How to Become a Nursing Assistant

Nursing assistants can get trained in just a few months

Students at the Salter School of Nursing and Allied Health in Manchester, NH know what it means to care for others. They are being trained for careers where they will help patients in nursing homes, residential facilities, and hospitals. Our school offers training programs for three different career paths: Nursing Assistant, Patient Care Technician, and Practical Nurse.

This article focuses on what it takes to become a nursing assistant (also known as a nurses aide). The Nursing Assistant program at Salter Nursing is a way to get into the field of allied health in a short period of time. The program requires just 125 hours of training and a 60-hour internship. This can be completed in as little as two to three months. There is no prior experience required other than a desire to be part of the healthcare field.

What does a nursing assistant do?

Before jumping headfirst into a training program, you should think about what you want out of your career and the types of personal traits that may make you a good fit for this career. A career as a nursing assistant has its pros and cons, like any other job. Here are some of the daily tasks that a nursing assistant would do on the job:

  • Help patients with their basic needs
  • Provide assistance with personal hygiene, such as bathing, getting dressed, and toileting
  • Straighten patients’ rooms
  • Strip bedding and re-make beds
  • Develop nurturing relationships with patients
  • Work with patients who may have physical and cognitive disabilities
  • Care for elderly patients and address their needs

What you have to learn

To become qualified as a nursing assistant, you will need to pass the program at the Salter School of Nursing. You will also need to take a separate licensing exam in order to be licensed by the State of New Hampshire. You cannot practice in New Hampshire until you have passed this exam.

The training program at Salter Nursing focuses on the following skills:

  • Medical terminology
  • Basics of long-term care
  • Safety protocols
  • Prevention of infection
  • Procedures for emergencies
  • Basic lifesaving skills
  • Taking vital signs
  • How to transfer patients safely
  • Automated external defibrillator (AED)
  • Ethics and humanistic approach to care

If you are nervous about going back to school, remember that the instructors at the Salter School of Nursing are here to help. They want you to succeed in your coursework and to be comfortable delivering care to patients.

How to get started

If you want to pursue this career, be sure to do a little research first. Read about the long-term job outlook for nursing assistants. Search for nursing schools near you that offer this type of training. Take tours of your potential schools. When evaluating schools, be sure to ask:

  • How long has your training program been operating?
  • Is your program approved by the state Board of Nursing?
  • What is the job placement rate for students of this program?
  • Do you have a Career Development department to help students find jobs?
  • Will I have an internship?
  • When do classes meet? Is there an evening program?
  • What percentage of the students pass the state licensing exam?

Once you have decided on your school, be sure to take your education seriously. You want to attend all of your classes, do your homework, and study hard for your exams. This is your chance to begin a new career, and you want to start off on the right foot.

For more information about the Nursing Assistant program at the Salter School of Nursing, visit our website or contact us online. We hope your future career begins with us!


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