Nurse's Aide Training Programs and Requirements

Most students interested in pursuing a career as a nurse's aide enroll in a nursing assistant certificate program. Students in these programs learn how to help patients under the supervision of registered nurses.

Essential Information

Nurse assistant certificate programs are widely available and help students learn basic nutritional information, body mechanics and patient communication skills. The number of credit hours and clinical hours needed differs according to each state's regulations, but training might be possible in as little as six weeks. All programs include both lecture-style sessions and hands-on training in the field.

Nursing Assistant Certificate Program

A nursing assistant certificate program is designed for students who would like formal training in the field. Students may study a variety of related topics, such as anatomy, body mechanics, cleanliness, nail care, grooming and bathing tasks and ambulation assistance. Clinical interaction with patients is usually included in the curriculum of a nursing assistant certificate program. Some course topics might include:

  • Nursing arts
  • Diet and nutrition
  • Intro to health care
  • Body mechanics
  • Ambulatory transfers

Popular Career Options

There are a lot of great career options for individuals who go through a nursing aide training program. Some job titles include personal care attendant, companion care provider, nursing assistant, home health aide and caregiver.

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), personal care aides made a median annual wage of $20,980 and nursing assistants made a median annual wage of $25,710 as of May 2015. The BLS also states that from 2014-2024, job opportunities for personal care aides are expected to grow by 26%. This is much faster than the average for all other occupations. For nursing assistants, employment openings are expected to grow 17% during the same time.

Continuing Education

Nursing aides that are employed at a nursing care facility must be certified by the federal government. This involves completing 75 hours of supervised training and passing a certification exam. Aides that successfully complete the requirements are referred to as Certified Nurse Assistants (CNA). Other requirements may exist depending upon the state in which an aide plans to work. There are a variety of workshops available to nursing assistants and aides who wish to increase their skill range. Workshops may cover topics like patient mobility, patient safety and avoiding conflict.

Nursing assistant certificate programs include clinical and didactic coursework to help prepare students for CNA certification. Employment in the field should be excellent - job opportunities are projected to grow much faster than average during the 2014-2024 decade.

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