How to Become a Nursing Assistant [2021 Guide]

Become a Nursing Assistant

Would you like to earn about $30,000 a year without being a college degree holder? Are you passionate about healthcare but don’t fancy spending several years in college pursuing a healthcare degree?

If you answered yes to these questions, you should consider becoming a nursing assistant.

There’s sufficient demand for nursing assistants in the U.S. But you don’t just step out of high school and start applying for nursing assistant jobs. There are steps you need to follow.

Here’s a guide on how to become a nursing assistant.

Understand the Role of a Nursing Assistant

A nursing assistant, or nursing aide, plays a vital role in the provision of healthcare services to patients.

Nursing assistants help patients with their daily living activities. They clean and bathe them, help them use the toilet, and serve and feed them where required. They also help move patients from one point to another (such as from the bed to the wheelchair).

As a nursing assistant, you’ll work under the supervision of a licensed practical, vocational, or registered nurse. You’ll measure a patient’s temperature, blood pressure, and other vital signs, and report this information to a registered nurse.

As you can see, the job of a nursing assistant isn’t heavily clinical, but just as involving as any other patient-facing healthcare job.

Complete a Nursing Assistant Program

You don’t need a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in nursing to become a nurse assistant. However, you need to undergo nursing assistant training.

Most community and vocational colleges offer short-term programs (about two to three months) that’ll equip you with the professional knowledge and lab expertise you need to be a competent nursing assistant.

The program will also prepare you to become a certified nursing assistant. Certification or licensing requirements vary from state to state, but in most cases, you’ll need to pass a competency exam.

In addition to the professional knowledge, you need to possess the right occupational skills and personal attributes.

For example, you need to be physically strong and flexible, since the job involves a lot of physical activities. You need to be empathetic and compassionate to provide emotional care to patients and their families.

Other important skills and attributes include communication, patience, and time management.

Getting Employed as a Nursing Assistant

Now that you’ve met nursing assistant requirements, what remains is to find employment.

Nursing homes and residential care facilities are the primary employers of nursing assistants. But you can also find jobs in hospitals and inpatient clinics.

Keep an eye on job boards for nurses, as most employers advertise open positions there.

Start Your Journey to Become a Nursing Assistant

You’ve made a savvy career decision to become a nursing assistant. It’s a rewarding career, especially if you have a heart for helping other people. All you need to do is complete a nursing assistant program, get certified or licensed to practice in your state, and find a job.

Keep reading our blog for more career tips and advice.

Written by Mia

Hey Everyone! This is Mia Shannon from Taxes. I'm 28 years old a professional blogger and writer. I've been blogging and writing for 10 years. Here I talk about various topics such as Fashion, Beauty, Health & Fitness, Lifestyle, and Home Hacks, etc. Read my latest stories.

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