Nutritional Clinical Assistant (NCA)

Nutritional Clinical Assistant (NCA)

60-hour training curriculum especially for office staff taking a more active role in the nutrition segment of clinical practice

Does your staff need nutritional training, but you don’t have the time or tools to get it done? Do you have employees that need more challenge and newness in their position or you’ll lose them? Have you pulled back on implementing nutrition in your practice because you can’t manage it on your own? Do you have staff that could be more involved in your nutritional business and provide clinical patient support and interaction? Then you need to check this out!

We are piloting a 60-hour entry level certification program designed especially for office staff - the Nutritional Clinical Assistant (NCA) - Level I. What does "pilot" mean? Enrollees agree to pace their study with our weekly assignments, test our preliminary materials, and provide feedback for improvement in exchange for a reduced tuition – over 30% off! We need guinea pigs (in the nicest sense of the word) and you get a great deal. Even though this Level I program is a pilot, Texas Chiropractic College has reviewed the required content and is sponsoring the certification. We expect to finalize all pilot materials by February 2020.

There will also be a 40-hour Level II NCA course of study for those staff members that complete Level I NCA and desire deeper learning and increased clinical responsibility. We will begin open enrollment for the Level II pilot program in March 2020. 

NCA enrollees will be following a heavily directed learning structure that includes print, audio, video and online study, coaching sessions and web-based study groups. The content will encompass the following:

  • Foundational whole food nutrition
  • Reading labels
  • Lifestyle and diet recommendations
  • Basic anatomy and physiology
  • Nutritional tests and assessments
  • Purification and weight loss
  • The effects of stress on health
  • Effective business tools
  • Marketing and communications

Each enrollee will participate in monthly recorded study groups. Staff members completing this certification will earn an administrative certificate in nutritional support. Some graduates may choose to use the abbreviation NCA on their nametag.

This pilot program pricing will only be in effect until the final materials are implemented. The NCA Level II Pilot program will be available in February 2020. Join us – register your staff today and we promise to take good care of them. 

What NCA Enrollees Are Saying

  • I'm blown-away by the personal assistance I get during my coaching sessions.
  • I am learning so much about eating well, and I can share it with our patients.
  • The monthly online study group helps me stay focused.
  • I meet with my doc every month and share what I'm learning. We are starting to change things in the office and I am helping to make that happen!
Who is eligible for the Nutritional Clinical Assistant (NCA) certification?

Applicants for the NCA are staff members that are sponsored by their employer – a licensed healthcare practitioner. Previous experience of any kind is not required or necessary and the enrollee will not be expected or encouraged to directly analyze a patient case or determine a protocol without guidance. Staff members will be stepping up into a more active supportive nutritional role in the clinic. In addition to new skills, the enrollee will be provided with a clear path to implement process changes and become more hands-on.

What is a pilot program?

The NCA Program completed phase I review in July 2019 and immediate modifications to the content, delivery and number of required hours were made. We are now entering into phase II - a more improved program with better flow and accountability. We reduced this entry level certification from 100 to 60 core hours so that participants can complete their required study in less time and apply these new skills sooner. We are still only charging enough to cover the costs of print materials and online participation – in exchange for mandatory and honest feedback, when requested. 

Even though this is a pilot program, Texas Chiropractic College has reviewed the required content and is sponsoring the certification. We expect to complete our phase II review and finalize program materials by February 2020.

What are the enrollment deadlines?

Currently, the NCA Level I Pilot Program is an open and continuous enrollment. This provides flexibility for the enrollee and offers a larger pool of pilot contributors so we can best evaluate the materials. When the NCA program materials have been finalized, there will be 3 open enrollment periods each year so we can keep group activity on schedule.

How long does it take to complete the NCA Level I certification?

Since the NCA certification is currently in pilot status, we anticipate that if staff follow the revised structure, they will finish within 6 months. We want NCA enrollees to use new information and skills in the clinic immediately, to be engaged in their position, and stay with their sponsoring practitioner for a long period of mutually beneficial employment.  The NCA Level I program will have defined structure with weekly assignments. This will allow our staff to “push” the people and the process so completion is achieved. Just like the ACN certification, we will not penalize anyone that doesn’t make that timeline happen, but we will set the pace for success.

When will the NCA Level II program be available?

The NCA Level II Pilot program will be available in April 2020. We expect this program to add an additional 40 hours of training in reproductive anatomy and physiology, online courses or physical seminar participation, physical exam and observation, systems survey, patient education, and social media marketing. It should take 4-6 months to complete this add-on training. This pilot will also be introduced at a discounted rate and once materials are finalized, the tuition fee will reflect the complete4d program. 

Does the sponsoring healthcare practitioner have any responsibilities during this program?

The Whole Food Practice staff will send an online questionnaire to the sponsoring practitioner ½ way through the Level I certification program. This questionnaire will require a brief exchange on new skills and application, confidence with patients, initiative in business or marketing strategies, and how we can help the enrollee get more from the program.

We recommend that the sponsoring practitioner schedule monthly performance reviews with the enrollee during this period to discuss roadblocks and resolutions, and to give the staff member the support they need to implement change in their expanding role.

If the practitioner is not concurrently enrolled in the ACN certification, they may purchase brief coaching sessions to discuss the new emerging NCA job role, pay changes, internal processes, nutrition integration and patent education. We do strongly suggest that a sponsoring practitioner participate in the ACN certification if they are enrolling staff members in the NCA, however, it is not a condition for staff participation. 

How do I prepare for the final examination?

The final exam is a culmination of the required materials and quizzes, foundational nutrition concepts, and current nutritional topics relevant to supporting a whole food therapeutic practice. We will provide a comprehensive study guide that will walk you through important learning and provide examples of questions that may appear on the final exam. You may take notes in the guide and use it as an “open book” while taking your final examination.

What structure and process does the final examination follow?

The NCA Level I final examination is a 60 question, online test that provides immediate scoring, wrong answer tips and additional topic reminders for continued learning after the exam. Each enrollee must pass the exam with an 80% score or higher and it can be taken more than once in order to achieve this passing score. You may keep your resources and study guide open during this test, but you may not use the internet to search topics and answers.

The NCA Level II final examination will be a 40 question test in the same format as above. 

What is the refund policy for the NCA certification?

We provide each potential enrollee and their sponsoring practitioner with ample time to ask questions during our complimentary discovery session and email exchanges. We will never pressure anyone into purchasing any certification programs. Once a practitioner or staff member submits their NCA application, receives notification of approval, and payment is processed, no refunds will be offered or negotiated.