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Become A Professional Nursing Assistant

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Working As A Professional 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

  • $77,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Professional 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 Professional 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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Average Length of Employment
Nursing Attendant 3.6 years
Top Careers Before Professional Nursing Assistant
Internship 4.8%
Mentor 4.8%
Soldier 4.8%
Cashier 4.8%
Operator 3.2%
Top Careers After Professional Nursing Assistant
Nurse 4.8%
Director 3.6%

Do you work as a Professional Nursing Assistant?

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Professional Nursing Assistant?

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Top Skills for A Professional Nursing Assistant

  1. Patient Care
  2. Vital Signs
  3. Blood Pressure
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided high-quality patient care and recorded patient data, ensuring accuracy and abiding by HIPPA regulations.
  • Monitor Vital Signs, Temperature, Height and Weight Trainings:
  • Assist Registered Nurses (RN) with small duties as needed to ensure flow in the office.
  • Assisted in showering, oral care, dressing, daily hygiene, food prep, household cleaning duties, medication administration.
  • Prepare and administer medications as directed by a physician.

Professional Nursing Assistant Demographics

Gender

Female

75.0%

Male

21.9%

Unknown

3.1%
Ethnicity

White

63.1%

Hispanic or Latino

14.2%

Black or African American

14.0%

Asian

5.8%

Unknown

2.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Swahili

50.0%

Maasai

50.0%

Professional Nursing Assistant Education

Schools

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

17.1%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

11.4%

University of Pennsylvania

5.7%

Tidewater Community College

5.7%

Memorial Hospital School of Nursing

5.7%

Henderson Community College

5.7%

Onondaga Community College

5.7%

Everest College - Newport News

5.7%

Indiana University of Pennsylvania

5.7%

Texas State Technical College - Harlingen

2.9%

Meredith College

2.9%

University of Connecticut

2.9%

College of Lake County

2.9%

Walden University

2.9%

National Career College

2.9%

Drexel University

2.9%

Des Moines Area Community College

2.9%

Ohio University -

2.9%

Ultimate Medical Academy - Clearwater

2.9%

Edinboro University of Pennsylvania

2.9%
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Majors

Nursing

57.9%

Medical Assisting Services

5.3%

Nursing Assistants

3.5%

English

3.5%

Liberal Arts

3.5%

School Counseling

1.8%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.8%

Health Sciences And Services

1.8%

Medicine

1.8%

Biology

1.8%

Health/Medical Preparatory Programs

1.8%

Family Practice Nursing

1.8%

Computer Science

1.8%

Nursing Science

1.8%

Health Care Administration

1.8%

Computer Networking

1.8%

General Sales

1.8%

Graphic Design

1.8%

Kinesiology

1.8%

General Studies

1.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

33.3%

Masters

20.6%

Other

17.5%

Associate

14.3%

Diploma

7.9%

Certificate

3.2%

Doctorate

3.2%
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