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Nurse Assisting (Nurse Aide)

Nurse assistants (or nurse aides) are unlicensed New York State-certified individuals who play an integral role on the healthcare team in long-term care or skilled nursing facilities (nursing homes). They perform non-medical services and supports for residents who need help with activities of daily living. They assist in the safe and effective care of residents under the direct supervision of licensed professional nurses. Care is provided to individuals residing in long-term care facilities and in need of physical-psychosocial care or rehabilitation. The duties of a nurse aide vary dependent upon resident needs and individualized nursing plans of care.


Nurse Aide Program of Study

Nurse aide programs of study prepare students to work safely in the long-term care settings under the supervision of licensed healthcare providers.

Adult and secondary nurse assisting (nurse aide) programs preparing students for testing to become certified nurse aides (CNAs) in New York State must be approved for operation by the New York State Education Department in conjunction with the New York State Department of Health.

Program components must meet training and competency evaluation requirements established by NYSED. The Guidelines for Approval and Operation of a Nurse Aide Training Program contains all of the information and forms necessary to submit an application for approval of a school-based nurse aide program. The guide will assist schools to plan, organize and provide programs for nurse aide preparation; to facilitate the approval/re-approval process required to operate a program; to develop curricular materials that meet the New York State Education Department and New York State Department of Health standards; and to prepare for the required SED-conducted site visits every two years.

In order to work as a certified nurse aide (CNA) in New York State, a person must successfully complete a nurse aide training program (NATP) delivered only by a program approved by NYSED or NYSDOH. Upon program completion, a student must take and pass the NYSDOH certified nurse assisting exam (Prometric, is the current administrative vendor). Prometric issues a certificate (CNA) and enters the CNA into the New York State nurse aide registry.

The didactic learning combined with supervised clinical experience (see below) comprises a program of study.

Health sciences education prepares secondary and adult students for employment in the health care industry and for postsecondary education. The three integral components of all health sciences programs of study are a health science education core curriculum, content specific curriculum, and supervised clinical experience.

Health Sciences Core Curriculum

A health sciences education core curriculum serves as the foundation to prepare students for individual health sciences careers and must include Health Science Learning Standards.

The National Consortium for Health Science Education (NCHSE) Health Science Standards are acceptable learning standards on which to develop the Health Sciences Core as part of a Health Sciences program of study. 

Supervised Clinical Experience

  • Affiliation agreement(s) must be established (a written contract with each partnering healthcare facility).
  • Students may enter a clinical setting only after receiving prior program instruction and demonstrating skill and knowledge, under supervision by the school’s program instructor.
  • Scopes of practice under various state licensures must be considered when developing hands-on activities in implementation of health sciences programs.
  • Office of the Professions

Required NA Program Forms (also included in the Guidelines for Approval link above)