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Nursing Assistant Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Nursing Assistant, or Healthcare Assistant, provides basic care for patients, whether in a hospital, clinic, or long-term healthcare facility. Their duties include following and administering prescribed medications to patients, monitoring their vital signs, and assisting them with day-to-day functioning and activities.

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Nursing Assistant duties and responsibilities

A Nursing Assistant provides assistance and care to patients. Primary duties and responsibilities of a Nursing Assistant can include:

  • Responding to patient calls immediately
  • Alerting medical staff in case of a complicated case or an emergency
  • Maintaining the health and well-being of a patient
  • Providing physical and emotional support to patients
  • Preparing them for physical examinations, laboratory tests, and medical visits
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Nursing Assistant Job Description Examples:

What does a Nursing Assistant do?

A Nursing Assistant takes care of patients receiving treatment for a chronic or acute medical condition. These include patients admitted to a hospital, whether in an emergency, intensive care unit or a general ward, retirement home or a nursing home. Nursing Assistants help patients with what they need, serve them meals, monitor their vital statistics, and dispense their medication. A Nursing Assistant may also be required to help patients if they have mobility issues. In addition, a Nursing Assistant has to communicate with the patient’s family and Caregivers to update them on a patient’s condition.

Nursing Assistant skills and qualifications

A Nursing Assistant is expected to provide high-quality care to patients. Some examples of a Nursing Assistant’s skills and qualifications include: 

  • Attention to detail
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Ability to follow directions
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and camaraderie with coworkers
  • Ability to work long hours and flexible shifts
  • Ability to provide support to patients in need

Nursing Assistant experience requirements

The position of a Nursing Assistant is generally an entry-level job, and that is why there is often no specific requirement of previous experience. Most candidates who graduate from nursing programs are expected to complete in-person training, so they have experience of providing patient care.

However, there are some healthcare settings that deal with a patient population requiring more vigilant care. This could be critical care patients, or patients with complicated mental health issues. Such facilities may require Nursing Assistants to have some experience. In the majority of healthcare organizations, Nursing Assistants receive on-the-job training from a variety of more senior Nurses. However, Nursing Assistants should have excellent clinical knowledge, and be well-versed with different medical conditions and commonly prescribed drugs and their dosing schedules.

Nursing Assistant education and training requirements

Any applicant interested in the position of a Nursing Assistant is expected to have a high school diploma or equivalent. However, an associate degree or other related post-secondary education may be preferred. In addition, all Nursing Assistants must have a valid license to practice nursing from the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA).

Nursing Assistant salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Nursing Assistant is $18.73 per hour in Canada. This may vary depending on the candidate’s level of experience, the location of the job, and the type of healthcare facility they will work for.

Job description samples for similar positions

If a Nursing Assistant is not quite what you’re looking for, a few other job description samples that may fit your needs include:

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Nursing Assistant job description FAQs

What qualities make a good Nursing Assistant?

A Nursing Assistant is a healthcare professional who interacts with patients and their families. One of the most important qualities of a good Nursing Assistant is to ensure they provide high-quality care to the patient as reflected in their professional methods of treatment. They also should exemplify traits of patience and tolerance. A Nursing Assistant is also well-versed with medical dosing protocols and common treatment strategies, and has the ability to measure patient vital signs and monitor their progress.

Who does a Nursing Assistant report to?

A Nursing Assistant most often reports to the Registered Nurse (RN) and is expected to follow all care instructions provided by RNs and Doctors. However, since most Nursing Assistants receive on-the-job training from RNs, they are expected to work with minimal supervision after this training is complete. They must work independently and react accordingly to varying situations posed by their patients.

Job Description Examples

Need help writing a job description for a specific role? Use these job description examples to create your next great job posting. Or if you’re ready to hire, post your job on Indeed.

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