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Nursing Assistants Course Teaches English, Job Skills

USA Learns Website Helps Adults Studying for Careers in Healthcare

Smiling nursing students

The Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE), in collaboration with the Health Workforce Initiative, is offering an online course called “Skills for the Nursing Assistant.” The free course is available as part of the USA Learns website—an award-winning, interactive adult learning site created by SCOE, which has been used by more than 14 million students and teachers worldwide.

The nursing assistant course teaches language and academic skills that help students successfully communicate with patients and co-workers. Students practice their language skills while simultaneously learning job-related skills—such as how to safely complete all the steps involved in ambulating (walking) a patient—that prepare them to study for careers in allied health programs.

About the Course

The course was developed by SCOE’s Internet and Media Services Department and includes four lessons:

  • Effective Communication
  • Nonverbal Communication
  • Communication Barriers
  • Communication Strategies

Each lesson teaches listening, speaking, reading, vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar, along with job-related topics.

“The Skills for the Nursing Assistant course is a necessary program for all Certified Nursing Assistants in California,” said Wendy Deras, Regional Director of Employer Engagement at the Health Workforce Initiative. “It is designed specifically for entry-level students to gain the terminology and soft skills that will help them be successful.”

The videos and photos in the course were produced by SCOE on location at Corcoran High School in Central California. The school offers a Health Science and Medical Technology program, and actors in the course videos are students, teachers, and volunteers from the program.

The “Skills for the Nursing Assistant” course was a collaborative effort with the content being jointly created by USA Learns curriculum developers and Corcoran High School Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) teachers. California Senate Bill 70 funded content development as part of a pilot project to create distance learning resources for career technical education programs. The learning platform was upgraded thanks to funding from Health Workforce Initiative grants, in collaboration with the Statewide Director and Regional Directors of the Inland Empire/Desert, South Central Coast, and San Diego/Imperial Valley regions.

Next Steps for Students

The USA Learns lessons are ideal for adults who need help learning the English language and the basic skills necessary to start studying for careers in allied health programs. To find healthcare training programs at a California community college, visit the Health Workforce Initiative website. The Capital Adult Education website lists healthcare training programs in the Sacramento region.

New course graphic: skills for the nursing assistant
Obtain permission tutorial graphic from course
Nurse helping patient identify letters and numbers on paper
Sample course graphic: introduce yourself