There is a vast range of professionals dedicated to providing care and support to a large diversity of patients in different medical settings.
Nursing is an area that is the perfect example of this situation.
There are several levels and specialties in the nursing field, each with a specific educational background and responsibilities.
Healthcare professionals that are focused on nursing, generally have greater direct contact and interaction with patients, making it a highly significant area of the healthcare system.
In the next few sections, we’ll discuss some of the most important information about Nursing Assistants, Nursing assistant school, and how much it costs.
Table of Contents
- What Is a Nursing Assistant?
- What Does a Nursing Assistant Do?
- Where Do Nursing Assistants Work?
- Nursing Assistant School
- What are the Requirements to apply to Nursing Assistant School?
- How Long Does Nursing Assistant School Last?
- How Much Does It Cost to Attend Nursing Assistant School?
What Is a Nursing Assistant?
Nursing Assistants, also known as Nursing Aides or Patient Care Assistants, are healthcare professionals that help patients with their daily activities.
They work under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), or Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs).
What Does a Nursing Assistant Do?
The most common duties of a Nursing Assistant are to measure the vital signs of patients, bathe patients and assist them to get dressed, serve their food and provide assistance when they can’t eat for themselves, help them move in bed or transfer them to other beds or wheelchairs, help them use the toilet, stocking supplies, dressing wounds, and preparing rooms for admissions.
Where Do Nursing Assistants Work?
There are different settings where Nursing Assistants are able to work.
However, most of them work in nursing care facilities with older patients.
In these facilities, Nursing Assistants are of great help to the elderly, who are not always capable of taking care of themselves and need constant attention and supervision.
Some of the other settings where Nursing Assistants can work are hospitals, clinics, retirement communities, and home healthcare services, among others.
Nursing Assistant School
If you wish to become a Nursing Assistant, you will have to complete a Nursing Assistant training program and if needed, obtain certification.
These programs offer basic education in the field of nursing and supervised clinical work.
They are generally offered by hospitals, nursing homes, community colleges, vocational schools, and even in certain high schools.
In some states, it might not be necessary to obtain certification before starting to work as a Nursing Assistant.
Yet gaining certification can help to have better chances of obtaining a job since employers usually prefer workers who are certified.
In order to become certified, you will need to pass the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) exam.
This test is developed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSB).
What are the Requirements to apply to Nursing Assistant School?
If you want to apply to Nursing Assistant School, you will need a high school diploma or an equivalent, such as passing the General Educational Development (GED) test.
Requirements tend to vary between institutions and states, so it’s always a good idea to check first.
How Long Does Nursing Assistant School Last?
One of the great things about becoming a Nursing Assistant is that these programs are generally short.
On average, Nursing Assistant School lasts between one and three months, so it’s a great way to enter the field in a short time frame.
How Much Does It Cost to Attend Nursing Assistant School?
Another advantage of going to Nursing Assistant school is the low cost compared to other careers in the healthcare field.
The cost of these schools varies according to the state where you live, the institution, as well as the type and duration of the program you select.
In some hospitals or medical settings, it might be possible to obtain training for free, just with the commitment of working there once you have completed it.
In other institutions, it could cost from $800 to $3,500.
The cost of the NNAAP exam varies depending on the state where you wish to take it.