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Nursing assistants perform a variety of hands-on tasks to care for patients in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted-living facilities and health centers. They usually work under the supervision and direction of a registered nurse (RN), licensed practical nurse (LPN) or medical staff member. Other titles for individuals in this profession include hospital attendant, nursing aide, nurse aide, patient care technician, geriatric aide, and orderly. The title, Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) applies to individuals who have met state certification requirements to work in skilled nursing facilities, and most especially in facilities that accept Medicare residents.

Nursing Aides And Attendants picture    Nursing Aides And Attendants image

Nursing Assistant Schools

Nursing assistants usually require completion of a formal training program. These programs can be found in:

  • High schools
  • Community colleges
  • Vocational and technical schools
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes

In addition, nursing assistant education requirements include completing a number of hours of on-the-job training, usually with a future employer. They must have a high school diploma, and can become certified too.

Nursing Assistant Training and Courses

Completion of a formal training program is required for this profession. Programs are generally offered through high schools, private vocational schools and technical centers, Regional Occupational Programs, adult education programs, nursing care facilities, and community and two-year colleges. Programs may take anywhere from two to five weeks to complete; courses typically include:

  • Nutrition
  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Body mechanics
  • Infection control
  • Resident rights
  • Communication skills
  • Personal care skills

Some employers offer classroom training while others may provide on-the-job training under the direct supervision of a general duty nurse or LPN. On-the-job training can last anywhere from several days to a few months. Nursing Assistants may also attend lectures, workshops, and in-service training sessions.

An individual in this profession must be in good health; most states require a physical examination, including state-regulated tests for diseases such as tuberculosis. A criminal background check is also a common requirement.

CNA Certification

Federal Government requirements exist for Nursing Assistants who are employed by nursing care facilities. Individuals who work in these environments are required to complete a state-approved training program that must meet a 75-hour minimum requirement and include 16 hours of supervised clinical training. Aides who complete the program and pass a competency evaluation will have achieved the level of CNA, or State Tested Nurse Aide (STNA), and will be added on the state registry of Nursing Aides. To maintain their certification, Aides must complete 12 hours of continuing education, on an annual basis.

When it comes to advancement, opportunities are limited. Moving on to health occupations generally requires formal education or training. Most Aides and Attendants move on to become RNs, LPNs, or Medical Assistants.

Resource for Nursing Assistants

Career Stories (Job Profiles) for Nursing Aides and Attendants

To find out more about building a career as Nursing Aides, we spoke with professionals in the field across a variety of specialties. Learn about their experiences on the job, the steps they took to complete their education, and what it takes to excel in this industry. Click the link to see a story.

All Types

Source : 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, BLS.gov

Most Popular Industries for
Nursing Aides and Attendants

These industries represent at least 1% of the total number of people employed in this occupation.

Industry Total Employment Percent Annual Median Salary
Nursing And Residential Care 775,510 54% $23,030
Hospital 421,850 29% $25,020
Medical Office 74,810 5% $23,650
Government 71,410 5% $27,890
Office Services And Staffing 46,110 3% $25,210
Social Service 18,020 1% $21,040
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Results:  10
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Programs
  • Certified Nurse Assistant
  • Medical Assisting
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • A Los Angeles-based private college offering programs in medical sciences, legal studies, and graphic design since 1985.
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Alhambra
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Programs
  • Nursing Assistant
  • Medical Assisting
  • Registered Dental Assistant
  • Offers career programs in accounting, cosmetology, massage therapy, physical fitness training, and more.
  • Provides hands-on training led by instructors who have relevant, on-the-job experience.
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Visalia
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Programs
  • Medical Assistant (10-Month Diploma Program)
  • Dental Assistant (10-Month Diploma Program)
  • Dedicated to providing  career training since 1975.
  • Has 13 campus locations in Southern California and a campus in Morrow, GA.
  • Provides flexible class times including weekends.
  • Offers curriculum that ranges from 8 month diploma programs to 16-month Associate of Applied Science degree programs.
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  • Gives job placement assistance strengthened by relationships with local employers.
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Fresno
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Programs
  • Medical Assistant
  • Morning, afternoon, evening and weekend classes are available.
  • Offers lifetime career assistance services to graduates, including resume and cover letter assistance, employer networking, and one-on-one employment counseling.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
  • 8 campuses located across California, with 3 additional campuses in New Hampshire and Maine and online options.
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Rancho Cordova
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Programs
  • Medical Assistant
  • Healthcare Assistant
  • Vocational Nursing
  • Offers accelerated programs w/ flexible schedules & professional instruction
  • Multiple accredited campuses across 9 states including CA, TX, NV, & PA
  • 10 + programs including Practical Nursing, Dental and Medical Assisting
  • Provides professional development training & career planning resources
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Vista
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Programs
  • Medical Assistant
  • Licensed Vocational Nurse
  • Dental Assistant
  • Offers career placement assistance services to recent graduates.
  • Our short-term allied health programs will give you the skills and knowledge to become a part of the exciting health care field.
  • Programs include Medical Office Specialist, Medical Assistant, Dental Assistant and Healthcare Administration.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
  • Main campus is located in Van Nuys, California, north of Los Angeles.
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Panorama City
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Programs
  • Medical Specialties (AOS)

The Secret to Getting Ahead is Getting Started

 

Congratulations! Your interest in California College San Diego is an important first step toward changing your life. A career-focused degree is the key to a new career with a potentially higher income, better benefits, and more satisfaction.

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National City
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Programs
  • Medical Billing Assistant - Certificate
  • Physical Therapy Aide - Certificate
  • Medical Front Office Assistant - Certificate

Trade schools in Los Angeles are built on a solid foundation of academic experience, especially Advanced College in South Gate. The founders of Advanced College have 40 years of experience when they opened their own institute of higher learning in 1999, which means Advanced College was student-oriented from day one. Our reputation as a leading vocational nursing & Allied Health school in Los Angeles is well-established, but that is just the beginning. Our expansive South Gate Campus has grown in our time as a school in order to make room for our daily operations. However, our expansion goes beyond the boundaries of our walls.

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Stockton
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Programs
  • Certificate - Medical Assistant
  • Offers a program that translates work and military experience into college credit, transfers in credit from other college programs, and offers the flexibility of day, evening and online coursework.
  • Provides in-person tutoring, IT support, access to library resources, and job placement assistant for graduates.
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  • Has 11 campuses across Southern California, Washington, and Alaska, and online courses with campus support. 
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Oxnard
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Programs
  • Medical Assisting
  • Vocational Nursing
  • Offers programs in nursing, medical assisting, pharmacy technology, dental assisting, and more.
  • Six Campuses across Northern CA: Fremont, San Jose, Sacramento, S. San Francisco, Hayward, and Concord.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, with programmatic approvals from the California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians and the Board of Registered Nursing.
  • Approved by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) with an A+ rating since 2010.
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Hayward
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We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Nursing Aides and Attendants.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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