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Working As A First Aid Nurse

  • 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

  • $39,000

    Average Salary

What Does A First Aid Nurse 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 First Aid Nurse

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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First Aid Nurse Career Paths

First Aid Nurse
Staff Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Nursing Director
9 Yearsyrs
Staff Nurse Team Leader Assistant Manager
General Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Staff Nurse Team Leader Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Nurse Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor Case Manager
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Team Leader Operations Manager
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Emergency Medical Technician Technician Consultant
Business Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Emergency Medical Technician Licensed Practical Nurse MDS Coordinator
Unit Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Emergency Medical Technician Licensed Practical Nurse Clinical Coordinator
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Utilization Review Nurse Case Manager
Patient Care Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Nurse School Nurse Registered Nurse Case Manager
Assistant Director Of Nursing
7 Yearsyrs
Nurse Utilization Review Nurse Case Manager
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Nurse Instructor Administrator
Business Office Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Lead Teacher Assistant Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Lead Teacher Director
Director Of Human Resources
10 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Lead Teacher Office Manager
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Assistant Administrator Registered Nurse Case Manager
Director Of Health Services
10 Yearsyrs
Assistant Administrator Business Office Manager
Director Of Admissions
7 Yearsyrs
Athletic Trainer Senior Technician Specialist Director Of Social Services
Resident Services Director
6 Yearsyrs
Athletic Trainer Clinician House Manager
Home Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a First Aid Nurse?

Top Skills for A First Aid Nurse

  1. CPR
  2. Emergency Situations
  3. Basic Life Support
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Worked with classified information and gained increasing responsibility, including building supervisor and command CPR/First aid trainer.
  • Initiated cardiopulmonary resuscitation in emergency situations.
  • Provide basic life support to patrons attending events at the Convention Complex.
  • Completed a 50-hour training course, expanding expertise from a basic level responder to a certified Emergency Medical Responder.
  • Completed OSHA 10-hour Occupational Safety and Health Training Course.

First Aid Nurse Demographics

Gender

Female

60.2%

Male

34.6%

Unknown

5.2%
Ethnicity

White

63.7%

Hispanic or Latino

14.2%

Black or African American

10.8%

Asian

6.8%

Unknown

4.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

45.7%

French

6.5%

Russian

6.5%

Arabic

6.5%

German

4.3%

Italian

4.3%

Swedish

2.2%

Chinese

2.2%

Ukrainian

2.2%

Albanian

2.2%

Ilocano

2.2%

Japanese

2.2%

Deseret

2.2%

Amharic

2.2%

Tigrinya

2.2%

Persian

2.2%

Hindi

2.2%

Tagalog

2.2%
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First Aid Nurse Education

Schools

Oklahoma State University

9.4%

Grand Canyon University

7.8%

New Mexico State University

6.3%

Allegheny College

6.3%

Purdue University

6.3%

University of North Texas

4.7%

Texas Tech University

4.7%

Ohio State University

4.7%

State University of New York College at Cortland

4.7%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

4.7%

University of Massachusetts Amherst

4.7%

Rowan University

4.7%

Kent State University

4.7%

Montclair State University

4.7%

Bowling Green State University

4.7%

Azusa Pacific University

4.7%

University of Southern Maine

3.1%

University of Maryland - University College

3.1%

University of Memphis

3.1%

Boise State University

3.1%
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Majors

Nursing

26.3%

Athletic Training

11.8%

Business

8.8%

Kinesiology

5.7%

Psychology

5.4%

Biology

5.1%

Medical Assisting Services

4.2%

Medical Technician

4.2%

Criminal Justice

3.9%

Elementary Education

3.3%

Health Care Administration

3.3%

Computer Science

2.7%

Liberal Arts

2.4%

Education

2.1%

Medicine

2.1%

English

1.8%

Sociology

1.8%

Fire Science And Protection

1.8%

General Studies

1.5%

Music

1.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

47.4%

Associate

15.1%

Masters

11.4%

High School Diploma

11.1%

Certificate

7.4%

Diploma

4.8%

License

1.7%

Doctorate

1.1%
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Updated May 18, 2020