Nurse Aide I Syllabus

This course includes basic nursing skills required to provide safe, competent, personal care for individuals. Emphasis is placed on person-centered care, the aging process, communication, safety/emergencies, infection prevention, legal and ethical issues, measurements, elimination, nutrition, basic restorative care/rehabilitation, dementia, mental health and end-of-life care. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge and skills and be eligible to test for listing on the North Carolina Nurse Aide I Registry.

The 168-contact-hour class is offered through Workforce Continuing Education, so students will not receive credit hours or be eligible for federal or state financial aid.

The four-hour Clinical Prep/Orientation and eight hours of Mock Competency are mandatory for both seated and hybrid classes. Hybrid classes with take the theory portion of the course online through Moodle.

Students in hybrid classes will need to use Chrome or Firefox web browsers to access Moodle. Students will not have access to the online component of the class until the first day of class. On the first day of class, students will meet their instructor, receive instructions about how to use Moodle and have questions answered. Hybrid classes are best for students proficient in the English language that are confident with their computer and time management skills.

Criminal background check and drug screening

Clinical facilities require that all Nurse Aide I students submit a criminal background check and urine drug screening. Wake Tech and the clinical facilities it works with have designated CastleBranch as the provider for both the background check and drug screening. Wake Tech will not accept results from any company other than CastleBranch.

Go to the CastleBranch website, select Nurse Aide and order package code WM83.

Students are responsible for the cost of the criminal background check, drug test and medical documentation manager ($116), and all costs are non-refundable.

The criminal background check is good for one year and must be valid throughout your entire class. All types of felony or misdemeanor convictions, pending charges and questionable histories will be reviewed by the clinical site, and admittance into the clinical setting will be determined by the clinical facility. The clinical facility decision is final.

The following criminal histories will likely disqualify a student from participating in the clinical component:

  • Any pending charges
  • Convictions/deferred adjudications involving crimes against persons (physical or sexual abuse, neglect, assault, murder, etc.)
  • Convictions related to moral turpitude (prostitution, public lewdness/exposure, etc.)
  • Convictions/deferred adjudications related to the sale, possession, distribution or transfer of narcotics or controlled substances
  • Registered sex offenders

Any student with a flagged criminal background check that has been declined by the clinical location will be contacted by a Wake Tech staff member.

The urine sample for drug screening must be submitted at least 30 days before your class goes to clinical. Please note the clinical dates for your class when you register.

The drug screening is good for one year and must be valid throughout your entire class.

Any student with a positive drug test will be contacted by CastleBranch.


Nurse aides work under the supervision of the licensed registered nurse and do not have a license. Nurse aides in North Carolina are regulated and listed on the Nurse Aide I Registry by the Division of Health Services Regulation, which is part of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. To become listed as a Nurse Aide I, federal regulations require that all candidates pass a state competency exam, which consists of a written and skills exam.

Upon successful completion of the program, students may take the state competency exam, given by Pearson Vue/NACES.

  • The state exam has two parts: A 70-question, computer-based written exam and five skills.
  • Registration for the state exam is done by online registration at least 12 days prior to the exam date. Payment will be in the form of a debit or credit card.
  • The exam cost is $140, which is not included in the Nurse Aide I tuition
  • The exam can be taken at Wake Tech and is also given in Spanish.
  • Those who have successfully completed the exam will be listed as a Nurse Aide I on the NC Nurse Aide Registry.
  • For more information regarding the state exam, visit PearsonVue.

Class withdrawal/transfer policy

  • A 100% refund is given if a student officially withdraws from the class (by written request) before the first class meeting.
  • A 75% refund is given if a student officially withdraws from the class (by written request) on or before the 10% date of scheduled hours. Community school, facility, and lab fees are non-refundable.
  • A full refund is given for classes canceled by the college. Students do not have to request these refunds.

To submit a withdrawal request, students must log in to Wake Tech's website.

Transfers are dependent on availability in the new class. In order to transfer to another section, the student must email the details to [email protected] and include his or her mailing address and phone number.

Learn more about Wake Tech's Workforce Continuing Education class refund policy.


Clinical and skills grade will be Pass or Fail. This grade will be based on the student's performance, professionalism and paperwork. Failure to respect the rights of patients or jeopardizing the safety of the patient will result in automatic dismissal from the program.

