HealthEd

10 Important Reasons to Become a Nursing Assistant

Osmosis Team
Published on Nov 9, 2020. Updated on Nov 6, 2020.

Do you know you want to work in medical care, but are unsure of which path to take? There are many encouraging reasons to become a Nursing Assistant.

The Nursing Assistant Career path is a popular one for people who want to get to work in a short time frame. But that doesn’t mean that the role is only menial or boring! Becoming a Nursing Assistant can be a great first step in a meaningful medical career.

As a Nursing Assistant, you would report directly to a nurse. You may help with client intake procedures and gather and record information on client conditions. In addition, you could help the nurse coordinate with other medical team members including doctors, pharmacists, and other specialists.

Why Become a Nursing Assistant?

You’re looking for a career in health professions, but there are so many different jobs. Nursing Assistants play a vital role on medical care teams. The job has high satisfaction ratings and a relatively low barrier to entry. Let’s take a look at just some of the reasons to pursue this field.

1. Nursing Assistants are in high demand

The job market for Nursing Assistants has historically been strong, and the profession is projected to grow by more than 9% over the next eight years, which is much higher than the average rate of job growth. This kind of job stability offers a lot of comfort during these uncertain economic times. With baby boomers across the US aging into retirement and beyond, thousands of people will be looking for the type of care provided by a Nursing Assistant. While the job market specifics will depend on the area you want to live in, the overall market demand for Nursing Assistants remains high across the board.

2. You can become a Nursing Assistant within three months

The training programs for Nursing Assistants range between 12 and 16 weeks. Compared with years spent studying to become a practicing nurse, that is a low time investment which will get you the skills you need to enter the workforce. That said, many people do start as a Nursing Assistant and continue studying for more advanced nursing roles while they work. 

Starting as a Nursing Assistant is a great way to “audition” a career to see if it’s right for you and earn a paycheck at the same time!

3. Gain transferable skills to grow your career

There are certain skills particular to nursing, and working as a Nursing Assistant will definitely help you train your expertise and expand into more advanced nursing practice, if that is of interest to you. You’ll have a chance to learn through hands-on experience, giving you a solid foundation if you decide to study for a nursing degree. In addition, certain skills are transferable across a range of industries. 

Organization, attention to detail, and extra-special customer service care are three things that most employers look for, regardless of industry. Nursing Assistant training will provide opportunities to hone all of these skills and more.

Osmosis illustration indicating the transferable skills for Nursing Assistants.

4. Avoid costly student loans

Nursing Assistant training programs cost a mere fraction of what it costs to obtain your bachelor’s degree. The average price tag for a Nursing Assistant course is around $1300, plus an exam and registration fee of about $125 and $50 respectively (those costs also depend on your geographic location.) With student debt becoming a major crisis in the United States, starting out on your career with a low amount of debt will give you an extra step ahead.

5. Build meaningful professional relationships

As a Nursing Assistant, you will report directly to a nurse, but you will have the opportunity to work with medical professionals across the range of disciplines, including doctors, office staff, and care coordinators. You’ll have a chance to build working relationships with many people, including connecting with patients who you interact with frequently. 

6. Nursing Assistants work directly with clients

If you’re looking for a job that makes a real impact on peoples’ lives, the Nursing Assistant role might be the right fit for you. You will get to spend time one-on-one with clients, helping to gather information on client conditions and listening to them as they describe the reasons they need care. Nursing Assistants interact directly with clients, helping to provide care as part of the medical team.

7. The job is different each day

With all the different places a Nursing Assistant might work, you’ll get to choose an environment that works for you. Whether it’s a hospital setting, a doctor’s office, or a long-term care facility, Nursing Assistants are in demand. 

In addition, most of these settings offer the chance to see new patients each day—which brings new experiences and problems to solve. The Nursing Assistant’s job is varied and high-paced; you’ll never be bored in this job!

Osmosis illustration demonstrating a Nursing Assistant's impact on a client's life.

8. Work satisfaction is high

In addition to enjoying meaningful work and important professional relationships, the Nursing Assistant role offers competitive pay and benefits. 

The Nursing Assistant salary has a median of $29,660 and that continues to rise. Most positions offer health and life insurance as well as retirement support, and many provide tuition reimbursement, especially for nursing-related courses. This is a great way to work towards your next degree with low debt!

9. Enjoy work and life flexibility

As with nursing, the Nursing Assistant works on a shift basis. This means you can find a job with a schedule that works for you. 

Whether you’re a night owl, or would prefer starting work later in the day, or you want that early-morning shift, there is a Nursing Assistant position that fits. This kind of job flexibility is worth a lot. Also, if you’re interested in living in other places, there are contract Nursing Assistant positions all over the nation. You can work for a few months and enjoy new sights or eventually find the place where you want to settle down. 

10. The work is challenging, and emotionally rewarding

As we mentioned, a day in the life of a Nursing Assistant will include many differing experiences and duties. Some of these, like assisting clients in long term care facilities with mobility issues, may be physically demanding. Others may include organization of supplies, feeding clients or helping them bathe, or reporting on a client's condition. You’ll have chances to directly impact the care that a client receives, which can be both challenging and rewarding. Especially during the pandemic, nursing work is more needed than ever.

Nursing Assistants are a vital part of the medical team

There are many more reasons to consider starting on the path to become a Nursing Assistant. The Nursing Assistant training, job flexibility, and high job satisfaction are just the beginning considerations to a very rewarding career. The pandemic has brought new importance to the role that nurses and Nursing Assistants play in helping patients achieve successful outcomes. 

If you’re looking for a rewarding role that will help you enter the workforce quickly, the Nursing Assistant career might be perfect for you!

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