Nevada Medical Assistant Requirements and Approved CMA Programs

If you’ve always been interested in healthcare but undecided on the path to pursue, you might want to consider starting out as a medical assistant. Medical assistants may not have the same recognition as doctors and nurses, but they do have a vital role in patient care. The training is short-term, which means you can begin working in one year or less. Medical assisting is an excellent long-term career option or it may be a stepping stone to something greater. Medical assistants have a unique role in healthcare. Their duties include a combination of administrative and clinical duties. They are the first point of contact for patients and may determine patients’ outcomes and satisfaction to a great degree. A medical assistant’s management of both front and back-office tasks guarantees the smooth operation of the practice including the flow of patients, transmission of information, and timeliness of treatments.

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Reasons to Become a Medical Assistant

Medical assistants work under the guidance of a physician in hospitals, private practices, and other health care facilities to support the delivery of patient services. They are cross trained to perform administrative and clinical responsibilities. Their duties may include answering the phone, scheduling appointments, collecting patient histories, prepping patients for treatments, completing billing information, collecting samples for lab testing, performing basic lab tests, and educating patients. Although medical assistants are directed by the physician, they also work closely with other members of the health care team including nurses, pharmacists, and lab technicians. Below are some reasons you might consider medical assisting as a career.

The Demand is Great

The demand for medical assistants rose by leaps and bounds after the worldwide COVID pandemic. Physicians everywhere are acknowledging the value they add to their private practices. Their services have also improved the delivery of patient care in hospitals and outpatient clinics. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of medical assistants is projected to grow 16 percent by 2031 – much faster than the average for all occupations. It means there will be 123,000 new openings for medical assistants every year. That’s good news for when you graduate with your medical assistant diploma.

It’s a Springboard for Other Careers in Health

So medical assisting may not be your long-term aspiration, but it could provide a good starting point for another career in health. If you don’t have the time or the money to invest in long-term training or just want the experience of working on the “inside,” medical assisting is a great place to start. Medical assistant programs are affordable and can be completed in 6 to 12 months. Practical experiences begin early in the program, so you might find yourself in a busy practice or hospital in a matter of weeks. The experience you obtain as a medical assistant may provide an advantage when applying for a health care program such as nursing where admission is competitive. Moreover, you can continue working to help fund the cost of your healthcare training.

Training is Fast

Medical assistant programs take a maximum of one year to complete. Some programs in Nevada can be completed in 6 months of full-time attendance. The training is short compared to that required by nurses or physicians, so you can begin working alongside a healthcare team before you know it. The clinical experience built into the medical assistant program provides some exposure to the role and function of a medical assistant, which will help you decide if it is right for you. Medical assistant programs also include preparation for a national certification exam. Take note that formal training is not a requirement in Nevada, so you might even be eligible for employment with some on-the-job training in even less time.

Numerous Advancement Opportunities

There are always opportunities to move beyond your role of a medical assistant, especially if you are nationally certified. The technical and soft skills gained in the position are easily transferrable to other positions in healthcare. Many medical assistants move on to strictly administrative positions within and outside of healthcare. They may also continue their studies to take on clinical roles with greater responsibilities.

Numerous Workplace Options

Continuing efforts to educate the healthcare community on the value of medical assistants have created interest in the services they provide. Medical assistants are not limited to private practices. There are now vacancies for medical assistants in hospitals, clinics, research centers, labs, residential care facilities, and outpatient centers.

Job Stability

A medical assistant’s job is recession-proof. Like other healthcare professionals, they enjoy job stability. The turnover and unemployment rates are low for medical assistants. The positive job outlook partially contributes to the stability of the profession.

Certified Versus Uncertified Medical Assistants

There is no requirement for formal training and certification of Nevada’s medical assistants – at least at the level of the State Medical Boards. However, the demand for certification by employers should be a key reason why you might consider taking a national certifying exam after completing a medical assistant program. When faced with a hiring decision, employers are more likely to select a candidate who is certified by a recognized certifying body. The American Association of Medical Assistants and other associations vouch for the competency of their members. CMAs have knowledge and skills to perform at the top of their practice. They are committed to personal and professional development to be the best for their employers and the patients they serve. They are also committed to the advancement of the profession through their efficiency and excellence in practice.

The AAMA certifies candidates who have completed an accredited medical assistant program. Accredited programs cover all aspects of the training that medical assistants supply is various healthcare settings including the administrative and clinical functions. Other certifying organizations may accept work experience in lieu of formal training.

