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According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assisting is one of the fastest-growing career through 2020. (This doesn't mean the parade will end in 2020; it means the statistics only stretch out that far).

After completing a state-approved education program, nursing assistants take a competency exam. Passing this exam allows them to use state-specific titles. In some states, a nursing assistant or aide is called a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), but titles vary from state to state.

Nursing assistants who have passed the competency exam are placed on a state registry. Nursing assistants must be on the state registry to work in a nursing home. Some states have other requirements as well, such as continuing education. Check with your state board of nursing or health for more information.

In some states, nursing assistants can earn additional credentials, such as becoming a Certified Medication Assistant (CMA). As a CMA, they can give medications.

Topics for Medical Anatomy & Physiology


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Topics in Nursing and Allied Health


David L. Heiserman, Editor

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Revised: June 06, 2015