The Where How And Why Of Assistant In Nursing

The term Assistant in Nursing can be shortened to AIN in the southern hemisphere or CNA – Certified Nursing Assistant if you live in the United States. Nursing assistants can be referred to as nurse aides, who work under the directions and supervision of senior nursing and medical staff. Assistant nurses have a greater deal of contact and care with patients and often the patient’s immediate family members.

Assistant in nursing staff provide all hygienic care such as feeding, bathing, dressing and making record of day to day medical treatments given.

Nursing assistant staff also perform many other important vital functions, such as taking the patient’s vital signs and recording them on the patient chart, answering patient calls, transporting patients, making beds, helping patients become ambulatory and might also be required to set up x-ray machines or over headed irrigation bottles.

In simple terms, there are many duties which cannot be fulfilled by a Registered or Enrolled Nurse as their time is spent performing clinical tasks. The assistant in nursing staff are in a better position to observe their patients and to report to doctors and clinical staff, how the patient is responding to the care that is being given.

To be successful in your role as an assistant nurse you should be a team player or team addict, who is able to adapt to all kinds of challenges presented in the working environment and can be guided by others. The certified assistant in nursing staff should be emotionally stable, caring, being particular and should have great patience.

Assistant in Nursing Qualifications and Training

Prospective AIN’s interested in becoming a nurse often opt for courses such as a dental or a medical assistant program. Performing these duties builds experience in computer skills, customer or patient service, improving their English, understanding humanities and interacting with senior medical staff.

Having this type of experience is not essential but can be an asset in understanding the nursing assistant training and health care professional education that you will receive and be working with on a daily basis.

Generally it is a pre-requisite that prospective students hold a higher school certificate or a high school diploma. Having some educational qualifications in subjects such as biology, mathematics or science is often well regarded.

The assistant in nursing training is provided through theory and practical on the job experience. The theory side prepares the assistant nurse in waiting with the knowledge to competently and confidently enter onto a ward and start working straight away. Don’t worry about this as all work experience is provided on the job with the training coming from senior nurses and medical staff.

On completion of the theory and on the job practical training the students sit for an examination of somewhere around 60 to 70 multiple choice questions. We have provided a sample assistant in nursing practice examination so you can see what type of questions are asked so there are no surprises when you physically sit your examination.

There is also a practical test and this is used to demonstrate your understanding and practice of the assistant in nursing training you have received. Such a practical test is often transferring patients using a hoist, bed sheet or a two man lift.

The examination is conducted in accordance with your local State or Government requirements. On successfully completing the examinations the student is issued with a Certificate III that entitles them to practice as a Certified Assistant in Nursing.


13 thoughts on “The Where How And Why Of Assistant In Nursing

  1. Lyndal

    I have been working as an AIN in a nursing home for more than 7 years now. I do not have any qualifications. When I was first hired I was enrolled in university studying for a nursing degree. I have since left uni and do not wish to do my degree but wish to continue working as an AIN. Is it a legal requirement that I have a Cert III to continue my employment? Is there a course I can do, maybe online, that will give me cert III qualifications without requiring a work placement as I already work full time?

    1. Terry Post author

      Hello Lyndal,
      In Australia you should have the Cert 111 in Aged Care. Yes there are many online avenues you can take to get this certification. It should be very easy for you to pass the exams as you have 7 years experience. Look into RPL, recognised prior learning, as that might provide a short cut for you and might cut out the job placement aspect of the training (cheaper too).
      Good luck

  2. henry

    hi, i am a Cna in USA, 4 -5YEARS of experience, insulin cerified,cpr and med. certified. how can i get a job in Australia?

    1. Terry Post author

      Hello Henry
      In the sidebar on the right of our site page there is a list of sites. You can approach the States Health Boards and see if they have any positions posted. You can also check the Nurse Registration site. You will need to go through the normal Government visa process for a working holiday. To see what jobs are available a good search engine is using the keyword assistant nurse, AIN or assistant in nursing. Good luck.

  3. Antinea

    Yes, a lot of nursing homes do this. My mom used to be a CNA tustrncior at a nursing home. I would just go to some local nursing homes in your area and ask them about it. Many nursing homes have these programs, but they just aren’t very widely advertised. I warn you though, it is a very tough job! You will have to do a lot of gross things such as changing diapers, giving baths, etc. and the old people at nursing homes aren’t at all like they are in the movies. In movies, old people are often shown as cute and/or wise, but in reality the people in nursing homes are usually very disoriented and are in a lot of pain. This can make them uncharacteristically mean. Good luck.

  4. paul

    i am recently completed the level-3 in assisting in nursing,
    i have got enough 7 Years experience as a psychiatric assistant (accute Hospital Sector) back in new zealand and here i am working as a Nursing assitant . i know that i am well enough in working , but when i am attending the interview i cannot perform well, diff hospital diff questions in diff angle,
    could u pls advise how can i perform well in interviews ?

  5. Ivana

    please let me know, how much is the cost of this course for Nursing Aid and if it is possible for a person from Czech Republic, Europe to take this course directly in Australia to improve English. Financial help for stay is not required. Are there any courses in Brisbane area?

    1. Claudia

      I am a CNA student right now and am coinshog to become certified as a way to build up my credentials before applying to nursing school next year. CNAs deserve so much more recognition and pay for what they do. For those who have been enrolled in nursing school or are already RNs, exposure to a nursing home would make you a better nurse in you haven’t seen one or worked in one before. It is tough, and the nurses are expected to maintain a smile throughout the entire shift. The difference in the dynamic of a nursing home compared to an acute care facility is striking, really.GD Star Ratingloading…

    2. Akram

      By surgical nurse I’m anusmisg that you mean a nurse who works in the OR. OR nurses assist the surgeons and the anesthesiologist but they do not perform any actual surgery. To become an OR nurse all you need is to do is become an RN and then get specialized on-the-job training/orientation in the operating room. You do not have to have a bachelor’s degree to become an RN. You can train to become an RN at any accredited RN program in a community college in just over 2 to three years.

  6. Samuel Turner

    I am in Sydney, and was wondering: Assistants in Nursing (AIN) are not required to work night shifts are they, for they are mainly personal care providers and minor clinical such as vital signs. They are mainly staff for the morning and afternoon. Correct? Do hospitals employ them at night along with ENs and RNs?

    1. Caitlin

      Hi, I don’t know if you are still searching for an answer, but I’m an AIN here in Adelaide, and just had a night shift, where I was specialling a patient (One on one)were I just had to sit and watch the patient, do her four hourly obs and stop her hurting herself, or leaving the ward if she tried (The usual special patient). Basically, you shouldn’t get a night duty unless they need someone to special and can’t get a RN or EN.

      1. Terry Post author

        Hello Caitlin,
        Very nice to hear of your experience with a night shift. The girls we know love night shifts, but I must admit, it’s either for the money or to get out of the house. If you would ever like to write an article on your experiences, I would love to put it on the site. It’s great for others to read about the experiences of on the job work from a practising AIN. Thanks for your comment and good luck.


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