Certified Nurse Assistant | Bismarck State College

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Certified Nurse Assistant

With Bismarck State College's Nursing Assistant Training Program students gain the knowledge and technical skills needed to secure a job as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) in a skilled nursing facility, acute care or home health care. The 80-hour program includes classroom instruction, supervised practical training and clinical practice, and can be taken for college credit or as non-credit training.




Because this program receives funding from the U.S. Department of Labor, veterans and eligible spouses receive priority of service over non-covered persons. (20 CFR 1010) 

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  • Perform basic nursing skills for clients in a variety of settings.
  • Safely and effectively perform personal care skills.
  • Recognize the psychological, emotional, physical and spiritual needs of clients.
  • Demonstrate appropriate attitudes in giving nursing care.
  • Exhibit proper ethical and legal behavior in giving nursing care.
  • Demonstrate effective communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Demonstrate behavior that maintains the rights of the client.
  • Perform nursing care with regard to the principles of infection control.
  • Acquire the proper knowledge and skills to respond to emergencies.

Start Dates

For the next available start dates, check the info sheet above.

Prerequisites and/or Requirements

Essential physical requirements for the Nursing Assistant program are:
  • Ability to lift a minimum of 50 pounds during class, lab and clinical practice.
  • Ability to attend an 8-hour clinical session with minimal resting periods.
If the student has a temporary/permanent condition limiting his/her ability to perform the essential physical requirements, please contact the program manager. Class attendance is an essential part of the educational process of this training and is mandatory. Students may be dropped if attendance requirements are not met.

Students are required to have a TB skin test prior to class start. Proof of test results must be provided to the class instructor on the first night of class. 

Currently clinical practice is performed on the BSC Campus. Once our program is allowed back into clinical facilities, students should be aware of the potential requirement to receive the COVID-19 vaccination.

According to ND Administrative Code 33-43-01-03 and 33-43-01-22, CNA class applicants with a history that includes conviction of a crime substantially related to the qualification, functions, or duties of a certified nurse aide, home health aide, nurse aide, or medication assistant may not be allowed to begin the training program or take a challenge test without providing specific information relating to their background, criminal history, or impairment. An arrest, conviction, plea, or adjudication that occurred as a juvenile or through juvenile court authorities also applies.

All information disclosed will be reviewed by the North Dakota Department of Health before students will be allowed to begin class or test.

Length of Program

The program takes 80 hours to complete. Of those, 41 hours are dedicated to classroom instruction; 19 hours to classroom supervised practical training, 16 hours for clinical practice and four hours to review and testing.
Students can choose either a non-credit or for-credit option.

Non-Credit Program

Non-credit classes are offered in the evenings in January-November with registration accepted year-round. Monday - Friday, 6-10 p.m. The non-credit program cost is $650 (includes book).

Payment is due at the time of registration.
Refund Policy
Non-credit students must contact the BSC Continuing Education office at least three working days prior to the start of the class for a refund. A $50 processing fee will be deducted from the amount refunded. If a student cancels after the class has started, the entire registration fee will be forfeited. Students can call (701) 224-5600 for more information.

For-Credit Program

For-credit evening classes are offered February, April, June, July, September, October and November, Monday - Friday 6-10 p.m. 

In order to receive college credit for the Nursing Assistant program, you must be enrolled at BSC which includes the submission of a BSC application form and a $35 application fee.

For current fees to take the course credit, please contact BSC Student Finance at 224-5533 or stop by the office, located on the first floor, Schafer Hall. Payment in full is due prior to the start of class. If a student is carrying a minimum part-time status, financial aid may be available. Tuition and mandatory fees are required in addition to the class registration fee. 

For-credit students must contact the Nursing Assistant program manager to acquire a permission slip prior to enrolling. The Nursing Assistant class is a two-credit class and the credit will be applied within the semester the course is taken.
Refund Policy
For-credit students must contact the Student Records office regarding the dates and deadlines for dropping a credit course.


Program Location*

Classes are held in BSC's Health Sciences building,
1133 College Drive, Room 144, Bismarck.

Online CNA

BSC is able to offer CNA coursework online for the first time. This class is a hybrid; students will complete all theory online (seven weeks, self-paced), but will meet face-to-face for skills (32 hours/4 days) and clinical (16 hours/2 days) with an instructor. Course fee is $675 (includes book). Online CNA is available as non-credit only. Once online class has been accessed, the entire registration fee is forfeited.

CNA State Exam*

The CNA State Exam is no longer available to challenge as of July 1, 2024. You must complete a course with a North Dakota approved training site before you can sit for the exam.

CNA State Exam Challenge

Individuals may challenge the nursing assistant exam (and skip the class) for a fee of $200. Eligible candidates are allowed three (3) attempts within six (6) months of the initial test to pass both portions of the exam. If a candidate fails three times - written, skills or both - the candidate is then required to complete an approved training program before being eligible to take the test again. Retest fees are $90 per attempt for written or $95 for skills. Students must contact Continuing Education to confirm available challenge testing dates and open seats. Individuals cannot challenge the ND State CNA Exam after June 30, 2024.

English as Second Language Students (ESL)*

For ESL students entering the CNA program, it is highly recommended to take an English assessment exam prior to registering. To register for the exam, please contact the BSC Testing Services Coordinator at 701-224-5658.

* Applies to non-credit and for-credit courses.

Health Careers DONE RIGHT.