Nursing Assistants
SOC: 31-1014.00


Provide basic patient care under direction of nursing staff. Perform duties such as feed, bathe, dress, groom, or move patients, or change linens. May transfer or transport patients. Includes nursing care attendants, nursing aides, and nursing attendants.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
1,492,100 employed

Projected (2024):
1,754,100 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Birth Attendant
  • Certified Medication Aide (CMA)
  • Certified Nurse Aide (CNA)
  • Certified Nurses Aide (CNA)
  • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
  • Certified Nursing Attendant
  • Certified Residential Medication Aide
  • Clinical Assistant
  • Competency Evaluated Nurse Aide (CENA)
  • First Aid Attendant
  • First Aid Nurse
  • Geriatric Nursing Assistant (GNA)
  • Gericare Aide
  • Health Aide
  • Health Care Aide
  • Health Care Assistant
  • Health Service Worker
  • Hospice Aide
  • Hospital Aide
  • Hospital Attendant
  • Hospital Corpsman
  • Hospital Medical Assistant
  • Infirmary Attendant
  • Inpatient Nursing Aide
  • Institutional Aide
  • Licensed Nursing Assistant (LNA)
  • Medical Aide
  • Medical Attendant
  • Medication Aide
  • Nurse Sitter
  • Nurse Technician
  • Nurse's Assistant
  • Nursery Technician
  • Nurses' Aide
  • Nursing Aide
  • Nursing Assistant
  • Nursing Attendant
  • Nursing Care Attendant
  • Nursing Home Aide
  • Nursing Technician
  • Patient Care Assistant (PCA)
  • Patient Care Associate
  • Patient Care Technician (PCT)
  • Patient Sitter
  • Practical Nurse
  • State Tested Nursing Assistant (STNA)
  • Student Nurse
  • Surgical Aide
  • Ward Aide
  • Ward Attendant
  • Ward Helper

  • Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed


    Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.


    These occupations usually require a high school diploma.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Technology Design
  • Equipment Selection
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Troubleshooting
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Food Production
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • History and Archeology
  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • Administer medications or treatments, such as catheterizations, suppositories, irrigations, enemas, massages, or douches, as directed by a physician or nurse.
  • Answer patient call signals, signal lights, bells, or intercom systems to determine patients' needs.
  • Apply clean dressings, slings, stockings, or support bandages, under direction of nurse or physician.
  • Assist nurses or physicians in the operation of medical equipment or provision of patient care.
  • Change bed linens or make beds.
  • Clean and sanitize patient rooms, bathrooms, examination rooms, or other patient areas.
  • Collect specimens, such as urine, feces, or sputum.
  • Communicate with patients to ascertain feelings or need for assistance or social and emotional support.
  • Document or otherwise report observations of patient behavior, complaints, or physical symptoms to nurses.
  • Feed patients or assist patients to eat or drink.
  • Gather information from caregivers, nurses, or physicians about patient condition, treatment plans, or appropriate activities.
  • Measure and record food and liquid intake or urinary and fecal output, reporting changes to medical or nursing staff.
  • Observe or examine patients to detect symptoms that may require medical attention, such as bruises, open wounds, or blood in urine.
  • Position or hold patients in position for surgical preparation.
  • Prepare or serve food trays.
  • Provide physical support to assist patients to perform daily living activities, such as getting out of bed, bathing, dressing, using the toilet, standing, walking, or exercising.
  • Record height or weight of patients.
  • Record vital signs, such as temperature, blood pressure, pulse, or respiration rate, as directed by medical or nursing staff.
  • Remind patients to take medications or nutritional supplements.
  • Restock patient rooms with personal hygiene items, such as towels, washcloths, soap, or toilet paper.
  • Review patients' dietary restrictions, food allergies, and preferences to ensure patient receives appropriate diet.
  • Set up treating or testing equipment, such as oxygen tents, portable radiograph (x-ray) equipment, or overhead irrigation bottles, as directed by a physician or nurse.
  • Stock or issue medical supplies, such as dressing packs or treatment trays.
  • Supply, collect, or empty bedpans.
  • Transport patients to treatment units, testing units, operating rooms, or other areas, using wheelchairs, stretchers, or moveable beds.
  • Turn or reposition bedridden patients.
  • Undress, wash, and dress patients who are unable to do so for themselves.
  • Wash, groom, shave, or drape patients to prepare them for surgery, treatment, or examination.
  • Exercise patients who are comatose, paralyzed, or have restricted mobility.
  • Explain medical instructions to patients or family members.
  • Lift or assist others to lift patients to move them on or off beds, examination tables, surgical tables, or stretchers.
  • Provide information such as directions, visiting hours, or patient status information to visitors or callers.
  • Transport specimens, laboratory items, or pharmacy items, ensuring proper documentation and delivery to authorized personnel.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Adjustable hospital beds
  • Anti-embolism elastic stockings
  • Automated blood pressure cuffs
  • Automated external defibrillators AED
  • Bed cradles
  • Bladder ultrasounds
  • Blood glucometers
  • Clinical trapeze traction bars
  • Crutches
  • Desktop computers
  • Electronic patient thermometers
  • Electronic stethoscopes
  • Foot boards
  • Gait belts
  • Hospital bedpans
  • Hospital intercom equipment
  • Hydraulic patient lifts
  • Incentive spirometers
  • Laptop computers
  • Manual blood pressure equipment
  • Mechanical stethoscopes
  • Medical examination protective gloves
  • Medical gurneys
  • Medical scales
  • Multi-line telephone systems
  • Oral thermometers
  • Orthopedic splint sets
  • Oxygen masks
  • Oxygen nasal cannulas
  • Oxygen tanks
  • Oxygen tents
  • Oxygen therapy equipment
  • Patient arm slings
  • Patient bed scales
  • Patient limb restraints
  • Patient transfer boards
  • Patient transport wheelchairs
  • Patient walkers
  • Personal computers
  • Photocopying equipment
  • Protective patient restraints
  • Pulse oximeters
  • Rectal thermometers
  • Safety razors
  • Shower chairs
  • Specimen collection containers
  • Steam sterilizers
  • Therapeutic cold packs
  • Therapeutic hot packs
  • Tympanic thermometers
  • Urinals
  • Urinalysis test strips
  • Urinary catheters
  • Walking canes
  • Billing software
  • GE Healthcare Centricity EMR
  • Health information database software
  • Medical condition coding software
  • Medical procedure coding software
  • Medical record charting software
  • MEDITECH software
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft Word

  • healthcare support

    industry stats

    SOC: 31-0000

    Total Employed: 3,989,910

    Average Annual Salary: $29,520