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CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

Certified Nurse Aides are employed in hospitals, physicians’ offices, long-term care facilities, rehabilitative services, home health agencies, industry, and private-duty care.

Information about the positive job outlook and opportunities can be found at the following links:

WHAT TO EXPECT IN CLASS

NUR 27 – Nurse Aide I – has the required 120 hours of content mandated by the Virginia Board of Nursing.  The course is comprised of 80 hours of class and campus skills lab practice as well as 40 hours of supervised clinical experiences in a healthcare agency.  Usually the clinical hours take place at Highland Ridge Nursing and Rehab in Dublin.  Topics include communication, infection control, safety measures, death and dying, cultural sensitivity, mental health considerations, recognizing changes in body function, cognitive impairment and dementia, and legal and ethical considerations.  Skills include measuring vital signs, assisting with activities of daily living, and promoting restorative function.

In order to earn a passing grade and stay enrolled in NUR 27 a student must attend every class meeting and clinical experience.  The number of hours for instruction and clinical experiences is strictly enforced by the Board of Nursing, and failure to be present for all the required hours makes the student ineligible to take the certification exam.

Healthcare providers are professionals and nothing less than ethical and professional behavior is expected in both the classroom and clinical settings.   NUR 27 – Nurse Aide I – is taught by experienced RNs.  The faculty members expect students to perform at the highest levels and will support them to attain the necessary knowledge and skills. The classroom and campus lab portion of the course is taught on New River’s campus in Dublin in the Nurse Aide Classroom/ Lab.  Clinical experiences take place in a healthcare agency.  No nurse aide classes are currently offered at the college’s NRV Mall site in Christiansburg because the site does not have a nursing skills lab.   

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Students interested in NUR 27 (Nurse Aide I) must note that the Virginia Board of Nursing has the authority to deny certification to a nurse aide applicant who has violated certain federal, state, or other statues. Examples include conviction of a felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, and alcohol or drug related issues. A prospective student who has been convicted or pled guilty or nolo contendre to any illegal offenses other than minor traffic violations may contact the nursing program director with questions. Information is also available from the Virginia Department of Health Professions, Virginia Board of Nursing, located at Perimeter Center, 9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300, Henrico, VA 23233 (Phone 804-367-4515).  You may also talk with the Nursing Program Director, Teri Moore (Phone 540-674-3600, ext. 4267).

Healthcare agencies, where nurse aide students engage in clinical experiences, require that students complete a background investigation prior to participating in clinical activities. A healthcare agency may deny clinical participation for findings on the reports. Some healthcare agencies also require that students be finger-printed. Affiliation agreements prevent the placement of a student who is denied clinical participation at one facility into a clinical group at another agency. Inability to meet the clinical requirements prevents the student from satisfactorily achieving the course objectives, resulting in failure of the course. The criminal background check must be done adhering to a specific policy and process, and data provided by other means are not acceptable. Further information will be provided about the procedure for background checks on the first day of class in NUR 27.

Working in the role of a nurse aide is physically, emotionally, and intellectually demanding. It is not unusual for employers to expect that a CNA employee can lift 40 to 50 pounds.  Students engaged in clinical experiences while enrolled in the program must be able to perform in the role of a nurse aide. The chart below, based on expectations published by the Council on Collegiate Education for Nursing, describes activities associated with classroom and clinical requirements.

Category Examples of Clinical Competencies and Responsibilities*
Analytical and Critical Thinking Read and understand written documents in English (e.g. protocols), focus attention on tasks in a distracting/chaotic environment, identify cause-effect relationships, use long and short-term memory.
Professional Relationships Deal with the unexpected (e.g. patient crisis), handle strong emotions of others while controlling personal responses.
Communication Communicate in English with patients, families, and agency staff members (both orally and written).
Mobility Move within confined spaces, reach above shoulders (e.g. I.V. poles) and reach below waist (e.g. plug in electrical appliances), walk six to eight hours, stand at bedside up to 60 minutes to assist with patient care.
Motor Skills Perform CPR, operate a fire extinguisher, key/type (e.g. use a computer), manipulate an eye dropper.
Hearing Hear faint body sounds (e.g. blood pressure), hear monitor alarms, hear in situations when not able to see lips (e.g. when masks are used).
Visual See objects near (e.g. computer screen), see objects far (e.g. patient at end of the hall), distinguish color intensity (e.g. flushed or pale skin), read digital displays, read graphic printouts, read small print on labels.
Tactile Sense Use sense of touch to gather assessment data (e.g. palpate pulses, detect warmth vs. coolness).

 *Examples are intended as clarification, not as a comprehensive list

APPLICATION PROCESS

SCHEDULE FOR NUR 27

To view the schedule of class offerings for NUR 27 go to www.nr.edu and click on the class schedule icon on the lower right of the page.  Search for NUR and scroll down to the NUR 27 sections.  Generally there are two daytime classes and one evening class each semester.  Please note that the evening class may have daytime and/or weekend clinical experiences (40 hours total).

STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES FOR ALL NURSE AIDE STUDENTS

CERTIFICATION

Students who successfully complete NUR 27 with a letter grade of A, B, or C are eligible to apply to take the certification exam to become a Certified Nurse Aide in Virginia. The CNA examination is given through the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP). The cost of the exam is the responsibility of the student.

ESTIMATED EXPENSES FOR NUR 27

PROGRAM APPROVAL

New River Community College’s Nurse Aide Program has full unrestricted approval from the Virginia Board of Nursing.

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