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What Is a Nurse Technician and How Do You Become a Nurse Tech?

Under close supervision of a registered nurse (RN) or doctor, a nurse technician is involved in many aspects of patient care. These positions are typically reserved for nursing students or nursing program graduates who have not yet received licensure.

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Nurse Technician Overview

Nurse technician positions are generally part-time employment opportunities reserved for students in licensed practical nursing (LPN) or registered nursing (RN) programs leading to a diploma, associate degree or bachelor's degree. These positions can also be available to nursing program graduates who would like to earn work experience at a hospital or other healthcare facility while attempting to pass a LPN or RN licensing exam.

Job Duties

Students working as nurse technicians are responsible for providing basic patient care under the supervision of an RN or physician. Job duties generally include observing patients, recording their vital signs and reporting any changes in their condition to healthcare supervisors. Nurse technicians are also charged with escorting patients to examining rooms or surgery.

Depending on state laws and employer job duties, additional responsibilities could include assisting physicians during examination and treatment procedures or administering prescribed medications. They might also collect and label test specimens.

Education Requirements for the Career

Education requirements for a nurse technician job vary by employer. Successful completion of introductory nursing courses is the minimum requirement for all positions, as is clinical experience. However, some employers only accept applicants who have completed three years of a nursing bachelor's degree program.

Nursing technicians are usually required to report acceptable GPAs as they progress through their nursing programs in order to maintain employment. Additionally, students are often expected to earn state licensure as RNs or LPNs within a certain time frame after graduating and, in many cases, matriculate into other positions.

Registration and Other Requirements

Some states require nurse technicians to become registered, which entails submitting verification of enrollment in a nursing program. Others require them to earn a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) credential. This designation is granted to applicants who have completed sufficient training or coursework in their nursing program and passed a written exam administered by the state. Additional employer requirements could include background checks as well as basic life support or CPR certification from the American Heart Association or Red Cross.

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