Medication Aide

This program prepares students with the knowledge and skills to serve as a Medication Aide in various healthcare settings.

This is a G3 program. Students may qualify for free tuition, fees, and books.

Female nurse smiling and handing medication to an older female patient with two older men sitting beside them

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Program Information

Medication aide is the next step along the nursing pathway for nurse aides working in long-term care facilities. Expand your skills and scope of practice in this program. Instructional topics include pharmacology, routes of medication administration, safe administration storage and disposal of medications, infection control, documentation, professional workplace behavior, ethics and the legal aspects of health care. Students gain hands-on experience in safely administering medications through various routes (ex: oral, eye, ear, nasal) and assisting patients in self-administration of select medications. Students must successfully complete a 20-hour offsite clinical experience to demonstrate skill competency.

Upon completion, students are eligible to apply to sit for the Registered Medication Aide (RMA) credential exam offered by the Virginia Board of Nursing (VBON). 

Contact Hours: 70

Admissions Requirements
  • Meet minimum essential functions and standards for program.
  • Be at least 18 years of age on the first day of class.
  • Attend a coaching appointment and/or information session prior to enrollment.
  • Complete all funding assistance paperwork (if applicable) prior to enrollment.
  • Documentation of successful completion of one of the following: (a) a Board of Nursing approved Nurse Aide Program; (b) 40-hour Personal Care Aide training program; or (c) 40-hour Direct Care Staff Training required by Department of Social Services (DSS) for Assisted Living Facility employees.
  • Acceptable criminal background check and drug screen prior to clinical. Proof of immunizations and physical exam may be required depending on clinical site.
  • English Language Learners (ELL/ESL): If English is not the first language, prospective students must complete a CASAS assessment with acceptable score prior to program admission. CASAS assessments can be scheduled by emailing at or calling 961-434-5461. Include your first and last name, program of interest, and program start date in your email. Assessment should be completed at least one week prior to program start date. CASAS assessment is also recommended, but not required, for prospective students who feel their reading comprehension needs improvement.

Job Duties for Medication Aides
  • Administer medications under the supervision of a professional nurse
  • Maintain standards of hygiene, safety and infection control
  • Assist patients with activities of daily living and routine hygiene care
  • Obtain and record vital signs (blood pressure, pulse, respiration, temperature)
  • Completes accurate documentation of patient condition and medication administration

Medication Aides may also be called registered medication aides (RMA), certified medication aides or medication associates.

Employment Outlook for Medication Aides

Graduates who have achieved licensure upon completion of this program have found employment in Senior Living communities. Top employers of medication aides in our community who may employ our graduates include:

  • Commonwealth Assisted Living
  • Martha Jefferson House
  • The Blake Senior Living
  • Anthology of Charlottesville
  • Five Star Senior Living
  • The Blake
  • Rosewood Village at Greenbrier
  • English Meadow Senior Living
  • The Lodge at Old Trail
  • Essentia Health
  • Westminster-Canterbury of the Blue Ridge
  • Albemarle Health & Rehabilitation Center
  • Charlottesville Health & Rehabilitation Center

Nationally, overall employment of nurse aides is projected to grow 8% from 2020 to 2030. Medication Aides fall into the same category for job growth. - US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Earning Potential & Career Progression for Medication Aides

The local median wage for Nurse Aides in our area is $30,170 per year (full-time salaried with benefits) or $14.51-$15.05 for hourly employment (BLS, 2021). Earning potential increases for Nurse Aides who progress to obtain licensure as Medication Aides. Local job postings reflect starting rates of $17.00-$18.64 for hourly employment (November 2022).

The college offers additional healthcare programs for career advancement for Nurse Aides.  The next step would include Licensed Practical Nurse for those who wish to work in nursing homes, assisted living or home healthcare agencies. For those who wish to work in hospitals or physician's offices, the next step may be Phlebotomy, EKG Technician or Clinical Medical Assistant.

Take the Next Steps

Complete the Workforce Services Student Questionnaire.

Meet with a coach and/or attend a FastForward Funding Session.

Check the schedule page to see when this FastForward program is next offered.