Frequently Asked Questions about a Nursing Assistant Career | Harris Casel Institute Melbourne FL
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Frequently Asked Questions about a Nursing Assistant Career

nursing assistant careerFind out if training in this healthcare profession could be the right path for you

If you’re thinking about a career as a nursing assistant, you’re probably curious about the training and daily work environment of this job. Nursing assistants are entry-level professionals who help take care of patients’ basic needs—and can also have a direct and positive impact on those patients’ lives. The training can take less than two months, which is a big advantage for those who want to be on the fast track to the job market.

To help you decide if this profession would be a good fit for you, we’ve provided answers to some of the questions that people commonly ask us about our program:

What responsibilities do nursing assistants have?
As a nursing assistant, much of your time will be spent interacting with and caring for patients. This role helps with a range of important tasks, from personal hygiene, helping patients to eat, and changing bed sheets to helping with mobility. As a critical member of a patient’s healthcare team, you could also take vital signs and assist with medical procedures. You work alongside nurses and physicians, and will need to inform other members of the medical staff about any issues that your patients might be facing.

Where do nursing assistants work?
Most nursing assistants work in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data from 2014, 41% of nursing assistants worked in nursing care facilities, with the next largest group of nursing assistants working in hospitals (25%). Other people in this profession work in continuing care retirement communities, assisted living facilities, and home healthcare services.

How long does it take to become a nursing assistant?
The length of time it takes to train depends on the individual program. With an accelerated program like the one at the Harris Casel Institute, you can complete your classes in about six weeks. That’s a relatively short investment of time to gain marketable skills in a new career field.

What subjects are necessary to study to become a nursing assistant?
The Harris Casel Instutute’s program includes both conceptual and practical learning. You’ll study concepts including anatomy, physiology, infectious diseases, and blood-borne pathogens. You’ll learn about strategies for proper care for patients who have cognitive impairment. You’ll do hands-on coursework under the supervision of trained nurses and medical staff, and then take part in a 40-hour externship, where you’ll gain “real-world” experience. We also teach skills to help you when you’re ready to start looking for a job, such as how to prepare a resume.

What is the career outlook for nursing assistants?
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, “Employment of nursing assistants and orderlies is projected to grow 17 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.” Many people are attracted to the profession for this reason.

How do I get started?
Applying to the Harris Casel Institute is easy! To begin the application process, all you need is a high school diploma (or the equivalent). Contact us for more information about applying.

Working as a nursing assistant can be a great career choice if you love working with people and have a passion for healthcare. We hope that this overview has been helpful, and we look forward to helping you on your path towards a meaningful new career. Best of luck!


This article is part of the Harris Casel Institute’s weekly blog. We conveniently offer many career training programs at our campus in Melbourne, FL. Contact us online for more info!