For most nursing assistants, it's about answering the call, study finds

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Skilled nursing facilities find new opportunities, new challenges with 60% rule
Skilled nursing facilities find new opportunities, new challenges with 60% rule
Most nursing assistants in nursing homes enter the field to help others, according to the National Nursing Assistant Survey, a detailed sampling of the attitudes and opinions of nursing assistants. Released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the survey was prepared by the Division of Health Care Statistics, Long-Term Care Statistics Branch.

When asked their main reason for taking jobs as nursing assistants, the majority—62%—replied that they like to help other people. A total of 49% says that the ability to care for others is their main reason for staying at their post, and 89% of current nursing assistants say that, given the choice, they would become a nursing assistant again. The same percentage say they would recommend the job to a friend or loved one.

Some nursing assistants, however, aren't entirely satisfied with their jobs. Almost 25% say they are actively looking for employment either at another facility or in a different field all together. The two biggest reasons for job dissatisfaction (besides "other," which came in at 55%) are poor pay—37%—and the discovery of a new and better job—29%.

More than 680,000 nursing assistants responded to the National Nursing Assistant Survey between 2004 and 2005. The report is broken into 50 categories, including work experience and training, demographics, pay, work and home environment and work injury rates.

The comprehensive survey can be viewed in its entirety at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/about/major/nnhsd/NursingAssistantTables.htm.