BPSS Curriculum Guideline: Certified Nurse Aide/*Nurse Aide Advanced and Patient Care Technician

These Guidelines concern NYSED and/or BPSS expectations for curriculum review. Prior to submitting your new curriculum for review, please make sure to follow the instructions and advice below:

General Technicalities

  • When uploading curriculum material to my.ny.gov, always use the <Coursework Details> tab instead of <Other> or <Miscellaneous>.
  • For new curriculum, expect up to 90 days for review. Note that an approved curriculum may sometimes have to be revised/updated afterwards.
  • Note that BPSS approval for Nurse Aide/Nurse Assistant is valid for 2 years. The curriculum re-approval should be submitted electronically 120 days before the expiration date.
  • Curriculum title MUST be descriptive and clear, with NO advertising.
  • The sole goal of a CNA curriculum is to make students eligible to take the NYS skills and written nurse aide certification examination, and obtain the nurse aide license. There is no other educationally legitimate purpose for a nurse aide curriculum. Please note that the exam is set by the Department of Health, in conjunction with Prometric. The DOH is the final authority over matters related to the CNA examination.
  • The ESL requirements are relevant if students have non-English-speaking backgrounds. It needs to be determined that they can follow the program instruction in English. In addition to meeting the prerequisite for the entrance requirement - through an HSD, its equivalency, or an ATB test - students will need to take an ESL test and score at an intermediate level. Note that NO LOTE classes or exam are being offered for this program.

General Content

  • The BPSS entrance requirement for this specific curriculum is either a high school diploma/GED/TASC, or passing a standard Ability-to-Benefit test in English and Math equivalent to 6th grade, such as Wonderlic Basic Skills Test, verbal 200/quantitative 210. You CANNOT use a self-created entrance test. An Allied Health credential such as a Personal Care Aide certificate may serve in lieu of a High School Diploma or ATB test, if you ask for this during curriculum approval.
  • The standard length of this program is 125hrs, with an internship of 30hrs. 60hrs will be theory and 35hrs for skills lab. An instructional hour is considered to be 60min. Note that the 85% BPSS attendance rule does NOT apply here. The student MUST complete, in-class or through make-up hours, all 125hrs of this curriculum. Schools MUST track attendance daily, not only for the overall hours, but also by subject, to document that students completed the hours allotted to each unit and sub-unit. This includes make-up hours. Do NOT track your course as “Nurse Aide”— which is the name of the curriculum—but by the individual courses/units it is broken down into.
  • You may add additional subjects, such as VESL at the beginning or exam prep at the end. The additions MUST be germane to the curriculum.
  • Schools MUST use the standard curriculum in the BPSS NATP Information Booklet (2016) in conjunction with the NYS DOH Curriculum (January 2006) and make use of the Clinical Skills Performance Record Evaluation Checklist
  • The content of a Nurse Aide curriculum should include units in: Introductory Curriculum and Resident’s Rights; Basic Nursing Skills; Personal Care Skills; Mental Health & Social Service Needs; Care of Residents with Special Needs; and Basic Restorative Services.
  • When creating the curriculum on the BPSS system, check the box <Nurse Aide>. The Content Outline and Equipment List will then input automatically.
  • All clinical skills MUST be demonstrated LIVE during the training by the student. The skills lab is an extension of the classroom that provides adequate equipment, supplies and work stations for the number of students assigned to the site to practice skills on mannequin, and then live on fellow students or volunteers, before demonstrating competency in a clinical setting during the internship. The final skills demonstration for all clinical procedures MUST be 100% accurate.
  • Unlike agencies which train nurse aides under a DOH license, BPSS-regulated schools CANNOT have multiple training locations under the same school license. Each location MUST have its own license and curriculum approval, including a separate OBRA number.

Method of Instruction

  • For this curriculum, select <Classroom>. Note that Blended Learning is NOT an option for this program.
  • The program MUST identify a Primary Instructor/Primary Care Instructor (PI), who is also the Program Coordinator (PC) required by DOH. The PI/PC oversees the integrity of the delivery of the curriculum, and maintains program standards, incl. administrative responsibility and accountability for the program. The PI MUST be a registered professional nurse with at least 2 years practical (not supervisory) experience caring for the elderly and/or chronically ill, and MUST be licensed as career school teacher for Nurse Aide-Primary Instructor (you should upload a copy of the teacher license of the PI). An RN without the experience needed to be a PI can teach all parts of the curriculum under the oversight of the PI. An LPN with 2 years of Direct Care experience may only supervise interns during the internship under the direction of the PI.

