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According to US Bureau of Labor Statistics, median salary of nursing assistants in 2018 was $28,530 per year, or $13.72 per hour. There are 1,564,200 jobs of nursing assistants in the nation. The employment will grow 9% from 2018 to 2028, and 137,800 new jobs will be created during the period.
Requirements for nursing assistant vary from state to state. States often require students to complete a state-approved education programs, and then pass competency exams.
In May 2008, the five states with highest number of employments of nursing assistants are California with 99,440 employments, New York with 91,400 employments, Florida with 89,860 employments, Texas with 87,750 employments, and Pennsylvania with 76,260 employments.
In May 2008, the five states with highest annual mean wages of nursing assistants are Alaska with $39,830, New York with $37,010, Hawaii with $35,770, California with $35,220, and Nevada with $35,130.
In 2018, 38% of nursing assistants worked at nursing care facilities, skilled nursing facilities. State, local, or private hospitals hired 27% of them. Continuing care retirement communities and assisted living facilities for the elderly hired 11% of them. Home healthcare services hired 5% of them. Government hired 4% of them.
The basic job functions of nursing assistants include bathing and cleaning patients, helping patients dressing and using toilet, serving meals and helping patients eat, turning and transferring patients, communicating with patients of health concerns and reporting to nurses, and measuring vital signs of patients like blood pressure and temperature.
CNA programs are offered at community colleges, job training centers, or other organizations providing healthcare training programs.
While the content of each program varies, a typical program often offers classroom education, lab training, and clinical practice.
The component of classroom education builds the foundation of the program. During the class, students should learn some basic knowledge of healthcare profession as a whole, and nursing assistants in particular. Students should be taught how to perform basic job functions of nursing assistants, and how to communicate with patients and others members of healthcare teams.
The component of lab training gives students the opportunity to apply what they learn in the experimental environment. Some programs absorb this component into the classroom education.
The last component of nursing assistant program is clinical practice. Students are often assigned to healthcare facilities to gain experience in real work environment, supervised by experienced healthcare employees.
When students choose Certified Nursing Assistant programs, they should consider location, reputation, curriculum, teacher, schedule, and cost.
Location is one of the most important factors a student should consider when she chooses a CNA program. Because of the nature of CNA training, the class needs to be taken at a local physical location, not online. This is especially true for clinical practice part of the program. Since the student needs to go to to the CNA school quite a few times during the training, the student may want to select a school at a convenient location.
The reputation of the program is also an important factor. It's an important step and a large commitment for a student to study in a CNA program. So naturally the student wants to choose a program with good reputation and quality.
Students of CNA programs should consider curriculum, teacher, and schedule carefully to find the ideal course.
Finally, the cost to attend the program is vital. While students shouldn't just choose the least expensive program, price is certainly a factor to be considered in the decision-making process.