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 or higher
  • Reading 99 or higher
  • English 101 or ABE 90

CBC offers the Nursing Assistant course in Fall, Winter and Spring quarter each year. Students must apply and be accepted to register. The application will be posted on the Application Process tab, on this webpage, in July of each year for the current academic year.
Ex:  Application posted July 2023 for the 2023-24 academic year.

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. 

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

To view upcoming information sessions and register, please check our events calendar.


Application Process

The program application for Nursing Assistant is now open! This course is offered in fall, winter, and spring quarters of each academic year. The first and last day to submit an application is noted on page 2 in the application for each quarter.

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 will be 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.
  • Current American Heart Association BLS Provider CPR certification
  • Current First Aid card
  • Letter of reference addressing your work or study habits

The first page of the program application has directions to follow on how to submit an application. For Fall quarter 2024, the first day to submit an application is June 21, 2024.

Apply Today!

Accepted Applicant Requirements
After the applications are reviewed by the program director, applicants are notified via email whether they have been accepted into the program, put on a wait list, or denied for missing requirements. Accepted students are expected to request their national background search before they will be given codes to register for lab and lecture each quarter. These details will be 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.


Program Learning Outcomes for the Nursing Assistant Short-Term Certificate

Program learning outcomes are the knowledge, skills, and abilities that students will achieve before they graduate. The outcomes below were developed by the faculty in Nursing Assistant with input from accrediting bodies, advisory committees, employers, etc. This collaboration ensures that the outcomes are relevant for careers that this degree leads to.

Students who graduate with a Nursing Assistant short-term certificate will be able to:

  1. Communicate and interact with clients, family, and health care teams.
  2. Maintain and protect client rights.
  3. Perform basic nursing skills.
  4. Provide for client personal care and hygiene.
  5. Assist with client rehabilitation and restorative care, promoting independence.
  6. Provide care for clients with long-term, disabling conditions (including dementia).


Health Science Center