OUR MISSION

The National Institute for Caregiving Excellence (NICE) mission is to help meet the growing need for well-prepared Private Caregivers and Certified Nursing Assistants ( Caregiving) by offering learning opportunity that includes the basics of direct care, then goes beyond those basics into the training and education called for by nursing assistants to help them give the best possible care to those they serve. NICE is committed to fostering excellence and promoting continuous professional growth.

NICE courses are designed to ensure Certified Nursing Assistant and Caregivers working across the health care continuum and with individual family and friends have access to the resources, education, and recognition they need to excel in their vital role. Through our online, self-paced courses, we strive to enhance the knowledge, skills, and confidence of CNAs and other Caregivers , enabling them to deliver compassionate and high-quality care to patients and residents, and friends and family. Professional certified nursing assistants will find opportunity for ongoing development and skill building through a targeted career growth lattice of course content.

At NICE, we are driven by a deep sense of respect, compassion, and appreciation for CNAs and Caregivers. Our mission is to provide them with the support they deserve, empowering them to thrive professionally and personally, while ultimately improving the lives of those they serve.

How Does NICE Work?

The National Institute of CNA Excellence is a one-stop shop for online training, certification preparation, and placement. Employer Partners are needed to provide training sites. NICE course materials make conducting classes easy and consistent for your RN instructor. Hosting classes provides the potential employer the opportunity to meet and select future team members.

Employer Partners begin by filling out an application to show how their care environment is a good fit for NICE CNAs. Please take a few minutes to complete the application.

If you're looking to hire without holding classes, use your login to access a list of NICE graduates in your area and begin your interview process.

Pretty simple, isn’t it? So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!

All The Tools You'll Need

Prepare to become a successful certified nursing assistant (CNA).

A Comprehensive Approach

Equipping CNA's for the “real life” field experience they need.

Going Beyond Compliance

Skills in team building, conflict resolution, and communication.

NICE Caregiver Training Faculty

Lisa Sweet, RN

Program Instructor, NICE Co-Founder, National Association of Health Care Assistants

(Lisa Sweet Bio)

As co-founder, Lisa serves as a steward of the National Association of Health Care Assistants (NAHCA) mission and vision. In addition, she is responsible for developing state of the art learning systems and educational content to ensure the Association’s success in motivating, educating and developing frontline excellence. She is a gifted communicator and educator.

For more than 30 years Lisa has served long term care as a CNA, LPN and RN. She is uniquely positioned to develop specific core curricula to advance NAHCA members in professional development. As a former CNA, director of nursing and corporate nurse consultant she understands the educational needs and requirements of any skilled and/or assisted living community.

Lisa’s authored NAHCA’s Geriatric Care Specialist Certification program for CNAs, understanding their desire to expand their education and enhance their skills in caring for the aged. To date more than 5000 certified nursing assistants have successfully earned the distinction of Geriatric Care Specialist (GCS).

Vicky Castillo

Founder/Owner at FACETS Healthcare Training

(Vicky Castillo Bio)

Coming Soon...

Dr. Micheal Waserman

Role Info - Medical Director (find details)

(Dr. Micheal Waserman Bio)

Coming Soon...

NICE Board of Directors

Cindy Frakes, ACHA

Program Instructor, NICE Co-Founder, National Association of Health Care Assistants

(Cindy Frakes Bio)

Coming Soon...

Tim Holahan DO, CMD

Program Instructor, NICE Co-Founder, National Association of Health Care Assistants

(Tim Holahan DO, CMD Bio)

Dr. Holahan has served or currently serves in many different roles in the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) and Nursing Home setting. His main passions include caring for complex patients in the SNF setting and being a leader in advocacy to improve care in nursing homes at a state/national level. He has served as medical director of multiple SNFs in Rochester, NY and also is the attending physician on ventilator patients at 2 local SNF ventilator units. He also attends on patients at Highland Hospital in Rochester NY as a geriatric hospitalist.  He has served on multiple committees as well as served in leadership roles for state and national organizations such as the American Medical Directors Association (AMDA), The New York Medical Directors Association (NYMDA) and the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY).

If the COVID-19 pandemic showed us anything, it was the need for well trained, compassionate and knowledgeable front line care givers in post acute care. They are truly the lifeblood that makes a post acute care facility function at its highest level and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) are at the forefront of that. For many years, I have felt that this specialty and area of the care-force has been largely ignored. It is the goal of NICE to change this for the better and train the next generation of CNAs which will significantly improve the care of our older adults in post-acute care. I am humbled to play my small role in such a great organization and initiative.  

University of Rochester

Division of Geriatrics

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Medical Director of the Monroe Community Hospital Ventilator Unit Medical Director of Aaron Manor and The Hurlbut Skilled Nursing Facilities

Jane Zacardi, RN, BSN, MA, Ed.D.

