Resource Guide to Nursing Assistant Programs

Certified nursing assistants, also called CNAs, work under the supervision of nurses to help patients with daily living tasks. They work in collaboration with, and under the supervision of, registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and other medical staff. Interested in becoming a nursing assistant? Contact schools for information on admission and course of study, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Schools with nursing assisting programs

Kaplan University Kaplan University — Kaplan University is an accredited university, offering 170 degrees and programs. Kaplan University's Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting and Nursing prepare students to pursue entry-level positions in the ambulatory medical field and for entry-level positions in health information management. Financial aid is available for those who apply and qualify.
Keiser University Keiser University — Keiser University is an accredited university offering over 80 programs. Keiser University's Associate of Science degree in Medical Assisting prepares you for a fulfilling career in health care, shaping you to be an essential part of a physician's office, clinic or other medical environments. The Associate of Science degree in Health Services program prepares students in both business and health service administration. Click Here
Sanford Brown College Sanford Brown College — Sanford Brown College offers more than 20 unique associate and bachelor's degree programs. The Associate of Applied Science in Nursing program prepares students for entry-level nursing in a private practice, hospital, clinic or government agency. Financial aid is available for those who apply and qualify. Click Here
National American University National American University — National American University is an accredited institution and offers more than 20 accelerated certificate and Associate of Science degree programs in the business, medical and technical fields. The AS in Nursing program at NAU offers comprehensive back office training to provide support to physicians and direct patient care in a variety of medical settings. Click Here

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Frequently Asked Questions about Nursing Assistant Programs

  1. What is a nursing assistant?
  2. How do I become a nursing assistant?
  3. What schools offer degrees for nursing assistants?

What is a nursing assistant?

A certified nursing assistant, or CNA, has a wide variety of responsibilities within a diverse number of health care settings. These settings include nursing homes, private homes, mental health institutions, hospitals, doctor’s offices, and more. Responsibilities generally revolve around helping registered nurses (RN), doctors, and other healthcare professionals with the multitude of tasks that need to be completed on a day to day basis in medical facilities. These tasks can include, helping to move patients to new locations, taking notes for doctors, checking on patients, and more.

Additional tasks performed by a CNA, according to O*NET OnLine include:

  • Help determine patients’ needs and promptly respond to those needs.
  • Document observations of patient behavior, complaints, or physical symptoms to nurses.
  • Communicate with patients to determine possible need for assistance or social and emotional support.

How do I become a nursing assistant?

To obtain a nursing assistant job, a CNA most often needs to have at least a high school diploma, or GED, and at least some form of post-secondary nursing instruction. This can be obtained from a variety of institutions, including online schools, community colleges, trade schools, and so on. From there, it is a simple matter of taking, and passing, a CNA Exam. The following healthcare associate degrees can help prepare a student for a job as a nursing assistant:

What schools offer degrees for nursing assistants?

There are many academic institutions that offer certificates and degrees for persons interested in a certified nursing assistant career. Some schools offer specific medical assisting degrees, while others offer degrees in healthcare management and administration which can still be used to obtain certification as a nursing assistant:

  • Kaplan University: Kaplan offers an impressive selection of degree options for students who wish to work as a nursing assistant. These accredited programs create marketable graduates who are ready to perform in various healthcare settings.
  • Keiser University: Keiser offers an AS degree in medical assisting for students interested in helping physicians and nurses support their patients. The AS in health services program is an option for those interested in a more administrative role.
  • Bryant & Stratton College: Graduates of Bryant & Stratton’s medical assistant program are prepared to handle¬†administrative and clinical procedures consisting of scheduling patient appointments, billing, and transcription.
  • Herzing University: Students interested in entry-level employment in the healthcare industry can obtain the required skill and education at Herzing University. The school offers associate degrees in medical assisting, office management, and many others.
  • San Joaquin Valley College: While not as well known as some of the other schools on this list, SJVC offers a well rounded program for students to obtain an AS in clinical medical assisting.
  • National American University: NAU offers an excellent degree program for students interested in medical assisting. The AA degree in medical assisting is a well-rounded program designed to prepare students to face new and exciting challenges in the medical field.
  • Penn Foster College: Penn Foster offers students the opportunity to obtain an AAS degree in medical assisting. This degree program will give aspiring CNAs the knowledge and skills needed to meet the needs of the healthcare providers they assist.
  • Strayer University: Strayer offers bachelor’s and master’s degree that help prepare students for careers in the health care industry. For CNAs interested in continuing their studies, Strayer provides flexible learning options for its students.
  • DeVry University: DeVry offers higher-education services for students interested in an associate or bachelor’s degree in a health-related field. Programs are offered on a trimester basis, allowing students to graduate in less time.

Once you’ve earn the necessary credentials to work as a CNA, you’ll be prepared to enter the workforce that needs qualified professionals. In fact, employment of nursing assistants is projected to grow 21 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations:

BLS Chart for CNAs

Now is the time to earn your degree and get started on a lifelong career in the healthcare industry. Check out the list of accredited degree programs below to help you find the right program today.


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