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Become A Certified Nurses' Aide

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Working As A Certified Nurses' Aide

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Getting Information
  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • $29,492

    Average Salary

What Does A Certified Nurses' Aide Do

Nursing assistants, sometimes called nursing aides, help provide basic care for patients in hospitals and residents of long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes. Orderlies transport patients and clean treatment areas.

Duties

Nursing assistants provide basic care and help with activities of daily living. They typically do the following:

  • Clean and bathe patients or residents
  • Help patients use the toilet and dress
  • Turn, reposition, and transfer patients between beds and wheelchairs
  • Listen to and record patients’ health concerns and report that information to nurses
  • Measure patients’ vital signs, such as blood pressure and temperature
  • Serve meals and help patients eat

Some nursing assistants also may dispense medication, depending on their training level and the state in which they work.

In nursing homes and residential care facilities, assistants are often the principal caregivers. They have more contact with residents than other members of the staff. Because some residents stay in a nursing home for months or years, assistants may develop close relationships with their residents.

Orderlies typically do the following:

  • Assist patients with moving about the facility, such as pushing wheelchairs
  • Clean equipment and facilities
  • Change linens
  • Stock supplies

Nursing assistants and orderlies work as part of a healthcare team under the supervision of licensed practical or licensed vocational nurses and registered nurses.

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How To Become A Certified Nurses' Aide

Nursing assistants must complete a state-approved education program and must pass their state’s competency exam. Orderlies generally have at least a high school diploma.

Education and Training

Nursing assistants must complete a state-approved education program in which they learn the basic principles of nursing and complete supervised clinical work. These programs are found in high schools, community colleges, vocational and technical schools, hospitals, and nursing homes.

In addition, nursing assistants typically complete a brief period of on-the-job training to learn about their specific employer’s policies and procedures.

Orderlies typically have at least a high school diploma and receive a short period of on-the-job training.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

After completing a state-approved education program, nursing assistants take a competency exam. Passing this exam allows them to use state-specific titles. In some states, a nursing assistant or aide is called a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), but titles vary from state to state.

Nursing assistants who have passed the competency exam are placed on a state registry. Nursing assistants must be on the state registry to work in a nursing home.

Some states have other requirements as well, such as continuing education and a criminal background check. Check with state boards of nursing or health for more information.

In some states, nursing assistants can earn additional credentials, such as becoming a Certified Medication Assistant (CMA). As a CMA, they can give medications.

Orderlies do not need a license, however, many jobs require a Basic Life Support (BLS) certification, which shows they are trained to provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Nursing assistants and orderlies must be able to communicate effectively to address patients’ or residents’ concerns. They also need to relay important information to other healthcare workers.

Compassion. Nursing assistants and orderlies assist and care for the sick, injured, and elderly. Doing so requires a compassionate and empathetic attitude.

Patience. The routine tasks of cleaning, feeding, and bathing patients or residents can be stressful. Nursing assistants and orderlies must have patience in order to complete these tasks.

Physical stamina. Nursing assistants and orderlies spend much of their time on their feet. They should be comfortable performing physical tasks, such as lifting or moving patients.

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Average Length of Employment
Restorative Aide 3.0 years
Medication Aide 2.4 years
Nurses' Aide 2.3 years
Health Aide 2.3 years
Hospice Aide 2.2 years
In Home Aide 2.0 years
Resident Care Aide 1.9 years
Resident Aide 1.6 years
Hospitality Aide 1.4 years
Top Careers Before Certified Nurses' Aide
Cashier 14.5%
Waitress 3.7%
Volunteer 2.8%
Teller 2.8%
Internship 2.3%
Server 2.1%
Top Careers After Certified Nurses' Aide
Cashier 6.2%
Internship 2.5%
Teller 1.9%
Volunteer 1.7%

Do you work as a Certified Nurses' Aide?

