According to the U.S. Department of Labor, home health aides - such as those who work in nurses aide jobs - will be the most rapidly growing careers in the country for at least the next six to ten years. Those who are selfless, are strongly empathetic and compassionate, and find satisfaction in the work itself will do well at nurses aide jobs.
Nurses aide training is perhaps the fastest way to enter the work force for those just entering, or those who have just graduated from high school. Typically, jobs for nurses aides require 75 hours of classroom and practical training, which is done under the supervision of a registered nurse. Such a nurses aide education prepares the candidate to pass a federally-mandated competency test that cover areas such as communication skills, basic emergency procedures, physical, emotional and psychological characteristics of patients as well as principles of nutrition and hygiene.
Because of the entry-level nature of jobs for nurses aides, there are few formal nurses aide schools, although such classes may be offered through two-year colleges and even online. Nurses aide education may also be available through high schools as well as prospective employers. Nurses aide training includes lectures, workshop and in-service courses; such training may last anywhere from a few weeks to several months.
There were some two million people employed in nurses aide jobs as of 2004. Nearly 70% of these workers were employed in nursing care facilities and hospitals. Others found employment in psychiatric wards, substance abuse treatment clinics and outpatient care facilities.
Jobs for nurses aides will become quite abundant in part because the pay is low and the physical and emotional demands are high - factors which lead to a great deal of turnover. However, nurses aids careers provide excellent opportunities to see first-hand what is involved in nursing. Such experience can be very helpful for those who are considering moving on to an RN program.
Nurses aide jobs pay generally begins around $7.50 per hour; in some regions of the country, experienced nurses aides make up to $14.50 per hour. Such jobs offer at least one week of paid vacation after a year, as well as paid holidays, sick leave, health insurance and extra pay for some workers in major hospitals, as well as pension plans.
Again, jobs for nurses aides are not for everyone. However, nurses aide jobs do provide valuable paid experience for anyone who is considering becoming a registered nurse or entering a more advanced health care field.