Nursing Education
Nursing Education Opportunities in Mississippi - 2006  <more..>
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Nursing Assistant    
Nursing assistants, sometimes called nurse aides, orderlies, and geriatric aides, assist in the care of patients. They work under the direction and supervision of registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and other medical staff. Nursing assistants have a great deal of contact with patients and provide personal care such as bathing, feeding, and dressing. They also perform support functions such as transporting patients, taking vital signs, making beds, helping patients become ambulatory, and answering patient calls. They might also be called upon to set up equipment such as X-ray machines and overhead irrigation bottles. Nursing assistants are often responsible for observing and reporting how patients respond to the care that is being given. Nursing assistants employed in nursing homes are called geriatric aides. These nurses have far more contact with residents than any of the other staff, and are therefore expected to develop ongoing relationships with the patients and treat them in a positive, caring way. To be a successful nursing assistant, an individual must be a team player who is able to take orders well. They must also be emotionally stable and have a great deal of patience.

Work Environment:

Nursing assistants work in a variety of different health care settings. These include hospitals, physician's offices, home health agencies, nursing homes, private homes, and mental health institutions. They are on their feet most of the time and may be required to lift and move patients, so physical fitness is a plus.

High School Preparation:

Students interested in becoming a nurse assistant should take courses in dental/medical assisting, algebra, computer skills, English, history, biology, nurse aide training, and health occupations/medical professions education.

College Requirements:

Most employers require a high school diploma or the equivalent. Training is offered in a variety of settings, which may include high schools, vocational schools, community colleges, geriatric facilities, and employers. These courses usually last six to eight weeks at which time students can take an exam given by the Mississippi Department of Health to become a Certified Nurses Assistant (CNA).

Students interested in becoming a nursing assistant should contact schools for information on admission and course of study.

For educational institutions in Mississippi
offering this course of study click here.

Career Outlook:

Job prospects for nursing assistants looks very good for the near future. There is an expected 21%-35% growth in the job market over the next decade. This exceptional growth is attributed to the rapidly growing older population that will demand more emphasis on rehabilitation and long term care. As a result, a major employer in this sector will be nursing homes and long term care facilities for people with chronic illnesses and disabling conditions. Replacing current employees will be the major source of openings for nursing assistants.



Average Annual Salary

Salary Range

Professional Organizations:

American Hospital Association
840 North Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: (312) 422-3000

Mississippi Hospital Association
Division of Nursing
PO Box 16444
Jackson, MS 39216-6444
Phone: (601) 982-3251


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