What Does an LNA Do?

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Written by Aislinn Twohig Marketing Campaign Manager, IntelyCare
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Reviewed by Marie Hasty, BSN, RN Content Writer, IntelyCare
Nurse in scrubs holding stethoscope around her neck and smiling.

One of the many great features about a career in nursing is the number of job titles you can hold. A licensed nursing assistant (LNA) is one of them. An LNA is a nursing assistant who is trained to help head nurses provide patients with basic care and support throughout the day.

The work is physically demanding yet rewarding. Aside from providing basic care, you need to be compassionate, patient, and kind to patients. So, what else is an LNA responsible for? Let’s explore this role, education requirements, and salary expectations.

What Are Some LNA Nurse Duties?

You may be wondering what does an LNA do when assisting nurses. Some LNA responsibilities depend on the practice setting. However, there are typical LNA job duties regardless of where you work. Your duties in this job require strength, compassion, and patience. This is because you help keep patients comfortable, move them around, and help them with activities they can’t complete independently. The typical responsibilities of a licensed nursing assistant include:

  • Helping patients with daily activities like going to the toilet and taking a bath
  • Serving and feeding patients
  • Cleaning a patient’s environment
  • Lifting and moving patients from wheelchairs to beds and back
  • Positioning and repositioning bedridden patients to keep them comfortable
  • Monitoring patients’ vital signs
  • Providing friendship and companionship to patients
  • Communicating a patient’s needs and requirements to their family and doctors

For more insight into what you might do in this role, check out our sample LNA resume.


In New Hampshire, a CNA (certified nursing assistant) is called an LNA. The titles refer to the same job; they’re simply called different things. Sometimes this role is also referred to as a certified licensed nursing assistant.

Where Can You Work With an LNA License?

You can find jobs in several healthcare settings, some of which include:

  • Long-term care facilities
  • Skilled nursing facilities
  • Nursing homes
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Adult daycare centers
  • Home health
  • Hospitals

Most positions are in skilled nursing facilities such as rehabilitation centers and home health centers, as well as in hospitals. Have a look at the CNA jobs and LNA jobs available right now to get some more insight into the types of work environments.

How to Become an LNA: 3 Steps

Becoming an LNA could take as little as several months. To qualify for training programs, you’ll need to have a high school diploma or a GED. Follow the steps below to be qualified for work as an LNA.

Step 1: Complete a State-Approved Training Program

LNA training courses take between 4-12 weeks, and many are offered online. These programs cover essential skills like bathing, turning patients, and assisting with activities of daily living. You’ll also need to complete hands-on clinical training in long-term care, a hospital, or another facility setting.

For more information about programs, check out nursing assistant programs approved by the New Hampshire Office of Professional Licensure and Certification. The Vermont Office of Professional Regulation also has a list of approved LNA training programs.

Step 2: Pass the LNA Exam

The LNA exam is the same as the test for CNAs. It includes multiple choice questions, and sometimes written sections as well. Once you pass the exam, you qualify to begin work. Remember that you’ll need to renew your certification around every two years — check with your state to learn the exact renewal period — to continue practicing.

Step 3: Health Requirements and Background Check

Most facilities have several requirements you’ll need to fulfill before you can begin working there. These may also be required by your training program:

  • Criminal background check
  • Vaccination records
  • Updated flu and COVID vaccines
  • Physical health screening

What Are the Benefits of Working as Certified Licensed Nursing Assistant?

There’s job stability. There is a consistent demand for LNAs, so your job opportunities are plentiful.

It’s a rewarding career path. LNAs make a big impact on a patient because you are the primary caregiver and spend a lot of time with your patients. As a result, you form good relationships that are emotionally rewarding. If you are passionate about helping others, you’ll likely feel very satisfied with this type of job.

It’s an affordable entry point into healthcare. LNA training is more affordable than many other training options out there. Once you’ve successfully received your LNA certification, you can decide to work toward advanced healthcare career opportunities. Your experience will surely give your application a boost when you pursue those programs.

LNA Salary Expectations

The average LNA pay depends on the location, years of service, and other factors. However, the average nursing assistant salary is $39,610 per year (around $19.04 per hour). In New Hampshire, an LNA salary is an average of $45,000 per year (around $21.68 per hour). Find out what nursing assistants earn in each state.

We Can Help You Make Your Next Career Move

Curious about roles similar to that of an LNA? Wondering what other healthcare opportunities might be a good fit for you? The IntelyCare nursing newsletter is full of practical career advice whether you’re new to the field or are no stranger to the frontline.