  • For each partial hour or hour missed for seated lecture classes, a 4-point deduction will be taken from the attendance grade. The corresponding module(s) make-up work must be completed in Moodle within two class periods from the time missed. Make-up work will not be accepted after that. Failure to turn in make-up work will result in automatic dismissal from the program and a grade of "NG" – no exceptions. Return points credit is based on the make-up work grade.
  • For tests and exams, a 4-point deduction will be taken from the student's attendance grade for each partial hour or hour missed, which is 10% of the theory grade. The test and exam grade will determine point credits as follows:
    • 2 points credit/hour for 95-100
    • 1 point credit/hour for 78-94
    • No credit/hour for 77 or below
  • For each hour or partial hour missed from lab and classroom review, a 3-point deduction will be taken from attendance. This deduction cannot be made up. All skills must be successfully checked off prior to entering the clinical setting.
  • Students in hybrid classes are responsible for submitting assigned homework in Moodle by the due date online. If homework is not received by the due date, a 4-point deduction will be taken from the attendance grade for each assigned module. If make-up work is completed by 11:59 p.m. on the following Sunday, the student will receive a 2-point credit for each module completed. If assigned homework is not received by that time, the student will not receive any credit. If the assigned homework is not received by 11:59 p.m. on the third Sunday, the student will be exited from class and receive an "NG" grade – no exceptions.

The grading scale is "S" for 78 and higher and "NG" for 77 and lower.

Unit tests account for 80% of the overall grade.

  • There are four unit tests, each with 50 multiple-choice questions.
  • Tests must be taken with No. 2 pencils. Pencils will not be provided.
  • Students who miss a scheduled test must schedule to take a make-up test within two class periods outside of scheduled class time. Failure to arrange a time with the instructor to make up a test within two class periods will result in a score of "0" for the test.

Attendance counts for 10% of the overall grade, and the final exam also accounts for 10%. The final exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions, and students will be offered a chance to retake it. Students must score at least 78 on the final.

A skills final exam is scored on a pass/fail basis.

In order to go to clinical, a student must have an overall 78 theory average (test average x 80% + attendance average x 10% + final exam score of at least 78 x 10%) without the benefit of rounding, pass the skills final exam and have correctly performed all required skills in lab.

Clinical paperwork

Students must provide their instructor with copies of two official signature bearing IDs, with matching first and last names, one of which must be a valid, government-issued, photo ID and the other Social Security card. The Social Security card must be signed and not laminated.

Students must upload all other clinical paperwork to CastleBranch prior to the clinical paperwork deadline. Please allow up to one week for review and approval. If not correctly submitted by the scheduled time of the final exam, the student will be exited and receive a grade of "NG."

  • Proof of flu shot for classes with clinical dates between October 15 and April 30
  • Copy of CPR certification. American Heart Association Basic Life Support for the Healthcare Provider certification is required. Online CPR is not accepted, as you must actually demonstrate CPR on a manikin in front of an instructor for your CPR certification to be accepted. Wake Tech offers CPR classes.
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Copy of Wake Tech photo ID
  • Completed physical form, which can be downloaded from CastleBranch
    • Vision/color vision
    • Hearing
    • #1-12 must be addressed
    • A-E must be done. If B is "Yes," the explanation must include a statement that the condition under treatment is stable or under control.
    • If C is "Limited," the explanation must include a statement that the student can lift 30 pounds.
    • D must be "Yes."
    • E must be completed with a date within one year of the last day of class and "Yes" checked.
  • Proof of the following immunizations
    • TDAP within last 10 years
    • 2 MMR or proof of immunity (CDC requires 28 days between shots)
    • 2 Varicella or proof of immunity (CDC requires 28 days between shots)
    • 2 Negative PPD (TB) within the past 12 months. The last test must be within one year of the last day of the class. The QuantiFERON Gold TB blood test is acceptable.
    • 3 Hepatitis B or sign decline waiver. The decline waiver can be downloaded from CastleBranch
    • COVID-19 vaccination(s)

If a student is denied access to any clinical agency for any reason, such as unvaccinated status, the student will not be allowed to progress in the program and will be withdrawn. All Health Sciences students must maintain all health, immunization and vaccine requirements to be eligible to participate in clinical.

Class/lab attendance

  • Students will be considered tardy one minute after the class or lab starts.
  • Absences will not be considered "excused" or "unexcused." Failure to be in class, lab or clinical for any reason is considered an absence. It is the student's responsibility to complete all make-up work.
  • Dismissal from the program and a grade of "NG" will result if a student accumulates more than eight hours of lab absences.
  • The student must complete all components (theory, lab and clinical) of the class.
  • There are no provisions to retake any component or transfer to another section for any component. Failure of any component will result in an "NG" grade. Students will be required to re-register and repay to repeat the entire class.

