University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center offers a Novice Patient Care Assistant (PCA) program that prepares individuals to begin their career in the medical field.

UM BWMC's Novice PCA Program prepares you for the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) exam by providing hands-on training and skills practice to help you begin your career in the medical field. This is a paid 8-week program that is hosted on-site at UM BWMC and is taught by our clinical educators. The program is offered twice a year and is open to current UM BWMC employees or external candidates who are interested in pursuing a career as a PCA.

A PCA is a multi-skilled professional that assists patients with activities of daily living. The PCA will spend time at the patient's bedside meeting the patient's physical, psychosocial and environmental needs based on the individual plan of care. Patient populations that are served can include infants, children, adults and geriatric adults.

Novice PCAs participate as a member of the care team by providing direct patient care under the supervision of the nurse. This program helps Novice PCAs to grow and develop their patient care skills with an emphasis on teamwork and communication.


  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • High School diploma or equivalent (GED) required
  • At the end of the program must become CNA Certified by the Maryland Board of Nursing
  • Current AHA Health Care Provider (CPR) card

How to Apply:

To apply for the Novice PCA Program at UM BWMC, visit, search for "Novice PCA" and complete the application. Call 410-787-4946 for more information.