According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for medical professionals and those associated with health care industry is going to increase in 2014. Health and well-being of several people depend upon the ability of the technicians to do their important work. Nursing assistant is the most sought after career for those who love taking care of people. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary of certified nursing assistant is $24,400 per year. The mean hourly wage is $12.32, and the highest paid hourly wage is $16.99. This places the certified nursing assistant profession among the best paying jobs in the healthcare field for individuals who have not completed at least two years of school.
Salary Scale in different parts of United States
The top paying state in USA for certified nursing assistant is Alaska, where the average salary is $14.36 per hour. In New York, it is $13.63 per hour, and it is $13.54 in Connecticut. The lowest paying state for CNA is Nevada, where it is $12.23 per hour. The state with highest employment level for nursing assistants is California, which has 99,500 jobs and average salary is of $29,400. The salary variation depends upon experience, additional certifications and the employer under which the candidate is working.
Certified nursing assistant job description
If you feel the pain and suffering of others, and love to take care of ailing people, then certified nursing assistant job is the right choice for you. The field of nursing assistant encompasses a wide range of patient care, right from assisting patient in his basic care needs to the doctor-like care provided by the advanced practice nurses. Nursing assistants help patients of all ages perform the most basic tasks. They work under the guidance of senior nursing staff and are the key members of the health care and medical team.
They perform much-needed tasks such as serving meals, feeding, bathing and dressing of patients. They also help combing hair and brushing teeth in patients who cannot do it alone. They record the vital parameters, and keep an eye on any changes the patient may have. They also keep track of food and drinks taken by the patient.
Certified nursing assistant not just assist in day-to-day tasks, they also provide emotional support to patient and their families as well. They chat with patient helping them feel more at ease.
In short, nursing assistants play a vital role in the lives of the patient and their families. They are the main mediators between the doctor and the patient as well as patient’s family members. The duties and responsibilities of a certified nursing assistant require a more personal touch. The candidate has to be compassionate to understand the sufferings of patients. Nursing assistant job is tedious; hence they should be physically and mentally fit and strong.
How to become a certified nursing assistant?
- Patient Care Technician (10-month diploma program)
- Medical Assistant Technician (10-Month diploma program)
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To become a certified nursing assistant, there are two ways.
High school diploma
CNA programs vary in length, from six weeks and five months of extra school. The credit hour requirements may vary from state to state. Therefore, it is essential to find your state requirements prior to enrolling in the nursing program. The program includes both theoretical and clinical classes.
During the program, the candidate learns about the various tasks and duties as a certified nursing assistant. This includes learning about taking vital parameters, providing medical care, assisting in routine activities and understanding health law. The clinical aspect of the program includes the acquiring the knowledge and skill that you need to have in practical settings. This training is done under the supervision of licensed supervisor. Learn more about certified nursing assistant schools here.
To become a successful nursing assistant, the candidate must possess strong interpersonal skills and communication skills. Good patience level and analytical skills also help in making the right and quick decisions.
Certification or licensure requirements
After the completion of classroom coursework as well as clinical training, the candidate has to pass the certification exam to work as a certified nursing assistant. In order to practice as a nursing assistant, the candidate must clear the certification exam enrolled under the state registry. Passing this exam allows you to use state-specific titles.
Certified nursing assistant salary in other parts of the world
Australia- In Australia, the salary for a certified nursing assistant ranges between AU$32,551 and AU$55,442. The average salary for certified nursing assistant is around AU$41,000. The average pay for a nurse assistant is AU$18.96 per hour. The salary is quite high due to the high demand for qualified workers in this profession.
Canada – The average salary for a certified nursing assistant in Canada is $35,302. The salary for certified nursing assistant ranges from C$21,719 to C$44,404. The national average hourly rate for CNA ranges from C$13.53 to C$19.30, depending on the city. The salary may not only vary from city to city, but also based on the number of years of experience. The average salary for nursing assistants is lower than the certified nursing assistants. As compared to national average for other jobs, the average salary for certified nursing assistants is lower.
United Kingdom- In UK the salary for a nursing assistant in UK ranges between £9,901 and £20,152. The average salary for top 10 percentile is around £20,000 while that for the bottom 10 percentile is around £10,000. The 25th percentile from bottom takes home around £12,000 and the 25th percentile from top takes home around £18,000. The median salary is about £15,000 for nursing assistants in UK. The job prospects for nursing assistant in UK are quite bright with an estimated job growth of 21% to 35% over the next decade. This is largely attributed to rapidly growing older population, which will increase the demand for healthcare services.
The job of certified nursing assistant is demanding, but rewarding. With baby boomers approaching their old age, and the rise in advanced health care and medical facilities, the future prospects of nursing assistants is high. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects job growth of twenty percent between 2010 and 2020, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. In order to become successful in this career path, a CAN should be in right perspective and focus.