Nurse Assistants

Nurse Assistant Taking Blood Pressure

Nurse assistants (also called nurse aides, orderlies, or hospital attendants) work under the supervision of nurses and handle much of the personal care needs of the patients. This allows the nursing staff to perform their primary duties more effectively and efficiently. Nurse assistants help move patients, assist in patients' exercise and nutrition needs, and oversee patients' personal hygiene. Nurse assistants may also be required to take patients to other areas of the hospital for treatment, therapy, or diagnostic testing. They are required to keep charts of their work with their patients for review by other medical personnel and to comply with required reporting. There are more than 1.4 million nurse assistants in the United States, and about 43 percent of them are employed in nursing care facilities.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Nurse Aides, Orderlies, Hospital Attendants
Duties Provide daily personal care for patients; assist patients with physical and mental exercises; move and transport patients; keep accurate records on patient care
Salary Range Below $25,000 to $50,000
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Nationwide
Minimum Education Level
  • High School Diploma
School Subjects
  • Biology
  • English
  • Health
Experience Volunteer or part-time experience
Personality Traits
  • Conventional
  • Hands On
  • Helpful
  • Interpersonal
  • Mechanical/Manual Dexterity
Certification or Licensing Required
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Excellent
Advancement Prospects Fair
Outlook Faster than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Medication Aide
  • Nurse Assistant
  • Nurse Assistant Trainee

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