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Become A Licensed Nursing Assistant

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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

  • $25,710

    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 jobs

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Average Length of Employment
Nursing Attendant 3.8 years
Nursing Home Aide 3.2 years
Home Health Aid 2.4 years
Medication Aide 2.4 years
Care Associate 2.3 years
Nurses' Aide 2.3 years
In Home Aide 2.1 years
Career Assistant 1.9 years
Top Employers Before
Cashier 15.2%
Waitress 3.4%
Manager 2.5%
Server 2.3%
Top Employers After
Cashier 8.6%
Server 3.6%

Licensed Nursing Assistant Demographics

Gender

Female

88.6%

Male

10.2%

Unknown

1.2%
Ethnicity

White

85.3%

Hispanic or Latino

7.1%

Asian

5.7%

Unknown

1.5%

Black or African American

0.5%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

44.4%

French

16.7%

Portuguese

11.1%

Thai

5.6%

Vietnamese

2.8%

German

2.8%

Korean

2.8%

Serbian

2.8%

Polish

2.8%

Afrikaans

2.8%

Arabic

2.8%

Italian

2.8%
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Licensed Nursing Assistant Education

Schools

Community College of Vermont

16.9%

Southern New Hampshire University

14.7%

University of New Hampshire

7.1%

Vermont Technical College

6.9%

River Valley Community College

5.8%

Manchester Community College

5.2%

Lakes Region Community College

4.8%

New Hampshire Technical Institute

4.6%

Great Bay Community College

3.9%

Granite State College

3.9%

University of Vermont

3.7%

University of Phoenix

3.5%

Rivier University

3.0%

Nashua Community College

3.0%

Johnson State College

2.8%

Champlain College

2.4%

Lyndon State College

2.2%

Mount Washington College

2.0%

Keene State College

1.9%

Seacoast Career Schools

1.9%
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Majors

Nursing

31.5%

Nursing Assistants

19.9%

Business

8.7%

Medical Assisting Services

5.7%

Psychology

4.9%

Health Care Administration

4.7%

Human Services

3.5%

Liberal Arts

2.8%

General Studies

2.6%

Health Sciences And Services

2.4%

Criminal Justice

2.3%

Management

1.6%

Medical Technician

1.6%

Early Childhood Education

1.5%

Biology

1.4%

Accounting

1.4%

Education

1.0%

Legal Support Services

0.9%

Physiology And Anatomy

0.8%

Health/Medical Preparatory Programs

0.8%
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Degrees

Other

32.0%

Bachelors

19.3%

Associate

16.5%

License

15.9%

Certificate

8.8%

Masters

5.1%

Diploma

2.2%

Doctorate

0.3%
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Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills for A Licensed Nursing Assistant

VitalSignsLNAADLAssistiveDevicesPersonalCarePatientSafetyBloodPressureDementiaPersonalHygieneAlzheimerRNEKGCarePlanHoyerDailyLivingActivitiesRehabHospiceChargeNurseBloodGlucoseLevelsInfectionControlProcedures

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Top Licensed Nursing Assistant Skills

  1. Vital Signs
  2. LNA
  3. ADL
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Performed vital signs every 4 hours.
  • Worked on Fitch/Oncology unit providing optimal patient care to all age levels within the scope of LNA practice.
  • Documented specific information on the patient's ADL record and patient education on the computerized patient education template.
  • Helped ambulated with assistive devices.
  • Provide personal care and assistance with activities of daily living.

Top Licensed Nursing Assistant Employers