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Become A Nurses' Aide

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Working As A 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

  • $24,251

    Average Salary

What Does A 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 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
Nursing Home Aide 2.9 years
Medication Aide 2.4 years
Health Aide 2.3 years
Hospice Aide 2.2 years
Nurses' Aide 2.0 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 Nurses' Aide
Cashier 18.8%
Waitress 3.3%
Server 3.2%
Volunteer 3.0%
Teller 2.9%
Internship 2.5%
Top Careers After Nurses' Aide
Cashier 9.0%
Manager 2.6%
Server 2.5%
Internship 2.4%
Teller 2.2%

Do you work as a Nurses' Aide?

Nurses' Aide Demographics

Gender

Female

85.2%

Male

13.0%

Unknown

1.7%
Ethnicity

White

65.2%

Hispanic or Latino

13.7%

Black or African American

11.0%

Asian

6.5%

Unknown

3.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

55.9%

French

7.1%

Tagalog

5.7%

Ilocano

3.2%

Arabic

3.2%

Hindi

2.5%

Italian

2.5%

Cantonese

2.1%

Portuguese

2.1%

Chinese

2.1%

Urdu

2.1%

Mandarin

1.8%

German

1.8%

Swedish

1.4%

Russian

1.4%

Filipino

1.4%

Hebrew

1.1%

Polish

1.1%

Swahili

0.7%

Gujarati

0.7%
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Nurses' Aide Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