Textbooks and Instructional Aids

  • Your instructor MUST use the BPSS booklet and the NYS DOH Curriculum (January 2006) in preparing instruction.
  • Your students MUST have a textbook. DOH and BPSS do NOT mandate the use of a specific textbook. You can select a standard published textbook of your choice, but it MUST cover the New York State Department of Health mandated curriculum. If minor parts are NOT covered by the textbook, hand-outs can be added. Handouts should be uploaded under <Coursework Details>. You CANNOT use only hand-outs.

Equipment List

  • The equipment list is pre-set and will upload automatically after selecting <Nurse Aide> as the category. Do NOT add or change anything. *Note that for the Nurse Aide Advanced and Patient Care Technician programs you can include the appropriate additional equipment under .

Content Outline and Performance Objectives

  • For this curriculum, the Content Outline (the former 21a) is found in Part V of the BPSS booklet, from p. 23 onwards. You MUST teach these parts in this order. You need to track how students progress through the curriculum using the Content Outline.
  • Using (the former 21b) Performance Objectives, you MUST describe what the student will do to show the instructor that he/she has learned the subject matter. For the theory component, this will include quizzes, homework, and class answers; for the skills component, practical demonstrations. Please refer to the Clinical Skills Performance Record Evaluation Checklist for skills testing. This checklist, with 61 mandated skills, MUST be filled out for each student. The student MUST receive a copy after graduation. Note that NOT all skills must be demonstrated during the internship, some can be performed during live training in the skills lab.

Internship/Externship/Supervised Clinical Experience

  • Use the latest CNA Affiliation Agreement. Do NOT use the forms developed specifically for Home Health Aide.
  • The internship MUST be 30hrs in a licensed long-term residential health care facility (RHCF), i.e. “nursing home.” You should include a copy of the operating license of the facility with the signed Affiliation Agreement.
  • During the internship, students MUST demonstrate their successful final performance of most of the 61 skills in the Clinical Skills Performance Record Evaluation Checklist. Each individual’s nurse aide trainee training record MUST clearly document the trainee’s competence prior to the individual taking the state nurse aide certification examination.

Certification Exam by Prometric

  • The DOH test for Nurse Aide is given by Prometric. After BPSS has approved your NATP program, BPSS will issue you a confidential OBRA-Number, which you will need in order to set-up testing with Prometric. BPSS will notify Prometric and the NYS Department of Health. Prometric will then contact you to set up practical and written testing for your students. After receiving BPSS licensure, it is important to set aside enough time for this part of the process, as otherwise your students would graduate too early and would have to wait weeks before being allowed to test. Upon successfully testing, the student will automatically be included in the NYS Nurse Aide Registry.


  • Indicate any and all changes in a letter uploaded under <Coursework Details>. Upload the complete, previously approved, curriculum (incl. approval letter) in one PDF under <Coursework Details>. Then upload the revised/amended curriculum as a second PDF.

*Nurse Aide Advanced and Patient Care Technician

  • Nurse Aide-related supplementary options include the Nurse Aide Advanced and the Patient Care Technician programs. Both consist of EKG and Phlebotomy, and sometimes Lab Work. Note: label Nurse Aide Advanced if the student will begin with the Nurse Aide curriculum and end with the supplemental courses; use label of Patient Care Technician if the student already holds a Nurse Aide certificate and only has to take the supplemental courses. Note that as the student will have taken Medical Terminology and A & P for the Nurse Aide curriculum or certificate, he/she will need fewer hours for the EKG and Phlebotomy courses than when these are taught as self-standing programs. Please refer to the BPSS guidelines on EKG Technician and Phlebotomy Technician (contact bpsscurriculum@nysed.gov).

General Caveats

  • Note that NO BPSS CURRICULUM APPROVAL, EVEN WHEN GIVEN IN ERROR, CAN OVERRIDE THE LAW! You MUST be familiar with the legal requirements in your offering.

Any further questions, please contact bpsscurriculum@nysed.gov