How to Become a Nursing Assistant

Nursing assistants play a vital role in health care. If you are wanting a career that’s as rewarding as it is challenging, then furthering your studies to become a nursing assistant might be the right path to follow.

Assistant nurses are also known as nurse aids, home health aids, personal caregivers and patient care technicians. While there are a range of different titles, the basic job description for each is the same.

You’ll find nursing assistants working in health care at a range of different facilities including at hospitals, nursing homes and in patients’ homes as well.

Becoming a nursing assistant

Like any job, there are special requirements you must meet. First of all, you need to have the right training to become a qualified nursing assistant.

There are a number of educational facilities that offer courses for Nursing Assistant Training. Generally these courses will run for approximately 6 to 12 weeks, or some can go for as long as 31 weeks, depending on the level of learning, what’s covered and whether you are studying full time or part time. Nursing assistants do not perform any medical procedures, so therefore the training is less medically intensive.

Your training will cover units like physiology, anatomy, nutrition, safety and the important basic techniques for checking vital signs. Depending on where you attend your training, you will also learn about things like important communication skills, first aid and the age-specific needs of patients.

Hands on experience is an important part of most certified assistant nursing courses.

Different types of certified nursing assistant training

Apart from the basic training required to work in a range of different environments, there is also specialised training you can do if you wish to work in a specific type of environment. For example, if you want to work in a hospital in a department where patients require short stays, you will want to take a course in assistant nursing in an acute care environment.

Do I need to have any prior training?

No. There are no educational requirements for entry into many nursing assistant courses.

Take your time and do some research into the different courses available. The main thing to remember is to ensure the course you choose is recognised by the medical institutions you may be working for in the near future.

Learn more about becoming a nursing assistant, with a course from the International Career Institute.

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Gladys Mae


Gladys Mae serves as the General Manager and Head of Student Services at the International Career Institute. Gladys holds a degree in Mass Communication - Broadcast Media from the University of San Jose-Recoletos. She joined ICI in 2010 and has over the past 12 years been instrumental in providing leadership and guidance to staff and students alike. Prior to joining ICI Gladys led a multifaceted career with key roles in the banking and business process outsourcing industries.