A History of the Nurse Aide

I would be willing to bet that most nurse aides out there don’t realize that nursing assistants have been around since WWI. Am I right?

There’s actually quite a bit of exciting, interesting history in this field. We thought it might be fun and motivating to take a trip back in time and learn the heritage of the modern day CNA!

  • Nurse aide jobs were established during WWI, when the American Red Cross launched a program called the Volunteer Nurses’ Aide Service. This program trained young women to assist to nurses who were being bombarded with injured soldiers and desperately needed assistance. This same program was reinstated again during WWII when more than 12,000 nurse aides volunteered their services in military hospitals.
  • In 1987, while Ronald Reagan was in office, Congress passed the Omnibus Reconciliation Act which set standards for certified nursing assistant training, education, and requirements. Before this act was passed, nurse aides didn’t need formal caregiver training or certification. In order to maintain high care standards, Congress passed this act and changed the field of assistant nursing dramatically.
  • Today, nurse aides must go through state-approved training and examination before being certified. And the great news for certified nurse aides is that CNA jobs are on the rise! Employment is predicted to grow 21% from 2012 to 2022 – that’s significantly faster than the average job growth!

Nurse aides’ history is rich and their future is bright! If you’re interested in learning more about learning more about what this historic career looks like today,check out our blog on A Day in the Life of a Nurse Aide Job.

Interested in learning more about working a care job or becoming a certified caregiver? Check out the free resources at myCNAjobs.com

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