Nursing assistants are a critical part of medical offices, who deliver high-quality care to patients of all backgrounds while ensuring their safety and promoting satisfaction with facility services. They perform under licensed nurse supervision and establish a special connection with residents through empathy and relationship-building techniques. If you’re looking to become one or apply for a job as one, you need the correct resume to secure a position. The experts at Resume Now have created a quick guide to assist you with tips that can be a stepping stone to your future nursing career.
To help you start applying, below are three examples of resume formats. Choose the best one for you.
See What People are Saying About Us
Job Duties of a Nursing Assistant
Nursing Assistants work with patients of all ages and backgrounds. This career requires long hours of work and has many responsibilities to perform. The primary role of a nursing assistant is to meet the basic needs of the patients, such as dressing, feeding, toilet assistance, catheter care, bathing, and skincare. Although, it depends upon the medical status, the environment in which you work, and the type of care you’re authorized to offer. With their assistance, they can help a unit at public or private hospitals or clinics run smoothly.
Take a closer look at the duties of a Nursing Assistant:
Providing care by administering surgical prep, ice packs, non-sterile dressings, and douches.
Preparing personal medical documents by keeping track of records, logs, reports, and forms physically and digitally.
Doing housekeeping activities like cleaning rooms, changing bed linens, and replacing trash bins.
Maintaining patient stability and obtaining patient vital signs like temperature and blood pressure throughout the day.
Listening and recording patient concerns and reporting to registered nurses on a timely basis.
Ensuring sufficient supplies are available for everyday patient needs.
Protecting hospital communities by complying with local, state, and federal health, security, and legal standards, policies and procedures.
Maintaining coordination with food supply personnel to ensure all patients get correct and hygienic meals.
Arranging medical equipment and assisting with simple medical procedures, such as surgeries.
Preparing medical rooms for admissions.
Transporting patients to and from treatment rooms.
Nursing Assistant Median Salaries
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, a nursing assistant’s median annual salary is $29,640 as of May 2019. The compensation of nursing assistants varies by years of experience and training.
Top Skills for Nursing Assistants
To be a Nursing Assistant, you should possess critical skills and knowledge such as compassion, critical thinking, problem-solving, bedside manners, and a background in medicine to make sure that the patients will be assisted adequately and receive high-quality care. Knowing the skills you need for a nursing assistant role will help you obtain relevant qualifications for the position.
Below, we have chosen some critical [qualifications] that are beneficial for this exciting and challenging career:
Knowledge of medical terminology, anatomy, and physiologyHealthcare professionals use medical vocabulary throughout the patient care journey. This terminology is used to describe the condition of patients and the treatment they have to undergo. As a nursing assistant, you should have a strong command over medical terminology to work seamlessly with one another, diagnose conditions and ailments, and understand the instructions to treat patients. Along with this, anatomy and physiology are equally important as they assist in determining the proper treatment for each patient and their specific symptoms to derive an appropriate decision and provide quality care. To understand medical terminology, physiology, and anatomy, you can take a Medical Terminology Course or work under expert doctors.
Competence in specimen collectionsNursing assistants play a significant role in specimen collection. With patients' specimens, healthcare professionals can quickly identify pathogens and analyze urine, feces, sputum, and blood. The samples should be appropriately collected and labeled, and sent to laboratories for further assessment. Also, the Nursing Assistants should be aware of several other details of the process, such as sterilized, leak-proof storage, and the best possible time to collect, such as early morning. You can quickly learn about aseptic techniques to collect specimens either by undertaking specimen collection training or through the help of experienced certified nursing assistants in the healthcare setting.
Vital signs monitoringVital signs can indicate illness, disease, and other health issues. Acute symptoms such as respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, pulse, and temperature are promptly detected by nursing assistants to avert deterioration of the patient’s health and enable clinicians to limit problems. Instruments to tell vital signs, you need to know how to use thermometers, pulse oximeters, stethoscopes, blood pressure, and heart rate monitors. They can be mastered through practical experience or study.
Empathic approachOne of the most important “soft skills” expected from nursing assistants is a person with an empathic approach. They should have the ability to care, be polite, and kind towards patients during some of the most challenging and vulnerable moments in their lives. Creating a safe and healing environment for the patient is crucial. A Science Daily survey in 2019 found that 65% of patient satisfaction was attributed to physician empathy.
CommunicationPrecise communication is necessary for all nursing assistants, whether you communicate with other health care professionals, such as doctors and nurses or patients in care. Sometimes Nursing Assistants need to communicate verbally or by writing, making both verbal and written communication skills essential. For example, patients often request nursing assistants to relay messages to nurses or doctors.
Expertise in documentation proceduresNursing assistants should be experts in maintaining accurate patient records and reflecting nursing assessments and changes in their clinical state. The nursing assistant should maintain an electronic record by gaining knowledge of clinical documentation software such as RXNT, Kareo, and MEDHOST EDIS. These documentation tools help capture every aspect of a patient from admission to discharge, helping avoid ambiguity and data errors and contributing to the circulation of information among different medical teams.
Patient personal careEnsuring the proper personal care is essential for nursing assistants. They should ensure that their patients enjoy good hygiene and constantly monitor patients' vital status. The skills that come under personal care include bathing patients, oral care, properly removing, replacing, and attaching catheters, monitoring and preventing pressure sores, and providing support to patients with special needs such as diabetes. You can depend on these skills by regularly practicing under a registered nurse.
Educational Requirements for Nursing Assistants
High school or equivalent diplomaThe nursing assistant profession doesn't require a college degree or even college experience, but having one will help you get a job, especially if you want to use this profession as a step into the medical field. Assistants should have a high school diploma or GED at a minimum and, to get hired, need nursing assistant training. Nursing assistants can undertake these programs from trade schools, community colleges, and medical facilities.
