Nurse Tech Education Requirements and Career Information

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a nurse technician. Get a quick view of the requirements, as well as details about job duties, optional certification and employment outlook.

View popular schools

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.

Essential Information

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

Career Information

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.

Career Options

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.

Employment Outlook

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.

Next: View Schools

What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma of GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

    • Master of Health Administration in Health Systems Management
    • Master of Science in Health Informatics

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Doctor of Nursing Practice: Clinical Nurse Specialist Specialization - Online
    • MS in Nursing: Health Systems Management - Online
    • Post-Master Acute Care Pediatric Certificate - Online
    • Post-Graduate Nurse Educator Certificate - Online

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Science in Nursing
    • Nurse Executive Leader MSN
    • Accelerated MBA Health Administration
    • MBA Health Administration
    • MPH in Health Management and Policy Focus

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Science in Healthcare Management

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Arts in Health and Human Services Administration
    • RN to Bachelors of Science in Nursing

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • What is your highest level of education completed?

    • MSN to DNP
    • MSN to DNP in Nurse Practitioner
    • MSN to DNP in Executive Nurse Leader
    • RN to MSN
    • RN to MSN Bridge
    • MSN in Nursing Leadership
    • RN to MSN in Nursing Leadership
    • RN to MSN Bridge in Nursing Leadership
    • MSN in Nurse Educator
    • RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Business Administration - Healthcare Management
    • RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • RN to BSN to Master of Science in Nursing
    • MSN - Clinical Nurse Leader
    • MSN - Nursing Management and Executive Leadership
    • RN-BSN-MSN - Clinical Nursing Leader
    • RN-BSN-MSN - Nursing Management and Executive Leadership
    • MSN - Nursing Education
    • RN-BSN - RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing
    • Post-Master's Doctor of Nursing Practice

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Master of Business Administration - Healthcare Concentration

    What is your highest level of education completed?

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?