Nursing Assistants, sometimes called nursing aides, help provide basic care to patients such as bathing and dressing, helping patients eat, taking vital signs, lifting patients into beds and wheelchairs, providing and emptying bedpans and changing bed sheets.
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. Some nursing assistants also may dispense medication, depending on their training level and the state in which they work.
Nursing assistant training at NPC prepares graduates for healthcare careers. The required five-credit course, NAT 101 Nursing Assistant, features both lecture and hands-on lab classes that include all required content and hours specified by the Arizona Nurse Practice Act. Upon successful completion of the course you become eligible to take the Arizona State Board of Nursing examination to become a Certified or Licensed Nursing Assistant (CNA/LNA).
Before EnrollingTo qualify for enrollment in NAT 101, students must provide a DPS Fingerprint Clearance Card prior to course registration to meet Department of Health Services requirements. See details below under Entry Requirements.
- Students seeking federal financial aid may take additional courses in English, Nutrition, Medical Terminology and Law and Ethics to earn a Certificate of Proficiency (CP).
- Applicants to the NPC Nursing Program must have a current Arizona Licensed Nursing Assistant (LNA) license in good standing.
- For more information about this program, please contact an NPC Academic Adviser. Also see the current NPC College Catalog and class schedule.
Labs and Classrooms
For your convenience, the lecture portion of the Nursing Assistant (NAT) training course is offered in interactive video or face-to-face formats. Hands-on laboratory training is offered at the Show Low, Snowflake/Taylor and Winslow campuses, as well as the Whiteriver and Springerville centers. (Actual clinical sites may vary each semester. Check with your academic adviser or the NPC Department of Nursing & Allied Health for details.)
Supplies / Tools
Royal blue scrubs, nursing shoes, a watch with a second hand and course textbook.
Students are also responsible for the cost of providing proof of required TB testing and immunizations, and the DPS Fingerprint Clearance Card, prior to admission to the NAT 101 course, and a second set of fingerprints if seeking Licensed Nursing Assistant (LNA) certification.
Prerequisite for admission to the CNA course/program:
- Satisfactory reading and math placement scores;
- Healthcare Provider CPR and First Aid certification (EMT 104 CPR & First Aid or equivalent);
- A current TB skin test and proof of immunization for Hep B and MMR must be provided;
- Students are required to provide fingerprint identification for a criminal background check and proof of legal presence in the United States when applying for a CNA/LNA license.
Before EnrollingTo qualify for enrollment in NAT 101, students must provide a DPS Fingerprint Clearance Card prior to course registration to meet Department of Health Services requirements. The student must present a “Health Science Student” AZ DPS Fingerprint Clearance Card. There is a $65 application fee and a fingerprinting fee may also apply. Go to azdps.gov/services/public/fingerprint, click on Apply for Card, then on Online Application to schedule an appointment with the closest FieldPrint Office, after signing up as a new user, or logging in. Card must be paid for online. Additional costs and requirements will apply. Your academic adviser, or the NPC Nursing Department, can provide detailed instructions. Note that upon completion of NAT 101, students seeking the LNA credential must submit a second set of fingerprints to the Arizona State Board of Nursing.
Under the Arizona Nurse Practice Act, an applicant for CNA/LNA licensure can be denied certification if convicted of a felony or addicted to habit-forming drugs or if the applicant in any other way fails to meet qualifications required by law. – A.R.S. §32-1606(B)(17)
Nursing Assistants work in nursing and residential care facilities and in hospitals. They are often physically active spending much of their time on their feet as they take care of many patients or residents. The work of nursing assistants can be strenuous as they may need to help lift or move patients.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunity for nursing assistants is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2024. This is due to long-term care needs of a growing elderly population, plus the many advancements of modern medical technology that save and extend lives, increasing the need for long-term care provided by nursing assistants.
Median annual earnings: $32,560 (May 2018) northern Arizona Non-metropolitan Area (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) SOC 31-1014
Potential Job Titles
Licensed Nursing Assistant (LNA), Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), nurse's aide, orderly
The NPC Nursing Assistant (CNA/LNA) program is accredited by the Arizona State Board of Nursing.
Applicants to the NPC Nursing program must have a current Arizona Licensed Nursing Assistant (LNA) license in good standing.
The U.S. Department of Education requires all colleges to disclose a variety of information for any financial aid eligible program that "prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation." See the Letter from the U.S. Department of Education (PDF).