A nursing assistant plays a vital role in the care of patients. Whether it is in a home setting or a hospital, the nursing assistant works with the doctors and other nurses in taking vital signs, helping with daily activities such as eating and dressing and helping patients walk. Many assistants work in nursing homes. They are active a large amount of the day, and they often need to lift patients from one location to another. Someone who wants to be a nursing assistant can take a course at a local community college. It is a short course that involves book work and clinical training. The average income for a nursing assistant is $24,000.

The job outlook for nursing assistants is very good in the coming years. As there is a large population of senior citizens in the country, there is likely to be a greater demand for nursing assistants in the skilled nursing setting. This would include places like nursing homes and hospitals that have a skilled nursing floor. Home health is another area where the job outlook appears to grow in the next few years. As more people want to stay at home so that they are independent as long as possible, there will be a growing need for assistants who can help with basic activities such as cooking, cleaning and making sure the person stays safe in the home. There has been almost a 40 percent increase in the job field in the past few years. An expected six percent increase is slated for the next year and each year after that.

Larger states like California and Texas are expected to have the most job openings. If a nursing assistant can work in a specialty field such as geriatrics or emergency medicine, then there is slightly better job security. Assistants who obtain more education to learn about the latest technology and new standards will be able to find jobs easier than those who simply keep a basic certification. Assistants who further their education can usually make more money in their job as well depending on the place of employment.