So you want to be an AIN?
The NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association’s Professional Team writes about what you need to know to be an Assistant in Nursing (AIN).
Who is eligible to be an Assistant in Nursing (AIN)?
There are many benefits to working as an Assistant in Nursing (AIN) while completing a nursing degree. You can develop your fundamental nursing skills and expand your experience with communicating with patients, knowledge on how the hospital/healthcare system works, essential skills such as bed making, vital signs, and patient personal care, and networking with employers. Not to mention, having AIN experience looks good to employers once you graduate as a Registered Nurse and you can support yourself through your studies with adequate time management.
To be able to apply for an AIN position you must:
- be a second-year pre-registration nursing student (or in any year after first year). You can apply after you can demonstrate your successful completion of first year,
- have a Certificate III in Health Services Assistance through an accredited institution. e.g.: Assisting in Nursing Certificate III in Acute Care or equivalent through TAFE.
Top tip: It is important to look at the job application including the essential selection criteria to see if you meet the requirements to apply. It is essential that you address the criteria on your application and provided all the documents that it asks. This can be the difference of getting an interview. Documents like your cover letter, CV and possibly your academic transcript.
Common selection criteria
You must show that you meet the essential selection criteria they are asking; it is best to highlight in your CV the essential selection criteria with examples of how you meet the criteria.
Top tip: the interview questions will generally be based on the selection criteria. Desirable selection criteria you can answer if you meet them but are not essential.
- A high level of interpersonal, verbal and written communication
- Demonstrated clinical knowledge and clinical problem-solving abilities
- Ability to work within a team
- An understanding of the professional ethical and legal requirements of an Assistant in Nursing
- An understanding of the role and scope of practice of an Assistant in Nursing
- An understanding of the organisation’s values e.g.: NSW Health’s Core Values.
What is your scope of practice as an AIN?
AINs assist registered and enrolled nurses with daily nursing care. AINs work under the supervision of a Registered Nurse, Midwife or Enrolled nurse.
An AIN can:
- attend to patient’s personal hygiene care such as mouth care, showering, eye and ear care and assistance with toileting.
- provide, remove and clean bedpans and urinals
- change occupied and unoccupied beds
- help with general ward ambulation and support mobilisation of a patient
- assist with repositioning, pressure area and skin care
- assist with positioning, posture maintenance and comfort
- help with meals and feeding
- simple wound dressings
- apply anti thromboembolic stockings
- assist with care of the deceased
- patient observations/vitals
- patient weighing and measurements
- can document patient observations and information
- report all patient observations to the appropriate Registered Nurse
- promote and maintain a clean, comfortable and safe environment for patients, staff and visitors such as restocking the med room and cleaning up the pan room.
An AIN cannot:
- give or prepare medications
- prepare or initiate IV therapy
- disclose to the patient or family information about the patient
- write a patient care plan
Where to find AIN jobs
There is no shortage of work for AINs.
You can find AIN jobs on:
- websites such as job sites such as seek.com, Indeed, NSW Health, and other healthcare employers’ websites
- some nursing students are offered AIN jobs on their placements. You can also ask the NUM and/or RNs on the ward you’re on and/or your facilitator if the hospital is hiring AINs
- ask a fellow nursing student or friend who is an AIN if their hospital is hiring or where they found their job. Maybe they can put in a good word for you
Always apply for more than one job advertisement to maximise your chances of securing a job.
The NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association can provide assistance for student members of the association looking to apply for Assistant in Nursing jobs. To join our Association for free as a student member, visit our website.
Find out more about applying to AIN jobs in the following articles: