ADN Nursing Assistant Requirements

Applicants to the ADN program must first complete Nursing Assistant training and/or certification before applying to the program. This is necessary for all applicants because nursing assistant skills are the foundation for nursing education.

You can meet this requirement in one of the following ways:

  • Complete your Nursing Assistant training at a Washington State Community/Technical College.
  • Obtain your Washington State NAC Certification (can be expired or current).
  • Obtain LPN Licensure to substitute for the NAC requirement.

Obtaining your WA-state NAC Certification and working as an NAC will also contribute to our scoring criteria.

Applicants to the ADN program will be expected to be competent in all of the skills required of a Nursing Assistant before they apply to the ADN program. These skills are outlined in the Washington Administrative Code WAC 246-841-400.

Frequently-Asked Questions

Other healthcare positions cannot substitute for NAC training or certification. This is because every healthcare position has differing skills and competencies, regardless of how much training is involved. Even a doctor cannot just become a nurse, they must first take all of the required nursing training since they have a different skillset.


While the skills of MAs and NACs overlap, their focus is different. NACs are focused on patient care and assisting with activities of daily living, such as bathing, feeding, using the restroom, and moving patients safely.

While MAs may learn such tasks in training, their focus is on assisting physicians and nurses with patient care and office tasks, such as assisting with medical procedures and administering medication.

You can petition to the state to take the NAC certification exam (NNAAP) and apply for certification.

You must become certified within Washington State, as each state has different requirements for nursing assistants.

From the DOH website: “Any time after your license has been lapsed for three years or more, you must retrain and re-test unless you’re current on the OBRA registry in another state. If you’re current in another state then complete the reactivation application form and submit proof of license verification from the other state.”

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Last Updated October 26, 2021