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Nursing Aide Training
Nursing aides and attendants must earn a postsecondary certificate or award, in which they learn the basic principles of nursing and complete supervised clinical work. These programs are found in community colleges, vocational and technical schools, and in hospitals and nursing homes. Some high schools offer nursing aide programs.
Orderlies typically have at least a high school diploma. Orderlies who are not involved in patient care may be trained on the job.
When they finish their state-required education, nursing aides and attendants take a competency exam. Passing this exam allows them to use state-specific titles. In some states, a nursing aide or attendant is called a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), but titles vary from state to state.
Nursing aides and attendants who have passed the exam are placed on a state registry. In many states, nursing aides and attendants must be on the state registry to work in a nursing home.
Some states have other requirements as well, such as continuing education and a criminal background check. Check with your state’s board of nursing or health, for more information.
In some states, nursing aides and attendants can get additional credentials beyond a CNA, such as becoming a Certified Medication Assistant (CMA). As a CMA, they can give medications.
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition
for State specific information, visit JOB OUTLOOK BY STATE
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