs

Pediatric CNAs specialize in the provision of care to infants, children, and adolescents, a realm that necessitates a distinctive set of competencies to effectively interact with young patients and their families. These specialized CNAs operate within a spectrum of settings, ranging from hospitals and pediatric clinics to educational institutions. The ability to extend compassionate care to the younger demographic and their families invariably translates to heightened demand for these professionals, consequently eliciting a more lucrative compensation of up to $37,085 per year.

Geriatric CNAs

In tandem with the escalating elderly population, the requisition for geriatric care has experienced a commensurate surge. Geriatric CNAs specialize in administering care to older patients within an array of settings including nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and domiciliary healthcare. Their training equips them to cater to the specific needs of senior citizens, spanning the gamut from aiding with activities of daily living to managing chronic conditions and offering companionship. The spiraling demand for specialists in geriatric care invariably directly results in higher compensation amongst CNAs within this specialty. As a geriatric CNA, you can expect to make around $34,744 per year.

Catherine Burger, MSOL, RN, NEA-BC
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