How to become a Nursing assistant

Overview, Courses, Exam, Colleges, Pathways, Salary

Medicine & Allied Healthcare


Who is Nursing assistant ?

Nursing Assistants, at times called Nursing Aides, Patient Care Assistant (PCA), or Certified Nursing Assistants (CNS), assist in providing basic, intimate, hands-on patient healthcare in hospitals and long-term care residency facilities, such as nursing homes, under the supervision of Registered Nurse (RN) or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN).  Depending on their degree of training and the state in which they work, some nursing assistants may also be able to distribute medication. Nursing assistants are frequently the primary caregivers in nursing homes and residential care institutions. They have more contact with residents than other members of the staff. Because some residents stay in a nursing home for months or years, nursing assistants tend to build strong bonds with their patients.

Typical day at work

What does Nursing assistant do?

  • To assess patient needs, respond to patient call signals, signal lights, bells or intercom systems
  • Provide physical assistance to help patients with their everyday life, such as getting out of bed, washing, dressing, using the toilet, standing, walking or exercising
  • Check dietary limitations, food allergies, and preferences of patients to confirm that they obtain sufficient diets
  • Measure and monitor food and liquid intake or urinary and faecal production, report to medical or nursing staff on changes
  • Monitor vital signs as directed by medical or nursing staff, such as temperature, blood pressure, pulse or respiration rate
  • Collect information from caregivers, nurses or doctors on the status of patients, recovery plans, or related activities
  • Monitor or examine patients for signs that can need medical attention, such as bruises, open wounds or blood in urine
  • Record and inform senior nurses of patient’s behaviour, grievances, or physical symptoms
  • Prompt patients for medications or nutritional supplements
  • Feeding or assisting patients with eating and drinking
  • Give, collect, or refill bedpans
  • Undress, shower, and dress up patients who cannot do anything for themselves
  • Lift or support in moving patients to or from beds, examination tables, operating tables, or stretchers
  • Talk to patients to assess their thoughts or desires for assistance or social and emotional support
  • Arrange or serve food plates
  • Clean and disinfect patient rooms, washrooms, examination rooms, etc.
  • Monitor patient’s height and weight
  • Collect urine, faecal, or sputum specimens
  • Under the guidance of a nurse or physician, put on clean dressings, slings, stockings or bandages on patients
  • Make beds and change bed sheets
  • Restock patient rooms with personal care products and toiletries like, soap, toilet paper, towels, napkins, etc.
  • Help exercise comatose, restricted mobility, and paralyzed patients
  • To prepare patients for surgery, examination, or treatment, shower, brush, shave, or drape them
  • Assist nurses or doctors in the use of medical devices or in the provision of patient care
  • Administer drugs or procedures as instructed by a physician or nurse, such as catheterizations, suppositories, irrigations, enemas, massages or douches
  • Position patients or keep them in position for surgical preparation
  • Using wheelchairs, stretchers or mobile beds, transport patients to treatment units, test units, operating rooms or other areas
  • Provide visitors or callers with information such as directions, visiting hours or information regarding patient status
  • Transport of specimens, laboratory products, or pharmacy products to the relevant staff with proper documentation and delivery
  • Establish treatment or testing facilities, such as oxygen tents, portable X-ray equipment, or overhead irrigation bottles, as guided by a doctor or nurse
  • Tell patients or family members about medical instructions
  • Monitor patients’ vital signs like blood pressure, pulse rate, oxygen saturation rate, and temperature
  • Store or issue medical items, such as packages of dressing or treatment trays.

Abilities and Aptitude needed

What are the skills, abilities & aptitude needed to become Nursing assistant?

