I graduated last year, worked as a CNA on a Med/Ortho floor through school and have been a Med/Surg RN for over a year. Nights we usually only have 1 CNA - 2 if we're lucky, sometimes none at all. Either way, not enough to do their job, so all Nurses on my floor help change beds, empty foleys, change diapers, even empty the trash if the CNA doesn't have time. Each of us Nurses has between 6-8 pt's. We're not only responsible for what we do for these pt's, but also responsible for what the CNA's do.
Having been a CNA, I can honestly say that was a much easier job (re: time, stress, responsibiity, etc.). We had very little paper/computer work as CNA's (now I have a truckload). Besides an hour or so sitting down doing charting (usually with constant interuptions), we're basically on our feet all night - passing meds, hanging IV fluids, checking pt's conditions, doing procedures, getting admissions and are usually still running around at 0630 when the day shift shows up, trying to finish everything.
I don't want to "Rain on your Parade", that's just the way it is on most floors - it's a stressful job most nights, but if you really love caring for people, it's worth it. Hope this helps, Sue...