Nurse assistants also commonly referred to as UAP’s or unlicensed assistive personnel are unlicensed personal care workers who operate in the health care system taking care of patients who are suffering from physical and/or mental illnesses or ailments.
Nurse assistants can often be seen providing daily aid to elderly patients, chronically ill patients and rehabilitation centers where people are in need of additional aid and may operate in a variety of setting including hospitals, private homes, resident nursing facilities and a variety of other state or privately owned health care facilities.
When on duty nurse assistants are generally supervised by either a RN (registered nurse), LPN (licensed practical nurse) or another licensed and certified health care specialist.
While Nurse assistants do not hold a license they are usually certified in a number of health care related area’s to ensure that they are capable of providing patients with proper care and medical attention.
Nurse Assistant Salary
The average income a nursing assistant is likely to make can vary greatly from state to state and type of nursing home, however the average income a nurse assistant working in the United States can expect to make is around $26,917.
Those who operate in the lower 10% of income earners may a make salary of around $22,000 annually while those who work in the upper 10% may see an average annual income of around $32,700
It is important to note however that nurse assistants are able to make much higher annual incomes than described here as this is just an estimate of the average U.S. nurse assistant salaries.
Factors such as how long a nurse assistant has been employed, what state and facility/organization they work for and the amount of overtime they are able to acquire can play a large role in overall income.
For instance nurse assistants who work in New York make an average annual income of about $31,000 but are able to make 2 X their annual income or more when overtime is abundant.
It’s important for nursing assistants who are interested in making a sizeable income to contact the health care organizations (such as the human resources department) that they are interested in working for and see what their average salary is, how their pay structure works and how much overtime employees average or have been allowed to work over the last 5 years or so.
If this seems a bit too personal or straightforward it is also a good idea to try to speak with or interview employees of the company or organization who would be happy to share that information.
It is also important to understand that facilities who offer higher than average wages may be looking for experienced nurse assistants who have a proven track record of providing excellent patient care and are very knowledgeable about the practices involved in how best assist patients in need of assisted care.
With more and more people retiring and the increasing gap for qualified nurses in the health care industry the job outlook for nursing assistants is expected to continually increase over the next decade.
With nursing trends showing continuing growth and expansion along with increasing retirement rates it is estimated that 800,000 jobs will need to be filled in the nursing sector by the year 2020.
CNA’s and other nurse assistant professionals will play a vital role in providing basic medical care and assistance to elderly and ill patients, and will become more important to health care organizations and hospitals who that are becoming increasingly understaffed and in need of help.