This Project is Funded by a Hospital Employees Education and Training (HEET) Grant through the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.

Medical Assistants: If you are a medical assistant interested in participating in the program, please contact Cirihn Rogers-Malpocher at cmalpocher@healthcareerfund.org. (SEIU 1199NW Multi-Employer Training Fund), Jennifer Johnston at jjohnston@highline.edu (Highline College)), Connie Lieseke at clieseke@olympic.edu (Olympic College) or Sandy Erlewine at serlewine@yvcc.edu (Yakima Valley Community College)

Employers: If you have Medical Assistants who are currently not credentialed, they need to become MA-Registered or MA-Certified Link. If you want to learn if the program can help your MAs, please contact Jennifer Johnston, the HEET Program Manager at Highline College at jjohnston@highline.edu or if you are located in the Olympic Peninsula, Mason or Kitsap counties contact Connie Lieseke at Olympic College clieseke@olympic.edu. If you are anywhere in Eastern Washington, please contact Sandy Erlewine at Yakima Valley Community College serlewine@yvcc.edu.

Healthcare Education for Adult Learners-Medical Assistant Pathway

Medical Assisting Pathways - College Consortium:

Highline College 
Babs Cerna, Business Division Chair   
Laurel Lunden, Instructor   
Jennifer Johnston, HEET Project Manager

Olympic College
Connie Lieseke, Program Coordinator 

Skagit Valley College
Lyn O’Neal, Department Chair Allied Health Education

Yakima Valley Community College
Sandy Erlewine, Faculty
Shirley Mohsenian, Program Coordinator 
Cami Pangrazi, Instructional Assistant

Seiu Healthcare 1199NW Multi-Emplolyer Training Fund
Cirihn Rogers Malpocher, Assistant Director

Support and Web Hosting: Allied Health Center of Excellence
Connie Jensen, Program Assistant 


As of July 1, 2013 all medical assistants practicing clinical skills in Washington State are required to be credentialed. The law guiding the practice of medical assistants in Washington State is Chapter 18.360 RCW. The new law requires completion of a recognized MA program and successful completion of one of four nationally recognized tests.  Visit DOH MA

The new profession consists of 4 new categories:

  • Medical Assistant – Certified
  • Medical Assistant – Registered
  • Medical Assistant – Phlebotomist
  • Medical Assistant – Hemodialysis Technician

    Medical Assistant Rules Hearing - May 7, 2013  (PDF)

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    The objective of the Medical Assisting Pathways project is to provide flexible, individualized, modular training and education for individuals currently working in the capacity of Medical Assistant who need further education or testing to meet the new requirements. Partner colleges will provide a means for working MAs to have assessment and attain credit for skills and knowledge they have gained through their experience, then incumbent workers’ skills or knowledge gaps will be addressed by access to online or in-person learning and assessment modules in their gap areas. 

    Working MAs who have already completed an approved program may choose to take only the Exam Preparation Module, which will prepare participants to take any one of the four DOH-approved national tests.

    Labor and Employers can support working MAs by helping them identify their needs in meeting the expectations of the new law.


    For Educators:

    All curriculum modules and resources will be available via the Center of Excellent for Allied Health, www.yvcc.edu/heet. Modularized curriculum modules developed through this project will be stored on a Common Cartridge, so that data, assessments and curriculum can be used on a variety of Learning Management Systems.

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    Are You Currently Working as a Medical Assistant (or Health Care Assistant), but never Completed a Program?

    Then you will either need to get Attestation by your provider to become an MA-R (Medical Assistant-Registered) Link, or you will need to complete an approved program and pass one of four national exams (below) to become an MA-C (Medical Assistant-Certified). Due to your work experience, you may be able to prove your competency and test out of certain modules or units, and complete the program faster than normal. Contact your nearest partner college (above) and make an individualized, flexible education plan based on your schedule and needs.

    Department of Health MA FAQ                         DOH Provider Credential Search

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    Which Test Can I Take?

    The four national tests approved by the Washington State Department of Health are:

    1. Certified Medical Assistant through the American Association of Medical Assistants: 
    2. http://www.aama-ntl.org/becomeCMA/how.aspx

    3. Registered Medical Assistant through the American Medical Technologists: 
    4. http://www.americanmedtech.org/Certification/MedicalAssistant/TaketheExam.asp

    5. Certified Clinical Medical Assistant  or through National Healthcare Association: 
    6. http://www.nhanow.com/clinical-medical-assistant.aspx

    7. Medical Assistant Certification through the National Center for Competency Testing: 
    8. https://www.ncctinc.com/Certifications/


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    What Duties can Be Performed?

    What duties can a medical assistant-certified perform? See RCW 18.360.050 ( Item 1). 

    What duties can a medical assistant-hemodialysis perform? See RCW 18.360.050 (Item 2).

    What duties can a medical assistant-phlebotomist perform? See RCW 18.360.050 (Item 3).

    What duties can a medical assistant-registered perform? See RCW 18.360.050 (Item 4).