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Nursing Assistants
SOC Code: 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.

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


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

Technology Skills

  • Accounting software - Billing software
  • Data base user interface and query software - Health information database software
  • Electronic mail software - Microsoft Outlook
  • Internet browser software - Web browser software
  • Medical software - Epic Systems ; Medical procedure coding software ; MEDITECH software ; PointClickCare (see all 8 examples)
  • Office suite software - Microsoft Office
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • Arm orthopedic softgoods - Patient arm slings
  • Automated external defibrillators AED or hard paddles - Automated external defibrillators AED
  • Bedpans for general use - Hospital bedpans
  • Blanket frames or lifters - Foot boards
  • Canes or cane accessories - Walking canes
  • Clinical hydraulic lifts or accessories - Hydraulic patient lifts
  • Clinical trapeze bars - Clinical trapeze traction bars
  • Crutches or crutch accessories - Crutches
  • Desktop computers
  • Electronic blood pressure units - Automated blood pressure cuffs
  • Electronic medical thermometers - Electronic patient thermometers; Oral thermometers; Rectal thermometers; Tympanic thermometers
  • Electronic stethoscopes or accessories - Electronic stethoscopes
  • Extremities cradles - Bed cradles
  • Extremity restraints - Patient limb restraints
  • Gait belts for rehabilitation or therapy - Gait belts
  • Glucose monitors or meters - Blood glucometers
  • Gurneys or scissor lifts - Medical gurneys
  • Hospital intercom systems - Hospital intercom equipment
  • Medical acoustic stethoscope or accessory - Mechanical stethoscopes
  • Medical aerosol tents - Oxygen tents
  • Medical exam or non surgical procedure gloves - Medical examination protective gloves
  • Medical gas cylinders or related devices - Oxygen tanks
  • Medical nasal cannulae - Oxygen nasal cannulas
  • Medical oxygen masks or parts - Oxygen masks
  • Medical ultrasound or doppler or pulse echo or echography units for general diagnostic use - Bladder ultrasounds
  • Mercury blood pressure units - Manual blood pressure equipment
  • Notebook computers - Laptop computers
  • Orthopedic splint systems - Orthopedic splint sets
  • Oxygen therapy delivery system products accessories or its supplies - Oxygen therapy equipment
  • Patient bed or table scales for general use - Patient bed scales
  • Patient care beds or accessories for general use - Adjustable hospital beds
  • Patient floor scales - Medical scales
  • Patient shifting boards or accessories - Patient transfer boards
  • Patient stabilization or fall prevention devices or accessories - Protective patient restraints
  • Patient urinals for general use - Urinals
  • Personal computers
  • Photocopiers - Photocopying equipment
  • Pulse oximeter units - Pulse oximeters
  • Razors - Safety razors
  • Shower or bath chairs or seats for the physically challenged - Shower chairs
  • Special purpose telephones - Multi-line telephone systems
  • Specimen collection container - Specimen collection containers
  • Spirometers or its accessories or its supplies - Incentive spirometers
  • Steam autoclaves or sterilizers - Steam sterilizers
  • Therapeutic heating or cooling pads or compresses or packs - Therapeutic cold packs; Therapeutic hot packs
  • Urinalysis test strips
  • Urinary catheterization kit - Urinary catheters
  • Vascular or compression apparel or support - Anti-embolism elastic stockings
  • Walkers or rollators - Patient walkers
  • Wheelchairs - Patient transport wheelchairs


  • 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.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • 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.


  • 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.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • 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.


  • 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 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.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • 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.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).


  • Interest code: SCR
    • 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.

Work Context

  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 85% responded “Every day.”
  • Physical Proximity - 71% responded “Very close (near touching).”
  • Contact With Others - 74% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 71% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Spend Time Walking and Running - 51% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets - 80% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Disease or Infections - 73% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Standing - 50% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 56% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 78% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone - 60% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 59% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 40% responded “Very important.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 49% responded “Very important results.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body - 36% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 37% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 37% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Letters and Memos - 38% responded “Every day.”
  • Time Pressure - 37% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - 29% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 33% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Consequence of Error - 37% responded “Extremely serious.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 35% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Deal With External Customers - 37% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People - 27% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks - 28% responded “Very important.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 37% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations - 29% responded “Every day.”


Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
60%High school diploma or equivalent
25%Post-secondary certificate
8%Some college, no degree

Work Styles

  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

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.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $13.23 hourly, $27,520 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 1,510,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Faster than average (10% to 14%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 195,100

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