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Important Qualities To Have

Communication skills. Nursing assistants must be able to communicate effectively to address patients’ or residents’ concerns. They also need to relay important information to other healthcare workers.

Compassion. Nursing assistants assist and care for the sick, injured, and elderly. Doing so requires a compassionate and empathetic attitude.

Patience. The routine tasks of cleaning, feeding, and bathing patients or residents can be stressful.  Nursing assistants must have patience in order to complete these tasks.

Physical stamina. Nursing assistants spend much of their time on their feet.  They should be comfortable performing physical tasks, such as lifting or moving patients.

Work Schedule

Most nursing assistants and orderlies work full time. Because nursing homes and hospitals provide care at all hours, nursing assistants and orderlies may need to work nights, weekends, and holidays.

Certified Nurse Assistant

Nursing assistants help provide basic care for patients in hospitals and residents of long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes.


Classroom instruction and clinical training include resident care skills, vital signs, nutrition, emergency procedures and rehabilitation. Eligible students take the state competency exam for certification. 

Prerequisites: 18 years or older; speak, read, write English at 9th grade level. A physical exam is required, at the student’s expense, after registration into the program. Additionally, a background check will be required for clinical attendance and licensing, certification, or registration with the appropriate governing board.

First class meeting will consist of an orientation that will include a reading comprehension test.

Course Fee: $1,300 includes textbooks, supplies, CPR, uniforms, training

Mandatory Reading Comprehension Test and brief orientation will be given the first day of the class.

Fall 2020 cohort

Please note: Class dates and times are currently TBD due to clinical site availability.

Dates: August 11, 2020 - January 15, 2021


Days: Tuesday, Thursday, Alternate Saturdays

Times: T, Th: 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm; Alternate Sat: 8:00 am - 2:30 pm

Room: 107


Days: TBD

Times: TBD

Room: Offsite

A background check may be required for externships, clinicals and licensing, certification or registration with the appropriate governing board.

Job Duties

Nursing assistants provide basic care and help with activities of daily living.  They typically do the following:

  • Clean and bathe patients or residents
  • Help patients use the toilet and dress
  • Turn, re-position, and transfer patients between beds and wheelchairs
  • Listen to and record patients’ health concerns and report that information to nurses
  • Measure patients’ vital signs, such as blood pressure and temperature
  • Serve meals and help patients eat

Some nursing assistants also may dispense medication, depending on their training level and the state in which they work.

In nursing homes and residential care facilities, assistants are often the principal caregivers.  They have more contact with residents than other members of the staff.  Because some residents stay in a nursing home for months or years, assistants may develop close relationships with their residents.

Work Environment

Most nursing assistants and orderlies work in hospitals and nursing care facilities.  Some work in ambulatory healthcare services, continuing care retirement communities, assisted living facilities for the elderly, and government facilities.  The work of nursing assistants can be strenuous.  They spend much of their time on their feet as they take care of many patients or residents.  Because they frequently lift people and do other physically demanding tasks, nursing assistants have a higher rate of injuries and illnesses than the national average.  They are typically trained in how to properly lift and move patients, which can reduce the risk of injuries.