CAREER GUIDE FOR NURSING ASSISTANT/AIDE

SOC Code: 31-1012

Pay Band(s): 2           (Salary Structure)

Standard Occupational Description: Provide basic patient care under direction of nursing staff. Perform duties, such as feed, bathe, dress, groom, or move patients, or change linens.

Nursing Assistant/Aide positions in the Commonwealth are assigned to the following Roles in the Direct Service Career Group:

Direct Service Associate II

While Nursing Assistants within the Commonwealth are all located within the Direct Service Career Group, individuals may want to pursue other opportunities within the Commonwealth depending upon individual training, education, knowledge, skills, abilities, and interests.   

Other Career Group(s) that may be of interest are:

Nursing/Physician Assistance Services

Emergency Services

Health Care Technology

Rehabilitation Therapies

Program Administration

SKILLS, KNOWLEDGE, ABILITIES AND TASKS

(Technical and Functional Expertise)

Skills
Note: The technical and functional skills listed below are based on general occupational qualifications for Nursing Assistant commonly recognized by most employers.  Typically, you will not be required to have all of the skills listed to be a successful performer.  Recruitment and selection standards for an individual state job must be based on the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities for that job as indicated in the job announcement and job description in the Employee Work Profile.

  1. 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.
  2. Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  3. Teaching others how to do something.
  4. Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  5. Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  6. Actively looking for ways to help people.
  7. Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  8. Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  9. Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  10. Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Knowledge
Note: The technical and functional knowledge statements listed below are based on general occupational qualifications for Nursing Assistant commonly recognized by most employers.  Typically, you will not be required to have all of the knowledge listed to be a successful performer.  Recruitment and selection standards for an individual state job must be based on the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities for that job as indicated in the job announcement and job description in the Employee Work Profile.

The Knowledge of:

  1. Principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  2. Structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  3. Principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  4. 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.

Abilities

Note: The technical and functional abilities listed below are based on general occupational qualifications for Nursing Assistant commonly recognized by most employers.  Typically, you will not be required to have all of the abilities listed to be a successful performer.  Recruitment and selection standards for an individual state job must be based on the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities for that job as indicated in the job announcement and job description in the Employee Work Profile.

The Ability to:

  1. Tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  2. Listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  3. Communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  4. See details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  5. Identify and understand the speech of another person.
  6. Speak clearly so others can understand you.
  7. Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  8. Exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
  9. Apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  10. Combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Tasks
Note:  The following is a list of sample tasks typically performed by Nursing Assistant.  Employees in this occupation will not necessarily perform all of the tasks listed. 

  1. Turn and re-position bedridden patients, alone or with assistance, to prevent bedsores.
  2. Answer patients' call signals.
  3. Feed patients who are unable to feed themselves.
  4. Observe patients' conditions, measuring and recording food and liquid intake and output and vital signs, and report changes to professional staff.
  5. Provide patient care by supplying and emptying bed pans, applying dressings and supervising exercise routines.
  6. Provide patients with help walking, exercising, and moving in and out of bed.
  7. Bathe, groom, shave, dress, and/or drape patients to prepare them for surgery, treatment, or examination.
  8. Collect specimens such as urine, feces, or sputum.
  9. Prepare, serve, and collect food trays.
  10. Clean rooms and change linens.

INTERESTED?

Like people, occupations have traits or characteristics.  These characteristics give important clues about the nature of the work and work environment, and give you an opportunity to match your own personal interests to a specific occupation.  When you choose a job in an occupation that matches your own interests you have taken an important step in planning a successful and rewarding career.

The occupation of Nursing Assistant has characteristics as described below:

Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

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.

Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

LICENSURE, REGISTRATION, OR CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

Generally it is required for Nursing Assistant and Aide positions in state government to be Certified Nurse Aides.

Most nursing assistants/aides must complete an approved nursing program and pass a national certification exam. Home health aides also may be required to have a valid Virginia driver's license and transportation.

Licensing information for Nursing Assistant and Aides can be found on the Department of Health Professions' web site at: www.dhp.virginia.gov.

Assistants must be in good health. A physical examination, including State-regulated tests such as those for tuberculosis, may be required.

Certification enhance professional growth and career progression.

EDUCATIONAL, TRAINING, AND LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES 

Nursing assistant help nurses and other members of the health care team provide patient care. Nursing assistants also are known as nurse aides and home health aides.