Before enrolling, prospective CNAs should ensure these programs are approved by their state's nursing boards and by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
Once you complete your training program, you will be eligible to go for the state’s nursing assistant certification exam. Each state has different requirements regarding nursing assistant training and certifications. After clearing this certification exam, the student's name is added to the state's nursing registry and is prepared to take up employment.
For example, these are the requirements for the Washington State Department of Health:
- Eighty-five hours of training in a state-approved CNA program.
- Passing score achieved in the competency exam; some states require you to reach 70 to 75% while others may require you to complete a statement giving valid proof of physical and mental stability.
Certification and trainingIf you have a high school diploma, people looking to get a job in this field need to enroll in a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program. These certifications can be received at medical facilities, vocational schools, or community colleges with a nursing concentration. However, as mentioned above, they should be state-approved. These certifications demonstrate your leadership and on-site experience to deliver good quality care to patients.
- Member Associations:The Global Association for Quality Management offers certification for nursing assistants which includes 15-20 hours of training. This course educates you with procedures and techniques applied during your physical assessment, specimen collection, and other aspects.
- Universities and community colleges:Various universities and community colleges such as NorthCentral Technical College, Northeast Lakeview College, Seattle Central College, Central New Mexico Community College, Normandale Community College, and Massbay Community College offer nursing assistant programs
All these colleges have nurse assistant certificates to gain knowledge and skills for a professional career within 6-16 weeks. The primary focus of these programs is educating the professionals on providing personal care to residents or patients of nursing homes, hospitals, and other health agencies and adapting to various requirements such as understanding medical terminology, personal care skills, and infection control procedures.
- Nonprofit or voluntary organizations:Various nonprofit organizations offer certifications to nursing assistants. JVS Boston, oldest and largest provider of adult education and workforce development services, is providing a Nurse Aide Training Program where you receive two options of 6 -week training and 12 weeks training with specific training requirements. This training program will equip students with basic knowledge of medical terminology, anatomy, healthcare customer service and much more.
Red Cross is another organization offering Nursing Assistant Training which will be for 4-8 weeks. Nurse instructors will teach them professional experience delivering an engaging curriculum to meet state and federal education regulations.
Nursing Assistant Resume-Writing Tips
The nursing assistant profession is all about caring for and serving the patients. Therefore the resume should talk extensively about your talents, experience, and job responsibilities.
By using the below-listed tips, you can quickly grab the recruiters' attention.
Demonstrate your hands-on experience through an objective summary.A well-considered, two-to-three sentence statement will make your resume shine. You can show off work experience, unique abilities, and expertise in health care. You can also use it to highlight your specific accomplishments. But how will you express this in the best way in a summary sentence? You can do it by focusing on any awards you received, providing excellent personal care at the emergency ward. This quick and specific summary will tell the recruiter how you can contribute to their success.
Highlight your clinical experience and patient-care skills.This section must extensively highlight your interpersonal skills, clinical experience, and language proficiency. We recommend you to go through the job duties on the application of notice carefully and then include only those skills that are relevant to your candidacy.
Since there will be several candidates like you who have held similar positions or would have performed similar roles, focus more on your accomplishments and write them out in bullet points, all while keeping the below tips in mind:
- List your credentials in chronological order: Both your clinical experience and work experience should be listed in reverse chronological order with the most recent job position in the first place.
- Make use of action verbs: Every time you begin your statement, use action verbs. Action verbs showcase your performance. For example, “assisted the doctor” is not as strong as “Provided dynamic assistance for in-demand heart surgeons.”
- Quantify your statements: Always try to quantify statements about your job by using numbers, percentages, scores, and even frequencies of task creation. Why do this? Because hard facts are hard to argue with (though you have to make sure they are indeed facts.)
Here are some examples of statements with quantifying figures:
- “Delivered direct patient care to 15 pediatric patients ranging from 2-11 years old.”
- “Averaged 20 patient calls per shift, efficiently managing communication in labor ward.”
Add your nursing certifications.You must always include certifications. By going through your education and certifications, the recruiters will understand that you have cleared all the necessary exams to show your clinical and practical knowledge. The recruiters gain confidence in your candidacy when you have the proper knowledge they need in critical clinical environments. For example, add your Nutrient Basics and Patient Feeding Certification to demonstrate your understanding of food and nutrition to be served to patients.
How is a nursing assistant different from a medical nurse (MN) and a licensed practical nurse (LPN)?
While nursing assistants and medical nurses are similar, they still have different responsibilities. Nursing assistants are involved in direct patient care, whereas medical nurse job responsibilities comprise patient assessment and assisting doctors with patient care and treatment. And whereas licensed practical nurses are responsible for primary nursing care and the patients’ comfort, requiring a license and passing a state-mandated exam, nursing assistants obtain certifications to practice. There are other tasks LPNs perform that a nursing assistant can’t, such as inserting peripheral intravenous catheters.
How do you become a nursing assistant?
It would be best if you enrolled in a state-approved nursing training program after completing your high school diploma. During training programs, you briefly undergo on-the-job training under the supervision of a nurse to gain practical knowledge. This training is available in any medical setting or trade school. After completing said training, you have to pass a certification competency exam. Once the certification exam is cleared, you are certified and listed on the state registry at your location, and then — yes! — you are set to apply for jobs.
Is a nursing assistant a rewarding career?
Yes, being a nursing assistant is a great job. According to Forbes, nursing assistant jobs had the highest wage growth, by 11%, in the past year. The U.S. government anticipates a 17% growth from 2014 to 2024. But since most nursing assistants do this job out of a sense of service, it's also essential to know they are happy to do it daily.