Nursing Assistant, Home Health Aide or Home Care Aide

What do Nursing Assistants do?

Nurse aides and home health aides help nurses and other members of the health care team provide patient care. Nurse aides usually work in hospitals, nursing homes and long-term facilities under the supervision of licensed health care professionals. They also may work in private homes or psychiatric care settings.

What do Home Health Aides do?

Home health aides/home care aides provide in-home services for those unable to care for themselves or who require assistance with daily living activities.

What might a Nursing Assistant do in a workday?

Nursing assistant:

  • take and record patients’ temperature, blood pressure, pulse, respiration and weight.
  • set up medical equipment and perform simple treatments.
  • assist patients in and out of bed.
  • move patients to and from treatment rooms.
  • assist with or provide bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting and other hygiene needs.
  • serve meals and feed patients as required.
  • make beds and perform other housekeeping activities to maintain cleanliness in patients’ rooms, nurseries and operating rooms.
  • assist patients with walking and exercises.

What might a Home Health Aide do in a workday?

Specific duties may include:

  • taking and recording patients’ temperature, blood pressure, pulse, respiration and weight.
  • assisting with administering medications.
  • changing simple, non-sterile dressings/bandages.
  • assisting with or providing bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting and other hygiene needs.
  • helping patients in and out of bed.
  • purchasing food and preparing and serving special diets to patients and families.
  • preparing and serving light meals and assisting or providing feeding.
  • performing housekeeping activities to maintain a healthy home environment.
  • assisting with walking and exercises.

How much salary do Nursing Assistants and Home Health Aides make?

Annual Mean Wage

How do I become a Nursing Assistants or Home Health Aide?

Students intending to pursue a career as a nurse aide should prepare by taking high school courses in math, English and science. Nursing assistants must complete an approved program and complete a national certification examination to receive the designation “Certified Nurse Aide.”

Home health aides or home care aides also may be required to complete a training program or pass a skills competency test. State requirements can vary for the home care aide. Many states require workers to be Certified Nurse Aides with additional training to work in the home setting. Home health aides or home care aides may be required to have a driver’s license and transportation.

Where else do I learn about becoming a Nurse Aide or Home Health Aide?

Professional Associations:

National Network of Career Nursing Assistants
3577 Easton Road
Norton, OH 44203

(330) 825-9342

National Association for Home Care and Hospice
228 7th Street S.E.
Washington, DC 20003

(202) 547-7424

National Association of Health Care Assistants
501 E. 15th Street
Joplin, MO 64804

(800) 784-6049

State Licensure Requirements for Nurse Aides

A license is required to practice as a nurse aide in the state of Virginia. For more information on licensure, applications and forms, visit www.dhp.virginia.gov/nursing.

Virginia Board of Nursing
Perimeter Center
9960 Mayland Drive
Suite 300
Henrico, VA 23233

Phone: (804) 367-4515
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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