Nursing assistant training is offered in high schools, vocational-technical centers, some nursing care facilities, and some community colleges. Courses cover body mechanics, nutrition, anatomy and physiology, infection control, communication skills, and resident rights. Personal care skills, such as how to help patients bathe, eat, and groom, also are taught.

The State Council of Higher Education of Virginia lists many Virginia educational institutions offering programs in nursing on their web site: http://research.schev.edu/degreeinventory/inventory_

For more information on this career and a listing of educational institutions offering programs for nursing assistants visit the Virginia Area Health Education Centers program at their web site: http://www.ahec.vcu.edu/hcmanual.htm

There is one recognized apprenticeable specialty associated with this occupation:
Nurse Assistant . The Virginia Department of Labor provides more information about apprenticeships on their web site: http://www.dli.state.va.us/

Also the Department of Health Professions lists educational opportunities for nursing assistant/aide at their web site: www.dhp.virginia.gov.

COMMONWEALTH COMPETENCIES

Competencies are a set of identified behaviors, knowledge, skills, and abilities that directly and positively impact the success of employees and the organization. Competencies can be observed and measured.  When consistently demonstrated, competencies make employees particularly effective in their work.  Competencies help lay out a road map to career success.  You can use the Commonwealth Competencies to help improve your individual performance by adopting behaviors that make high performing employees successful in their jobs. In this way, you can use the Commonwealth Competencies for your further professional development.

The Commonwealth Competencies are:

  1. Technical and Functional Expertise
  2. Understanding the Business     
  3. Achieving Results
  4. Serving the Customer
  5. Teamwork
  6. Interpersonal and Communication Skills
  7. Leadership and Personal Effectiveness

The above competencies may be applied to employees throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.  They can be rank-ordered by agencies and hiring managers to represent the needs of a specific job.  The rank ordering will change depending upon the occupation, an organization's priorities, the actual job requirements, and the supervisor's preferences. 

Career success is both about what you do (applying your technical knowledge, skills, and ability) and how you do it (the consistent behaviors you demonstrate and choose to use) while interacting and communicating with others.  Hopefully, by studying the Commonwealth competencies, identifying your developmental opportunities, and working to refine your own competence, you can take charge of your career!

For additional information about the Commonwealth Competencies go to: http://jobs.state.va.us/cc_planningctr.htm.  For the competencies, we first list the competencies and then define each.  Finally, we list competency indicators; to describe what successful performance looks like. 

COMMONWEALTH CAREER PATH

Career opportunities in the Commonwealth are not limited to moving “up” to the next highest role and pay band, changing positions, or to becoming a supervisor.  That's because most roles describe a broad group of occupationally related positions that perform a range of work that requires increased knowledge and skills.  For that reason, Commonwealth roles describe the career paths within the same or higher-level role for the same or different Career Group.  The broad salary range and the Commonwealth's pay practices provide flexibility in recognizing career development and advancement. (Salary Structure)

For example:

PAY BAND

PRACTITIONER ROLES

     

2

Direct Service Associate II

     

3

Direct Service Associate III

     
         

Sample Career Path

Direct Service Associate II

The Direct Service Associate II role provides career tracks for health care support technicians such as nursing assistants who perform health care support responsibilities ranging from entry-level to journey-level.

Direct Service Associate III

The Direct Service Associate III role provides career tracks for health care support specialists that are either service delivery experts or supervisors. As service delivery experts, employees provide or lead specialized services that support the work of interdisciplinary treatment teams, licensed clinical staff, and professional counselors. As supervisors, employees supervise other Direct Service Workers, develop staff schedules, evaluate staff performance, serve as members of interdisciplinary treatment teams, make minor changes in treatment and program plans, write reports, make oral presentations, and review client records for appropriate documentation.

ADDITIONAL OCCUPATIONAL INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT: 

O*NET (Occupational Information Network) 

http://online.onetcenter.org/

Virginia Employment Commission 

http://www.alex.vec.state.va.us/

Career One Stop

  http://www.careeronestop.org/

Virginia Career Resource Network 

http://www.vacrn.net/

National Network of Career Nursing Assistants

http://www.cna-network.org/

National Association for Home Care

http://www.nahc.org/