In the United States, a typical nurse assistant salary is around $30,442 with an hourly range of about $8.80 to $16.99. The lowest 10th percentile takes home about $25,045 while the highest percentile gets about $36,109 every year. There are a number of factors that can cause these figures to differ such as the number of hours the assistant nurse works, the institution where he/she works, the location where the nurse works, duties assigned and education level among many other things. The employer might also decide to throw in extra perks such as healthcare benefits, paid off time, bonuses, pension and social security to make the package more attractive.
Nurse assistant job description
Nurse assistants normally perform a number of direct patient care activities and are normally under the supervision of a registered nurse. They may be required to help patients dress or undress, eat, hair care, mouth care, toilet care, bowel & bladder care , help patients walk, assist with exercises, make beds, position & turn patients who are bed ridden, safety awareness, post mortem care, reporting any changes to the nurse and bathing among many other things that they are asked to do.
They are also responsible for collecting non invasive body fluid specimens or look out for vital signs but never start or even administer intravenous fluids. The assistant nurses can also assist nursing staff members and physicians with a variety of procedures when needed. They can also document patient interactions when need be. Assistant nurses can work in various institutions such as nursing homes, hospitals, Hospice, assisted living, correctional institutions, community based long term care and other settings that require long term care. They work with patients of all ages and play a very important role in the life of the patient as they normally interact with them a lot.
How to become an assistant nurse
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To start working as an assistant nurse, a person needs to have attained a minimum of a high school diploma and certification from a nursing assistant program that has been accredited. Nursing assistant education and certification can help you get the job as it distinguishes you from the other applicants. There are various nursing assistant programs where you can enroll to acquire the knowledge and skills needed for an entry level position. There are some institutions that may require you to have studied anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, first aid and CPR before you can enroll to study. You do not even have to go to class as there are some institutions that offer online courses giving you the opportunity to study from home. Beyond medical knowledge and technical skills, the professionals are also required to work as part of a team and have personal characteristics such as patience, tact, good physical health and dependability. All the states require the nursing assistants to pass a state test and be approved by the state and also appear on the list of state registry before they can stat offering their services in a nursing home. The nurses may be registered (RNA), certified, (CNA), state tested and approved (STNA) and licensed (LNA).
Nursing assistant salary in other countries (UK, Canada and Australia)
In Australia, nurse assistants on average earn an average of AU$19.25 every hour which amounts to about AU$33,554 – AU$50,667 every year when you add the bonuses and other benefits that the professionals get. Most people who work for this position normally move on to other careers after some years as the pay does not change too much with experience. Those who work in Canada take home an average of $35,302 while the ones who work in UK take home an average wage of about £7.24 every hour. This translates to about £10,293 – £20,177 yearly.
Verdict on nurse assistant salary
The verdict on nurse assistant salary is that it is not bound to increase much over the years because even the professionals who have loads of experience in the field normally do not get high salary scales. This is despite the fact that this is one of the most sought after jobs as their services are needed in many institutions where you can find that one nurse assistant has to take care of very many patients at the same time. It is however quite easy to get a job as demand is pretty high.