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> Nursing Assistant Certified (NAC/CNA)

Nursing Assistant Certified (NAC/CNA)   

NAC Covid Update (updated on 7/26/2023)

Follow our NAC Instagram page for a closer look into our program:


Clinical Requirements for Covid Vaccination:

  • Vaccinations are no longer required, although highly recommended. (The Highline College Registered Nursing Program still does require COVID-19 vaccinations). 
  • If the student is vaccinated: submit photo documentation (front/back) of their vaccination card when submitting their NAC application form to the Continuing Education department. 
  •  Booster is not required at this time.
  • Students are still subject to Covid test at the clinical location site. 

For complete details and to view Highline’s Vaccine-Required Campus FAQs page, click here. 

CE Pic


Course Overview

Welcome to the Certified Nursing Assistant Theory and Practicum program at Highline College. This program prepares students to take the Washington State Nursing Assistant exam. This is an accelerated course that can be completed in just four weeks. The program will offer open labs after the completion of class to allow you to practice for your state exam.

Come join us in the first step of your career in Health care. Students who have successfully completed this program and passed their state exam are happily working in hospitals, short-term rehab programs, nursing homes, specialized programs such as hospice, short-term surgery sites, and emergency room techs.

This program also completes one of the requirements for the Registered Nursing Program at Highline College.


How To Register:


We are only accepting applications in-person, students are required complete an entrance exam upon submission of the NAC application. 

Our office hours are Mondays-Fridays from 8A-4P. 

Campus Location
23609 Pacific Hwy S #202
Des Moines, WA 98198

If you have questions, please email or call 206-592-3785.  Thank you---CE Staff. 


Why register for Highline's Nursing Assistant Certified (NAC/CNA) program? 

  • An intense 4-week program that prepares students to take the Washington State licensure exam. If successfully completed you will receive an NAC Certificate of Completion.

  • Over half of our students qualify for funding (see below for more details).

  • We are an approved testing site. You have the option to take the state test in a classroom space that you are already familiar and comfortable in.

  • We now have a brand new, state-of-the-art, Allied Health Academy building where the NAC lab is located.

  • While Highline College does not provide job placement, our Career and Student Employment department offers assistance with career exploration, job searches, on-campus employment, resume writing, career events and more.

  • Becoming a certified NAC/CNA is a great entry-level position into the medical field.  According to Emsi labor market analytics, the average hourly wage for a starting certified NAC/CNA position in the King County area is between $18.60-$23.40 an hour.


Fall Session 1: Application Here

Application Deadlines

  • WES Funded Students: Monday, September 16th 
  • Self-Pay Students: Wednesday, September 18th 


  • Theory- September 23rd – October 10th, Mon-Thu, 8:00AM-2:00PM (3 Weeks) 
  • On-Site Clinical: (Students must attend 1-week) : October 14th – 18th or October 21st – 25th from 6:00AM-2:30PM.


Fall Session 2: Application Here

Application Deadlines

  • WES Funded Students: Monday, October 28th 
  • Self-Pay Students: Wednesday, October 30th 


  • Theory- November 4th – 21st, Mon-Thu , 8:00AM-2:00PM (3 Weeks)
  • (No class Monday November 11th, class scheduled for Friday November 15th)
  • On-Site Clinical: (Students must attend 1-week)  December 2nd – 6th or December 9th – 13th, from 6:00AM-2:30PM.


Enrollment & Payment Options

Option #1: $789.00

  • Non-Credit
  • The student receives a Certificate of Completion
  • State Exam Fees not included
  • Additional fees include medical & liability insurance, nursing supply fee, processing fee and building fee.
  • Ideal for students applying to a Nursing Program


Option #2: $1018.50

  • Non-Credit
  • The student receives a Certificate of Completion
  • Includes State Testing Fees
  • Additional fees include medical & liability insurance, nursing supply fee, processing fee, and building fee.
  • Ideal for students entering the workforce or wanting to obtain a job working in this field


Option #3: $1458.90 (*estimated total varies on the price of college credit & student Admission status)

  • 8-College Credits
  • The student receives a Certificate of Completion
  • Includes State Testing Fees
  • Additional fees include medical & liability insurance, nursing supply fee, processing fee, parking and building fee.
  • Ideal for students who need elective college credits and/or for students who are receiving funding assistance


Funding Assistance

The NAC/CNA Certificate Training Program does not qualify for traditional Financial Aid. Click on the Workforce Education Services (WES) link Funding Steps for step-by-step instructions to see if you qualify for funding. It is quick and easy. Doesn't matter if you are already working, you may still qualify. If you are awarded funding from our WES department, you do not have to pay it back.

