Health Care Aide Certificate Programs and Certification Information

Students interested in health care aide certificate programs can consider nursing aide or nursing assistant education programs. These programs typically include clinical experiences where students can interact with actual patients.

Essential Information

Certificate programs for health care aides, who provide personal care and household help, are less common than certificate programs that prepare nursing aides or nursing assistants. Nursing assistant programs cover science topics and practical skills, such as patient care and communications. The programs are designed to teach students about improving patients' wellness and managing their healthcare environments.

Admission into these certificate programs requires a high school diploma or GED. Some programs require academic proficiency in English, math, and science. State certification as a nursing assistant requires that students complete an approved educational program and pass an examination that demonstrates their skills.

Certification as a Healthcare Aide

Students in a nursing aide or nursing assistant program study patient care for various age groups and gain health assessment skills. Curricula could emphasize life cycle stages, interpersonal skills and medication delivery. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, courses in the following might also be included (

  • Activities for daily living
  • Personal care
  • Anatomy and functions of the body
  • Nutrition

Employment Outlook

An undergraduate nursing assistant certificate program can prepare students for job opportunities with clinics, doctor's offices and hospitals, though some states require further training and education. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nursing assistants earned a median annual wage of $25,710 in May 2015 (

Continuing Education

Professional practice usually requires an official license as a nursing assistant, which involves a minimum number of training hours in a program approved by each state. After receiving the certificate, students can choose to continue their education to become a nurse. Opportunities may also exist to advance by gaining experience in a specialized area of healthcare.

Aspiring nursing assistants or healthcare aides can enroll in certificate programs at community colleges or trade schools. These certificate programs help students meet the education requirements for certification and/or licensure from their state.

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