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New York Health Careers

Nursing Assistants

What Do Nursing Assistants Do?

Nursing assistants provide basic patient care under the supervision of a registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, or other medical staff. Nursing assistants may take and record a patient’s temperature, pulse, and blood pressure; assist patients with activities of daily living, such as feeding, bathing, dressing, and toileting; help patients to get in and out of bed; and assist with nursing procedures. They also answer calls for assistance and help, deliver messages, serve meals, make beds, and tidy up rooms. Nursing assistants also observe patients’ physical, mental, and emotional conditions and report the status or changes to the nursing or medical staff.

Nursing assistants who work in long term nursing care are often principal caregivers since they have more frequent and direct contact with the nursing home residents than do other staff members. Since nursing home residents are likely to remain for an extended period of time, nursing assistants often develop ongoing relationships with them. These relationships play an important role in continuity of care and can impact quality of care and health outcomes.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics groups nursing assistants with orderlies. For more information about this occupation, go to: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nursing-assistants.htm

Where Do Nursing Assistants Work?

Nursing assistants work primarily in institutional settings such as hospitals, assisted living centers, and nursing homes.

What Do Nursing Assistants Earn?

According to the 2018 BLS, the average salary for full time, nursing assistants nationwide was $29,580, varying by specialty and geographic region. Average annual salary also varies greatly across New York State, depending on location. The NYSDOL reports that nursing assistants in New York earned an average annual salary of $36,090, (entry level-$36,880, experienced- $40,690).

Supply and Demand

In May 2010, there were more than 102,500 nursing assistant jobs in New York and more than 1,500,000 across the U.S.

The need for nursing assistants is growing because as the country’s population ages, demand for health care services rises, particularly long-term care for older adults. Between 2014 and 2024, the number of jobs for nursing assistants is projected to increase by 17.6% nationwide and increase by 16% in New York during the same period.

New York Educational and Licensure Program Requirements

Training and education requirements for nursing assistants who work in hospitals vary by institution. In some instances, employers may require a high school diploma or G.E.D and may provide on-the-job training; others may require prior nursing assistant experience; some may want both. Nursing assistants who work in nursing homes in New York must be certified, which includes completing an approved 100-hour training program, passing a competency examination, and becoming listed on the New York State Nurse Aide Registry.

Certified nursing assistant training is available in a variety of settings, including high schools (usually through a Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) program), propriety schools, community colleges, adult education classes at some universities, and in some instances, nursing homes and nonprofit community organizations. The training topics will likely include body mechanics, nutrition, anatomy and physiology, infection control, effective communication, and patients’ rights. The training also instructs participants in how to assist people with activities of daily living, such as bathing, eating, and grooming.

Financial Support

Many opportunities for financial support, loans, and scholarships exist for those wishing to study to become a nursing assistant. Please visit the New York State Nursing Education Web site for scholarships, grants, and loans information by clicking here.
Also, check the resources listed on the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation Web site
and please refer to the resources listed on the Nursing Assistant Guides Website.
Also, a list of scholarships for becoming a certified nursing assistant can be found on this website page from FindCNAclasses.com.

Approved Certified Nursing Assistant Training Programs in New York (subject to change)

For a list of approved nursing aide training programs from the New York State Education Department, go to: www.op.nysed.gov/prof/nurse/nurseprogs-cna.htm

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