Nurse Aide

Prepare for an entry-level healthcare career as a Nurse Aide (CNA).

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

Nursing students

Career Pathway

Program Dean

Workforce Services


FastForward Credential Program

Program Information

Nurse aides play a vital role in the healthcare team and are in critical shortage in our community! Work alongside nurses and physicians in a variety of inpatient and outpatient care settings such as long-term care facilities, hospitals, medical offices, clinics and home settings. Instructional topics include quality resident care, personal care skills, basic nursing skills, applying nutrition and hydration, recognizing and preventing opioid and substance abuse, professional workplace behavior, ethics and the legal aspects of health care. Students gain hands-on experience in taking and documenting vital signs, infection control procedures and assisting with activities of daily living. Students must successfully complete a 40-hour offsite clinical experience to demonstrate skill competency.

Upon completion, students are eligible to apply to sit for the Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) licensure exam offered by the Virginia Board of Nursing (VBON). 

Note: Program is approved by the Virginia Board of Nursing (VBON) which requires that Nurse Aide programs are a minimum of 140 contact hours. PVCC’s program includes additional hours for learner support, skills practice and workplace readiness instruction. Tuition includes the costs for criminal background check, drug screen, TB test, BLS-CPR (book, course, and certification) as well as two sets of scrubs, a stethoscope and blood pressure cuff. 

Contact Hours: 164

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.
  • Acceptable criminal background check and drug screen prior to clinical. Proof of immunizations and physical exam may be required depending on clinical site. 
  • Complete all funding assistance paperwork (if applicable) prior to enrollment.
  • 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 Nurse Aides

  • Provide direct patient care under the supervision of a nurse
  • Assist patients with activities of daily living and routine hygiene care
  • Obtain and record vital signs (blood pressure, pulse, respiration, temperature)
  • Obtain and report changes in patient condition
  • Support admission and discharge processes

Nurse Aides may also be called nursing assistants, nursing care partners and patient care assistants.

Employment Outlook for Nurse Aides

Graduates who have achieved licensure upon completion of this program have found employment in hospitals, nursing homes and home health agencies. Top employers of nurse aides in our community who visit our program to meet students, partner on clinical rotations, and employ our graduates include:

  • UVA Health
  • Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital
  • Commonwealth Senior Living
  • Martha Jefferson House
  • The Blake Senior Living
  • Consulate Healthcare
  • Augusta Health
  • Commonwise Home Care
  • 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. - US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics

Earning Potential & Career Progression for Nurse 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.

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

Take the Next Steps

Complete the Workforce Services Student Questionnaire.

Register for and attend a Funding Information Session.

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