Nursing assistants, also called nurse aides, work in health care settings such as nursing homes, long-term care facilities and hospitals. They record vital signs of patients, record patients' food and fluid intake, help patients with bathing and grooming, assist patients with moving to treatment rooms, and set up oxygen tents and other equipment. Nursing assistants in Michigan and nationwide must be certified to work in certain employment settings.
Federal law requires nursing assistants to be certified and to be listed on a state registry if they provide nursing or nursing-related care in a long-term care facility. To become a certified nursing assistant in Michigan, a candidate must complete a training program and pass a knowledge test and a practical skills test, reports the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics provides combined salary data for all nursing aides, orderlies and attendants who provide nursing and nursing-related care under the direction of licensed nurses. Their average salary in Michigan was $12.26 per hour as of May 2010, or $25,490 per year. This was a bit higher than the nationwide average pay for this occupational group, which was $12.09 per hour. The Michigan median salary was nearly identical to the average, at $12.27 per hour.
The median salary for Michigan CNAs varies somewhat with geography, according to Salary.com. CNAs in Marquette had a median annual salary of $25,122 as of May 2011, in Kalamazoo $26,957, in Bay City $26,985, in Grand Rapids $28,171, in Lansing $28,284, in Ann Arbor $28,848, and in Detroit $29,243.
Nationwide, the middle 50 percent of CNAs on the earnings scale made $25,785 to $30,996 per year. This ranks the Marquette median CNA salary in the bottom 25 percent nationwide, and ranks the other Michigan cities in this sample grouping in the middle 50 percent. The lowest salaries in the sampling were in Marquette, where the bottom 10 percent of CNAs had wages of $20,971 per year and less, and the highest salaries were in Detroit, where the top 10 percent earn $34,723 per year and more.