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From here, go to work: Fast track your career in health care with certified nurse aide training

Sandra Nwogu loves the idea of helping people but diving directly into a nursing program seemed like too big a step. By earning her Career Studies Certificate in Nurse Aide at Tidewater Community College, she not only laid a foundation for her future, she prepared herself for immediate employment.

“TCC gives you all the resources you need to get through the program,” said the Nigerian-born Navy wife, who graduated in February and is now employed in a local hospital’s transitional care unit. “I had awesome professors who made sure we knew what we were doing. They gave us confidence to handle any situation.”

Jobs and more jobs: Aging baby boomers and increased life expectancy make it easy to find nurse aide jobs. Nurse Journal lists the growth rate over the next decade for certified nursing assistants as 21 percent, with hospitals, private clinics, nursing homes and home care among the options.

Two options: TCC offers two options for anyone interested in nurse aide training. Basic Nurse Aide Preparation consists of two classes taken simultaneously over either eight weeks or 16 weeks. Successful completion qualifies you to sit for the state certification exam.

TCC also offers the career studies certificate, a 25-credit program for those interested in pursuing an associate in nursing or an associate in science.

Sandra Nwogu
Sandra Nwogu earned her Career Studies Certificate in Nurse Aide in February and is already employed.

Nwogu chose the second option, an ideal introduction for anyone with an interest in the health science field. “I want to go to nursing school, and this gives me a foundation.”

About the program: The certification exam requires nurse aides to be proficient in 22 skills.

In addition to lecture, nurse aide training includes 56 hours of lab training and 40 hours of clinical experience in a nursing home.

Rewards: If you’re completely focused, it’s not tough,” said Nwogu, who completed her clinical experience in an assisted living transitional care unit. “This is what I love to do.”

More info: Contact program head Robin Brevard at or 757-822-7059. You can also visit TCC’s nurse aide training page.

Find out about TCC program that allows youth 16-24 to earn GED, workforce credential

If you didn’t graduate from high school and have yet to earn a GED, Tidewater Community College can help with the transition into college.

The college’s BRIDGE-Plus Program, launched in January of this year, serves those between the ages of 16 and 24 who are considered Out of School Youth in accordance with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. High school dropouts, the unemployed, foster children, runaways, homeless children, individuals with disabilities and children of currently incarcerated parents or legal guardians are among those who may meet eligibility requirements.

Two information sessions will be held at TCC’s Portsmouth Campus in Building A. Attend on July 10 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in Room 107 or July 14 from 10-11 a.m. in Room 101.

Participants co-enroll in a GED/Adult Education Program at TCC’s Portsmouth Campus, earning college credit and certifications related to industries, including trucking, certified nurse aide, pharmacy tech, CompTIA A+ certification and medical billing and coding.

The program provides GED prep, a college success skills course, classroom occupational skills training, internships or on-the-job training and a workforce credential to prepare participants for certification and job attainment.

The actual program, with courses and the GED prep, will start around Aug. 1. The program takes about six months to complete.

The inaugural class will graduate on July 26.

For information, contact Shana Owens, program advisor/case manager at or 757-822-2205.