Nursing Assistants

The occupation code you requested, 31-1014.00 (Nursing Assistants), is no longer in use. In the future, please use 31-1131.00 (Nursing Assistants) instead.

Provide or assist with basic care or support under the direction of onsite licensed nursing staff. Perform duties such as monitoring of health status, feeding, bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, or ambulation of patients in a health or nursing facility. May include medication administration and other health-related tasks. Includes nursing care attendants, nursing aides, and nursing attendants.

Sample of reported job titles: Certified Medication Aide (CMA), Certified Nurse Aide (CNA), Certified Nurses Aide (CNA), Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Licensed Nursing Assistant (LNA), Nurses' Aide, Nursing Aide, Nursing Assistant, Patient Care Assistant (PCA), State Tested Nursing Assistant (STNA)

Occupation-Specific Information

Tasks

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

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Technology Skills

Hot technology Hot Technologies are requirements frequently included in employer job postings.

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Occupational Requirements

Work Activities

  • Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
  • Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

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Detailed Work Activities

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Work Context

  • Contact With Others — 87% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 83% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 63% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Spend Time Walking and Running — 62% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 71% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Spend Time Standing — 52% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Physical Proximity — 74% responded “Very close (near touching).”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 74% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Disease or Infections — 75% responded “Every day.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 49% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 37% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 70% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 48% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 53% responded “Every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 46% responded “Very important results.”
  • Time Pressure — 38% responded “Every day.”
  • Deal With External Customers — 47% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 53% responded “Every day.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 31% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 32% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Deal With Physically Aggressive People — 39% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 36% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 30% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Consequence of Error — 44% responded “Extremely serious.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 33% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations — 33% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 24% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Level of Competition — 24% responded “Extremely competitive.”

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Experience Requirements

Job Zone

Title
Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education
Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related Experience
Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples
These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters, and medical assistants.
SVP Range
1-2 years of preparation (6.0 to < 7.0)

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Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
State licenses
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

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Worker Requirements

Skills

  • Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Knowledge

  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Medicine and Dentistry — Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Therapy and Counseling — Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.

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Education

How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:

  • 39%
     
    responded: High school diploma or equivalent requiredmore info
  • 24%
     
    responded: Post-secondary certificate required
  • 12%
     
    responded: Some college, no degree requiredmore info

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Worker Characteristics

Abilities

  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Extent Flexibility — The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without "giving out" or fatiguing.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

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Interests

Interest code: SCR
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
  • Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

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Work Values

  • Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

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Work Styles

  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

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Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2021)
$14.57 hourly, $30,310 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2020)
1,396,700 employees
Projected growth (2020-2030)
Average (5% to 10%)
Projected job openings (2020-2030)
187,000
State trends
Top industries (2020)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2020-2030 employment projections external site. “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

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More Information

Related Occupations

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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