Nursing assistants, also called nurse aides, provide basic care for residents in nursing homes and for patients in hospitals, long-term care facilities and at their homes. According to federal regulations, nursing assistants working in nursing homes and other skilled nursing facilities must be certified, and the credential boosts income. CNA salaries in Louisiana are typically in the range of $22,000 to $28,000 per year.
Salaries for CNAs in Louisiana vary with location. CNAs in Natchitoches, for example, have a median annual salary of $22,676 as of March 2011, finds Salary.com. That equals about $10.90 per hour. In contrast, CNAs in New Orleans earn a median annual salary of $28,645, or about $13.80 per hour. CNAs in Alexandria have a median annual salary of $23,091, in Monroe $24,614, in Houma $24,978, in Lafayette $25,319, in Shreveport $25,600, in Baton Rouge $25,995 and in Lake Charles $26,080.
The lowest CNA salaries in this group of Louisiana cities are in Natchitoches, where the bottom 10 percent of CNAs earn $18,926 per year and less. The highest pay is in New Orleans, with the top 10 percent earning more than $34,000 per year. The nationwide range is narrower, with the bottom 10 percent of CNAs earning $23,531 per year and less, and the top 10 percent $33,473 and higher.
Becoming a certified nurse aide in Louisiana involves completing formal training and passing an exam. Although health care facilities that do not have skilled nursing units may hire nursing assistants who are not certified, many of these employers prefer the credential as it verifies a standard of competency. Viewing Lafayette as the representative median Louisiana salary, or the one in the middle of the salary figures, the median salary of a nursing assistant without certification in Louisiana is $23,657. That's about 9 percent lower than the median salary of a CNA in Lafayette.
Types of Employment
CNA salaries in Louisiana vary with employment setting. Using Lafayette as a representative example, CNAs working in nursing homes have a median annual salary of $21,526, in long-term care $22,767, and in occupational health $25,006.