Japanese Nursing Homes and the Nurse Assistant

Guest Op-Ed 

Ever wonder how different a nursing home is in other countries?

Japan seems to have the corner market on staff engagement, senior technology, and medical art. After watching this video, you might start to view your own long-term care facility differently. Thats what I love about nursing though – the ability to constantly create and change the way things are done.

What if things never changed? Well, we might still be amputating legs because of minor cuts and not washing our hands during surgery. Thanks to a great nurse however, things changed. And they continue to do so!

One way things have changed is in the use of technology. In Japan, the use of medical technology is everywhere. From robots to shower chairs, you can find technology in all aspects of care. While we won’t get into why that is so important, it is interesting to think about your role as a nursing assistant and how you view about change.

selective focus photo of gray metal folding walker
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com


Just consider all the good work nurses do and how innovations (or change) in healthcare can really improve the quality of life for your patients. And next time you have a good idea about how to change something, speak up!

Your patients are waiting. 

How much does a Nursing Assistant make?

Nursing assistants give hands on care to patients in hospitals and residents of long-term care facilities. They are not nurses but work alongside RNs, LPNs, and doctors. In order to become certified, a nurse assistant must take and pass the state competency exam. While pay varies depending on which state you work in, here are some factors to consider:

Cost of Living.  Where you live makes a big difference. If the cost to buy groceries, pay rent, afford childcare and pay for gas is expensive, you will need to find work that pays you a living wage. The good news is becoming a nurse assistant now will jump-start your career and help you get a good paying job. On average, nursing assistants make more than minimum wage and have the job experience employers are looking for.

Benefits. Besides the immediate benefits of having long-term care residents that adore you and doing meaningful work, your employer will likely offer you health and lifestyle benefits which increase your rate of pay. How does that work?! Imagine if you are paid $13.23 per hour, which is the national average for a nurse assistant according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, but you also have free health insurance and a gym membership. Now you are being paid closer to $18 an hour, based on how much you are SAVING by not paying for health insurance and a gym membership. Often, large employers like hospitals will also pay for you to go back to school as well.

Job outlook. Knowing if your job will be around in the next 10 years is important to both your financial future and your ability to bargain for better pay. Nationally, nurse assistant opportunities are on the rise and working as a nurse assistant is largely available in both a community and urban setting.  This is good news for you! Having job security and the ability to find work wherever you go is always a great career choice.

Where you work. And as the saying goes, it’s all about location, location, location…and for nurses, speciality practice and where you work too! Working in a hospital or speciality practice, like a drug and alcohol center, are on average higher paying jobs. Typically, you will need to work in a long-term care setting before getting hired at a hospital though.

Top paying states to work as a nurse assistant:

  1. Alaska $37,950
  2. New York $35,080
  3. Nevada $34,480
  4. District of Columbia (D.C.) $34,170
  5. California $33,560

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national average pay in 2017 for a nursing assistant was $27,510, or $13.23 per hour.

A lot of my readers want to know the average rate of pay in Main, Mississippi, North Carolina, Arkansas, Connecticut. Here’s the breakdown from 2017:

  1. Main: $27,250
  2. Mississippi: $22,970
  3. North Carolina: $24,680
  4. Arkansas: $23,970
  5. Connecticut: $32,970

Continue reading “How much does a Nursing Assistant make?”