Nursing Assistants provide crucial everyday support services such as bathing, dressing, and feeding for older adults and all individuals with disabilities, primarily in nursing facility and residential settings. Despite shifting preferences among service recipients and policymakers toward home and community settings, demand for institutional care continues to grow at a substantial rate.
There will be 300,000 new Nursing Assistant jobs added to the economy over the next ten years – a growth rate of 21 percent. However, wages for these workers are low and getting lower, nationwide. Without intervention, Nursing Assistant recruitment and retention will become an increasingly significant challenge, compromising the stability of the nation’s long-term care system.
Wage calculations are derived from the median hourly wage reported by the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Program and the Consumer Price Index for urban wage earners and clerical workers (1982‐84=100), Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor.
Poverty thresholds reflect FPL for two-person households in the contiguous 48 states and the District of Columbia. Due to higher cost of living, Hawaii and Alaska have separate federal poverty guidelines. In 2014, the median wages for Nursing Assistants in Alaska and Hawaii were both below 200% FPL.