Nursing Assistant Salary: Facts And Figures
If you are working as a nursing assistant, your job is to provide patient care in hospitals, clinics, and other medical facilities. But unlike registered nurses, nursing assistants are more directly involved with each patient, and usually does more of the dirty work. A nursing assistant is pretty much “patient-oriented”, helping patients get in and out of the bed, helping with the feeding, bathing, grooming, and dressing of patients. And even though being a nursing assistant isn’t the most talked about career in the medical field, more and more people are thinking about becoming one. Among the topic most asked about in this field is, of course, the nursing assistant salary.
Certified nursing assistants are employed not only in hospitals and clinics, but also in many other medical facilities, such as nursing homes, long-term care facilities, and geriatric facilities. In the United States, nursing assistants account for around 1.5 million jobs, with a job growth rate of at least 21% in the next 5 to 10 years. And even with that number, reliable sources show that there are still approximately 500,000 job openings to be filled. This can be attributed mainly to the growing population of the elderly and people who are in need of long-term patient care.
Since a certified nursing assistant is generally regarded as an entry level position, this job is statistically receiving the lowest salary range within the field of nursing. Don’t let this discourage you though – with enough working experience and hard work, you can also be qualified to receive training for an advanced nursing career. Mind you, there are many successful registered nurses right now who have started their career as a nursing assistant, so don’t let the salary figures hinder your plans of becoming a nursing assistant. With all the work a nursing assistant is involved in, this may be one of the best stepping stones to becoming a full-pledged registered nurse.
Nursing assistant salary will, of course, vary depending on many factors, the most common being the state and establishment you are working in, the number of hours and shifts you work, and years of experience. Work experience is a major determining factor when it comes to nursing assistant salary (e.g. a nursing assistant who has 10 years of experience is likely to receive higher pay as compared to another who has just started his nursing assistant career). Although certification is not always required for employment, nursing assistants who have been properly certified generally have a better salary range as compared to those who are not.
According to the data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) from the year 2008, the average nursing assistant salary was $11.46 per hour. The salary for the middle 50 percent was between $9.71 and $13.76 per hour, while the lowest and highest 10 percent recorded earnings of less than $8.34 and more than $15.97 respectively. Employment services and general medical/surgical hospitals were among the highest paying industries for nursing assistants, with an average hourly salary range of $12.10 and $12.05 respectively. Those working in nursing care facilities earned an average of $11.13 per hour, while those employed in geriatric facilities and home health care services earned an average of $10.91 and $10.58 per hour.