Program of Study

Nursing Assistant
5-week program/185 hours


2017 Median Pay  $34,670 per year
$16.67 per hour
Entry-Level Education  Postsecondary non-degree award
Number of Jobs, 2016  77,600
Job Outlook, 2016-2026  15% (Faster than average)
Employment Change, 2016-2026  11,600

What Nursing Assistants Do:

Nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants help provide basic care for patients in hospitals and residents of long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes.

Nursing aides, sometimes called nursing attendants or nursing assistants, provide basic care and help with basic living activities. They typically do the following:

  •     Clean and bathe patients or residents
  •     Help patients use the toilet and dress
  •     Turn, reposition, and transfer patients between beds and wheelchairs
  •     Listen to and record patients’ health concerns and report that information to nurses
  •     Measure patients’ vital signs, such as blood pressure and temperature
  •     Serve meals and help patients eat

Some nursing aides and attendants may also dispense medication, depending on their training level and the state in which they work.

In nursing homes, aides and attendants 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, aides and attendants may develop close, caring relationships with their patients.

Job Outlook

Employment of Nursing Assistants is expected to grow by 20 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations.

Because of the growing elderly population, many nursing assistants will be needed in long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes. Growth in the demand for healthcare services should lead to increased opportunities for nursing assistants in other industries as well, such as hospitals and clinics.

Demand for nursing assistants may be constrained, however, by the fact that many nursing homes rely on government funding, which tends to increase slower than the cost of patient care.


The median annual wage for nursing assistants was $29,910 in May 2013. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $17,790, and the top 10 percent earned more than $34,580.

CAJ Training Program:

Note:  This program does not qualify for Financial Aid.

This course is designed to give students a practical knowledge of a nursing assistant role so they may secure employment in care homes, medical offices, hospitals & outpatient facilities. Students will learn to address the needs of the whole patient or resident while promoting independence and self care, emphasizing communication, infection control, safety, CPR & clinical nursing. Students will spend time in the classroom and a clinical care facility.

Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) provide daily living assistance and bedside care to patients under the supervision of a Registered Nurse or Licensed Vocational Nurse.  CNAs are also responsible for communicating vital information on patient conditions to nurses. Those entering this profession should be caring, compassionate, patient, and able to stay calm under stress.

Due to a combination of rapid employment growth, the need for replacement for those who leave this occupation, as well as increasing long-term care needs and the growing elderly population, job opportunities for CNAs are expected to be excellent. Certified Nursing Assistants earn salaries of betwen $23,663 and $29,801 per year.


  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Demonstration of a minimum of 10th grade proficiency in reading, language, and math
  • Obtain TB Test/Chest X-ray prior to enrolling


  • Attend class daily from 7:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. (theory); 6:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.  (clinical)
  • (90% minimum attendance)
  • Complete the course with a minimum grade average of C or better


  • Graduates receive a Certificate of Completion as CNA
  • All teachers are credentialed by the California Commission on Teacher credentialing
  • Teachers providing vocational training have had work experience in related business and/or industry
  • Charles A. Jones Career & Education Center is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges

Focus Class

  • Health Information Management
  • Clinical (back office) procedures:  vital signs; instrument trays/sterilization; charting notes, etc.
  • Phlebotomy
  • Injections
  • First Aid/CPR
  • Malpractice Insurance
  • Externship (200 hours)
CAJ Gainful Employment Data:

• Graduation Rate for Completers:  80%
• Placement Rate for Completers:  83%

Required Orientation & Assessment

  • Every Wednesday 8:15 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. in the Multi-Purpose Room.
  • Please bring your government issued picture ID (i.e. Driver’s License, DMV ID card, etc).