Direct Care Worker (DCW)

Why Choose NPC's Direct Care Worker (DCW)?

"Direct Care Worker" is an umbrella term that includes certified nursing assistants, home health aides, personal care assistants, direct support professionals, home care workers and other similar occupational titles. Direct care workers help care for older adults and individuals with disabilities by providing assistance with activities of daily living (such as eating, bathing, going to the bathroom, dressing, etc.) and certain health care and rehabilitation services. As our population ages, more and more family members are putting aside their own careers to provide assistance with daily living activities for older family members. Receiving DCW certification makes the caregiver eligible for compensation from AHCCCS, helping to reduce the financial burden on the family. DCWs are also employed by home care and Medicare agencies.

About Our Program

The eight-week Direct Care Worker (DCW) course prepares caregivers to provide assistance in a home setting with the focus on skills development in performing personal care tasks and home management. A DCW certificate is issued upon successful completion of the course, making you eligible for financial compensation when providing services to individuals covered by the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS).

  • Prerequisite: ASSET reading score of 35 or COMPASS reading score of 61
  • Co-requisite, EMT 104 (CPR & First Aid) or current CPR card.
  • Must be 18 or older.

Degree/Certificate Options

This is an eight-week direct-to-work Health Services course (HES 199) with national certification upon successful completion.

It is not a component of any current NPC degree or certificate program.

Career Opportunities

Today's direct care workforce includes more than 4 million individuals and is expected to grow to 5 million by 2020, when, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Direct Care Workforce will be the largest occupational group in the country. Today, direct care workers provide care, services and support to more than 13 million Americans, and that number is expected to grow to 27 million by 2050.

According to the Institute of Medicine, direct care workers are "the linchpin of the formal health care delivery system for older adults." Without this linchpin, America's health care system would quickly grind to a halt.                  

Median annual earnings:
$20,360
  (May 2012) North Arizona Nonmetropolitan Area
(US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Contact Us

Cathy Reed, Secretary to the Dean

White Mountain Campus - Show Low
Ponderosa Center, Rm. 125

(800) 266-7845 ext. 6136
Fax: 
(928) 532-6790

Completion/Cost Data

New Program Fall 2014