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Nursing Assistant

Program Requirements: 

Join a career that is personally rewarding while helping others that are in need of assistance. The Nursing Assistant program will provide you with a knowledge base of important personal care skills that can be applied at work in a variety of care settings. These skills can be used no matter where you go or what you do in your life.

Nursing assistants provide care to their clients by assisting them with activities of daily living. They perform basic nursing skills in a variety of settings including hospitals, out-patient facilities and home care. Duties and responsibilities include bathing clients, transferring clients, serving meals and measuring vital signs.

Gateway Technical College’s Nursing Assistant technical diploma is a 120-hour program offered numerous times each semester with classes on three campuses. The first 72 hours of the program is classroom-based learning but students also have the opportunity to practice technical skills hands-on in the student lab. The remaining 48 hours is training conducted off-campus at a local clinical site where students have an opportunity to continue to practice the technical skills in a supervised real-world setting with actual clients. Read more important information about Gateway's Nursing Assistant program, view cost estimates for the program, and review the Nursing Assistant Student Handbook.

What does a nursing assistant do?

Nursing assistants provide care to their clients by assisting them with activities such as bathing, transferring between beds and wheelchairs, serving their meals and measuring their vital signs. Program graduates can obtain a career in a variety of healthcare settings such as long-term care, hospitals, assisted living centers and home healthcare. Many graduates also use this course as preparation to further their education in fields such as nursing, physician’s assistant, physical therapy and radiography.

Learning by doing

The technical skills learned in the Nursing Assistant program are practiced in the specifically equipped student lab. Students practice learned skills on fellow students and mannequins, using a variety of client care equipment including mechanical lifts, wheelchairs, thermometers and low-lying bed units. The lab is also equipped with several DVD players by client units allowing students to independently review course materials and practice skills. After students have a clear understanding of nursing concepts and have practiced in the lab, they participate in 48 hours of clinical practicum. Practicums are performed at a variety of health care facilities including hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities. Students are encouraged to participate in Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA). This club has a variety of opportunities available for students to participate in career-related activities which include state and national conventions and competitions.

Job and salary outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall employment of nursing assistants is projected to grow 20 percent through 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. The median annual salary of nursing assistants was $25,100 in 2014. Salary is dependent on level of experience and the work environment. 

Certification and Licensing

Graduates are eligible to apply for the competency exam through the Wisconsin Nurse Aide/Home Health Aide Registry. Upon passing the exam, graduates are then registered as Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA).


Additional Requirements

After acceptance

  • Order Medical Document Manager ONLY (health forms/records). Upon completing their order, the required health forms will be listed on their To-Do List. The student will have access to download, print, and upload the completed forms to their CertifiedProfile for review and completion.

Background and Health Information requirement questions?
Please contact the Admissions Office at


Jo Hart

Helen Holder

Kristen Mueller

Julie Capelli

Annamarie Vagnoni

Patricia Ontko

Donna Zimany

Program Administration

Diane Skewes, Dean