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Course Syllabus: Nursing Assistant Career Overview

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Course Description

Becoming a Nursing Assistant is one way to have a career in the healthcare field without spending tens of thousands of dollars and years of your life on a college education.  In this course, you'll learn exactly what a Nursing Assistant is and the duties of a typical day.  This online course provides an overview of all the skills needed but it does not include a Clinical component.


You'll learn the procedures and training needed that are essential to becoming a successful nursing assistant.  Lessons will include information on basic anatomy, crucial testing procedures, the most common ailments a nursing assistant will see in her patients, personal care needs, and proper guidelines for patient mobility.  We will also cover topics such as patients' emotional needs, your own emotional health when working with patients who are suffering and legal and ethical issues you may face during your career.


Each lesson will end with a brief review in the form of questions about what you've learned.  These will help you understand each lesson more fully and prepare yourself for the certification exam required by most health care organizations for employment.  You can refer back to this material as a refresher whenever you feel the need to brush up on particular topics -- keep it as a reference guide after taking your certification exam.


A nursing assistant fulfills a complex role in the life of patients.  She is a caregiver who provides compassion, emotional support, physical mobility and day-to-day dignity in addition to basic medical needs. This course is a wonderful way to see if this profession is something you'll want to pursue.  If you have chosen to become a nursing assistant, you are a special individual. 

Course Requirements

This course does not require any previous medical background. Any aged learner (18 or older) is welcome.

This online course contains 13 easy to read lessons which can be completed at own pace (access to course upon enrollment will be available for up to 6 months)

Course Goals

Students will learn:

Ø  The training requirements and qualifications required to become a nursing assistant.

Ø  The duties to expect while on the job.

Ø  How to measure height and weight and check vital signs.

Ø  An understanding of the body's major organ systems and functions.

Ø  Common symptoms a nursing assistant may encounter.

Ø  The importance of upholding patient's rights and understanding the measures of comfort you can provide.

Ø  The procedures for transferring, discharge and proper bed-making technique.

Ø  Different types of diets and the importance of exercising.

Ø  Taking care of the comfort, safety, and dignity of each patient.

Ø  The procedures used in response to various injuries and emergencies.

Ø  How to deal with special needs of acutely ill patients and pediatric care.

Ø  The legal aspects of the nursing assistant field, and the types of abuses to look for when assessing patients.

Ø  The variety of work choices and facilities in the nursing assistant field.

Ø  Important terminology to know.

Course Materials

All course material is available within this online course.

Grading Policy

Each lesson is followed by an end of the lesson multiple choice and T/F Quiz (each worth around 20-25 pts.) Some of the lessons will be followed by an assignment based on lesson facts and opinions expressed.

70% or higher will be required in order to complete this course.  

Course Topics

·         Lesson 1: What is a Nursing Assistant?

·         Lesson 2: Vital Signs and Body Measurements

·         Lesson 3: Basic Health Knowledge

·         Lesson 4: Common Symptoms the Nursing Assistant Faces

·         Lesson 5: Patients' Daily Needs and Understanding Your Patients

·         Lesson 6: Patient Mobility & Safety

·         Lesson 7: Patient Nutrition and Exercise

·         Lesson 8: Activities of Daily Living (ADL)

·         Lesson 9: Special Care Procedures

·         Lesson 10: Special Needs Patients

·         Lesson 11: Legal & Ethical Issues

·         Lesson 12: Career Options for the Nursing Assistant

·         Glossary of Terms

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Define what a nursing assistant is.
  • Recognize vital signs and body measurements.
  • Describe basic health knowledge.
  • Describe common symptoms the nursing assistant faces.
  • Know patients' daily needs.
  • Describe patient mobility and safety.
  • Know patient nutrition and exercise.
  • Describe activities of daily living (ADL).
  • Know special care procedures and special needs patients
  • Know legal & ethical issues, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Assessment Guide

Assessment Points
Assignment 1A: Introductions5
Assignment 1B: The Duties of a Nursing Assistant25
Lesson 1 Exam15
Lesson 2 Exam19
Assignment 3: Real Life Applications50
Lesson 3 Exam19
Lesson 4 Exam20
Assignment 5: Meeting Patient Needs25
Lesson 5 Exam17
Lesson 6 Exam19
Assignment 7: Keeping Patients Active25
Lesson 7 Exam20
Lesson 8 Exam19
Assignment 9: Obtaining CPR Certification25
Lesson 9 Exam20
Lesson 10 Exam20
Assignment 11: Preventing Abuse25
Lesson 11 Exam17
Lesson 12 Exam12
Final Assignment10
Final Exam93
Total Points:500

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