Certified Nurses' Aide Demographics

Gender

Female

85.4%

Male

13.0%

Unknown

1.6%
Ethnicity

White

65.3%

Hispanic or Latino

14.4%

Black or African American

10.0%

Asian

6.7%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

64.0%

French

7.2%

Portuguese

3.8%

Arabic

3.4%

Swahili

2.5%

German

2.5%

Swedish

2.1%

Tagalog

2.1%

Vietnamese

1.7%

Russian

1.7%

Hindi

1.3%

Korean

1.3%

Bosnian

0.8%

Italian

0.8%

Hebrew

0.8%

Dakota

0.8%

Serbian

0.8%

Croatian

0.8%

Ilocano

0.8%

Igbo

0.4%
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Certified Nurses' Aide Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

18.3%

Kaplan University

7.7%

Ultimate Medical Academy - Clearwater

6.3%

Wichita State University

6.0%

Liberty University

4.6%

Ashford University

4.6%

Kirkwood Community College

4.6%

Kansas State University

4.5%

Grand Canyon University

4.5%

Lansing Community College

4.5%

Johnson County Community College

4.1%

Fort Hays State University

3.7%

Mohawk Valley Community College

3.6%

Des Moines Area Community College

3.4%

Colorado Technical University

3.4%

South Plains College

3.4%

Grand Rapids Community College

3.3%

Everest Institute

3.2%

Wichita Area Technical College

3.2%

University of Texas at Arlington

3.0%
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Majors

Nursing

35.9%

Business

8.3%

Medical Assisting Services

8.0%

Health Care Administration

7.2%

Nursing Assistants

6.3%

Psychology

4.4%

General Studies

3.8%

Criminal Justice

3.2%

Health/Medical Preparatory Programs

2.7%

Medical Technician

2.5%

Human Services

2.5%

Biology

2.3%

Social Work

2.0%

Education

1.9%

Liberal Arts

1.9%

Accounting

1.8%

Pharmacy

1.6%

Health Sciences And Services

1.5%

Management

1.3%

Elementary Education

1.3%
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Degrees

Other

36.2%

Bachelors

23.1%

Associate

19.3%

Certificate

9.0%

Masters

6.3%

Diploma

3.8%

License

1.9%

Doctorate

0.5%
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Certified Nurses' Aide Videos

Signature HealthCARE - Walk A Mile In CNA Shoes

Dont become a CNA!

Certified Nurse Aide has to Think on Her Feet

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Real Certified Nurses' Aide Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Certified Nurses Aide Holy Name Friary Ringwood, NJ Feb 22, 2010 $28,613
Certified Nursing Aides TLC Home Health Care Mar 30, 2009 $25,044
Certified Nursing Aide The Lincoln Home Belleville, IL Jun 13, 2008 $23,729
Certified Nurse Aide Global Care Services, Inc. Toms River, NJ Apr 15, 2016 $23,400
Certified Nurse Aide AGA Global Resources Corp. Lakewood, NJ May 19, 2010 $21,141
Certified Nurse Aide Bridgeway Care Center Bridgewater, NJ Jun 14, 2010 $21,141
Certified Nurse Aide AGA Global Resources Corp. Toms River, NJ Mar 30, 2009 $21,141
Certified Nurse Aide Bridgeway Care Center Bridgewater, NJ Apr 02, 2009 $21,141
Certified Nurse Aide AGA Global Resources Corp. Lakewood, NJ Mar 17, 2009 $21,141
Certified Nurse Aide Bridgeway Care Center Bridgewater, NJ Mar 26, 2008 $21,141

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Top Skills for A Certified Nurses' Aide

  1. Vital Signs
  2. Personal Care
  3. ADL
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Reported directly to the nursing staff of all abnormal vital signs (including lab results) and altered mental/physical status.
  • Care for patients by changing bed linens, washing and ironing laundry, cleaning, or assisting with their personal care.
  • Take vital signs - Meal Planning - Medication Management - Assist with all ADL's - Transport to appointments
  • Read and recorded resident's blood pressure, pulse, temperature, respiration's, weight, and blood sugar.
  • Lift, move, and transport clients, using proper body mechanics or lifting devices * Complete CNA documentation for care provided

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Top Certified Nurses' Aide Employers

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Certified Nurses' Aide Videos

Signature HealthCARE - Walk A Mile In CNA Shoes

Dont become a CNA!

Certified Nurse Aide has to Think on Her Feet

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