Iowa Western Community College

Certified Medication Aide

October 29-November 7
M-F 9 am-3:30 pm
Council Bluffs Campus

For class schedule and to register, click on this link: Class Schedule/Registration

About the Program

The 50-hour course prepares nurse aides and residential attendants to administer non-parental medications in Long Term Care facilities. This course is approved by the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals and Nebraska Health and Human Services regulations governing medication aides. Nebraska requires the participant pass the Nebraska State Exam after completing this course.

FREE Tuition Assistance Available!

This program is approved for FREE Education to Employment tuition assistance for eligible Iowa residents. Financial assistance may include training tuition, textbooks, tools, certification fees, required materials and other services. Email or call (712) 325-3268 for more information!


$545 (Textbook and handouts included in cost.) 

Program to Include

  • “Prepare to Care” Direct Patient Care Review, offered on Day 1 of class.
  • Preparing and administering medications.
  • Observing, reporting and documenting resident’s status.
  • Review of principles of safety.
  • Demonstrating knowledge of measurement systems, body systems, and common diseases.


  • All students must take the “Prepare to Care” 6-hour lecture on the first day of class. An exam given that day must be passed with an 80% or better in order to advance to the Medication Aide portion of the class.
  • Students must have an 80% or better on the final exam, administered on the last day of the Medication Aide class, to pass the Medication Aide Course and receive a certificate.
  • All course projects and reports must be completed. Students must complete at least 10 hours of clinical in the long term care facility to successfully complete the course requirements and receive a certificate.
  • NOTE: The 10 hour clinical must be taught by a Registered Nurse in the sponsoring facility. The skills checklist must be returned by mail or in person to IWCC within 6 weeks of the last day of class. 


NOTE: Prerequisites must be submitted to Iowa Western before the class starts.

  • A letter from the administrator or DON of the sponsoring facility verifying the following: the employee’s attitude, interest, reliability.
  • Reading comprehension, writing ability and aptitude for math.
  • Absence of history of drug or alcohol abuse.
  • Competency in obtaining blood pressure and apical pulses.
  • Copy of license of RN who will teach the 10-hr clinical in the sponsoring facility


Attendance is important. Each class session seven chapters are lectured on. 

  • All homework assignments must be completed satisfactorily prior to receiving the certificate.
  • Upon successful completion of the course, and a 10 hour clinical in the sponsoring facility, the participant will receive a certificate. 


Mosby’s Textbook for Medication Assistants ISBN 978-0-323-04687-9. The textbook and handouts are furnished to each student and included in the cost of the course.

Career & Salary Information

As the health care field grows, so does the demand for CMAs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects overall employment of nursing and psychiatric aides to grow by 20 percent between 2010 and 2020, which is faster than the average for all occupations. Typical career progression for a Certified Medication Aide involves becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse or a Medical Assistant. The median hourly earnings are $15.53 - $18.31. Source EMSI. 

Refund Policy

There will be a $25 fee for all class withdrawals or transfers. If you withdraw from a class 1 business in advance you will receive a 50% refund.  No refunds will be given for no shows or less than 1 business day notice.