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Nursing - Certificate - Nursing Assistant

Attend the online session and learn about our Nursing & Allied Health Programs, and about funding and student support resources that can help you get started at BTC

To learn more about other Bellingham Technical College programs you may be interested in, join us for a Virtual Program Info Session. Prior sign up is required. If you do not see an Info Session for the program you are interested in, email for more information.

Nursing Assistants are in high demand by employers in Whatcom County!

Choose BTC’s Nursing Assistant program to train for nursing assistant jobs in a wide variety of medical settings. The knowledge and skills you’ll gain are highly valued by healthcare industry employers such as hospitals, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and home health agencies.

Nursing Assistant training meets the Healthcare Experience requirement for entry into the BTC Registered Nursing Program. Students who complete the Nursing Assistant program will be eligible to take their WA State certification exams.

The Nursing Assistant Program at Bellingham Technical College is approved by the State of Washington, Department of Health, Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission. 

Note: BTC has not made a determination that the Nursing Assistant curriculum meets educational requirements for licensure/certification outside of Washington State. We encourage students who plan to work out-of-state to check relevant local licensure/certification requirements.

Employment Information

79% BTC job placement rate within nine months

$26,104 starting annual wage
$30,969 average annual wage
$35,464 potential annual wage
  • Employment and Wage Data Sources

    BTC graduate employment rates:
    The graduate employment rate reflects placement rates of students who graduated from BTC in 2014-15, 2015-16, and 2016-17. The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges Data Linking for Outcomes Assessment database pulls from Unemployment Insurance (UI) data across Washington and Oregon. UI data do not reflect BTC graduates who (a) are employed in states beyond those listed above or outside of the United States, (b) are self-employed, (c) are active duty members of the armed forces, (d) continued on to another educational institution, and/or (e) did not provide a social security number while enrolled at BTC.

    Washington State Employment Security Department 2018 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates ( reflect 2014-2017 employment

    Starting annual wage = 25th percentile
    Average annual wage = 50th percentile
    Potential annual wage = 75th percentile

Estimated Program Costs

Entry Information

When Can I Start?

All students interested in the Nursing Program should meet with the Nursing Student Navigator, to schedule an appointment contact Admissions & Advising at or 360.752.8345. The student navigator will help you plan a course of study. 

Nursing Assistant Program Information Sheet

Students are admitted in Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer quarters on a space available basis. 

CPR class (AHA BLS Healthcare Provider) and 7-hour HIV/AIDS Education are now included in the Nursing Assistant Program! Students do NOT need to register for these in addition to NA 101 & NA 102. Email if you have questions.

Nursing Assistant Spring 2021 Course Calendar

What are the Minimum Entry Requirements?

Admissions application and assessment testing in Reading, Math and Writing is required. Your score on the test and/or your previous transcripts will determine where you begin your course sequence. Contact Admissions at 360.752.8345 or at for assistance with academic planning.

Physical Requirements

AFTER admissions acceptance into the program and prior to beginning program classes students must submit proof of all Clinical Placement Requirements.

  • Documentation of a two-step tuberculin skin test (TB) completed within the last year. TB must be current through Nursing Assistant enrollment. This may be completed while starting the program (not an entry requirement, but encouraged to get started before starting the program) Student Tuberculosis (TB) Test Form

  •  This program requires a criminal history background check prior to attending the clinic practicum. Criminal History Background Check Information Sheet

What are My Next Steps?


Total Program Credits: 12

  • Quarter 1

  • NA 101Nursing Assistant Essentials6 CR
  • NA 102Nursing Assistant Clinical6 CR

Program Outcomes

  • Demonstrate clinical competencies defined in WAC 246-841
  • Identify and apply nursing knowledge necessary in the nursing assistant role

Employment Outlook

Employment of nursing assistants is expected to increase. Employment of nursing assistants is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations in response to an emphasis on rehabilitation and the long-term care needs of a rapidly aging population.

The average annual wage in this field is, $30,969 with an earning potential of about $35,464 per year.*

Criminal convictions may restrict or prevent student participation with internships and employment in this industry.

Most program graduates work as nursing assistants in extended care facilities, hospitals, clinics and home health agencies. Others work in residential care facilities, such as halfway houses and homes for the elderly or disabled, or in private households. Nationally, about one-half of all nursing assistants work in nursing homes, and about one-fourth work in hospitals.

Faculty & Support

Photo of Rika Winquist
Rika Winquist

Photo of Jennifer Tachiyama
Jennifer Tachiyama

Nursing Student Navigator - Advising for all Nursing and Pre-Nursing Master of Education Bachelor of Science – Mathematics I am a dedicated, goal oriented, team player with eight years’ experience teaching and four years teaching Middle School Summer School, three years running an After School Homework Center, and four years as an Accounting Clerk. I have been a Site Team Chair, Mathematics Head Chair, and the Middle School and High School Curriculum Director for Mathematics. I like challenges and finding solutions to them. I thrive on providing excellence in all areas of my job. My undergraduate schooling was completed at Faulkner University in Montgomery, Alabama where I earned a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Mathematics and was awarded one of four of the University’s top awards, the George S. Benson Citizenship Award for Outstanding Contribution in Academics and Athletics. I have completed my Master of Education Degree and Teaching Certification in Secondary Education at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington

Photo of Roxanne Telling
Roxanne Telling

Nursing Assistant Instructor