The deadline to enroll in Bristol Community College’s free advanced nursing assistant program — which is open to residents of Freetown, Lakeville and communities in the New Bedford area — is approaching.

“The courses we offer are core courses for nursing supervisor programs,” said Betty Bernal, program coordinator. “We offer 30 hours of work readiness, how to search for a job, how to prepare a resume and tips for interviews. We also offer 10 hours of communication skills and an introduction to customer service, because we believe the patients are our clients.”

An orientation for the program will be held Feb. 23, and classes begin March 1 and run through May 26. Feb. 23 is the deadline to apply. Classes will meet from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m, Monday through Friday, at 200 Union St., New Bedford.

“The value of this training program is more than $3,600, and two of the classes will give them four college credits,” Bernal said.

The advanced nursing assistant program provides training for students to become eligible to be certified as home health aides and certified nursing assistants, helping to meet the demand for qualified workers in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted care facilities and private residences as the baby boomer generation ages.

Much of the curriculum, Bernal said, focuses on caring for the elderly.

The advanced nursing assistant program is funded by the Healthcare Skills Gap Partnership grant, which is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. It is offered through a partnership between the Greater New Bedford Workforce Investment Board, the Greater New Bedford Career Center and workplace partners, Alden Court Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and Lifestream Inc.

Applicants must be at least 18 years old and live in New Bedford, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Acushnet, Freetown, Lakeville, Rochester, Mattapoisett, Marion or Wareham. To qualify, candidates must also meet specific career center requirements, including possession of a high school diploma or GED and U.S. citizenship or the ability to legally work in the United States.

For more information, call Bernal at 508-678-2811, Ext. 3514. Application packets are available at the Greater New Bedford Career Center, 618 Acushnet Ave., New Bedford.