If you are a nursing student, or have completed a training program and want to work in nursing, a nurse technician may be the perfect opportunity to gain real life experience working with patients and performing nursing duties under the supervision of a nursing staff or physician.
A nurse tech, or nurse technician, assists patients under the direction of a nursing staff or physician. They tend to the daily needs of patients in hospitals or other health care facilities. Nurse techs are usually students of accredited nursing programs who are gaining work experience while studying to become nurses.
|Required Education||High school diploma|
|Other Requirements||Enrollment in an accredited nursing degree program; some employers may require certification|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||18% for nursing assistants|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$25,710 for nursing assistants|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Nurse Tech Education Requirements
Nurse techs must have high school diplomas and are often enrolled in accredited nursing degree programs. Many nurse tech jobs are only available to students studying to become registered nurses. To qualify for a nurse tech position, a student must have completed at least one semester of a nursing program. Coursework in a nursing degree program includes topics in medical terminology, anatomy, physiology and clinical patient care.
While nurse techs are not licensed professionals, some state nursing boards require that they be certified. Many employers also prefer to hire certified nurse technicians. The National Healthcareer Association (NHA) is a nationally approved organization certifying nurse technicians. According to the NHA, becoming a certified nurse technician (CNT) increases job opportunities, especially in states requiring or considering certification.
Applicants must complete an approved training course or have at least one year of relevant work experience to register for the certification examination. CNTs must complete at least five continuing education credits every year through the NHA or a local program to remain certified.
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Clinical Nursing
- Critical Care Nursing
- Direct-Entry Midwifery - LM, CPM
- Licensed Vocational Nurse Training
- Mental Health Nursing
- Neonatal Nursing
- Nurse Anesthetist
- Nurse Assistant or Patient Care Assistant
- Nurse Midwife
- Nurse Practitioner or Family Nurse Practitioner
- Nursing Administration
- Nursing for Adults and Seniors
- Nursing Science
- Occupational Health Nursing
- Operating Room and Surgical Nursing
- Pediatric Nursing
- Public Health Nurse or Community Nurse
- Registered Nurse
Nurse techs work closely with patients and perform many of the same tasks as nursing assistants or aides. Working in hospitals, nursing homes and other health care settings, they assist patients by bathing, walking and feeding them. They prepare rooms for new patients by changing linens, setting up equipment and cleaning up. Depending on state laws, they may monitor patients' vital signs and report changes to the nurse supervisor or doctor. Some nurse technicians also give injections and treatments, take blood samples and put patients on electrocardiogram machines.
Student nurse technicians spend a lot of time shadowing registered nurses and nurse practitioners. Their responsibilities often increase according to the courses they complete in their nursing program. Nurse techs generally work part-time around their school schedules and may work day, night and weekend shifts. Nurse technicians may have to be certified in Basic Life Support, Cardiovascular Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) or both.
After completing one year of a state-approved nursing program, nurse techs may choose to become licensed and work as licensed practical nurses (LPN) by passing the NCLEX-PN examination administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. Others continue on to become registered nurses (RN) by completing associate's or bachelor's degree programs in nursing and passing the NCLEX-RN examination.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nursing assistant job opportunities should grow during the 2014-2024 period at a rate of 18%. In 2015, the BLS reported that nurse assistants earned a median annual salary of $25,710.
Most aspiring nurse technicians have a high school diploma or enroll in a nursing program. Graduates go on to assist patients with feeding and grooming needs in healthcare facilities, earning a moderate income.