Emergency cancellations and closings

Wake Tech emergency cancellations and closings are posted on the college website, and messages are on the main phone line (919-866-5000). Current students with a Wake Tech email are automatically registered to receive Wake Tech WARN email alerts from the college emergency alert system. Students can also sign up with Wake Tech WARN to receive phone text messages and voice mail in the event of an emergency or inclement weather situation.

Nurse Aide I classes scheduled August through March have inclement weather make-up dates built into their class schedules. In the event the college closes and an entire lab or clinical class day is missed, make-up dates will be used in the same order they are listed on the class schedule. If closings result in partial lab or clinical hours missed, these hours will be made up by adding hours to existing class dates to make up the time. Totally seated classes that miss lecture hours due to any college closing will make up the hours online. If a seated or hybrid class misses a test due to any college closing, the test will be moved to the next seated class day. The attendance policy for make-up dates is the same as a regular class date.

Classroom/lab conduct

  • Students are expected to behave in a mature manner. Class or lab disruption will result in a deduction from the student's attendance grade, dismissal for the day or dismissal from the program.
  • Every student is expected to participate in all lab activities. Inability to correctly participate in lab for any reason will result in a deduction from the student's attendance grade, dismissal for the day or dismissal from the program.
  • At the end of the lab session, all students are required to clean the lab and return all materials to their proper places or receive deductions from their attendance grade.
  • Students must dress modestly and professionally. Wearing hats or extremely tight or revealing shirts, shorts or skirts is not allowed. The instructor reserves the right to have you leave class to change your appearance.
  • Fingernails must be clean and short to participate in lab. A student will not be allowed to enter the lab with long fingernails and will receive deductions from his or her attendance grade.
  • No chewing gum, eating or drinking in the class or lab.
  • No use of cellphones or other electronic or musical devices.
  • No children allowed on campus.

Clinical attendance

  • A four-hour mandatory clinical preparation orientation is scheduled at the beginning of the clinical component.
  • An eight-hour mandatory mock competency is scheduled at the end of clinical.
  • Students are expected to be at the assigned clinical site ready to begin work at the beginning of the clinical day. If a student arrives at clinical and is not prepared to begin work one minute after the scheduled clinical start time, he or she will be considered tardy.
  • Arriving 20 minutes after the scheduled arrival time, the student will be sent home and marked as missing the full clinical day.
  • Leaving clinical 20 minutes or earlier is the same as missing the full day.
  • Two tardies or two early departures (leaving less than 20 minutes before the end of clinical) will equate to four hours of clinical absence.
  • Students cannot leave the clinical facility for any reason without approval from the instructor.
  • If a student needs to be absent during the clinical component, he or she must notify the instructor 24 hours prior to the absence. Failure to do so will result in automatic dismissal from the program and a grade of "NG."
  • Dismissal from the program and a grade of "NG" will result if the student has more than eight hours of clinical absences.

Clinical dress code

  • Tops/pants – Neat, clean, wrinkle-free, navy blue scrubs. A solid white or navy blue shirt may be worn under the scrub top. Pants must fit at the natural waist and be long enough to cover the ankle.
  • Shoes – Black, non-canvas, closed toe, closed heel
  • Socks/hose – Black (no portion of the leg or ankle should be visible)
  • Hair – Must be of natural color, neat, clean and modestly arranged (not touching the collar)
  • Make-up – Must be kept to a minimum. Perfumes and colognes are not allowed
  • Nails – Must be short, clean and free of nail polish or any artificial covering
  • Tattoos – Must be covered
  • Jewelry – Watch, medical alert necklace/bracelet, a modest single ring and a single pair of post earrings in the ears are the only visible jewelry allowed
  • Equipment needed – Watch with a second hand, stethoscope, Wake Tech photo ID, black pen

Behavioral requirements

The following unprofessional or inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated and may result in automatic dismissal from the program:

  • Disrespectful, interruptive, disruptive, impatient behavior toward instructors, fellow students, staff, or clinical staff.
  • Inappropriate reaction at any time.
  • If the instructor suspects you are a safety risk in clinical due to a student physical or behavior action or issue.
  • Cheating, suspected use of alcohol or drugs on campus or before class.
  • Fighting, use of profanity or demonstrating an attitude that would frighten a patient, such as a loud, raised, angry voice