See the list of certifying organizations below to determine what is the best option for you.

Nationally Approved Certifying Organizations

American Association of Medical Assistants
20 N. Wacker Drive, #1575
Chicago, IL 60606-2963
(312) 424-3100

American Medical Certification Association
310 Passaic Avenue, Suite 204B
Fairfield, NJ 07004
(888) 960-2622

American Medical Technologists
10700 W. Higgins Road, Suite 150
Rosemont, IL 60018
(847) 823-5169

Multiskilled Medical Certification Institute, Inc.
P.O. Box 17
7007 College Boulevard
Overland Park, KS 66211
(888) 625-8408 or (913) 754-3287 

How to Become a Medical Assistant in Nevada

Complete accredited training

Although formal training is not a requirement for practice as a medical assistant, it is one part of the preparation that should not be neglected. Medical assistant training does not require extensive study as the preparation to become a physician or a nurse. In fact, you can be job ready in a matter of months. An accredited diploma program in Nevada can be completed in just 8 months and will include hands-on training on site and real-world training at a local healthcare facility. The two recognized accrediting agencies for medical assistant programs are the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. Certificate, diploma, and degree programs are available. Your choice will depend on your goals, finances, and available time.

Duration of the medical assistant program: A key benefit of medical assistant training is the speed at which you can complete the training. Compared to other health care professions the training is relatively short yet it covers all that you need to succeed in the profession. A diploma program requires a shorter commitment of time than a degree program which has general education requirements in addition to the career specific coursework.

Employer-centered curriculum: The medical assistant curriculum includes theory and hands-on training that centers on the role and function of the medical assistant in various healthcare settings. That laser targeted training keeps the program interesting, short, and applicable to the job.

Experienced instructors: Instructors should be versed in the role of the medical assistant and the services offered. They should have nuggets of information gained from their wealth on experience within the industry to help graduates succeed.

Flexible formats: Distance learning has become the norm in the delivery of information. While much of the coursework may be delivered online, the program should include interactive hands-on sessions on site as well as opportunities for students to work in a real-world environment.

Hands-on experience: Learning through practice is one of the best ways to acquire the knowledge and develop your skills as a medical assistant. The theoretical coursework will mean nothing without the application of those concepts in a real-world environment and under the guidance of a caring instructor.

Financially viable: Comparing programs to find the most affordable is the first way to save money on the cost of your education. The next step is to explore funding options such as financial aid, scholarships, grants, and employer funding. Online and hybrid programs may be cheaper that traditional on-campus programs.

Fringe benefits: Job placement assistance, job-shadowing, additional certification, preparation for the success on a medical assistant certification exam, tuition discounts, are just some added benefits that you might want to seek out in your quest for a good medical assistant program.

Obtain Medical Assistant Certification

Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)

The Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credential is a product of the American Association of Medical Assistants awarded to candidates who complete accredited training, pass the certification exam, and meet all other requirements for certification.

The CMA certification exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions that will test your knowledge of pharmacology, safety and infection control, legal and ethical issues, communication, and much more.

The exam assesses three principal categories:

Clinical Competency (59%)

  • Clinical Workflow: Patient Intake and Discharge
  • Safety and Infection Control
  • Procedures/Examinations
  • Pharmacology

General (21%)

  • Legal and Ethical Issues
  • Communication

Administrative (20%)

  • Billing, Coding, and Insurance
  • Schedule Appointments and Health Information Management

Eligibility Requirements

You can sit for the exam if you meet one of the criteria outlined below:

  1. Must be completing or a recent graduate of a CAAHEP or ABHES accredited medical assistant program. If you’re enrolled in a medical assistant program, you can take the exam no more than 30 days prior to completing the program and practicum. If you’ve graduated from a program, you must take the exam within 12 months of your graduation date.
  2. Must be a nonrecent graduate of a CAAHEP or ABHES accredited medical assistant program. You’re considered a nonrecent graduate, if you apply for the exam more than 12 months after graduation.
  3. Must be a CMA (AAMA) recertificant. Use this option if you previously passed the CMA Certification Exam and want to recertify the CMA credential.

Application Steps

  1. Verify that you are eligible to take the exam
  2. Review the exam policies and information
  3. Gather your documentation for your eligibility category
  4. Determine the start date for 90-day testing period – this will determine when you apply for the exam.
  5. Submit your application, pay the application fee of $125 for AAMA members or $250 nonmembers
  6. Make name, email, and postal address corrections in a timely basis
  7. Schedule your exam appointment after your application and payment are processed
  8. Complete the exam and receive a pass/fail notification
  9. Watch for your official score reports – within three weeks after your exam
  10. Watch for your certificate or digital badge via email

Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)

The American Medical Technologists (AMT) awards the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) credential to persons who meet the eligibility criteria and pass the RMA exam. The RMA credential is also accepted by healthcare employers across the nation. RMAs have the abilities, knowledge, and commitment to quality care.

