Nursing - Certificate - Nursing Assistant

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

Data are provided on a program (not credential) level

85% BTC graduate placement rate1

$30,243 starting annual wage2
$34,216 average annual wage2
$38,958 potential annual wage2

  • Employment and Wage Data Sources and Information

    1Employment data come from the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) and reflect WA/OR employment for students enrolled at BTC between 2016-17 and 2018-19. Students are included in the employment rate if they left with a credential. Rates are not shown for programs with fewer than 10 students meeting the above criteria.

    2Wage data come from Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) 2020 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates (Washington State wage) and reflect 2015-2018 employment. Wage data represent occupations that BTC faculty have identified as the most relevant career paths for program graduates. Note that these wages reflect employees with varying educational levels/credentials. For cases in which multiple occupations have been identified by faculty, a weighted percentile is calculated using each occupation’s percentile wage and employment size estimate. Wages are not shown for programs for which occupations do not meet the ESD’s minimum thresholds for publishing. If the program has wage data from the Washington SBCTC that involves shift work, these ESD wages reflect the same number of hours used in the annual wage calculation. Starting wage = 25th percentile, median wage = 50th percentile, wage potential = 75th percentile.

    3Additional employment data are provided for programs with faculty who maintain their own employment records of students who graduated between 2016-17 and 2018-19. The rates reflect employment within 9 months of graduation within their field of study. This additional, faculty-provided rate is particularly important for programs that tend to have graduates employed outside of WA and OR, as the Washington State ESD does not provide data on those graduates. Note that due to lack of available data, rates may represent fewer than 3 years of graduates.

Estimated Program Costs

Entry Information

When Can I Start?

Students interested in the Nursing Assistant program should apply to the college and contact Admissions at 360.752.8345 or at for assistance with getting started at BTC. A college application and your score on assessment testing and/or previous transcripts will determine where you begin your course sequence.

Nursing Assistant Program Information Sheet

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

The BTC Nursing Assistant Program looks forward to educating our students in-person again for the 21-22 academic year. Please be aware that this is not an online program.

Students will be required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. To be considered fully vaccinated, two weeks must have passed since the date of the second dose or first dose for the one-dose vaccine. The program’s clinical partner agencies will not accept any exemption to full COVID-19 vaccination.

CPR class (AHA BLS Healthcare Provider) is 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.

Summer Quarter 2022 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

  • COVID-19 vaccination is required for clinical placement starting Fall Quarter 2021. Students must be fully vaccinated prior to the start of clinical rotations. To be considered fully vaccinated, two weeks must have passed since the date of the second dose or first dose for the one-dose vaccine. Proof of vaccination will need to be provided to the program. Religious or philosophical exemptions cannot be accepted for clinical placement.

What are My Next Steps?


Total Program Credits: 12

  • Current Students: Learn how to use this page to register for classes

  • 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

Nursing Support Specialist - 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

Todd Clardy has been with Bellingham Technical College as an Adjunct Instructor since Spring of 2021. He has more than a decade of experience at direct bedside care. Initially completed his NAC program in January 2009. Later completing his LPN Certificate in March 2013. Started working with dementia residents at an assisted living facility then, a flu vaccine clinic and then at a Pediatric clinic. Later he transferred down to St. John Medical Center working as Patient Team Support. In March of 2015 he completed his RN Associates in AAS-T degree from Lower Columbia College. Todd joined on in Spring of 2015 at St. Joseph’s Medical Center on a surgical floor. He has enjoyed precepting nursing students as they begin the next step in their nursing career. Todd was a member on the Safe Staffing Committee and a strong advocate for safe staffing. He soon completed his Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Western Washington University in Summer of 2017.