Jobs in Demand: Nursing Assistants

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Nursing assistant and patient, both wearing masks

With demand for long-term care workers surging amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Nursing Assistants are among the most in-demand jobs in Minnesota right now. Typically working under the direction of nursing staff, Nursing Assistants provide immediate patient care such as feeding, bathing, dressing, grooming, and moving patients, as well as basic healthcare procedures such as taking blood pressure and temperature. Nursing Assistants (NAs) are most likely to work in nursing and residential care facilities, assisted living facilities and retirement communities, home health care services, and in smaller numbers, at hospitals.

During the spring of 2020, Nursing Assistants were the number one posting on local job banks – there were more of these jobs posted than any other in the state. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the long-term care industry has undergone significant changes in how it approaches its workforce needs. Following the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Minnesota Dept. of Health’s waiver of training requirements for NAs on April 14, anyone can start and learn on the job.

CareerForce staff are already working to help people move into these jobs. Likewise, HealthForce Minnesota is refocusing their “Caring Careers Start Here” initiative to connect unemployed workers with jobs in the healthcare industry. In regular times, NAs must complete state-approved training, usually lasting about 4 months, and then pass the state’s certification exam

Because they’re working with people in a healthcare setting, NAs need to provide excellent personal and customer service, and should always be looking for ways to help people. They need good active listening and communication skills, and need to be able to understand and react to their patients’ condition. The work is often physically demanding, with long hours spent on their feet and lifting and moving patients, meaning injuries can be a risk; and work schedules often include nights, weekends, and holidays.

Half of all NA jobs in Minnesota pay between $14.90 and $19.29 per hour, with an average hourly wage of $17.20. Demand remains high across the state. There were more than 3,000 job vacancies for NAs in the fourth quarter of 2019, and it ranked number one on the major job banks in Minnesota at the end of May and postings remained in the top 3 in June and into July 2020.

To learn more about becoming a Nursing Assistant go to your account dashboard on CareerForceMN.com, select the My Goals and Experience Tab and then select Nursing Assistant as a career goal. If you don’t have an account on CareerForceMN.com, sign up for your free account today!

If you are interested in more information about opportunities as a Nursing Assistant, check out Jobs in Demand here on the CareerForceMN.com website for wage ranges, educational and training requirements, current open positions in Minnesota and more.  

Need help developing your job search strategy, updating your resume or preparing for interviews? Contact staff at a CareerForce location near you!

 

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