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Nursing Assistant/Geriatric Aide

If you're interested in joining the healthcare profession, becoming a nursing assistant or geriatric aide is an excellent first step. Allegany College of Maryland's Nursing Assistant/Geriatric Aide program prepares you in just one semester. You'll gain basic healthcare training and, perhaps more importantly, the opportunity to decide if you want to continue up the healthcare career ladder.


Nursing Assistant with infantDesigned to be an introduction to the health profession, our one-semester certificate program provides you with  training in classroom and laboratory competency-based courses to prepare you for employment in an acute care or long term care facility. Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) provide basic nursing care to patients under the direct supervision of a nurse. 

Program applicants should meet the criteria of the Allied Health Program Essential Functions.

Successful completion of our program, which is approved through the Maryland Board of Nursing, qualifies you to apply for a college certificate in Nursing Assistant/Geriatric Aide and prepares you to take the National Nurse Aide Assessment Exam. 

Since our Nursing Assistant/Geriatric Aide is a career program designed to prepare you to seek employment upon program completion, please check with your advisor and the Student Success Center if you plan to transfer to a four-year educational institution.

The ACM Nursing Assistant/Geriatric Aide certificate program is designated as a Health Manpower Shortage Program by the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC). Maryland residents from counties other than Allegany County who register in this eligible program will be charged the out-of-county tuition rate. However, these students may be eligible to receive reimbursement for a portion of the cost difference between the in-county and out-of-county tuition rates. Funding availability for this program is based on funding from the state of Maryland and is thus subject to change each semester. Some restrictions apply. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.

Course Info

As a Nursing Assistant/Geriatric Aide certificate program student, you'll expand your knowledge and gain career training through a variety of challenging courses, including:

Introduction to Health and Wellness

  • Covers basic concepts useful in healthcare
  • Reviews wellness issues for patients and health care workers, including infection control and body mechanics
  • Introduces medical ethics and professional conduct
  • Explores patient communication and teamwork principles
  • Reviews proper eating habits and principles of fitness as well as stress and time management
  • Teaches patient awareness of healthy lifestyle options and wellness to enhance recovery and everyday life

 Nursing Assistant/Geriatric Aide

  • Classroom theory and clinical skills essential in assisting nurses in delivery of proper basic bedside care across the life span
  • Successful completion of the course qualifies the student to sit for the state certification examination
  • Emphasis placed on growth and development throughout the life span
  • Basic personal care
  • Vital signs
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Monitoring nutritional intake
  • Medical asepsis - learning how to eliminate the spread of microorganisms through good practices such as hand washing, wearing gloves, and proper cleaning of equipment
  • Legal and ethical responsibilities
  • Safe and efficient work practices
  • Medical terminology

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and First Aid

A full listing of program courses and their descriptions can be found in the credit catalog.

These links open to specific catalog pages and are best viewed through Firefox, Crome, or Internet Explorer.  Safari browsers will not link to the specific page. 

Career Info

Nursing Assistant/Geriatric Aide program graduates enjoy enriching and rewarding careers providing care for a variety of clients in acute settings, clinics, physicians' offices, and long-term care facilities.

Certifications vary from state to state, please check with the state where you plan to work. State Certification in Maryland is mandatory for Geriatric Aides.

Maryland Board of Nursing Certification is required for Maryland Nursing Assistants.


View Salary Information from the U.S. Dept. of Labor

Career Coach - Helping Students Set Career Goals

Faculty/Staff Info
Diana Folk, Coordinator of Allied Health Technician Programs and Allied Health

Technologies 141

A.A.S., A.S., Allegany College of Maryland


Mary Beth Dempsey, Instructor

Allied Health 113

RN, Allegany College of Maryland

Sharon Logdson, Instructor

Allied Health 113

A.S.N., University of New York

L.P.N., Suburban Hospital School of Nursing



Cheryl Gilton, Director of Allied Health Technician Programs and Allied Health
Technologies 140


R.N., King's Daughter's Hospital School of Nursing

B.S.N., University of Maryland

M.Ed., Frostburg State University




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