Central Sterile Processing Technician Program


About the Program

Central Sterile Processing Technician (CSPT) is a partnership between Nashville State Community College (NSCC) and Vanderbilt University Medical Center, in the Center for Programs in Allied Health. This program provides a unique opportunity for students to pursue a health career that is in high demand and gain employment as a CSPT at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Enrolled students complete a rigorous didactic curriculum at NSCC with courses in competent entry-level central processing technicians in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains and prepare them to successfully complete the certification exam of their choice. Coursework is reinforced through the hands-on clinical application of content learned at VUMC under the supervision of clinical preceptors.

Students will be prepared to support a variety of surgical settings, which includes setting up operating rooms for surgical procedures, sterilizing instruments, gathering supplies, and delivering the proper equipment ahead of surgery. The program is built on a solid foundation of knowledge in anatomy, medical terminology, and microbiology. Students receive specialized training in what surgical instruments are, the handling and use of instruments for specific surgical procedures, and the clinical setting experience needed for employment. The program includes extensive classroom time as well as practical experience in clinical settings which prepares students for all major job duties in central processing and distribution facilities.


  • 10 week* classroom learning at NSCC
  • 8 week clinical experience at VUMC
  • 240 hours of hands-on clinical experience at VUMC
  • Certification test prep
  • Weekly check-in meetings
*Program length is expected to change in 2023 based on industry standards. Please continue to check the website and attend information sessions to learn about any changes.

Admission Requirements

  • Must submit NSCC Application for Admission
  • Must have high school diploma or GED
  • Must have satisfied all ENGL and READ learning support and ESOL requirements in English and reading prior to starting the program (Match not requried)
  • Must submit a complete CSPT program application by the appropriate deadline
  • Selection will be based on a composite score consisting of point from GPA, critical thinking assessment (Insight Assessment), and courses taken towards the program. 

How to Apply

Please contact the VUMC CSPT program staff for more information on how to apply. 

CSPT Program Director - Derrick McLean at john.d.mclean@vumc.org

Administrative Director of Perioperative Services - Kester Verdadero at kester.f.verdadero@vumc.org



A graduate may become credentialed through the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA; formerly International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materials Management: IAHCSMM) as a Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) and by the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD) as a Central Service Processing and Distribution Technician (CSPDT).