Nurse Assistant Career Overview - Southwestern Illinois College

Job Description

Nurse Assistants:
  • Work under the supervision of a nurse
  • Help patients or residents perform basic daily activities
  • Provide simple, routine nursing care procedures
  • Take temperatures, blood pressure, pulse and respiration
  • Measure food/fluid intake and output
  • Assist with feeding, walking and grooming activities
Performance Essentials

To successfully complete the program and practice as a Certified Nurse Assistant, students must be able to perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodations. Interested students are encouraged to meet with the Disability & Access Center to discuss potential issues associated with meeting these requirements.

Career Resources

Visit the SWIC Career Activities and Employment Center for more information on career exploration & mentoring.

The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook provides information about the Nurse Assistant field.

The Illinois Department of Public Health website provides Certified Nurse Assistant registry and health care worker background check requirements.

The Illinois Nurse Aide Testing website provides additional information about testing locations, schedules and requirements.

Career Opportunities

Certified nurse assistants work in a variety of settings:
  • Long-term patient care facilities
  • Home health care
  • Hospitals
  • Other medical facilities
Career Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of nursing aides is projected to grow 17 percent between 2014 and 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. Job opportunities in this field are excellent.


Starting Salary

The average starting salary for nurse assistants is $18,000-$22,000 plus benefits.

Annual Salary

Nationally, average annual wages for nurse assistants are around $24,000 per year (plus benefits) and vary depending on the location and type of health care facility.

Hourly Wage

Nationally, average hourly wages for nurse assistants are around $11 per hour and vary depending on the location and type of health care facility.