How to Obtain the Education Needed to Become a Nursing Assistant

To become a nursing assistant, students need to complete educational training. Students are able to enter programs within several vocational colleges. Training is focused on teaching students how to care for patients by helping them perform every day tasks.

Career work is done while being supervised by other medical staff, typically nurses. Assisting in routine tasks such as eating, going to the bathroom, and bathing are the main areas that professionals focus on as they work with patients. Responsibilities inside the work place include serving meals, answering calls, and monitor patients. Students learn how to properly escort patients to exam rooms, monitor vital signs, and assist with minor procedures. The scope of activities will depend greatly on the facility in which medical professionals work. Formal training is quickly becoming a professional standard, as more employers are hiring people who are certified. Obtaining an education and becoming certified are the two main steps that students need to complete to successfully enter the health care field.

When beginning the process of enrolling in programs students are able to pick from training options that range from six to fifteen weeks. The vocational college being attended typically determines the length of training. Longer programs usually provide students with more time for clinical training. Clinical courses allow students to work directly with hospital staff and patients. The federal mandated requirement for students attending nursing assistant schools is at least 75 credit hours. Training prepares students to work with sick, elderly, and injured patients by helping them perform everyday tasks. Program coursework may vary but most programs incorporate the same basic topics, which can include:

Patients Rights


The function of the body, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and first aid courses are all worked through to prepare students to enter careers. Inside clinical coursework supervisors make sure students understand every aspect of the field before letting them obtain certification.

Working to become a certified nursing assistant may require students to complete more than the minimum credit hour requirement. Many states require students to complete programs and obtain 150 hours of clinical experience after coursework is finished. A comprehensive examination follows training and tests students on both the theoretical knowledge and clinical experience skills obtained through schooling. Students can pursue voluntary certification by completing exams given by the National Association for Home Care and Hospice. Certified professionals are required to maintain continuing education credits that keep their skills up-to-date. The field is estimated to grow in size by 19 percent in the next ten years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics connects this increase to the care needed for today’s elderly population that will require help.

Students that successfully complete training have multiple opportunities available to them in the industry. Quickly obtaining certification once programs are completed will help students stay competitive in this popular field. Obtaining an education can begin when students decide on which accredited nursing assistant colleges to enter. Agencies like the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) fully accredit quality educational training programs that offer the best education possible. Choose a program and start working to become a nursing assistant.


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Renata McGee is a staff writer for Locate Accredited Nursing Assistant Schooling as well as Online Nursing Assistant Courses at, your Partners in Education and Tuition Assistance Programs.