  • Nursing Assistant must be able to listen and communicate actively and attentively to the needs of the patients. They need to ask the right questions to interpret the information. They also regularly interact with other professionals and administrative staff. Thus, having good communication, in written and verbal as well as interpersonal skills is necessary.
  • They must be sensitive, calm, polite, patient, and empathic to patients’ needs and concerns. They need to make their patients feel comfortable and let them know they care, which requires them to have emotional intelligence.
  • To work with patient symptoms, they require analytical thought, problem-solving, judgement, and decision-making skills to determine the best course of action. They must show dedication, eye for detail, determination, persistence to commit to years of intense practice. They need to be efficient at team and time management as well as leadership and multitasking skills in order to care for various patients with different needs at the same time. They need to be highly organised, responsible, flexible, and observant.
  • They work with very sharp tools like syringes, thus they need to have manual dexterity as mistakes can have serious consequences. They must have self-discipline, spatial orientation, physical stamina, and physical dexterity as they spend a lot of time on their feet.


Salary for Nursing assistant?

Salary for Nursing Assistants in India:

  • Entry-Level Annual Salary: Entry-level Nursing Assistants in India can expect an annual salary ranging from INR 1,50,000 to INR 3,00,000. These earnings are typical for those who are starting their careers and have completed basic training in nursing assistance.

  • Experienced Annual Salary: Experienced Nursing Assistants with several years of practice can earn an annual salary ranging from INR 3,00,000 to INR 5,00,000 or more. Their expertise, additional training, and experience contribute to their higher earnings.

  • Location Influence: The geographic location of employment plays a significant role in determining salary. Metropolitan cities and urban areas often offer higher compensation compared to smaller towns or rural settings.

  • Healthcare Setting: The type of healthcare facility or institution where Nursing Assistants work can impact their salary. Hospitals and clinics, especially larger and private ones, may offer better pay.

  • Specializations and Additional Skills: Nursing Assistants with specialized training or skills, such as geriatric care, wound care, or working in specialized units like ICU or neonatal care, might receive higher compensation.

  • Hospital vs. Home Care: Nursing Assistants working in hospitals or clinics may have a different salary range compared to those working in home healthcare or assisted living settings.

  • Shifts and Overtime: Nursing Assistants working night shifts or overtime hours may receive additional pay or incentives.

Career Benefits:

  • Nursing Assistants play a crucial role in patient care and support, contributing to the overall functioning of healthcare facilities.
  • The job offers the satisfaction of directly helping patients with their daily activities and making a positive impact on their lives.

Career Advancement:

  • With additional training and experience, Nursing Assistants can often transition to roles with higher responsibilities and potentially higher salaries, such as Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) or Registered Nurses (RNs).

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How to become an Nursing assistant?

Entrance Exam

Entrance Exam for Nursing assistant ?


Which course I can pursue?


Which Industries are open for Nursing assistant?

1. Hospitals and Clinics:

  • Hospitals and clinics of all sizes employ Nursing Assistants to provide direct patient care, assist registered nurses, and help with daily activities such as bathing, feeding, and monitoring patients.

2. Nursing Homes and Long-Term Care Facilities:

  • Nursing Assistants play a critical role in providing care to elderly residents in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, assisting with activities of daily living and ensuring their comfort and well-being.

3. Home Healthcare Agencies:

  • Nursing Assistants can work with home healthcare agencies to provide care to patients in their own homes. This can include helping with medication administration, wound care, and assisting with mobility.

4. Rehabilitation Centers:

  • Rehabilitation centers, including physical therapy and occupational therapy centers, often employ Nursing Assistants to support patients during their recovery process.

5. Hospice Care:

  • Nursing Assistants can work in hospice care settings, providing compassionate end-of-life care to patients and supporting their families during difficult times.

6. Maternity Hospitals and Maternity Wards:

  • Nursing Assistants can assist with newborn care, postpartum care, and supporting new mothers in maternity hospitals and maternity wards.

7. Outpatient Clinics:

  • Outpatient clinics, specializing in various medical fields, may require Nursing Assistants to help with patient intake, documentation, and assisting healthcare professionals during procedures.

