Nursing assistants nationwide must be certified if they work for a skilled nursing facility that accepts payment from Medicare or Medicaid. Many other employers also prefer or require the credential of certified nursing assistant because it verifies a level of competency. Becoming a CNA in Kansas involves completing a minimum of 90 hours of approved training and passing an exam. Salaries for CNAs in Kansas are generally lower than nationwide figures for this occupation.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) includes all nursing assistants, both certified and not certified, in its salary figures for this occupation. The classification also includes orderlies and attendants caring for patients under the direction of nursing staff. The average salary in Kansas for this group of workers as of May 2009 was $10.85 per hour, or $22,560 per year. The median salary, or the number in the exact middle of all the Kansas salary figures for this occupation, was $10.61 per hour. The Kansas salary average was about 10 percent lower than the nationwide average of $12.01 per hour.
Salaries for CNAs in particular vary by location throughout Kansas, as shown by Salary.com. The median hourly pay for CNAs in Colby, for example, is about $10.70 as of May 2011, while the median hourly pay in Kansas City is about $13.30. The median hourly wage for CNAs in Salina is about $11.10, in Manhattan $11.70, in Emporia $12, in Topeka $12.60 and in Wichita $12.70. The lowest wages were in Colby, where the bottom 10 percent earn less than $9 per hour, and the highest in Kansas City, where the top 10 percent make $15.80 per hour and more.
Kansas CNA salaries are low compared to the national range. Nationwide, the middle 50 percent of CNAs have salaries ranging from $25,785 to $30,996 per year, according to Salary.com. The bottom 10 percent make $23,563 and less, and the top 10 percent $33,516 per year and higher. That ranks Colby and Salina in the bottom 10 percent nationwide, and Manhattan and Emporia in the bottom 25 percent. With the nationwide median annual salary for CNAs at $28,227, or about $13.60 per hour, even the largest Kansas cities have lower salaries for CNAs than the national median.
Although nursing homes are main employers of CNAs, the salary in this employment setting tends to be lower than elsewhere. CNAs working in nursing homes in Colby have a median salary of about $9.10 per hour, in Emporia about $10.20 per hour and in Kansas City about $11.30 per hour.