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 100, 4 hours or NNAS 9120, 4 hours:

The Nursing Assisting course is offered every semester (depending on student interest) on the Opelika and/or Valley Campus. The NAS 100 course may be taken for college or non-collegiate credit (NNAS 4120).  Application to the College is not required for the non-collegiate option.  Participants are not eligible to receive Federal Pell Grant Awards for enrolling in the program.  Contact Financial Aid for further information.  Students may be eligible for assistance through a grant offered due to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).  See below for more information on tuition assistance availability.

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.  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.  Certification exam costs are not included in the course fee.

Course Fee - $679   (See Scheduled Classes)

Materials Needed:

Textbook - $80 approx.

Drug Screen and Criminal Background Check - $59.50

Malpractice Insurance - $15

Uniforms, watch, and stethoscope - $50-110, depending on where purchased.

Health Immunizations – Cost will vary based on individual’s immunization status

CPR (AHA BLS Healthcare Provider Level)- $58

Optional:  Certification test fee $75 approx.

** Please note that costs are approximations and are subject to change.


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 - Instructor will provide a specific vendor link for drug screening.
  2. Clear criminal background checks may be required by some clinical agencies (at student's expense if required).  Instructor will provide a specific vendor link for background check.
  3. Completions of all Health Requirements (at student's expense):
    • Tuberculin (Tb) skin test completed within one year (test results required). If results are positive, student must have chest x-ray.
    • current CPR certification by American Heart Association, Health Care Provider level.  Provided by the instructor.
    • Influenza (if enrolled October 1st-April 1st)
    • COVID vaccination as required by the clinical agency.

*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.

Classroom Requirements

Students must attend 100% of total clinical hours based on State Nurse Aide education requirements.  Students who do not complete 100% of course hours will not be allowed to enter clinicals or sit for the state exam.

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.

Helpful Student Resources

Estimated Program Costs Fall 2024 - CNA
Program Brochure
Alabama Department of Public Health


Financial Assistance:

Career Pathways

Career Pathways allows qualifying students to benefit from activities related to workplace readiness, academic and career counseling, and academic preparation while enrolling in selected Non-Credit Fast Track programs.  Tuition assistance may be available for Adult Education students to assist with registration.  For more information, contact the Adult Education Department at (334) 745-6437, ext. 5341 or 5363.



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 register for the program and make payment.