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Become A Registered Nursing Assistant

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Working As A Registered 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

  • $45,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Registered 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 Registered 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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Registered Nursing Assistant Career Paths

Registered Nursing Assistant
Registered Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Nursing Director
9 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Staff Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Nurse Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Team Leader Office Manager
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Staff Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Assistant Director Of Nursing
7 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Assistant Manager
Center Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Case Manager
Director Of Social Services
6 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Utilization Review Nurse Case Manager
Patient Care Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Instructor Consultant
Partner
6 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Senior Technician Specialist Manager
Chief Executive Officer
8 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Charge Nurse Clinic Registered Nurse Registered Nurse Case Manager
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Charge Nurse Staff Nurse MDS Coordinator
Unit Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Charge Nurse MDS Coordinator Case Manager
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Nurse Practitioner Nurse Manager Nursing Director
Director Of Health Services
10 Yearsyrs
Nurse Practitioner Nurse Manager
Managed Care Director
9 Yearsyrs
Nurse Practitioner Nurse Manager Assistant Director
Director Of Admissions
7 Yearsyrs
Nurse Consultant Nurse Nursing Director
Wellness Director
7 Yearsyrs
Nurse Senior Technician Specialist Director Of Social Services
Resident Services Director
6 Yearsyrs
Nurse Patient Care Coordinator Front Office Manager
Resident Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Clinic Registered Nurse Office Manager House Manager
Home Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Family Nurse Practitioner Clinician Residential Supervisor
Residential Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Nursing Attendant 3.6 years
Nursing Home Aide 2.7 years
PRN 2.6 years
Care Associate 2.5 years
Nurses' Aide 2.5 years
Nurse Technician 2.4 years
Top Careers Before Registered Nursing Assistant
Staff Nurse 16.5%
Cashier 4.4%
Nurse 2.8%
Volunteer 2.1%
Internship 1.5%
Top Careers After Registered Nursing Assistant
Staff Nurse 12.4%
Nurse 3.4%
Cashier 2.3%
Volunteer 1.6%

Do you work as a Registered Nursing Assistant?

Average Yearly Salary
$45,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$25,000
Min 10%
$45,000
Median 50%
$45,000
Median 50%
$45,000
Median 50%
$45,000
Median 50%
$45,000
Median 50%
$45,000
Median 50%
$45,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
trustaff
Highest Paying City
Tallahassee, FL
Highest Paying State
Alabama
Avg Experience Level
3.2 years
How much does a Registered Nursing Assistant make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Registered Nursing Assistant in the United States is $45,344 per year or $22 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $25,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $79,000.

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

Have you worked as a Registered Nursing Assistant? Help other job seekers by rating your experience as a Registered Nursing Assistant.

Top Skills for A Registered Nursing Assistant

  1. Patient Care
  2. RN
  3. Surgery
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Case management Coordinate patient care with other medical professionals ICD-9 coding Pediatric oncology Quality Assurance and chart review Pain management
  • Shadowed a registered nurse at Duke Hospital to learn the role of a professional nurse.
  • Informed doctors and anesthesiologists of any pertinent information pertaining to patient and surgery to be performed.
  • Provided patient therapy, fitness, nutritional diet/cooking, housework, mobilization, assistance with grooming and personal care.
  • Assist residents with ADL's, chart daily intake and output, monitor resident safety.

Registered 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 4,061 Registered 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 Registered Nursing Assistant Resume

View Resume Examples

Registered Nursing Assistant Demographics

Gender

Female

75.6%

Male

13.1%

Unknown

11.3%
Ethnicity

White

65.6%

Hispanic or Latino

14.0%

Black or African American

9.6%

Asian

7.2%

Unknown

3.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

55.9%

French

5.4%

Mandarin

4.3%

Russian

4.3%

Filipino

3.2%

Cantonese

3.2%

Tagalog

3.2%

Vietnamese

2.2%

Hindi

2.2%

Ukrainian

2.2%

Italian

2.2%

Ilocano

2.2%

Urdu

2.2%

Swedish

1.1%

Hmong

1.1%

Dutch

1.1%

Armenian

1.1%

Thai

1.1%

Portuguese

1.1%

Chinese

1.1%
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Registered Nursing Assistant Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

16.2%

Hennepin Technical College

6.8%

Chamberlain College of Nursing

6.5%

Rasmussen College

5.6%

Ridgewater College

5.3%

Kaplan University

5.0%

University of Washington

4.7%

Anoka Technical College

4.7%

Grand Canyon University

4.7%

Western Governors University

4.4%

Lake Superior College

4.1%

Spokane Community College

3.8%

Eastern Washington University

3.8%

Anoka-Ramsey Community College

3.8%

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

3.8%

Walden University

3.5%

University of South Alabama

3.5%

Minnesota State University - Mankato

3.2%

Saint Cloud Technical College

3.2%

University of Alabama at Birmingham

3.2%
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Majors

Nursing

64.8%

Nursing Assistants

5.8%

Medical Assisting Services

5.3%

Business

3.6%

Health Care Administration

3.3%

Nursing Science

2.2%

Education

2.1%

Health/Medical Preparatory Programs

1.8%

Psychology

1.7%

Medical Technician

1.4%

Biology

1.4%

Clinical Psychology

1.0%

General Studies

0.8%

Family Practice Nursing

0.8%

Accounting

0.8%

Criminal Justice

0.7%

Management

0.6%

Social Work

0.6%

Pharmacy

0.6%

Human Services

0.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

28.4%

Associate

25.6%

Other

22.4%

Masters

12.0%

Certificate

6.1%

Diploma

3.2%

Doctorate

1.3%

License

1.0%
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