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Working As a Licensed Nursing Assistant

  • 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

  • $36,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Licensed Nursing Assistant 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 Licensed Nursing Assistant

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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Licensed Nursing Assistant Career Paths

Licensed Nursing Assistant
Licensed Practical Nurse Registered Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Nursing Director
9 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Staff Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Nurse Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Assistant Director Of Nursing
7 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Team Leader Office Manager
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Team Leader Case Manager
Director Of Social Services
6 Yearsyrs
Staff Nurse Team Leader Office Manager
Business Office Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Staff Nurse Instructor Consultant
Partner
6 Yearsyrs
Nurse Utilization Review Nurse Case Manager
Patient Care Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Nurse School Nurse Registered Nurse Case Manager
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Nurse Clinical Coordinator Case Manager
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Charge Nurse MDS Coordinator
Unit Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Charge Nurse Clinical Coordinator Office Manager
Chief Executive Officer
8 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Charge Nurse Clinic Registered Nurse Nurse Manager
Managed Care Director
9 Yearsyrs
Home Health Nurse School Nurse Registered Nurse Case Manager
Director Of Health Services
10 Yearsyrs
Home Health Nurse Consultant Nurse Nursing Director
Wellness Director
7 Yearsyrs
Home Health Nurse Administrator Business Office Manager
Director Of Admissions
7 Yearsyrs
Shift Leader Assistant Store Manager Assistant Property Manager
Resident Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Shift Leader Lead Teacher House Manager
Home Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Senior Technician Specialist Activities Director Director Of Social Services
Resident Services Director
6 Yearsyrs
Shift Supervisor House Manager Home Manager
Residential Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Nursing Attendant 3.6 years
PRN 2.6 years
Care Associate 2.5 years
Medication Aide 2.5 years
Nurses' Aide 2.5 years
Nurse Technician 2.4 years
Top Careers Before Licensed Nursing Assistant
Cashier 14.1%
Server 3.1%
Waitress 2.4%
Volunteer 2.3%
Manager 2.1%
Top Careers After Licensed Nursing Assistant
Cashier 5.9%
Nurse 3.0%
Server 2.7%

Do you work as a Licensed Nursing Assistant?

Average Yearly Salary
$36,000
Show Salaries
$16,000
Min 10%
$36,000
Median 50%
$36,000
Median 50%
$36,000
Median 50%
$36,000
Median 50%
$36,000
Median 50%
$36,000
Median 50%
$36,000
Median 50%
$78,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Weil, Gotshal & Manges
Highest Paying City
Rochester, NY
Highest Paying State
New York
Avg Experience Level
3.3 years
How much does a Licensed Nursing Assistant make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Licensed Nursing Assistant in the United States is $36,364 per year or $17 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $16,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $79,000.

Top Skills for A Licensed Nursing Assistant

  1. ADL
  2. LNA
  3. Patient Care
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assisted residents with ADL's and performed tasks within my scope of practice under the supervision of a charged nurse.
  • Mentored other LNA's* Geriatric Nursing Assistant Specialist* Team Leader
  • Worked within a residential nursing facility providing basic patient care under direction of Registered Nursing staff.
  • Preserve patient dignity and minimize discomfort while providing personal care.
  • Helped ambulated with assistive devices.

Rank:

Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Licensed Nursing Assistants

  1. West Virginia
  2. Pennsylvania
  3. Maine
  4. Connecticut
  5. Rhode Island
  6. New York
  7. New Hampshire
  8. Massachusetts
  9. New Jersey
  10. Tennessee
  • (501 jobs)
  • (3,629 jobs)
  • (522 jobs)
  • (857 jobs)
  • (262 jobs)
  • (2,937 jobs)
  • (705 jobs)
  • (1,768 jobs)
  • (1,973 jobs)
  • (1,467 jobs)

Licensed Nursing Assistant Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 8,637 Licensed Nursing Assistant resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Licensed Nursing Assistant Resume

View Resume Examples

Licensed Nursing Assistant Demographics

Gender

Female

81.3%

Male

9.8%

Unknown

8.9%
Ethnicity

White

74.1%

Hispanic or Latino

11.7%

Asian

6.1%

Black or African American

5.6%

Unknown

2.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

53.8%

French

16.1%

Portuguese

5.4%

Tagalog

3.2%

Khmer

2.2%

German

2.2%

Russian

2.2%

Thai

2.2%

Italian

2.2%

Swahili

1.1%

Afrikaans

1.1%

Vietnamese

1.1%

Korean

1.1%

Serbian

1.1%

Japanese

1.1%

Hindi

1.1%

Polish

1.1%

Arabic

1.1%

Lingala

1.1%
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Licensed Nursing Assistant Education

Schools

Community College of Vermont

12.4%

Southern New Hampshire University

12.1%

University of New Hampshire

8.6%

Manchester Community College

6.6%

New Hampshire Technical Institute

6.3%

Great Bay Community College

6.1%

River Valley Community College

5.2%

University of Phoenix

4.8%

Lakes Region Community College

4.4%

Vermont Technical College

4.3%

Rivier University

3.8%

Seacoast Career Schools

3.5%

Nashua Community College

3.4%

Granite State College

3.2%

Northern Essex Community College

2.8%

University of Vermont

2.8%

Excelsior College

2.6%

Plymouth State University

2.5%

Saint Joseph School of Nursing

2.4%

The Academy

2.2%
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Majors

Nursing

49.3%

Nursing Assistants

11.2%

Business

5.9%

Medical Assisting Services

5.6%

Health Care Administration

3.7%

Psychology

3.3%

General Studies

2.9%

Liberal Arts

2.1%

Health/Medical Preparatory Programs

2.1%

Human Services

1.8%

Health Sciences And Services

1.6%

Criminal Justice

1.5%

Education

1.4%

Medical Technician

1.4%

Management

1.3%

Accounting

1.2%

Nursing Science

1.1%

Clinical Psychology

1.0%

Biology

1.0%

Early Childhood Education

0.8%
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Degrees

Other

33.0%

Associate

17.5%

Bachelors

16.0%

License

15.8%

Certificate

8.1%

Masters

5.1%

Diploma

4.3%

Doctorate

0.3%
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Updated May 19, 2020