Nursing Assistant (NAC)

What is the Nursing Assistant course?

The program consists of lecture courses and labs offered in the evenings on campus, and clinical experiences at long-term care facilities on the weekends.

The schedule varies from quarter to quarter, depending upon the availability of the lab and clinical instructors. Click here to see a sample schedule. Students successfully completing the program will be eligible to take the state certification exam, to perform bedside care as an NAC. If the class schedule does not work for you, there are other local providers offering the course. Visit the Washington State Department of Health website for more information.

The Nursing Assistant Certification is a requirement for application to the RN Nursing Program at WCC. Visit the Nursing Program web page.

What are the prerequisites?

There are no prerequisites for the NAC course, however English 92 and 95 are recommended preparation since there is significant reading required.

What are the application requirements?
What other expenses should I plan for?
Will Whatcom maintain a wait list?
Background Checks

I-BEST Nursing Assistant Class

I-BEST stands for Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training. An I-BEST program or class is one that takes students who are working on their basic educational skills (English and math) and places them in a technical training program at the same time. What the student experiences is two teachers in the classroom, and an extra support class to help them truly understand the classroom information.

Students must have Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System (CASAS) test scores in a certain range to qualify for the I-BEST course. The CASAS test can be taken on Whatcom's campus. Call the Office of Transitional Learning at (360) 383-3060 for more information.

If you think you are interested in the I-BEST program or would like more information, please email your questions to

Age-Related Considerations

Students under the age of 18 may enroll in NURS 100 - Nursing Assistant. In order to work as a Nursing Assistant - Certified (NAC), students must be at least 16 years of age. NAC's under the age of 17 will be restricted to working in certain environments for limited hours, especially when also attending school. These students may also have difficulty finding local employment. Historically, facilities which employ NAC's strongly prefer hiring people age 18 and over, due to these limitations on duties and work hours. Also, hospitals have been especially unlikely to hire anyone under 18 as an NAC.


Career & Salary Outlook

  • Occupation in demand in Washington State
  • NACs hired in a variety of settings
  • In Whatcom County, wages range from $9.96 to $14.84/hr; the median wage is $12.09/hr

Data as of March 2013

Career Pathways: A visual roadmap to help you reach your carer goals.

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Information Sessions
Other Prof Tech Programs 

Advising and Education Planning
360.383.3080 for appointment

Program Director
Annette Flanders, MSN/ED, RN

Program Assistant
Luanne Peel
Ph. 360.383.3258