Job Description: What Does a Nursing Assistant Do?

Are you interested in working in the medical field? There are many healthcare jobs out there, including nursing assistants. Right now, there are around 1.4 million nursing assistants in the US.

Nursing assistants are essential in the healthcare field, which means there are a lot of job options. But when deciding on what career to pursue, it is always essential to understand the job description.

If you want to learn more about becoming a nurse assistant and the job description, you have come to the right place. Keep reading for everything you need to know.

Nursing Assistant Job Description

A certified nursing assistant is sometimes known as a CNA, nurse’s aide, support worker, or patient care assistant. They work under the supervision of a nurse to deliver patient care. The patient care they provide focuses on the entry-level but essential tasks to maintain patient wellbeing.

Here are some of the main tasks a nursing assistant job description will include:

  • Assisting patients with eating and drinking
  • Support patient mobility, such as getting them out of bed
  • Responding to patient requests
  • Taking physical health checks for vital signs like temperature and blood pressure changes
  • Taking care of wounds
  • Stocking and monitoring medical supplies
  • Assisting with medical procedures
  • Completing medical documentation
  • Keeping patient rooms sanitary
  • Supporting bathing and dressing

Tasks are all about keeping the patient comfortable and providing the best possible care. But they are also about assessing for changes in health conditions, so you can alert nurses to address patient issues fast.

State rules vary with nursing assistant job descriptions. For example, some states like Florida and Kansas allow nurse assistants to administer medication.

Become a Nurse Assistant

Nursing assistant jobs are entry-level, which means you do not have to spend years studying before getting clinical experience, unlike other job options.

Check your state requirements for specific rules on how to become a nurse assistant. Programs are state-approved and offered in different settings, such as community colleges, hospitals, online schools, vocational schools, or academies. Check out this nursing assistant training as an example.

Usually, you need a high school diploma or equivalent, such as a GED certificate. GPA is not a priority, but programs might require passes in math, science, and English.

Courses to become a nurse assistant range from four weeks to two months or more. There may be extra hours for specific training, such as medication administration. You also might get some hands-on training during your course.

Usually, you have to take a nursing assistant certification exam to pass. The exam includes verbal and written sections. Your program will consist of resources to help you pass this and start working!

Nurse Assistant Job Options

Most nursing assistants work in a hospital setting. However, there are other job options in the healthcare field too. Nurse assistant demand continues to increase as the healthcare sector grows, so there are many job openings.

You can work in nursing homes, rehabilitation centres, and residential facilities. There are also opportunities to work for home healthcare agencies, government facilities, adult daycare, and more.

Depending on state requirements, you might also be able to find job options in different locations. For example, Florida and California have the highest employment rates for nursing assistants.

Nurse Assistant Career Opportunities

Nursing assistant training offers a way into the healthcare field. Some people stay in nursing assistant roles. However, there is also the opportunity for career progression.

It is a great start point if you want to become a nurse or work in another area of the medical field. It gives you hands-on experience and an idea of whether healthcare work is for you. Some people also work as nurse assistants while studying for other healthcare jobs.

You develop invaluable skills such as time management, observation, and communication. Even if you decide direct patient work or healthcare is not for you, you have a skill set needed in many other job areas.

Nurse Assistant Salary

The average salary for a nurse assistant in 2020 was $32,050 per year. Pay can be higher in specific job roles.

Although the salary is lower than the average, it does not require a college degree or a long training period. Plus, it is a gateway to become a nurse or enter another area of the medical field. Often there are flexible job roles too, so people can work alongside studying.

Benefits of Being a Nurse Assistant

Working in the healthcare field can be demanding and humbling. However, many benefits make it worthwhile. Here are some benefits of working as a nurse assistant.

Job Stability

With an ageing population and growing healthcare sector, there are many job options for nursing assistants. It is a stable career to invest in. There is a national shortage of nurses in general, so job security is not likely to change anytime soon.

Varied and Rewarding Job Description

Every day is different when you are a nursing assistant. You do not have to worry about repetition because you carry out a broad range of tasks.

You get to interact with different healthcare professionals and many different patients. Plus, you are making a difference in people’s lives and supporting other healthcare jobs.

Career Advancement

It is perfect if you want to become a nurse or work towards one of the many other healthcare jobs. You get the experience and develop the skills you need to add to future applications. You can also network with the many other professionals you work with.


Some healthcare jobs require training that is not accessible for everyone. Nursing assistant training is affordable, flexible, and fast. You can be working before you know it!

Work in the Healthcare Field

There are many healthcare jobs out there, whatever your interest. Take the time to research each job description before you make a decision. But becoming a nursing assistant is a great option that offers many benefits.

Good luck!

Did you like this article? Read on for more posts to help start and enhance your career.


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