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Career & salary outlook

Local healthcare employers are indicating strong demand for certified nursing assistants. Heather Lewis, RN, director of nursing services, St. Francis of Bellingham: “We are seeing an immediate and long-term demand for qualified nursing assistants to provide the necessary services with skill and compassion for the patients in our community.” Upon successful completion of Whatcom’s nursing assistant program, you will be prepared to take the state nursing assistant certification exam. Those who pass may apply to fill immediate job openings in our local community.

Nursing assistants are employed in a variety of settings, including hospitals and long-term care facilities. In Whatcom county, starting wages range from $12.24 to $13.17 per hour; the average wage is $15.48 per hour.*

*Sources: Career OneStop, 2018; WA State Employment Security Department, August 2019