Top CNA Classes & Programs
Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) are important members of the healthcare team. An entry-level position, CNAs provide basic care to patients, including monitoring conditions and taking vital signs, feeding and bathing patients, and helping with physical therapy exercises. These tasks free up licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and registered nurses (RNs) to provide the more complex care which patients need and keep the entire medical team running smoothly. Many individuals begin their careers in the nursing field by becoming a CNA, which requires fewer hours of training than LPN or RN programs.
Choosing a Top CNA Program
There are a number of CNA training programs nationwide to choose from, and the choices can be overwhelming. In order to make the choice easier, we have broken down a few things to keep in mind when choosing a school.
Type of School: CNA training programs are offered at a variety of school types, including vocational schools, community colleges, and some medical centers. The type of school that's right for you may depend on cost. For instance, some medical centers provide paid training programs in order to recruit new hires, while a vocational school or community college will charge tuition in addition to the cost of the certification exam.
State Approval: In order to become a practicing CNA, students must meet the education requirements set by their state. Each state has its own unique requirements, as well as a listing of approved schools and training programs, which you can find by visiting your state's Board of Nursing or Board of Health website. Make sure the program you select is on the approved list to ensure you will graduate from your classes meeting or exceeding your state's requirements.
Tuition Cost & Materials Fees: The cost of a CNA program may vary depending on geographic location and type of school, but the good news is that CNA training programs are generally less expensive than LPN or RN training programs. This is because the type of medical training a CNA needs is less detailed than that of an LPN or RN, so CNA programs are also much shorter in length. When you'relooking into a potential CNA program, ask about any costs you may incur in addition to the tuition fees, such as uniforms, supplies, and books, as well as certification exam fees.
Online vs. On Campus: Some programs offer online courses in addition to, or in place of, classroom time. Online classes are a convenient option for students who also have other work or family commitments they must fulfill while studying to become a CNA. In addition, some traditional classroom programs offer classes during nights and weekends to help accommodate working students or those who require childcare in order to attend classes.
Program Length: The typical CNA program can take anywhere from 4 to 12 weeks to complete, with the average length clocking in at around 6 weeks. Programs will include classroom or online learning hours, in addition to clinical training hours in which students put the skills they have learned in the classroom into practice with real patients.
Testing Outcomes & Rankings: Consider what the consistency of their student graduation rates are and certification testing pass rates. Does the program rank well in the local area? Check online rankings to ensure people are happy with the instructors, curriculum, and securing post-graduation employment.
CNA Classes Near Me
Use the map below to find top CNA classes and programs in your state. For customized results based on your specific location, try searching by zip code with our search widget at the top of the page.
Online CNA Programs
Online courses are becoming increasingly popular as students look for ways to take classes while working full or part-time or fulfilling other family commitments. Online CNA programs allow students to complete certain portions of the curriculum from home or wherever is convenient and on their own schedules. Given that nursing assistants must master certain practical skills such as taking vital signs, caring for catheters, and assisting with physical therapy, online courses are often offered in conjunction with in-person training.
Advantages of Online Courses
Flexibility is a primary advantage of taking CNA courses online, as distance learning allows students to complete coursework whenever and wherever it is convenient. Taking classes online also eliminates the need to commute to campus, saving students valuable time and expense, and makes a wider number of schools accessible than what might be nearby a student's home.
Cost & Length of Online Classes
Online CNA programs can often be completed at a faster pace than traditional in-person programs. On average, CNA programs take 6 to 12 weeks to complete. With such a quick program length, becoming a CNA is a great fit for students who wish to begin working in the nursing profession as quickly as possible. Cost for an online program is variable, depending on the geographic location of the school and school type. One example of CNA program costs is the Nursing Assistant program at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas, which costs $830, including tuition, books, fees, and CPR training. As mentioned above, make sure to find out if the tuition cost includes additional fees and materials costs that students may be responsible for, such as books and certification exam costs.
Admissions and Certifications Requirements for CNAs
CNA programs generally require fewer qualifications for admission than LPN or BSN programs. In most instances, CNA programs require only a high school diploma or GED certificate, as well as a current physical examination, TB test, and a criminal background check even top program offerings. Some programs may also prefer students who have healthcare experience of some kind, such as volunteering in a hospital, but this is usually not a requirement for admission. Following the completion of their CNA programs, newly graduated nursing assistants need to pass their state's certification exam before they can begin working as a CNA. The exam may vary slightly from state to state but will include a written exam portion and a clinical skills portion, in which students will perform several skills in front of an exam proctor. Topics covered in the CNA certification exam include human anatomy and physiology, communication, ethics and legal issues, patient care practices including activities of daily living such as personal hygiene, infection control, and safety. Many CNA being within this profession before considering what nursing careers they will seek in the future.