Top CNA Programs in Alabama

Although physicians are the patient's primary caregiver, it is the RNs and especially Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) who interact directly and most often with the patient. RNs and CNAs provide nearly 85% of direct patient care, so they are often seen as the backbone of the medical establishment. If doctors didn't have the in-depth knowledge, training, and expertise of their CNAs, it's possible that they wouldn't be able to do their jobs as effectively. It's for this reason that a CNA's educational training is important. Prospective CNAs should therefore seek out the very best programs that they are able to get into.

Generally, most CNAs work in hospitals, nursing care facilities and assisted living facilities for geriatric patients. Others find work assisting patients as home health aides. Large numbers of RNs begin their work in the nursing field as CNAs.

Common CNA duties and responsibilities:

  • Wound Care and Prevention
  • Maintaining Personal Hygiene
  • Monitoring Patients
  • Housekeeping
  • Assisting Patients with Transportation and Dietary Needs

How to Choose a Top CNA Program in Alabama

Ways to find the top CNA programs in the state of Alabama:

  • Check the program's NNAAP pass rate
  • Program completion rates (how many individuals that start the program finish it)
  • Cost of the program
  • How many different CNA programs are offered (i.e. basic, hybrid and advanced)
  • How many campuses does the school have
  • The tuition or total cost of attendance
  • How long has the program been around (is it brand new or has it been established for a length of time)?

Testing & Certification

Passing NNAAP Exam is required for certification as well as placement into the Alabama Nurse Aide Registry. The Alabama Department of Public Health in a partnership with Pearson VUE work to develop, score and report NNAAP test results.

Competency examinations approved by the state are administered by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). The exam is comprised of both a practical skills assessment and a written or oral examination. Written or oral tests can be taken in either Spanish or English and consist of two portions, a 60-question module and a 10-question module-candidates are required to pass both. The practical skills assessment is comprised mainly of different duties that CNAs would be expected to perform while on the job. These duties are to be performed in front of a test proctor in a simulated setting.

In order to take the written and skills evaluation, CNA candidates must pay $100. Those who opt for the oral and skills evaluation will pay $120.

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) manages, regulates and maintains Certified Nursing Assistant Certification and the Nurse Aide Registry in the state of Alabama.

List of Top CNA Classes and Programs in Alabama

Alabama is home to many schools that offer Certified Nursing Assistant classes and programs. The following are some of the most popular and prolific schools offering CNA programs in the state.

Bevill State Community College

The Skills Training Division of Jasper, Alabama’s Bevill State Community College offers students an 8-week Nursing Assistant Program. This is an 84-hour non-credit program where CNA candidates are taught elementary but essential patient care skills inside of the classroom and in a clinical/lab setting. Upon completion of the classroom portion of the program, students will be required to complete a 20-hour clinical rotation at a local healthcare facility.

To be admitted into the program, students need to be at least 18 years of age, be able to move and lift heavy objects, and must be able to read and follow directions. Required courses may include:

  • Fundamentals of Nursing
  • Introduction to Pharmacology
  • Nursing through the Lifespan

Hospitals and healthcare centers in the area currently hiring CNAs

  • Walker Baptist Medical Center
  • Northwest Medical Center


Tuition and other mandatory fees can change at any time. For specific tuition information for the nursing assistant program, contact Bevill State Community College at 1-800-648-3271, ext. 5912.

Calhoun Community College

With campuses in Decatur and Huntsville, Calhoun Community College’s CNA program is comprised of 6 weeks of in-class courses from 5:30pm to 9:30pm Monday through Thursday. Additionally, the program requires students to complete 20-hours of clinical rotation at a long-term care facility.

Students are required to be at least 18 years of age, complete a drug screen and a 2-part TB skin test and provide the results to the school.

Hospitals and healthcare centers in the are currently hiring CNAs

  • Decatur Morgan Hospital
  • North Alabama Regional Hospital
  • Huntsville Hospital


Most schools list tuition by course fee or unit fee. At Calhoun Community College, the course fee is $799, and additional school fees are required.

Gadsden State Community College

With campuses in Gadsden, Anniston, and Centre, Gadsden State Community College offers a CNA program that is comprised of two semesters, with each semester requiring 14 hours making for a total of 28 hours to complete.

GSCC offers its students 3 different CNA programs: Basic, Hybrid and Advanced.

Basic 5 Week Program: Meets in-class Monday through Thursday from 8:00am to 4:00pm. Students receive a certification in CPR and obtain CNA license given that they pass the state examination.

Hybrid 9 Week Program: Meets in-class once a week from 8:00am to 5:00pm. 10.5 hours of the course time to be completed online along with various assignments. Students receive a CPR certification and obtain their CNA license upon passing the state examination.

Advanced 9 Week Program: Meets in-class Monday through Thursday from 8:00 to 4:00pm. Students receive a CPR certification, First Aid Certification, ASPT Phlebotomy Certification, Medical Terminology Training and their CNA license upon passing the state examination.

Prospective students are required to print and complete the online CNA application, pass the Compass test with a score of 65 or higher on the reading portion, then complete the background check. Once enrolled, students will take courses such as:

  • Medical Terminology
  • Fundamentals of Long Term Care
  • Phlebotomy

Hospitals and healthcare centers in the area currently hiring CNAs

  • Riverview Regional Medical Center
  • Mountain View Hospital


Gadsden State Community College offers different tuition rates for residents and non-residents. The in-state tuition for the CNA program is $4,480, while the out-of-state tuition runs $8,092.

JF Drake State Technical College

JF Drake State Technical College in thriving Huntsville offers its students a 10-day intensive program which meets Monday through Friday from 8am – 5pm.

Prior to matriculating into the program, students are required to obtain proof of a TB Skin Test & Hepatitis Series B Immunization tests from a health clinic or from a doctor. Additionally, prospective students must provide proof of current Basic Life Support (BLS) Certification.

Hospitals and healthcare centers in the area currently hiring CNAs

  • Huntsville Hospital
  • Crestwood Hospital


Tuition for the CNA program at JF Drake State Technical College is $690; this figure includes tuition and fees only. Additional expenses, such as course materials, will be required.

Shelton State Community College

Located in Tuscaloosa, SSCC’s CNA program is comprised of twenty-four credit hours. The program includes in-class lectures, lab simulations, and clinical experiences at local healthcare facilities.

Prior to matriculation, students will need to provide SSCC with an official high school transcript or GED equivalent. If prospective students have any prior college credit, they should have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale. Course requirements include:

  • CPR and Basic First Aid
  • Fundamentals of Home Health Care
  • Fundamentals of Long Term Care

Hospitals and healthcare centers in the area currently hiring CNAs

  • Bryce Hospital
  • Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center


SSCC offers two different tuition rates: In-state will run roughly $1,932, while out-of-state students will need to pay around $6,168.

Wallace Community College

WCC has campuses in Dothan and Eufaula which offer prospective CNA students a 25-day program consisting of both classroom instruction and hands-on skills training.

Before CNA students matriculate into the program, they must provide a high school diploma or GED equivalent, pass a background check and a two-step TB skin test.

Hospitals and healthcare centers in the area currently hiring CNAs

  • Flowers Hospital
  • Dale Medical Center
  • South East Alabama Medical Center


Tuition for WCC’s CNA program runs $725. This figure includes application and exam fees as well as textbooks.