Board Member Role

(Jane Zacardi Bio)

Jane firmly believes that our direct caregivers are the most important members of the healthcare team and supports development of programs to enhance their preparation, career success, and growth.  She has dedicated most of her nursing career to caring for frail elders in a variety of care settings, advocating for improved access to and quality of care for seniors, and/or educating nurse aides, medication aides, Licensed Practical Nurses, and Registered nurses to provide care for senior adults with multiple, acute, and chronic health care issues.

Jane is currently retired and enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.  During her nursing career, She worked as an Independent consultant in Senior Care and as a Legal Nurse Consultant, Regional Clinical Consultant, Director of Nursing, Staff Development, Charge Nurse roles in Long Term Care, as well as Intensive Care and Coronary Care Nursing in Acute Care Hospitals.  Jane has held positions in Community Colleges as a Director of Nursing and Allied Health, Faculty and a Director of Practical Nursing and Health Occupations.

Brandy Wilson, CNA

Senior Living Properties - Restorative Certified Nurse's Aide

(Brandy Wilson Bio)

I have been at SLP- Kaufman Healthcare Center for almost 10 years! When I started here I had just became a CNA. After working here for 3 months i started doing Transportation and the Restorative program. I did this until they needed me back on the floor as a CNA. Over the course of 7 years I worked primarily as a CNA on all shifts, while also assisting in all departments including kitchen, housekeeping, laundry, maintenance, and activities.

In 2021 I got my Texas Food Manager and food handler certification and was considered for the Kitchen Manager position but unfortunately I did not receive that position. I then took on transportation, Medical Records, Ordering supplies, receptionist type duties, and check signing. In 2022 I went through the Activity Director course and got certified in hopes of taking on that position in the future. At the end of 2022 I was presented with the NAHCA program! I took the class and got certified. Since getting my certification we have lost the Administrator and DON. I have taken on their part of the program along with my duties as Lead CNA.

I work very closely with the ADON to maintain the facility needs. Over the last 10 years I have enjoyed this facility. I try to help in any way possible whether it is with staff or patients.

Jerrie Rieck, CNA

Assisted Living Memory Care - Certified Nursing Assistant | Certified Medication Aide

(Jerrie Rieck Bio)

Jerrie brings her journey in learning to be the best CNA she can be to the NICE Board of Directors.  She wasn’t sure what she wanted to do “when she grew up”, so she chose to become a nurse aide after high school graduation. She recalls her mom being worried that she wouldn’t like the work but found that she loved being the best nurse aide there could be.  Jerrie learned hands on, to touch gently, listen, and not talk too loudly, but clearly enough to be understood. She took her job to heart and knew she wanted to treat those she cared for as if they were her own family.  She works that way to this day.

When Person Centered Care became the standard of care, Jerry remembers is as being hard for an “old timer” that was used to following schedules and telling residents when they needed to be up, go to meals, or have baths but has thrived in the change that puts the person first.  In addition to being a CNA, Jerrie is a Certified Medication Aide and mentors, teaches and trains new CNAs and CMSs.  She currently works in Assisted Living Memory Care as well as being the primary home care giver for her mother.  Jerrie’s mother lives with Jerrie and her family and has increasingly needed support over the past several years.  Jerrie knows well that caring for a loved one is tough emotionally and physically, and more so when added to her full-time paid career.

Kari Miller, RN, JD

Registered Nurse and Attorney

(Kari Miller Bio)

Registered Nurse and Attorney with over 35 years of experience in senior housing, hospital, Long Term Care Post-Acute, Assisted Living, Memory Care, Independent Living and Private Duty Home Care. Admitted to practice law in Kansas and Missouri. Strong passion and belief that in order to improve resident care outcomes in our long-term care and Assisted Living space, we need to investing education, further training, and mentoring of those compassionate individuals who are called to become caregivers and C.N.A.s.

Jerrie brings her journey in learning to be the best CNA she can be to the NICE Board of Directors.  She wasn’t sure what she wanted to do “when she grew up”, so she chose to become a nurse aide after high school graduation. She recalls her mom being worried that she wouldn’t like the work but found that she loved being the best nurse aide there could be.  Jerrie learned hands on, to touch gently, listen, and not talk too loudly, but clearly enough to be understood. She took her job to heart and knew she wanted to treat those she cared for as if they were her own family.  She works that way to this day.

Jody Jones, RN

Current role info here

(Jody Jones Bio)

Coming Soon...

Hear From Our Clients

Don't just take our for it. Hear from past students and NICE Employers about their experience.

Because I become a CNA I am now career ready for the rest of my life. I get to help make a difference every day!

CNA - Happy Client

CNA - Happy Client

I have been certified for more than 20 years. Making a difference in life of someone else is second to none!

CNA - Happy Client

John Doe - Happy Client

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