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Nursing Aide


How to Become a Nursing Aide
Nursing Aide Job Duties
Skills and Qualities of Nursing Aides
Nursing Aide Salaries
Influential Professionals in the Nursing Aide Field
Leading Nursing Aide Organizations
Top Cities for Nursing Aide Jobs
Other Careers of Interest

How to become a Nursing Aide

A high school diploma or equivalent is all that is necessary for entry as a nurse's aide. High schools, nurse-care facilities, vocational-technical schools, and community colleges may offer the following courses for aides: body mechanics, nutrition, anatomy and physiology, infection control, communication skills, resident rights, and personal care skills, such as how to help patients to bathe, eat, and groom themselves. Previous experience may be needed from hospitals. Employers may provide classroom training while others can rely exclusively on informal on-the-job instruction. This training period may last from just several days to a few months. Attending lectures, workshops, and in-service training are other options that can be considered for this field.

The federal requirements for nurse aides working in nursing care facilities are a minimum of 75 hours of state-approved training. There must be successful completion of a competency evaluation to be considered. Aides who complete the program are known as certified nurse assistants (CNAs) and are placed by the state registry as nurse aides.

Aides must be in good health. Required state-regulated tests, such as tuberculosis, may be required along with a physical examination. Criminal background checks usually are also required for employment. Advancement is limited. Additional formal training or education to enter other health occupations would be needed if one might be considered for promotion. The most common health care occupations for former aides are licensed practical nurse, registered nurse, and medical assistant.

What does a Nursing Aide do?

Nurse aides assist and care for others. Workloads can be physically demanding. Aides are on their feet all day, moving patients in and out of bed or to get them to stand and walk. Physical activities are done throughout the day, which means aides should be in good overall health. Medical attention, emotional support, and personal care needs are rendered. Accurate observation and obtainment of information from all relevant sources are all in a day's work. Object Identification, actions, and events play an important role in detecting changes in circumstances or events. Likewise, monitoring all processes, materials, and surroundings is equally important for the detection and assessment of problems. Aides must also be able to document information accurately and efficiently. And, lastly, aides have to establish and maintain interpersonal relationships, usually the most involved versus any other health professional, because aides have the most one-on-one interaction with each patient during their care.

What skills or qualities do I need to become a Nursing Aide?

Aides need to be active listeners, giving full attention to patients while instructing their patients on how to do essential tasks. It is also important to convey oneself with the most effective information. Aides should be well-coordinated in relation to other's action, be services oriented, and have good time management skills. Monitoring situations accurately as a means to take corrective action and make improvements is also necessary. Another requirement is social perceptiveness. Aides should have the ability to be aware of others' reactions as well as the root causes of those reactions. Lastly, critical thinking and reading comprehension are vital in this role.

Other important abilities are problem sensitivity, which involves the capacity to tell or be able to tell when something is wrong or likely to go wrong. Oral comprehension and expression are further skills. For example, aides need to understand others and be understood by others. Speech clarity, speech recognition, and written comprehension are also important for aides as a means of conversing, taking in, and delivering information about the patient in question. Deductive reasoning needs to be good so that an aide can apply rules to problems and produce answers. Lastly, an arm-hand steadiness is important since there is a lot of physical activity that may require that steadiness.

What do Nursing Aides make?

Pay will differ geographically, but the median payout is $23,160 based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2007 report. On average, one could expect a range of $19,650 to $27,780. The upper 10% makes about $32,270 while the lowest 10% make about $16,850.


Who are some influential professionals in this field?

Brookhaven College of Farmers Branch, Texas and Capital Community College of Hartford, Connecticut are two of twelve community colleges that have been awarded innovative care giving for in-home aides. Community colleges are said to be in a unique position to help recruit, train, and provide personal and professional development for caregivers since it has become increasingly difficult for older American to receive quality in-home care.

Brookhaven is launching two new training programs, touching on continuing education for home health care, hospice aide, and the family caregiver. These programs provide training on the best practices in home care as well as practical solutions for home-based caregivers that can be learned in a short period of time.

Capital Community College is also introducing a new home care caregiver training program. The Division of Continuing education's Health Professions Institute will work closely with the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs, identifying trainees and volunteers for home care to Hartford Veterans in Hartford County.

What are some leading organizations in this field?

One known organization, the National Network of Career Nursing Assistants (NNCNA, another name for nurse aide), is out to promote, recognize, educate, research, advocate, and provide peer support development for nursing assistants or nurse's aides. This organization is a recipient of the 1998 American Society of Aging and Brookdale Center on Aging of Hunter College National Best Practice Award for Human Resources in Aging as well as the recipient of the 1997 American College of Health Care Administrators Public Service Award. The American Medical Director's Association, National Association of Directors of Nursing, The National Citizens' Coalition for Nursing Home Reform, and others all endorse NNCNA.

What are the top cities for Nursing Aide jobs?

The best states for the highest concentrations of employment are North Dakota, Rhode Island, Maine, South Dakota, and Nebraska. The best paying states to work in are Alaska, New York, Connecticut, Maryland, and Massachusetts. For people looking for the most heavily concentrated jobs in the metropolitan area, they should consider Lewiston, Idaho; Kankakee-Bradley, Illinois; Dothan, Alabama; Lebanon, Pennsylvania; and Springfield, Ohio. The best paying metropolitan areas are San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, California; Nassau-Suffolk, New York Metropolitan Division; Salinas, California; San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California; and Fairbanks, Alaska.

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