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Life As a Nursing Assistant

Nursing Assistant Definition Provide basic patient care under direction of nursing staff. Perform duties such as feed, bathe, dress, groom, or move patients, or change linens. May transfer or transport patients. Includes nursing care attendants, nursing aides, and nursing attendants.

Daily Life Of a Nursing Assistant

  • Lift or assist others to lift patients to move them on or off beds, examination tables, surgical tables, or stretchers.
  • Gather information from caregivers, nurses, or physicians about patient condition, treatment plans, or appropriate activities.
  • Communicate with patients to ascertain feelings or need for assistance or social and emotional support.
  • Restock patient rooms with personal hygiene items, such as towels, washcloths, soap, or toilet paper.
  • Clean and sanitize patient rooms, bathrooms, examination rooms, or other patient areas.
  • Administer medications or treatments, such as catheterizations, suppositories, irrigations, enemas, massages, or douches, as directed by a physician or nurse.

Skills Needed to be a Nursing Assistant

These are the skills Nursing Assistants say are the most useful in their careers:

Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

  • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
  • Medical Aide
  • Institutional Aide
  • Patient Care Technician (PCT)
  • Licensed Nursing Assistant (LNA)

Nursing Assistant Job Outlook

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 1,510,300 jobs in the United States for Nursing Assistant. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 11.5% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 173,400 new jobs for Nursing Assistant by 2026. There will be an estimated 195,100 positions for Nursing Assistant per year.

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The states with the most job growth for Nursing Assistant are Arizona, Utah, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in Connecticut, Wisconsin, or Vermont. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Average Nursing Assistants Salary

The average yearly salary of a Nursing Assistant ranges between $21,290 and $39,560.

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Nursing Assistants who work in Alaska, New York, or Hawaii, make the highest salaries.

How much do Nursing Assistants make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $24,110
Alaska $39,830
Arizona $31,450
Arkansas $25,080
California $35,220
Colorado $32,610
Connecticut $33,390
Delaware $30,780
District of Columbia $33,510
Florida $26,840
Georgia $25,870
Hawaii $35,770
Idaho $27,400
Illinois $28,810
Indiana $27,210
Iowa $29,120
Kansas $26,210
Kentucky $26,800
Louisiana $22,750
Maine $28,710
Maryland $31,310
Massachusetts $33,630
Michigan $30,130
Minnesota $33,710
Mississippi $23,100
Missouri $25,930
Montana $29,110
Nebraska $28,730
Nevada $35,130
New Hampshire $32,200
New Jersey $30,380
New Mexico $28,310
New York $37,010
North Carolina $25,570
North Dakota $33,990
Ohio $27,570
Oklahoma $25,690
Oregon $33,230
Pennsylvania $30,630
Rhode Island $31,340
South Carolina $25,390
South Dakota $26,820
Tennessee $26,400
Texas $27,030
Utah $27,880
Vermont $30,730
Virginia $28,770
Washington $32,130
West Virginia $26,410
Wisconsin $29,590
Wyoming $30,910

Tools & Technologies Used by Nursing Assistants

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Nursing Assistants may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • MEDITECH software
  • Medical procedure coding software
  • Epic Systems
  • Medical condition coding software
  • Billing software
  • GE Healthcare Centricity EMR
  • PointClickCare
  • Medical record charting software

How to Become a Nursing Assistant

Individuals working as a Nursing Assistant have obtained the following education levels:

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What work experience do I need to become a Nursing Assistant?

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Where do Nursing Assistants Work?

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The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

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References:

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More about our data sources and methodologies.

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