17.2%

Kaplan University

7.7%

Community College of Allegheny County

6.4%

Ultimate Medical Academy - Clearwater

6.1%

Sinclair Community College

5.9%

Ashford University

5.9%

Liberty University

5.4%

Grand Canyon University

4.8%

Wake Technical Community College

4.6%

Grand Rapids Community College

4.0%

Youngstown State University

4.0%

Columbus State Community College

3.5%

Indiana University of Pennsylvania

3.3%

Cincinnati State Technical and Community College

3.3%

Walden University

3.2%

University of Cincinnati

3.0%

Ohio University -

3.0%

Baker College

2.9%

Owens Community College

2.9%

Lansing Community College

2.9%
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Majors

Nursing

39.3%

Medical Assisting Services

8.7%

Business

7.5%

Nursing Assistants

6.7%

Health Care Administration

6.4%

Psychology

4.0%

General Studies

3.2%

Criminal Justice

3.2%

Medical Technician

2.5%

Biology

2.5%

Education

2.3%

Health/Medical Preparatory Programs

2.2%

Human Services

1.9%

Social Work

1.7%

Accounting

1.6%

Liberal Arts

1.3%

Health Sciences And Services

1.3%

Cosmetology

1.2%

Pharmacy

1.2%

Mental Health Counseling

1.1%
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Degrees

Other

38.7%

Bachelors

21.5%

Associate

17.9%

Certificate

8.9%

Masters

6.8%

Diploma

3.7%

License

1.9%

Doctorate

0.6%
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Nurses' Aide Videos

Signature HealthCARE - Walk A Mile In CNA Shoes

Certified Nurse Aide has to Think on Her Feet

Day in the Life: ER Nurse

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Real Nurses' Aide Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Nursing Aide Rodica C. Nicula Scottsdale, AZ Mar 01, 2010 $82,228
Nurse Aid Starbright Employment Agency, Inc. NY Sep 04, 2008 $33,475
Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and Attendants* Creative Care Adult Family Home Inc. Lake Forest Park, WA Feb 07, 2013 $33,392 -
$800
Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and Attendants* New York Center for Rehabilitation & Nursing NY Oct 29, 2013 $32,760
Nursing Aides OMV Medical, Inc. Takoma Park, MD Mar 17, 2010 $32,536
Nursing Aides, Orderlies & Attendant San Tomas Convalescent San Jose, CA Feb 13, 2008 $30,595
Nursing Aides, Orderlies & Attendants San Tomas Convalescent San Jose, CA Mar 25, 2008 $30,575
Nursing Aides, Orderlies & Attendants San Tomas Convalescent San Jose, CA Apr 30, 2010 $30,575
Nursing Aides, Orderlies & Attendants San Tomas Convalescent San Jose, CA Mar 31, 2008 $30,575
Nursing Aides, Orderlies & Attendants San Tomas Convalescent San Jose, CA Apr 01, 2008 $30,575
Nursing Aides, Orderlies & Attendants San Tomas Convalescent San Jose, CA Mar 06, 2008 $30,575
Nursing Aide, Orderlies & Attendants San Tomas Convalescent San Jose, CA Dec 27, 2007 $30,575
Nursing Aide, Orderlies & Attendants San Tomas Convalescent San Jose, CA Mar 24, 2008 $30,575
Nursing Aides, Ordelies & Attendants San Tomas Convalescent San Jose, CA Mar 21, 2008 $30,575
Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and Attendants Children's Village Healthcare Centers, Inc. Santa Ana, CA May 09, 2008 $28,175
Nursing Aide Rolling Hills Operations LLC Lebanon, NJ Mar 05, 2009 $28,175 -
$29,218
Nursing Aides Medway Country Manor, Inc. Medway, MA Mar 24, 2008 $27,778
Nursing Aide Lassen Guest Home II Redding, CA Mar 03, 2009 $27,653
Nursing Aide Bustos Board and Care Home San Francisco, CA Feb 20, 2009 $27,653
Nursing Aide Valley View Health Care & Rehabilitation Center Frenchtown, NJ Aug 31, 2009 $27,528 -
$29,218
Nursing Aide Valley View Health Care & Rehabilitation Center Frenchtown, NJ Aug 26, 2009 $27,528 -
$29,218
Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and Attendants Bridgeway Inc. D/B/A Bridgeway Care Center Bridgewater, NJ Oct 22, 2012 $27,500
Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and Attendants Susan Roth Arlington, VA Apr 29, 2008 $22,194
Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and Attendants Susan Roth Arlington, VA Jul 01, 2010 $22,194
Nursing Aide Independence Manor at Hunterdon NY Sep 28, 2015 $22,000
Nursing Aide Independence Manor at Hunterdon NY Sep 03, 2015 $22,000
Nursing Aide Independence Manor at Hunterdon NY Sep 24, 2015 $22,000
Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and Attendants* Independence Manor at Hunterdon NY Aug 16, 2013 $22,000
Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and Attendants* Independence Manor at Hunterdon NY Aug 19, 2013 $22,000

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Top Skills for A Nurses' Aide

  1. Personal Care
  2. Blood Pressure
  3. ADL
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provide care to residents, assist with personal care, vitals, and any work under the supervision of a nurse.
  • Measure and record oral, rectal, auxiliary temperatures, pulse, respiration, and blood pressure, as instructed.
  • Performed basic nursing skills and assisted patients with their ADL's.
  • Performed routine patient assessments and charted; blood glucose monitoring, patient weights, vital signs and Intakes & Outputs.
  • Assisted home health administrative assistant in tracking and maintaining Nurse Aide and Professional Home Health staff s health and personal files.

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Top 10 Best States for Nurses' Aides

  1. Alaska
  2. North Dakota
  3. New York
  4. Michigan
  5. Hawaii
  6. Minnesota
  7. Connecticut
  8. Oregon
  9. Rhode Island
  10. Nevada
  • (42 jobs)
  • (22 jobs)
  • (300 jobs)
  • (274 jobs)
  • (23 jobs)
  • (100 jobs)
  • (71 jobs)
  • (67 jobs)
  • (29 jobs)
  • (25 jobs)

Top Nurses' Aide Employers

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Jobs From Top Nurses' Aide Employers

Nurses' Aide Videos

Signature HealthCARE - Walk A Mile In CNA Shoes

Certified Nurse Aide has to Think on Her Feet

Day in the Life: ER Nurse

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