Reasons for dismissal

  • Cheating, forgery or plagiarism
  • Inappropriate behavior
  • Failure to make 78 or better on the final exam or a retake
  • Failure to pass the skills exam or a retake
  • Not submitting homework within three weeks of due date
  • More than eight hours of lab absences
  • Absence from mandatory clinical preparation and orientation
  • Disqualification from clinical site due to criminal background check or drug screen
  • Failure to correctly submit paperwork by the date and time of the final exam
  • Inability to check off all required skills prior to the final exam
  • Failure to pass the clinical component
  • Failure to respect the rights of patients or jeopardizing the safety of a patient
  • Inappropriate use of electronic devices
  • More than eight hours of clinical absences

If dismissal occurs for any reason, a student is not eligible for a refund.

Program costs

  • Tuition – The registration fee is $250, which includes tuition fee, malpractice and accidental insurance fees, lab supply fee and a Campus Access Fee with a parking decal.
  • Criminal background check, drug test and medical documentation manager – $116 paid to CastleBranch before or after you register for a Nurse Aide I class. CastleBranch will tell you where to submit your urine sample at least 30 days before your class goes to clinical.
  • Any classes going to WakeMed for clinical will require a rotation manger fee of $12.99 to $18.97, due after the final exam.
  • American Heart Association Basic Life Support CPR for HCP Certification is required. Wake Tech offers this CPR certification for $75.
  • Physical using Wake Tech health form and immunizations – Price will vary based on doctor fees and insurance. Please see the clinical paperwork deadline for your class and allow enough time if you need immunizations.
  • Uniform – Price will vary depending on the place of purchase. Navy blue scrubs and black, non-canvas, closed-toe, closed-heel shoes and black ankle socks are required for clinical. Black sneakers are accepted. Students need to wear scrubs for clinical and dress modestly for class and lab.
  • Other costs – Stethoscope and a watch with a second hand.
  • NNAAP exam – $140. The exam is taken after the course. Register at

Performance standards

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the following standards have been established. According to the nature of the work required in nurse aide practice and the educational requirements of the Nurse Aide I curriculum, the student must be able to meet the following:

Examples of abilities/behavior
Critical thinking ability sufficient for clinical judgment
Identify cause-and-effect relationship in clinical situations, follow nursing care plans/care maps
Communication abilities sufficient for interaction with others in verbal and written form
Collect data, explain treatment procedures, document and interpret nurse aide actions and patient and family responses
Interpersonal abilities sufficient to interact with individuals, families and groups from various social, emotional, cultural and intellectual backgrounds
Establish rapport with patients, families and colleagues
Physical abilities sufficient to move from room to room and maneuver in small spaces
Move around in patient rooms, work spaces and treatment areas; administer cardiopulmonary procedures; able to lift and maneuver 30 pounds
Gross and fine motor abilities sufficient to provide safe and effective nurse aide care
Move, calibrate, use equipment and supplies; lift, transfer and position mobile and immobile patients
Auditory ability sufficient to monitor and assess health needs
Hear monitor alarm, emergency signals, auscultatory sounds and cries for help
Visual ability sufficient for physical observation, performance of nurse aide procedures and maintenance of environmental safety
Observes patient responses, such as skin color and facial expression; monitors vital signs; reads records
Tactile ability sufficient for physical observation and performance of nurse aide procedures
Perform nurse aide procedures
Emotional stability and mental alertness in performing patient care
Maintains calm and efficient manner in high stress/pressure situations with patients, staff, supervisors and colleagues

Standards are developed by the Board of Directors of the Southern Council of Education for Nursing to assist Nursing Education Programs in compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act.

If a Nurse Aide student believes that he or she cannot meet one or more of the standards without accommodation or modifications, the college must determine, on an individual basis, whether the necessary accommodations or modifications can be made reasonably.

The North Carolina Board of Nursing and the North Carolina Division of Health Service Regulation recommend that students must be at least 16½ years old to register for a Nurse Aide I class. Students under 18 years old are not eligible to register and pay for a Nurse Aide I class online. Email [email protected] or call 919-747-0120 for information about how to register.

If you have been awarded a scholarship or sponsorship to fund the registration cost of your Nurse Aide I class, email Stephanie Johnson at [email protected].


If you have any questions or concerns about the Nurse Aide I syllabus or the orientation or registration process, email [email protected] or call 919-747-0120.