Nursing Assistant

In just one quarter, the CBC Certified Nursing Assistant (NAC or CNA) program prepares you for entry-level positions in a variety of healthcare settings and helps you to take the next step in your nursing education. The program is designed to prepare candidates for the Nursing Assistant Certification in Washington, which complies with the Nursing Home Reform Act (OBRA, 1987).

The National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) examination assures that you understand and can safely perform the job of an entry-level Nursing Assistant. The NNAAP examination is a measure of Nursing Assistant-related knowledge, skills and abilities that includes testing by both a written examination and a skills evaluation. Nursing Assistant students who successfully complete the course work, lab and clinical hours will receive a Certification of Completion from DSHS and be eligible to take the NNAAP examination. 

CBC Nursing Assistant Program

To complete the NA 100 class lecture hours, students are required to meet three days a week for lecture and lab hours during the first four weeks. The instructor schedules clinical hours with the clinical facility and students are required to complete 50 clinical hours during one quarter. These hours include a minimum of 36 shift hours, which are performed at various facilities located throughout the Tri-Cities. Students are required to complete shifts that may start as early as 6 am. Students need to arrange to attend these required shifts, as attendance is mandatory.

Students must have a college transcript showing Math and English at the 100 level or higher with a passing grade or have a current placement test score that places them into:

  • Math 50 (formerly Math 84) or higher
  • Reading 99 or higher
  • English 98 or higher

You may be eligible for financial assistance through the Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) program. The CASAS exam is used to determine student eligibility for I-BEST.  Eligible students enrolled in I-BEST benefit from attending a Special Studies class where they will receive additional educational support to review classroom instruction, prepare for the exams, and strengthen basic skills while taking the Nursing Assistant training. Find out more about the I-BEST program.

Students eligible for the Opportunity Grant may receive funds to cover tuition/mandatory fees and up to $1,000 for books and supplies for 45 college credits.

All students interested in the Nursing Assistant program are encouraged to attend a free information session. A counselor will describe the program, the prerequisites, the application process and take time to answer questions. 

Visit the CBC Events Calendar to find the next available session and register to attend or email for assistance.

Information sessions are open to anyone interested in a CBC Health Sciences program.


Application Process

The Nursing Assistant course is offered each fall, winter, and spring quarter. The next opportunity to apply will be in July or August of 2022 for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Students will need to either have placement scores for Math, English and Reading or have college transcripts showing these courses at the 100 level being completed with a passing grade.

Applicants are required to provide a copy of the following documentation:

  • Applicants must be a CBC student before applying to this program.  If you are not, you can go to the Apply for Admission page on the CBC website to enroll online or request a paper application.
  • Current American Heart Association BLS Provider CPR card
  • Current First Aid card
  • Letter of reference addressing your work or study habits

The program application and required documentation should be submitted either by email or mailed via USPS. Directions will be on the first page of the application.

Accepted Applicant Requirements
After the applications are reviewed by the program director, applicants are notified by  email or letter whether accepted or denied into the program. Accepted students are expected to request their national background search before they can be registered for lab and lecture for the quarter. These details are listed in the acceptance letter. The cost to the student for the background search is $89.75.

Proof of valid and current immunization records are to be submitted to the Health Science Center office before clinical hours are scheduled.


National Background Search & Drug Screen Requirements

As part of the admission requirements for Health Science programs, applicants must successfully pass a criminal background check and drug screen prior to working with patients in clinical areas. The background check and drug screen are paid by the student and administered through a third party company, CastleBranch. In addition to the background check required by CBC, each clinical facility reserves the right to conduct its own criminal background check prior to allowing a student to enter its health care facilities for clinical participation.

Certain criminal convictions, pending charges or negative actions may automatically disqualify a person from having unsupervised access to vulnerable adults, juveniles and children. Clinical facilities reserve the right to accept or decline a student’s placement in its facility.     

You can enter nursing at several levels. The Nursing Assistant course is designed to prepare candidates for the Nursing Assistant Certification in Washington. Once licensed and certified, nursing assistants may work in a variety of settings including:

  • Hospitals
  • Extended care
  • Home Care
  • Assisted living facilities
  • Community care facilities for the elderly
  • Nursing care facilities

Becoming a nursing assistant provides a stepping-stone to other healthcare career opportunities, allowing you employment while furthering your education.

While employed, you will experience various areas of healthcare that may entice you to pursue other fields in healthcare, such as Registered Nursing, Radiologic Technology, Surgical Technology, etc. Overall, one of the best ways to increase your pay as a nursing assistant is to obtain additional education and certifications.



Health Science Center