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Frequently Asked Questions

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How Do I Begin?

You must apply for Gaston College by filling out an application for admission through our website or the Admissions Department.  You must also do an online college orientation program, and schedule and take placement tests for the Nursing Assistant I class.

How do I register for the Nursing Assistant I class?

After completing a college application  and placement tests and orientation, you will be given a date when you are allowed to register. Follow college procedures for registration for NAS 101
and the section you prefer.

When do I register for NAI class?

During online orientation registration process will be covered.  Once you complete the admission process and meet entry criteria for the class, interested students will be eligible to register on a first come, first serve basis.

What do Nursing Assistants do?

Nursing Assistants provide direct care for residents and/or patients in a variety of settings including hospitals, long-term care facilities, assisted living, and home health. Shifts vary for each facility.

What will I learn in class?

In this NC state-approved Nursing Assistant I course, students learn the basic skills used to provide care for individuals who are not able to care for themselves. They learn vital signs, feeding, grooming, bathing, etc.
The Course Content includes Communication, Infection Control, Safety and Emergency Procedures, Personal Care and Grooming, Legal and Ethical Issues, Personal Care and Basic Nursing Skills, Restorative Care, Use of Restraints, Mental Health and Social Needs. 

When is the class offered?

The Nursing Assistant Classes will be offered each semester.

What is the difference between a CNA, a nursing assistant
and a nurse aide?

All are the same. (C.N.A. is a term still used by many
employers. However, the term we use is NAI. ) C.N.A. stands for Certified Nursing Assistant implying certification or licensure. Nursing Assistants work under the supervision of the licensed registered nurse (RN) thus NA's do not hold a license. Nursing Assistants are listed in North Carolina on the Nurse Aide I Registry upon successful completion of a state competency evaluation.

 Is a high school diploma or GED required to enroll in this course?

No. However, some employers do require a high school diploma or GED for employment.   In addition, if a student wishes to take either the Medication Aide or the Nursing Assistant II class, high school graduation or GED is a required prerequisite.

What will I need for the first day of class?

Bring textbook and workbook, pens and paper for taking notes. Read the first two chapters of your book before coming to class. You should dress for a learning environment. Uniforms are not required until we begin clinical.

What immunizations are required for this course?

Students must show proof of updated immunizations including: a tetanus booster (within past 10 years), TB Skin test (within 1 year), 2 MMRs or positive titers, chicken pox immunizations (there are 2) or positive titer, proof that the Hepatitis B vaccine has been started or a signed waiver. Complete immunization recordsare due one week before clinical begins. If they are not turned in at that time you may be required to withdraw from the class.

Where do I find childhood immunization records?

Your last school attended, your Pediatrician, or the
Health Department are good contacts.  If you have had a baby check with your obstetrician for records on immunity to rubella, varicella, mumps, and measles. If you have visited an emergency room they may have records of a tetanus shot. Also, your current employer may have records of immunizations.


If I have been convicted of a crime, can I still take this course?

 Yes. The College does not deny you the opportunity to take the class; however, based on criminal background check and urine drug screen results, clinical sites may or may not allow you to complete clinical training. Thus, you would not be able to complete this course. A criminal background check and 12 panel urine drug screen are required of students by clinical agencies once students are eligible for program entry.  Criminal background checks are due one week before clinical begins. These should be done according to college policy. A county criminal background is not sufficient.  If you have a concern about your record, please make an appointment to speak with our compliance specialist by calling 704.922.2275. Drug screens should not be done until your instructor gives you the form to go and have them done.  You will have a two week window to complete the drug screen. If it is not done during this time it will be considered a failed drug test and you may not be allowed to attend clinical.
How long is the course?  The NAI course is a 160-hour course offered through either curriculum (for credit) or the continuing education department. The course may last eight or sixteen weeks, depending on how many days a week the class meets.
 Do I need CPR certification?

CPR is part of the required 160 hours of training for NA I.  Even if you
currently have certification, you would still be required to attend the CPR training in the schedule.  For NA II you will need to be certified in CPR before you register.

What is clinical training?

Students go to a nursing facility with an instructor to practice the skills learned in the on-campus lab. Clinical begins about 11weeks after the start of class in a 16 week class, and 5 weeks after the start of class in an eight week class.  NA 2 clinical is longer and begins after 7 1/2 weeks of class.  All clinical training is scheduled at the same time as the class unless otherwise noted.

What facilities are utilized for clinical training?

Clinical sites used by Gaston College for Nursing Assistant I classes include Belaire Health Care, Brian Center Lincolnton, Courtland Terrace, Covenant Village, and Stanley Total Living Center. NA II's go to Gaston Memorial Hospital.

 Where can I find a job?

As a nursing assistant you will be able to work in long-term
care (nursing homes), rest homes, and hospitals, assisted living, group homes, prisons, private sitting and home health. Pay varies: $7.50-11 per hour with shift differential.

Should I have a drug screen at my doctor's office?

No.  There are specific sites where you are permitted to get the drug screen.  Drug screens are done randomly at a specified time before clinical begins. You will have a two week window to have a drug screen when your instructor gives you the form. You must complete the drug screen during this specified time period. Do not have a drug screen until your instructor gives you the form.








How do I begin?

Fill out a college application and take placement tests as for NA I.  If you have completed college English and college level math with a C or better, placement tests may be waived.

 Do I need a high school diploma or GED to take this class?

Yes. It is a state requirement that anyone who enrolls in this class must have graduated from high school or its equivalent.  If you are a high school student check with Career and College Promise counselors for information.

Are there any other prerequisites for the Nursing Assistant II class?

In order to qualify to take the NA II class at Gaston College, you must have completed a state approved NA I class  or an equivelent approved by the department chair with a passing grade, and you must be currently listed on the North Carolina Nurse Aide registry with no substantiated incidents of abuse or neglect. You must be currently certified in CPR.

This information must be provided to the department chair of the Nursing Assistant department before you can register for the class. You must  bring in proof that you have graduated from high school or have a GED, that you have completed a state approved Nursing Assistant I course, are listed on the North Carolina Nurse Aide Registry with no substantiated incidents of abuse or neglect, and that you are currently certified in CPR. When you do this you will be eligible to register for the course. We do in person registration only for the NA II classes

What is the difference in an NA I and an NA II?

 An NA II performs all the same skills as an NA I plus more advanced skills approved by the NC Board of Nursing for unlicensed personnel. These include catheterizations, wound irrigations and dressings, tracheostomy care, some types of respiratory suction, oxygen therapy, tube feeding, blood sugars, ostomy care, and others


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