With an expected increase in job opportunities, more people are becoming interested in working as a nursing assistant. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment is expected to grow more rapidly with a projected growth of 19% until the year 2018 due to the aging population and the ever-increasing shortage of nurses in hospitals. Having a job as a nursing assistant will not only provide job stability and financial security, it also provides job growth and good career options. Jobs will be numerous most especially in nursing homes, long term care facilities and rehabilitation centers. On the average, a nursing assistant earns approximately $30,000 annually.
Nursing assistants are important members of the health care team. They make it easier for other nurses such as the registered nurses and licensed practical nurses to complete their tasks by providing assistance in routine bedside care and activities of daily living. Many people have gone into the nursing assistant profession because of their love for taking care of others. Additionally, not only is this profession considered to be one of the most stable, it is also a profession that gives a sense of fulfillment and appreciation.
Nursing assistants perform various tasks in hospitals that are related to patients’ health so it is extremely important for them to undergo proper training from accredited nursing assistant schools. Nursing assistants are responsible for performing support functions such as monitoring vital signs and transporting patients. They also provide routine patient care such as grooming, bathing and feeding.
Those who want to work as a nursing assistant must finish a nursing assistant program from an accredited school. Generally, the program runs for 6 to 9 weeks and it must consist of at least 75 hours of classroom instruction and at least 100 hours of clinical training. Nursing assistant programs are offered in adult schools, technical or vocational colleges, some community colleges, and private nursing assistant schools. There are also several high schools that offer nursing assistant training programs. Additionally, nursing care facilities also offer this to some of their employees.
For those who are currently working or who are busy attending to their families, distance learning schools also offer programs to those who want to become nursing assistants. Distance learning schools are mostly done over the internet or through online video tutorials. Some of the courses covered in nursing assistant training programs are nutrition, anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, infection control, algebra, and patient rights. Students enrolled in a nursing assistant training program are also taught basic patient care skills such as bathing, feeding, grooming, and exercise routines. After completing the nursing assistant training program, the student is eligible to take the state licensure to become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA).
Most schools offer this type of program to those who have graduated high school or have received an equivalent of a high school diploma. Additionally, in order to work as a certified nursing assistant, an individual must be at least 16 years of age.