Working under the direct supervision of other trained, certificated medical professionals, a certified nursing assistant does what the job title implies, assists nurses in the care and treatment of patients in both hospital and clinical situations. The nursing assistant salary does not tend to vary quite as much as other professions in the health care industry, which generally makes it a stepping stone to a more advanced nursing certification.
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Nursing Assistant Job Description
The primary job of the certified nurses assistant or CNA is to relieve nurses of patient care duties that do not require their expertise in order to allow them more time to attend to those tasks that do require it. A CNA will often observe patients then report back to their supervisors, and the training CNAs receive will prepare them for that general work and for the specific tasks they can expect to encounter in the profession.
Nursing Assistant Duties
Certified nursing assistant duties can include:
*Monitoring a patient’s food and beverage intake and output
*Assisting with medical procedures
*Moving patients between rooms
*Taking vital signs
Nursing Assistant Career Opportunities
Becoming a nursing assistant is an excellent first step for someone considering a career in nursing but who has not get decided what direction of level of training they are willing to undergo. Working as a nursing assistant will give the candidate a first-hand look at the industry and the role nurses may play in it.
In the United States alone, more than 1.4 million nursing assistants are currently working in hospitals, clinics and performing in-home care. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field is expected to grow by more than 20 percent by the year 2014. More than half a million new nursing assistants will be needed, and the personnel demand will continue to outpace the labor pool for at least the next decade.
Nursing Assistant Training
Certified nursing assistant training is widely available. The training lasts between six and 12 weeks. A high school diploma or GED is required.
Nursing Assistant Salary Levels
The low end of the nursing assistant salary range is $20,000 a year, rising to as high as $35,000 depending on geographical location and employer. The average nursing assistant salary is $27,500.
In general, a CNA can expect to find job opportunities in all 50 states with pay commensurate with location and experience. While turnover is high for this profession, most who leave it do so to advance to other nursing positions.