A certified nursing assistant (CNA) does not need to have a nurse present at all times. However, there are times where the nursing assistant does need to have a nurse present. There are also other times where the nursing assistant is not able to follow through with the plan given by the RN.

It all comes down to what kind of training and certifications (in addition to the standard certification held by a CNA holds). If the RN asks the nursing assistant to carry out a task they do not have training in, there is no way the nursing assistant can or should carry out the task. For example, if the RN requests the nursing assistant to administer an IV on a patient, but the nursing assistant does not have training in this regard, they are not allowed to administer the IV. In these situations, it is important for the nursing assistant to inform the RN of what they do not have training for and instead offer to help out with other tasks.

The RN does not need to be present at all times though. The nurse is not a babysitter and has other tasks they need to carry out. So as long as the CNA has received training with the given tasks the RN needs them to carry out, there is no reason why the RN needs to remain present.

It is important to note when a CNA is first hired into a particular healthcare facility the RN may want to monitor how the nursing assistant acts and carries out different tasks. This is up to the RN, but in all likelihood, they will simply have too many of their own tasks to handle.

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