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Nursing Assistants and Orderlies 

  What Nursing Assistants and Orderlies Do

Nursing assistants, sometimes called nursing aides, help provide basic care for patients in hospitals and residents of long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes. Orderlies transport patients and clean treatment areas.

Work Environment

Nursing assistants and orderlies work in nursing and residential care facilities and in hospitals. They are frequently physically active and may need to help lift or move patients.

How to Become a Nursing Assistant or Orderly

Nursing assistants must complete a state-approved education program and must pass their state’s competency exam to become certified. Orderlies generally have at least a high school diploma.


The median annual wage for nursing assistants was $27,520 in May 2017.

The median annual wage for orderlies was $27,180 in May 2017.

Job Outlook

Overall employment of nursing assistants and orderlies is projected to grow 11 percent by 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. As the baby-boom population ages, nursing assistants and orderlies will be needed to assist and care for elderly patients.

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