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Become A Student Nursing Assistant

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Working As A Student 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

  • $29,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Student 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 Student 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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Student Nursing Assistant Career Paths

Student 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 Case Manager
Director Of Social Services
6 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Manager
Partner
6 Yearsyrs
Staff Nurse Administrator Manager
Chief Executive Officer
8 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Licensed Practical Nurse MDS Coordinator
Unit Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Executive Assistant Case Manager
Patient Care Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Licensed Practical Nurse Clinical Coordinator
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Utilization Review Nurse Case Manager
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Patient Care Coordinator Nurse Manager
Managed Care Director
9 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Patient Care Coordinator Registered Nurse Case Manager
Wellness Director
7 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Patient Care Coordinator Front Office Manager
Resident Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Milieu Therapist Clinician Residential Supervisor
Residential Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Milieu Therapist Clinician House Manager
Home Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Clinical Research Nurse Administrator Business Office Manager
Director Of Admissions
7 Yearsyrs
Clinical Research Nurse Administrator Practice Administrator
Patient Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Clinical Research Nurse Utilization Review Nurse
Quality Management Specialist
7 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Nursing Attendant 3.6 years
Nurses' Aide 2.5 years
Care Associate 2.5 years
Nurse Technician 2.4 years
Nurse Extern 0.9 years
Top Careers Before Student Nursing Assistant
Cashier 13.1%
Volunteer 11.4%
Internship 5.7%
Server 2.5%
Assistant 2.4%
Nanny 2.2%
Top Careers After Student Nursing Assistant
Cashier 7.4%
Volunteer 3.9%
Internship 3.1%
Server 2.4%
Nurse 2.0%
Hostess 1.8%

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Top Skills for A Student Nursing Assistant

  1. Vital Signs
  2. Patient Care
  3. Personal Care
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided resident care as ordered including measuring and recording vital signs.
  • Provide high-quality patient care within surgical, acute-care, rehabilitation and nursing-home settings.
  • Assisted residents with the following everyday needs: eating, hygiene, bathroom/personal care, walking, and patient transportation.
  • Performed clinical tasks including, taking vitals and ADL s. Provided direct personal patient observation, care and assistance.
  • Recorded vital signs, food and fluid intake and output, as directed; charted daily information such as mobility activity.

Student Nursing Assistant Demographics

Gender

Female

70.8%

Unknown

15.8%

Male

13.4%
Ethnicity

White

58.2%

Hispanic or Latino

18.6%

Black or African American

10.8%

Asian

8.2%

Unknown

4.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

58.2%

French

11.0%

Hindi

4.4%

Vietnamese

3.3%

Hmong

3.3%

Khmer

2.2%

Urdu

2.2%

Portuguese

2.2%

Tagalog

2.2%

Occidental

1.1%

Czech

1.1%

Amharic

1.1%

Malayalam

1.1%

Cantonese

1.1%

Polish

1.1%

Thai

1.1%

Navajo

1.1%

Gujarati

1.1%

Italian

1.1%
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Student Nursing Assistant Education

Schools

University of Pittsburgh -

14.2%

Duquesne University

8.8%

Carlow University

8.3%

Arlington Career Institute

6.4%

Drexel University

5.4%

Ohio State University

4.9%

University of Phoenix

4.9%

Southern Connecticut State University

4.4%

Joliet Junior College

4.4%

University of Wisconsin - Madison

4.4%

University of Saint Francis

3.9%

Walden University

3.9%

University of Cincinnati

3.4%

Fresno City College

3.4%

Le Moyne College

3.4%

Chaffey College

3.4%

Sacred Heart University

3.4%

New York University

2.9%

Lewis University

2.9%

Meridian Community College

2.9%
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Majors

Nursing

56.7%

Nursing Assistants

11.9%

Psychology

4.7%

Medical Assisting Services

3.2%

Health/Medical Preparatory Programs

2.9%

Biology

2.8%

Health Care Administration

2.5%

Business

2.1%

General Studies

1.9%

Health Sciences And Services

1.6%

Liberal Arts

1.4%

Nursing Science

1.3%

Public Health

1.1%

Clinical Psychology

1.1%

Kinesiology

1.0%

Medical Technician

1.0%

Accounting

0.8%

Social Work

0.7%

Education

0.7%

Communication

0.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

33.9%

Other

27.7%

Associate

15.6%

Masters

11.7%

Certificate

7.6%

Diploma

1.7%

Doctorate

1.0%

License

0.8%
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