Nurse Assistants


Employment Prospects


Approximately 38 percent of the 1.56 million nurse assistants in the United States are employed in nursing care facilities, and another 27 percent work in hospitals. Others are employed in continuing care environments, halfway houses, homes for persons with disabilities, and private homes.

Starting Out

Because of the high demand for nurse assistants, you can apply directly to the health facilities in your area, contact your local employment office, or check online employment Web sites and your local newspaper's help wanted ads. 

Advancement Prospects

For the most part, there is not much opportunity for advancement with this job. To advance in a health care facility requires additional training. After becoming familiar with the medical and nursing home environments and gaining some knowledge of medical terminology, some nurse assistants enroll in nursing programs or pursue other medically related careers.

Many facilities are recognizing the need to retain good health care workers and are putting some training and advancement programs in place for their employees.

Tips for Entry

Volunteer at a hospital or nursing home to learn more about that it's like to work in these environments and to see if this is a good fit for you.

Take the American Red Cross' Babysitting Training Course to learn the basics of caregiving. Find information at

Join Elder Helpers ( and participate in projects, such as gardening and arts and crafts, with senior citizens.