Following are some other requirements for RMA certification:

Through formal education-

  • Must have graduated, within the past 4 years, or scheduled to graduate from an accredited MA program or program that is housed within an accredited institution.
  • Must have completed 720 hours of instruction that includes at least 160 hours of externship

Other training –

  • Must have completed a medical assisting work-study/training program within the last 4 years such as:
    • An apprenticeship program registered with the US Department of Labor (DOL)
    • A federally recognized State Apprenticeship Agency (SAA)
    • Workforce Development/Employer program

Work Experience

  • Must be employed as a medical assistant for a minimum of 3 years within the past 7 years – 3 years of full-time employment at 36 hours per week is the equivalent of 5,616 hours. Provide documents of both administrative and clinical duties on the employment letter
  • Experience must include both clinical and administrative duties
  • Must have a valid CPR card (copy of front and back). CPR training must include both theoretical and in-person demonstration of CPR proficiency.


  • Must be recent graduate, or scheduled to graduate from a formal medical services training program of the United States Armed Forces – Must have graduated within the last 4 years.


  • Must have worked as a medical assistant educator for a minimum of five years, and have previously completed a course in a healthcare related discipline.

The application fee for the RMA exam is $135. You must schedule your exam online after you receive approval from the RMA.

The official certification will be supplied within 7 to 14 days after you pass the exam.

Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA)

The National Healthcareer Association (NHA) is another nationally recognized certifying organization for medical assistants. Candidates who successfully meet all the requirements will receive the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) credential. Candidates for certification may fulfill the requirements for certification via work experience or practical training.

To take the CCMA credentialing exam, you must:

  • Possess a high school diploma/GED equivalent AND
  • Have completed a medical assistant training program (within the last 5 years) OR
  • Have one year of supervised medical assisting experience, in the last 3 years

The exam is administered either at your school, a PSI testing center near you, or through live remote proctoring at the location of your choice.

For online CCMA exams, NHA will officially post your certification results to your account page within two days of scoring your test.

Nevada Medical Assistants FAQs

Are medical assistants required to be licensed or certified by the State of Nevada?

Medical assistants are not required to be licensed or certified by the State of Nevada.

What duties are medical assistants allowed to perform?

The physician may delegate a reasonable range of duties to medical assistants as long as they’re properly trained.  A physician, nurse, or other health care professional must supervise the medical assistant in the performance of the delegated tasks. Following are some of the duties that may be performed by a medical assistant:

  • Measure vitals
  • Wound care
  • Change dressings
  • Update patient records
  • Administer medications
  • Collect blood samples

Nevada’s medical assistants must not:

  • Perform surgical procedures
  • Prescribe medication
  • Administer anaesthesia

Contact the Nevada Society of Medical Assistants

No Local Chapters

CAAHEP & ABHES Accredited Medical Assisting Programs Nevada

Carson City, NV Medical Assistant Programs:
Western Nevada College
2201 West College Parkway
Carson City, NV 89703
(775) 445-3000

Henderson, NV Medical Assistant Programs:
Las Vegas Medical Assistant School
1701 N. Green Valley Pkwy Bldg 5, suite C
Henderson, NV 89074

Las Vegas, NV Medical Assistant Programs:
College of Southern Nevada
6375 W. Charleston Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89146

Nevada Career Institute
3231 North Decatur Blvd. #201
Las Vegas, NV 89130

Northwest Career College
7398 Smoke Ranch Road
Las Vegas, Nevada 89128

United Education Institute
3450 S. Maryland Pkwy,
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
(877) 463-4472

Las Vegas College
8410 N. Rafael Rivera Way,
Las Vegas, NV 89113

Milan Institute
2250 Rancho Drive, Suite 205
Las Vegas, NV 89102

Goodwill of Southern Nevada
250 East Pilot Road, Suite 140
Las Vegas, NV 89119

Reno, NV Medical Assistant Programs:
Unitek College
5250 South Virginia St
Reno, NV 89502
(888) 311-0964

Sparks, NV Medical Assistant Programs:
Career College of Northern Nevada
1421 Pullman Dr.
Sparks, NV 89434