Direct Patient & Therapeutic Care

Nursing Assistant / CNA

Career Progression

Entry Level

Nursing Assistant

Mid Level


Senior Level

RN, ARNP, Physician Assistant

Pathway Category

Entry Level: These positions are the best entry points for someone with little experience or education, as they typically require only a high school diploma or equivalent (GED) or a technical certification/ training and little to no prior related work experience. Many workers enter this industry through the Direct Patient and Therapeutic Care families. Although these careers start with lower wages, they are often a great starting point with huge potential for promotion and advancement with hard work, dedication, and planning.

What does a person in this career do?

Life as a nursing assistant

You enjoy working with people! Your critical thinking and problem solving skills help to diagnose, troubleshoot, and treat a wide range of injuries, disorders, and diseases for your patients. You don’t mind being on the front line of the fight to help keep members of your community healthy, happy, and productive.

Occupations in the Direct Patient & Therapeutic Care family focus primarily on changing the physical health status of patients through direct care, treatment, and health education. They spend most of their time working directly with patients to diagnose, troubleshoot, and treat a wide range of physical illnesses, injuries, disorders, and diseases.  Someone who enjoys working with people, doesn’t mind being around illness, and wants to make a difference in their community will like these roles. Travel is not often required, but there are a growing number of institutions offering in-home and traveling or mobile medical services.

Description of duties

Provide routine health care assistance to the sick, elderly, disabled, and other patients or residents, such as changing bandages, applying topical medications, and actively monitoring health status by measuring blood pressure, body temperature, and other metrics at home, reporting any health concerns or changes when appropriate. May also provide more basic personal care such as bathing, dressing, and grooming.

Quick Facts

Wage/Salary Range

Education & Training

Typical Work Environments

Personality Traits

Discover your strengths by taking the assessment.

Knowledge and Skills Required

  • Basic Medical Terminology and Care
  • Active Listening and
  • Communication
  • Observing and Documenting
  • Information
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Attention to Detail
  • Transportation and Safety

Other Job Titles

  • N.A.
  • Certified Medical Assistant
  • Nurse Aide
  • Nursing Assistant
  • Home Health Aide