This Career Pathway Certificate of Completion: Basic Nursing Assistant is designed to prepare students for the Nursing Assistant Level One certification and for successful employment as a CNA1. The program combines classroom, skills lab instruction, and hands-on clinical experience, designed to prepare students for the nursing assistant role in health care agencies. The program includes instruction in basic bedside nursing skills, basic restorative skills, mental health and social service skills, personal care skills, knowledge of clients’ rights, and medical records systems. Students will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to care for clients in long-term care and acute care facilities that are under direct care of a licensed nurse.

The NUR120 Nursing Assistant Level 1 course is an Oregon State Board of Nursing (OSBN) approved course. Upon successful completion of the course, students are eligible to sit for the Oregon State Board of Nursing-sanctioned CNA Level 1 examination.

Alternately, students can earn an industry Certificate of Completion in Personal Care issued by Acquire, Inc. in addition to the Southwestern Career Pathway Certificate.

Click here to learn how this Career Pathway can lead to an AAS Nursing degree.

Graduation Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of 17 credit hours with a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0 or better. All courses in the program must be completed with a ‘C’ or better. One course must be completed at Southwestern before the Career Pathway Certificate of Completion: Basic Nursing Assistant is awarded.

Complete the graduation application process one term prior to the term of completion (e.g., spring term graduates must apply during winter term).

Pre-Program Courses

Students are required to take the following courses prior to the program courses, depending on students' college placement information. See advisor for details:

WR90Paragraph Fundamentals (or placement in higher writing course)3-4
or WR90R Academic Literacy

Program Guide

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
NUR120 Nursing Assistant Level 1 1 9
HIM110 Health Information Technology 5
Interviewing Theory and Techniques
or Community Resources
 Total Credits17-18

The course requires a course application to be submitted to document requirements such as immunizations, drug screen, current CPR card, and criminal background check. Also, OSBN requires applicants for nursing assistant certifications to provide fingerprints in order for a national criminal history record check to be conducted by the OSBN.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program the student will be able to:

  • Be eligible to sit for the Oregon State Board of Nursing-sanctioned CNA Level 1 examination and be able to function as a professional in the role of a CNA1.
  • Be able to demonstrate basic patient advocacy, health promotion, and basic medical records maintenance.
  • Follow treatment plans prescribed by nurses and other health professionals.