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Northern Marianas College (NMC) nursing assistant graduates Lerica Primo, Karena Torres, Cindy Yang, and Antoinnette Hernaez have added their names to the growing list of successful NMC graduates who have passed the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) Competency Exam, becoming certified nursing assistants (CNAs).

The NNAAP exam is an industry certification developed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing to assess competency in nurse aide skills. To prepare for the NNAAP, the four students underwent a rigorous 10-week nursing assistant training course hosted by the College's Nursing Department last Summer 2022.

NMC Nursing Department Chair Rosa Aldan congratulated the four on their achievements.

“We are extremely proud of our graduates who are certified nursing assistants and are excited for them to start their careers as certified nursing assistants,” NMC Nursing Department Chair Rosa Aldan said. 

Lerica Primo, a current NMC Pre-Nursing student, chose the nursing profession out of a desire to care for others. She mentioned, "I am aware that the job can be demanding, but I have personally witnessed the positive impact CNAs can have on their patients' lives. I've always had a passion for helping others and want to make a difference by caring for those who are incapable of caring for themselves. I also sought to gain as much experience as possible to boost my confidence and strengthen my abilities in preparation for the nursing program."

According to Primo, her children serve as her greatest inspiration. She is now working at Marianas Health Services as a CNA.

Karena Torres entered the medical field with the goal of making a meaningful impact in people's lives through healthcare. Torres mentioned, "I've always been drawn to the healthcare field and felt that becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant would be a great way to start my career. The program at NMC had an excellent reputation for providing comprehensive training and support, which further motivated me to choose it as my educational path."

Torres described her experience in the NMC CNA program as incredibly rewarding. She gained not only essential clinical skills but also learned the importance of compassion, empathy, and effective communication in providing high-quality care to patients. Torres plans to work in a healthcare facility on Saipan and continue her education in Occupational Therapy.

Torres has applied at CHCC to work as a Certified Nursing Assistant.

Cindy Yang enrolled in NMC's Summer 2022 CNA program with the passion of joining the healthcare sector and aspirations of becoming a registered nurse (RN) in the future. Yang stated, "This program exceeded my expectations and had a reputation for providing complete training and support, reinforcing my desire to become a nurse to serve more people on this island." She found the NNAAP exam challenging but worthwhile and offered advice to other students preparing for it.

Yang has applied at CHCC to work as a Certified Nursing Assistant.

From a young age, Antoinnette Hernaez knew she wanted to work in the medical field, and the CNA program served as an important stepping stone toward achieving her goal. She expressed, "Being a CNA is a great opportunity for me to be part of people's lives, especially when they need someone to care for them the most."

Influenced by a close friend, Hernaez enrolled in NMC's Summer 2022 CNA program, leading her to learn more about CNAs. After researching the profession and its responsibilities, she decided that it was the right path for her. Hernaez is now eager to apply her skills, abilities, and knowledge by working in a healthcare center.

Hernaez has applied at CHCC to work as a Certified Nursing Assistant.

For more information about NMC's CNA program, email NMC Nursing Department Chair Rosa T. Aldan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (670) 237-6744.