Nursing Assistant


Nursing Assistants perform basic patient care under the supervision of an RN, LPN, physician, or dentist. Nursing assistants are employed in acute care hospitals, nursing homes and long-term care facilities, office settings, or home care settings.

Nursing Assisting (NAS):

The Nursing Assisting Program is offered every semester (depending on student interest) on the Opelika and/or Valley Campus. The NAS course may be taken for college or non-collegiate credit.  Participants are not eligible to receive Federal Pell Grant Awards for enrolling in the program.  Students may be eligible for assistance through a grant offered due to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).

Approval:  Alabama Department of Public Health, Division of Healthcare Facilities

Degree Earned:  Award of Achievement

Length of Program:  5-10 weeks

Cost of Program:   Initial cost includes tuition + malpractice insurance + drug screening fee.  Please see estimated program costs for all fees.

Credentials Earned:  Certified Nursing Assistant following passage of the Nurse Aide Competency Evaluation Program (NACEP). Certification is required by all long-term care facilities/nursing homes.

Helpful Student Resources

Program Application
Estimated Program Costs Fall 2021
Alabama Department of Public Health

Admission Requirements - Nursing Assisting (NAS)

Admission to the Nursing Assisting program requires that a student submit a completed program application to the program to the Health Sciences Division.  Application to the College is not required for the non-collegiate option.  Tuition for the Nursing Assistant Program is not covered by Pell Grant or student loans.  See below for more information on tuition assistance availability.

WIOA Financial Assistance

Students who qualify for financial assistance under the guidelines of the Workforce Opportunity Investment Act (WIOA) may receive monies that will pay tuition for the Nursing Assistant Program. For more information, contact the Opelika Career Link (334) 749-5704 or the Valley Career Link (334) 756-0024.

Students who do not qualify for WIOA financial Assistance should visit Health Sciences Admissions Office to register for the program and make payment. 

Health Requirements and Forms

Students enrolling in a health sciences program must provide Southern Union State Community College with the required health care data after admission to the program. Clinical agencies mandate that students provide information regarding their current health status (annual physical and essential function) that may affect the safety of the student or the client in the clinical settings. Clinical agencies also require documentation of specific immunizations and proof that a criminal background checks and drug screen has been conducted. Various immunizations are required and are subject to change depending on the health care agency requirements.

Clinical requirements (after admission to the program):

  1. Negative drug screen (cost added to tuition)
  2. Clear criminal background checks may be required by some clinical agencies (at student's expense if required).  Instructor will provide vendor link for background check.
  3. Completions of all Health Requirements (at student's expense):
    • Health Questionnaire signed by doctor, nurse practitioner or physician's assistant, verifying state of physical and mental health such that the student is able to complete all program requirements without presenting undue risk/harm to the student or other person.
    • ability to meet Essential Functions requirements as specified in the program of study. (Form requires physician/physician's assistant or nurse practitioner signature.)
    • Tuberculin (Tb) skin test completed within one year (test results required). If results are positive, student must have chest x-ray.
    • proof of current immunizations for MMR (two MMR's required).
    • current CPR certification by American Heart Association, Health Care Provider level.
    • proof of tetanus, diptheria and pertussis (TDAP) vaccination within 10 years.
    • Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine or positive Varicella immunity blood test. If negative for chickenpox immunity, must have vaccine.
    • annual flu vaccination.

*Health requirements may change as required by clinical agencies. Additional information and forms will be given at the orientation meeting. Students not completing all health requirements may be dismissed from the program.


The Health Sciences Division must verify that all students have up-to-date immunizations. Students who do not have documentation of immunizations must have blood drawn for titer to see if they are immune.  Due to contractual agreements with the clinical agencies, currently enrolled students may be required to obtain the seasonal flu shots as a clinical requirement.  More information about health requirements and deadlines for submitting proof will be discussed at the Nursing Assisting orientation meeting.

Health Insurance

Students in the Health Sciences may be required to demonstrate proof of health insurance. Students without proof of health insurance may not be allowed attend clinical.

Criminal Background Checks and Drug Screenings

Southern Union is contractually obligated to comply with requirements set forth by agencies used for clinical rotations. Health sciences students are required to have background checks and/or drug screens completed to meet the requirements of clinical agencies in accord with the Joint Commission Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) standards. Background checks will be conducted by the vendor approved by the clinical agencies.

Students who are required to complete criminal background checks contract directly with the approved vendor and results are confidential. The clinical agency (ies) will make the decision to approve or deny the student for clinical privileges. Refusal of an agency to accept a student will prevent a student from completing the health sciences program. The student will be responsible for clearing any denials reported from the clinical agency. Students who are unable to resolve denials will be withdrawn from the health sciences program.

Refusal to sign the "Consent for Release of Information" form or refusal of access to a clinical agency will result in withdrawal or dismissal from the program.

Drug screens will be conducted at the beginning of scheduled coursework and at random throughout the program. Students who do not pass the drug screen will be withdrawn from the health sciences program.

Program Curriculum

NAS CURRICULUM (non-collegiate credit)

Course Number Course Name Credit Hours
NAS 100 Long Term Care Nursing Assistant 4