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Nurse Aide

Career Overview: Nursing Aide/Home Health Care Aide

Nursing aides are also known as nursing assistants, hospital attendants and other similar terms. The job entails performing basic nursing duties under the supervision of nursing and other medical staff. Tasks include taking care of basic patient needs such as bathing, feeding, dressing and assistance in moving. A nursing aide will generally keep a hospital or nursing home room orderly, changing bed linens and removing meal trays.

Many nursing aides are employed in nursing homes today and perform as principal care givers, doling out medication and keeping any records that are required. The aging of out population has driven the need for nursing aides in geriatric service environments.

Required Education

There are few formal educational requirements for nursing aides. Training for the position is offered in high schools, vocational-technical centers and some community colleges. As the importance of nursing home care and home health care grows, however, formal training is becoming more widespread. Home health care aides must be licensed in some states and must pass a competency test require by the federal government if they are administering to patients covered by Medicare.


Nursing aides held 1.4 million jobs in 2007 while home health aides held about 780,000. Over half of the nursing aides worked in nursing homes. Home health aides work primarily for public agencies or private firms that contract to provide home health care services.

Job Growth

There is a growing need for nursing aides and home health care aides due to the growing number of elderly in our population. Significant numbers of people also leave the industry, opening up new positions for incoming personnel.

Salary Range

Lowest 10%  $8.10  $16,850
Median Salary  $11.14  $23,160
Highest 10%  $15.52  $32,270

Source: U.S. Labor Department

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