Workforce Education Services (WES)  (Building 1)-- (206) 592-3802


The Women’s Programs & WorkFirst department at Highline College supports student parents who are recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash assistance from Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS). Eligible students must pursue a program offered through Continuing Education or any approved Professional-Technical (AAS) degree and/or certificate. Students may receive funding for required tuition, books, school fees, parking permit, childcare, and request monthly support funds for non-academic expenses.

To apply, contact your DSHS Case Manager and request them to send a WorkFirst Referral (Code 3AN) to Highline College.


Certificate of Completion

In order to be eligible for state certification exam, you  must have completed and passed (with an 80% score) the NAC/CNA Certificate Training Program class at Highline College. For more information about certification, check the website at: Credentia.



One of the key components of Highline's NAC/CNA Training Program is the clinical experience. Students will complete 10 hours of in class lab time and 40 hours of clinical time. During the clinical, students apply theory learned in the classroom to practice in a clinical setting, which results in 50 hours of "hands-on" experience.  Our current clinical location is held at Judson Park, just minutes away from Highline College.


  • Clinical sites will accept placement of only those students who are insured against malpractice liability for actions or in-actions occurring in the clinical setting.   
  • Students participating in the clinical education program will be  covered either by a student medical malpractice policy offered  through the College, or acquired by the student through another  source.  
  • The limits of such coverage shall be, at a minimum, $1,000,000 per occurrence.  
  • Certificates of such coverage purchased by the student will be provided to the clinical site upon request. Should any student lack adequate proof of insurance, the clinical site can refuse to accept the student for placement.
  • The clinical site will perform an independent background check on all students.  The clinical site reserves the right to prohibit any student from participating in clinicals.


Application Steps

Below are the application steps for the NAC/CNA program:

  • Complete the attached NAC/CNA application.
  • Provide evidence of a negative Tuberculosis (TB) reading (within the past year) or current x-ray/symptom check (within the past 2 years).
  • Provide documentation of COVID-19 Vaccine.
  • Incomplete or illegible applications will not be considered.  A reading/math assessment will be administered upon application submission.
  • Provide payment in full for the course, payment will be submitted online in the students CTC Link portal once accepted into the NAC Program.  If you are receiving funding, you will be required to submit a letter or email from the funding source stating you have been approved for tuition assistance.


Criminal Background Check

If you have questions about the types of convictions that would exclude you from the program, call Washington State Patrol customer service at (360) 705-5100 or check the list online at click here. Clinical sites will perform an national background check that includes any previous addresses within the last 3 years. 


State Testing Information


 Highline College’s NAC/CNA Certificate Training Program is now an approved In-Facility Testing Site. Students who choose the enrollment option with state test and DOH application fees will be eligible to take the Washington State Nurse Aide Exam at Highline College. If you pass the test successfully, you will be considered “certified”.  The instructor will discuss this process during week three of class.  As of 03/21/2023, current prices are: $85 DOH Application; $155 State Testing.


*Please note: Only one voucher code will be issued per state exam for each student.


Additional Fees & Required Supplies:

  • Immunizations: TB testing (within the past year) or current chest x-ray/symptom check (within the past 2 years) must be turned in with application packet.
  • Parking Permit: $3.00 daily parking passes.  **Must be purchased daily.  Purchases can be made at the parking pay stations located in the south and east parking lots.  For more information, please visit the Public Safety website.
  • Required Supplies: See Application Packet 


Meet the Instructor

NAC Instructor Pic

Sharry Edwards, LPN worked for Kaiser Permanente for 26 years mostly in Home Health and Hospice and has been a clinical instructor for the Highline School District: Puget Sound Skill Center's (PSSC) CNA program. Sharry started her nursing career as a CNA 30 years ago and has a love for nursing and a passion for teaching. 




Potential Career Pathways available at

Highline College

Educational Nursing Programs

Potential Career Pathways that are currently unavailable at Highline College

Educational Nursing Programs

  • Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
  • Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP)

Non-Nursing Healthcare Occupations

  • Medical Billing and Coding
  • Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
  • Pharmacy Technician

Extended CNA Trainings

  • Medication Aide
  • EKG Technician
  • Phlebotomist
  • Dialysis Technician

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