8. Ambulatory Care Centers:

  • Ambulatory care centers provide same-day medical care, and Nursing Assistants can support patients before and after procedures and treatments.

9. Mental Health Facilities:

  • Nursing Assistants can work in mental health hospitals and clinics, assisting with patient care, monitoring, and supporting individuals with mental health conditions.

10. Pediatric Care Centers: - Nursing Assistants can provide care and support for pediatric patients in hospitals, clinics, and pediatric specialty centers.

11. Elderly Care Centers: - Nursing Assistants can work in centers catering to the elderly, providing companionship, personal care, and assistance with daily tasks.

12. Medical Camps and Rural Healthcare: - Nursing Assistants can participate in medical camps and rural healthcare initiatives, delivering healthcare services to underserved communities.

13. Home Care for Individuals with Disabilities: - Nursing Assistants can provide home care to individuals with disabilities, assisting them with activities of daily living and improving their quality of life.

14. Hospice Centers: - Nursing Assistants can support patients and families in hospice centers, providing comfort and end-of-life care.

15. Educational Institutions: - Nursing Assistants can work in schools and colleges with nursing assistant training programs as instructors or clinical educators.

16. Research Organizations: - In research organizations, Nursing Assistants can support clinical trials and studies, assisting with patient care and data collection.


Are there internships available for Nursing assistant?

Internships for Nursing Assistants in India:

Duration and Structure:

  • Internships for Nursing Assistants in India can vary in duration, typically ranging from a few weeks to a few months.
  • The structure of the internship may include a combination of classroom training, hands-on clinical experience, and supervised practice.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Nursing Assistants during their internships work closely with registered nurses and other healthcare professionals.
  • They assist in patient care activities, including taking vital signs, bathing patients, changing linens, assisting with feeding, and ensuring patient comfort.

Clinical Experience:

  • Interns gain valuable hands-on experience in various healthcare settings, such as hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, and rehabilitation centers.
  • They observe and participate in real-life patient care scenarios, learning essential skills related to patient hygiene, mobility, and basic medical procedures.

Learning Opportunities:

  • Nursing Assistants learn about infection control, patient safety, basic medical terminology, and proper patient communication.
  • They gain practical insights into teamwork, effective time management, and the importance of following medical protocols.

Supervision and Mentorship:

  • Nursing Assistants are supervised by experienced registered nurses or senior healthcare professionals.
  • Regular feedback and guidance help them improve their skills and understanding of patient care.


  • To be eligible for an internship as a Nursing Assistant in India, candidates often need to have completed at least a basic nursing assistant training program.
  • Some institutions might also require candidates to have completed a certain level of education in nursing or healthcare.

Career Benefits:

  • Internships offer Nursing Assistants the opportunity to apply classroom learning to real patient care situations.
  • They develop practical skills that are crucial for a career in healthcare and gain insights into the daily routines of healthcare facilities.

Job Readiness:

  • Completing an internship can make Nursing Assistants more competitive in the job market, as it demonstrates practical skills and hands-on experience to potential employers.

How to Find Internships:

  • Contact local hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, and healthcare institutions to inquire about internship opportunities.
  • Reach out to nursing schools or colleges that offer nursing assistant training programs for guidance on available internships.
  • Online job portals and healthcare career websites might also list internships for Nursing Assistants.

Career outlook

What does the future look like for Nursing assistant?

Nursing assistants can find a full-time job in Government and private hospitals, community health care centres, or clinics. They work in a particular medical department in the hospital. Their shifts usually alternate between day and night in the hospital, thus, their working hours may be irregular, at times, and overtime or urgent posting is required in case of emergencies. In nursing homes and residential care facilities, they are primary caregivers, and usually have a close relationship with their patients as residents may stay in a nursing home for months or years. One can also choose to work in a rehabilitation facility or assisted living facility, and even specific patient populations- geriatric, children, and others. Nursing Assistants may move on to become licensed practical nurses (LPNs), registered nurses (RNs), or healthcare specialists.