Become a Nurse Aid

Degree description image


The healthcare reform of the past five years has placed significant emphasis on patient-centered skills. President Obama’s healthcare legislation has led to more individuals gaining access to medical care, resulting in increased pressure on clinics and hospitals due to the surge in demand.

While doctors and nurse practitioners excel in the latest medical practices, their expertise mainly focuses on clinical aspects such as diagnosing conditions, prescribing treatments, and analyzing results to customize patient plans. However, these roles often lack the personal touch that many patients desire, especially when faced with unfamiliar and distressing medical situations.

Amidst the changing healthcare landscape, nursing aides play a crucial role as a vital bridge connecting patients and healthcare practitioners. They serve as valuable and often hands-on resources for individuals who require assistance not necessarily with the overall blueprint of their comprehensive treatment, but rather in handling the day-to-day challenges that may be difficult for some.


Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing an online nursing aide program.

When it comes to educational prerequisites, nursing aide roles demand less formal training compared to professions like doctors, nurse practitioners, or registered nurses. Unlike these occupations, nursing aide positions typically do not necessitate extensive medical or scientific education. Instead, the focus is primarily on direct patient care, assisting with daily activities such as bathing and dressing, rather than formulating and implementing treatment plans.

Given the hands-on nature of nursing aide work, many careers in this field offer on-the-job training, often requiring candidates to have a high school diploma or GED. Given the nature of patient interactions, communication skills hold paramount importance. The lion’s share of a nursing aide’s responsibilities involves interacting with patients, making effective communication skills indispensable. Additionally, considering the evolving demographics of the patient population, studying a foreign language like Spanish, French, or German can be advantageous.

In addition, it’s essential to note that in most states, nursing aides are required to obtain licensure before they can begin practicing.


Some common courses include:

CPR and First Aid: Learn how to help patients during an emergency. This course may cover what to do in the event of choking, bleeding, shock, seizures, and more.

Intro to Health Sciences: This course may review the basics of how health care works – from science to business. And, you could learn how health care teams work together to get results.

Nurse Aide Skills: Find out what goes into serving diverse patient needs. You could learn basic nursing skills, ethics, and how to communicate with patients.

Nutrition: Discover the ins and outs of nutrition, and the role it plays in human health. You could learn how our nutritional needs change based on our behaviors and life stages.


The diverse and wide-reaching nature of the medical profession means that, like doctors and nurses, nursing aides have a variety of settings in which they can practice. While many work in hard clinical settings such as hospitals, nursing aides can also be of great value in long-term care facilities and residential nursing homes.


These professionals provide a basic level of care for those in residential clinical facilities. Job duties often include assisting patients with basic tasks such as bathing, dressing and eating. This job tends to be more physical in nature than other nursing jobs, often requiring candidates to lift and move patients.

According to 2023 BLS data:

Median Salary: $38,130 per year

Job Growth Through 2032: 4% (As fast as average)

Typical Entry level Education: High school diploma


Like nursing assistants, personal care aides work closely with patients, often on a one-on-one basis. The key difference is that personal aides tend to work more frequently in nonclinical settings such as at a patient’s home. In addition to assisting with basic tasks, some personal care aides also provide their clients with companionship, fulfilling a social role as well as a clinical one.

According to 2023 BLS data:

Median Salary: $33,530 per year

Job Growth Through 2032: 22% (Much faster than average)

Typical Entry level Education: High school diploma

© Education Connection 2024. All Rights Reserved.


Sources for school statistics is the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.

Disclosure: EducationDynamics receives compensation for the featured schools on our websites (see “Sponsored Schools” or “Sponsored Listings” or “Sponsored Results”).  So what does this mean for you? Compensation may impact where the Sponsored Schools appear on our websites, including whether they appear as a match through our education matching services tool, the order in which they appear in a listing, and/or their ranking.  Our websites do not provide, nor are they intended to provide, a comprehensive list of all schools (a) in the United States (b) located in a specific geographic area or (c) that offer a particular program of study.  By providing information or agreeing to be contacted by a Sponsored School, you are in no way obligated to apply to or enroll with the school.

This is an offer for educational opportunities, not an offer for nor a guarantee of employment. Students should consult with a representative from the school they select to learn more about career opportunities in that field. Program outcomes vary according to each institution’s specific program curriculum. Financial aid may be available to those who qualify. The financial aid information on this site is for informational and research purposes only and is not an assurance of financial aid.

1 You must apply for a new loan each school year. This approval percentage is based on students with a Sallie Mae undergraduate loan in the 2018/19 school year who were approved when they returned in 2019/20. It does not include the denied applications of students who were ultimately approved in 2019/20.

2 This promotional benefit is provided at no cost to borrowers with new loans that disburse between May 1, 2021 and April 30, 2022. Borrowers are not eligible to activate the benefit until July 1, 2021. Borrowers who reside in, attend school in, or borrow for a student attending school in Maine are not eligible for this benefit. Chegg Study® offers expert Q&A where students can submit up to 20 questions per month. No cash value. Terms and Conditions apply. Please visit for complete details. This offer expires one year after issuance.

Sponsored Results

Study anywhere. Study any time.

Join the millions earning their degrees online.

7 million undergraduate and graduate students were enrolled in some form of online education in 2019!*