What Is A Nurse Technician? (& How It Can Help Your Nursing Career)
January 22, 2020
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A nurse technician is another name for a certified nurse’s assistant (CNA) or a nurse’s aide.  Nurse technicians are healthcare professionals who provide hands-on healthcare to patients in medical settings under the supervision of a registered nurse.  Some of the activities that nurse technicians help patients with include bathing, dressing, and any other necessary activities of daily living.

According to the Serous Of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for nurse technicians was $28,540, or $13.72 an hour in May 2018.

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Requirements

Educational requirements to become a nurse tech include training programs, passing examinations, and receiving criminal background clearance. Individuals can get certified as young as age 16.

When becoming a nurse technician, individuals are required to have obtained a high school diploma or GED, plus nursing assistant training. You can find nurse technician programs these programs at community colleges, trade schools, and some medical facilities.  (Some university hospitals will even allow nursing students to work as nurse technicians as long as they have completed a specific portion of their nursing program).

Upon successful completion of nurse technician training, individuals will subsequently be required to pass a Certified Nursing Assistant certification examination.   There is a written exam, which usually consists of multiple-choice questions as well as a clinical review, which requires the student to complete clinical skills to demonstrate their competencies.

Job duties of a nurse technician:

Roles and responsibilities can include the following:

  • Bathing patients
  • Turning or repositioning patients
  • Preparing rooms for admissions
  • Cleaning rooms and changing bed sheets
  • Taking patients’ vital signs
  • Following up when a patient uses the call button
  • Stocking supplies
  • Feeding patients, measuring and charting food and liquid intake
  • Combing hair, shaving, caring for nails and brushing teeth

How being a nurse technician as a nursing student can help kickstart a nursing career:

Becoming a nurse technician or CNA can be very beneficial to nursing students who want to gain knowledge from other experienced nurses in the hospital setting.  You’ll get the chance to work alongside nurses in a variety of healthcare settings and learn invaluable experiences along the way.

I became a nurse technician while I was in nursing school, and it gave me an edge in many ways, such as:

  • I was able to earn a little extra money while I was going to school.  BSN programs are becoming more expensive every year, and working as a nurse technician offered me a way to help pay down my student loans before graduation.
  • Working with experienced RN’s gave me hands-on experience that helped me earn higher grades, especially in my skills training.
  • I confirmed my passion for nursing and the healthcare profession.  Helping people with primary care and completing everyday activities of daily living gave me a sense of pride that what I was doing was important work.
  • Most importantly, being a nurse technician helped me get my first post-nursing-school job as a neuroscience and stroke RN at a major teaching institution in Los Angeles.  The experience served as an on-the-job interview for me, and I was able to secure an RN position at the same hospital that I worked as a nurse tech.

Additional recommended reading:

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