Certified Nursing Assistant Starts A Nurse Agency Business
What is a nursing assistant? In the United States, Certified Nursing Assistants
(CNAs), Patient Care Assistants, State Tested Nurse Aid (STNA)or Nursing
Assistants-Registered (NA/Rs), assist individuals with healthcare needs (often
called "patients", "clients", "service users") with activities of daily living (ADLs)
and provide bedside care—including basic nursing procedures—all under the
supervision of a Registered Nurse (RN) or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
In the UK, as in other countries, the CNA might also be called a Nursing
Assistant (NA), Auxiliary Nurse (Aux-N), Patient Care Associate (PCA), Nursing
Tech (NT), Healthcare Assistant (HCA), Heathcare Support Worker (HSW) or
Clinical Support Worker
The role is the same regardless of title or initials. The Nursing Assistant is
an important member of the health care team who often holds a high level of
experience and ability, but without qualification is unable to often perform
some tasks due to issues of liability and legality. Attempts to regulate,
control and verify education have been made in some places, anWd the result is
the North American "CNA" (Certified Nursing Assistant), a credential gained by
registering completion of the statuary level of workplace experience and
academic achievement with a central body. This central certification allows an
employer to verify experience and knowledge as well as to assist in preventing
individuals who have been "struck off" (had registration/certification
invalidated) from continuing to work in healthcare roles. In the UK, the
credibility of the Healthcare Assistant and other social care workers is
intended to be strengthened by their compulsory registration from 2009 with the
General Social Care Council in England or its Scottish or Welsh equivalents.
In today's hospitals and extended care facilities a nurse assistant is an
important part of a health care team that includes many personnel outside of
nurses. Nurse assistants are needed to provide routine care so that nurses can
provide care that only they can perform, as outlined by each state's Nurse
Practice Acts, such as formulating care plans, nursing assessments,
administering medication, and assisting in surgery room preparation. The nurse
assistant must not only be very skilled in the actual procedures being performed
but must also be able to observe a patient's condition and report that
information back to the nurse. Due to other responsibilities, the nurse cannot
spend large amounts of time in the room with the patient so the nurse assistant
is often referred to as the nurse's "eyes and ears".
A nurse assistant is usually responsible for Activities of Daily Living, which
include bathing and feeding patients.
A nurse assistant must also have a strong grasp of emergency procedures and be
able to stay calm in stressful situations. They must be able to initiate a Code
Blue and be well-drilled in CPR.
In March, 2007 the National Center for Health Statistics published the results
of a survey. The 62 page document is titled, "An Introduction to the National
Nursing Assistant Survey." http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_01/sr01_044.pdf
 Educational preparation
Federal nurse aide training regulations are mandated in the Omnibus Budget
Reconciliation Act of 1987 (OBRA 1987). State-approved training programs must be
a minimum of 75 hours and include 16 hours of supervised clinical training.
Aides who complete the program are known as certified nurse assistants (CNAs) or
State Tested Nurse Aid (STNA) and are placed on the State registry of nursing
aides. To maintain certification, all nurse aides must complete 12 hours of
continuing education annually.
Among the requirements for becoming a state-certified nurse assistant is the
mastery of a set of basic skills. These skills are needed to care for patients
in both long-term-care facilities and in home settings. The Nursing assistant
skills descriptions refer mostly to the care of elderly patients, but most of
them would apply to any nursing assistant situation.
Nursing Assistants(NA) are normally used in hospital units, but there are some
units that do not have NAs. Sometimes in high stress units (CCU, ICU) may not
have NAs because of the critical condition of the patients.
 See also
* Nursing assistant skills
* Nursing care
* Personal Support Worker
* Other healthcare workers
* E. June Meyer, R.N., M.A. (2001). Nurse Assistant in a Long-Term Care
Facility. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri-Columbia
* Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2000). An Ounce of Prevention
Keeps the Germs Away. Retrieved December 4, 2005.
* Maggie Nicol, Carol Bavin, Shelagh Bedford-Turner, Patricia Cronin, Karen
Rawlings-Anderson, Carol Bevin (2002). Essential Nursing Skills, 210-212. Google
Print. ISBN 0-7234-3307-0 (accessed December 4, 2005). Also available in print
* Occupational Information Network (2004). Summary Report: Nursing Aides,
Orderlies, and Attendants. Retrieved Decem Certified nursing assistants (CNAs),
also known as nurses aides, orderlies, patient care technicians, and home health
aides, work under the supervision of a nurse and provide assistance to patients
with daily living tasks.
Working closely with patients, CNAs are responsible for basic care services such
as bathing, grooming and feeding patients, assisting nurses with medical
equipment, and checking patient vital signs. CNAs give patients important social
and emotional support and also provide vital information on patient conditions
"The best RNs started as CNAs," says Mira Dixon, a CNA with 13 years experience.
Being a CNA can be a stepping stone before becoming a registered nurse. Read the
interview with a CNA for more insight about the daily aspects of the job.
Find Nursing Assisting Schools
Nursing Assistant Training
In addition to a high school diploma or GED, you'll need to complete a 6-to-12
week CNA certificate program at a community college or medical facility.
Classroom instruction generally includes basic nursing skills, anatomy and
physiology, nutrition, and infection control. Students also gain plenty of
hands-on-experience during clinical activities.
Find Nursing Assisting Schools
Nursing Assistant Certification
Regulations vary from state-to-state, but most CNA programs offer a
certification exam. The National Association for Home Care offers national
certification for home health aides.
Nursing Assistant Salaries
Nursing assistants earn salaries of between $23,663 and $29,801 per year.* The
key factors affecting CNA salaries are years of experience and work environment.
CNAs work in nursing homes, hospitals, mental health facilities, assisted living
facilities, and private homes. Job prospects for CNAs are expected to be
excellent due to the increasing long-term care needs of an aging population.