What Is a Nurse Technician?

Research what it takes to become a nurse technician. Learn about typical job duties, education requirements and salary ranges information to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Information At a Glance

Nurse technicians, often called nurse's aides or nursing attendants, assist with the medical care of patients. Explore some basic information about this career in the table below:

Degree Required Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
Training Required Enrolled or completed a nursing program
Key Responsibilities Assist patients, collect bodily fluids, empty bedpans, change linens, clean rooms
Job Growth (2012-22) 21%* (for nursing assistants and orderlies)
Average Salary (2013) $26,020* (for nursing assistants)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are the Duties of a Nurse Technician?

In a nurse technician position, you will primarily assist patients with basic personal care and mobility needs. These include bathing, personal grooming, standing up and eating. You may also collect bodily fluids for lab tests, empty bedpans, change linens and clean rooms. Depending on the limitations imposed by state laws, you might be given more advanced nursing tasks, such as monitoring ventilators and other life support equipment, drawing blood, checking vital signs and keeping records of treatments.

Where Can I Work?

You may work at nursing homes, hospitals, home health care services, assisted living facilities and local governments and handle patients who require varying types of care. For example, you may work with patients who are recovering from a surgery and only need temporary help or you may work with patients who live in a nursing home and need long-term assistance.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported, as of May 2010, around 1.45 million people worked as nurse's aides, orderlies and attendants, which was a slight decrease from May 2009 estimations of 1.47 million. From 2012-2022, employment was expected to increase 21% to about 1.5 million for all nursing assistants and orderlies. (www.bls.gov).

What Could I Expect to Earn?

You could earn from $18,600-$35,780 based on reported 10th-90th percentile annual salaries of nursing assistants from the BLS, as of May 2013. December 2014 figures from PayScale.com for the same professionals in the 10th-90th percentiles show another estimated annual salary range of $18,581 - $34,892. The PayScale.com figures include overtime and bonuses.

What Education Do I Need?

The general description of a nurse technician is a person who is currently enrolled in a nursing program or who has completed a nursing program, but has not been licensed as a nurse. The nursing program in which you are enrolled or have completed must be a program that would lead to licensing as a nurse.

Completion of an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program would allow you to meet the requirements to work as a nurse technician. In these programs, you will complete core courses in anatomy, mathematics and communications. In addition, you may take courses in nursing theory, clinical data analysis, child development and healthcare ethics.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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