Top CNA Programs in Arizona

Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) and home healthcare workers are two of the country's most important jobs. These direct healthcare workers make it possible for RNs, LPNs, NPs and physicians to practice and do their jobs in a more efficient manner. CNAs are sometimes referred to as Nursing Assistants, Patient Care Assistants (PCAs), or Nurse's Aides.

Most typically, CNAs can find employment 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:

  • Monitoring Patients
  • Housekeeping
  • Lifting patients into wheelchairs, beds, exam tables, etc.
  • Providing and emptying bedpans
  • Answering patient calls
  • Cleaning and sanitizing patient areas
  • Examining patients for any wounds

How to Choose a Top CNA Program in Arizona

Methods to use when searching for top CNA programs in Arizona:

  • Determine the program's Arizona State Board of Nursing CNA Examination pass rate
  • Check to see what partnerships the program has with hospitals or healthcare facilities in the region
  • Determine the completion rate of the program
  • Scholarship availability
  • Find out the size of the program
  • Search for any accolades that a program may have received
  • Determine the cost
  • How many years has the program been operating
  • How many campuses across the state is the program offered in
  • Find out the total cost of attendance

Testing and Certification

In Arizona, standards for nursing assistant training classes and curriculum of clinical and classroom studies is established by the Nursing Assistant Advisory Committee. The Arizona Board of Nursing requires candidates to pursue 100 hours of clinical practice, in addition to 120 hours of classroom studies through an approved program, before taking the state certification exam. Typically, the fee for enrolling in CNA classes in Arizona varies between $900 and $1,700. Students who successfully complete their program are required to pass both sections (knowledge and skills) of the AZBN CNA Examination within two years after finishing their programs. The knowledge test can be administered to candidates in either an audio or written format.

Before taking the certification exam, students must visit the Arizona Board of Nursing website and visit the Applications and Forms page and fill out a CNA application by exam. This form must be filled out before any Arizona CNA candidate becomes fully certified. Additionally, candidates will need to submit their fingerprints and a current photo of themselves.

CNA candidates will pay $28 to take the written knowledge portion or $38 for an oral knowledge test. Additionally, the skills portion of the exam will cost $85. In the case that a candidate fails either portion of the exam (knowledge or skills), they will need only to retake the failed portion. Candidates who fail the knowledge portion of the exam three times will be required to wait 45 days before they are permitted to retake it.

CNA Certificate Renewal in the state of Arizona should be done every two years.

List of CNA Courses and Programs in Arizona

Arizona is home to more than 130 higher learning institutions, many of which offer students Certified Nursing Assistant certificate programs. This can make it a bit difficult to find the very best programs. There are crucial factors that prospective students should take into consideration when looking to enroll in top programs. To help you, we have taken these factors into consideration and compiled a list of some of the best CNA programs in the state.

Maricopa Community College District (MCCD)

NUR 158, the Maricopa Community College CNA course, seeks to prepare CNA students to care for individuals across the wellness/illness spectrum within the nurse assisting scope of practice.

The Nurse Assisting Program at MCCD is approved by the Arizona State Board of Nursing. Once CNA students have successfully completed the program, they are then eligible to sit for the Nursing Assistant skills and written examination and apply for certification through the AZBN.

This program is offered at the following sites:

  • Estrella Mountain Community College
  • GateWay Community College
  • Glendale Community College
  • Mesa Community College
  • Mesa Community College/Boswell
  • Paradise Valley Community College

Hospitals and health clinics in the area currently hiring CNAs include:

  • Maricopa Integrated Health System
  • Banner—University Medical Center Phoenix
  • Joseph Hospital and Medical Center
  • OASIS Hospital


Tuition and program cost varies; check your MCCD campus of choice for more details.

Yavapai College

Yavapai College is located in Yavapai County, Arizona and has its main campus in Prescott. The school also maintains campus locations in Prescott Valley, Clarkdale, Sedona and Chino Valley.

Yavapai College offers students a 5 credit-hour CNA program which looks to prepare them to pass the state competency certification exams and to work as trained nursing assistants.

Yavapai College has 6 different locations, generally lower tuition cost and dozens of certificate programs and degrees that lead directly to satisfying careers. Prospective students must be at least 16 years old to apply.

Hospitals and health clinics in the area currently hiring CNAs include:

  • Yavapai Region Medical Center West/East
  • Reeves Foundation (Prescott, Arizona)
  • Ability360 (Prescott, Arizona)
  • Nurses Network Inc.
  • Mountain Valley Regional Rehabilitation Hospital (Prescott Valley)


To attend the CNA program at Yavapai College, students will need to pay a total cost of $895.

Eastern Arizona College

Easter Arizona College is the oldest community college in the state and is located in Graham County, Arizona. The main campus is in Thatcher, but it also has satellite campuses in Gila County and Greenlee County.

Eastern Arizona College offers nursing assistant students a 2-semester program designed to prepare them to pass both the theory and skills portion of the state certification exam. The program consists of both didactic and clinical hours. In total, and to comply with state guidelines, the program is comprised of a total of 120 hours of instruction—40 hours of didactic teaching in a classroom setting, 20 hours in the skills lab, 40 hours of supervised clinical experience with at least 20 of those hours of direct resident care inside a long-term medical care establishment and an additional 20 hours of class, skill, or clinical training.

All of the first semester (10 in-class credit hours) courses are available online. Eastern Arizona boasts some of the highest state certification examination pass rates in the entire state.

Hospitals and health clinics in Graham County, Arizona currently hiring licensed CNAs:

  • Mount Graham Regional Medical Center


To attend Eastern Arizona College, Arizona residents will need to pay a per semester cost of $1,350. Out-of-state (non-residents) will be required to pay $4,350 per semester.

Cochise College

Originally founded in 1964, Cochise College is a community college in Cochise County, Arizona, with additional campuses in Sierra Vista, Fort Huachuca, Benson, and Douglas.

Cochise College offers a Nursing Assistant Certificate program that takes students one semester to complete. The program attempts to ready its students for the CNA certification exam and is approved by the Arizona State Board of Nursing.

The CNA program, which consists of 6 credit hours, trains future CNAs in the nursing process and prepares them for any legal and professional responsibilities they may have during their careers. Additionally, the program covers the basic physical, psychosocial, and cultural needs of all patients, and places a special emphasis on tending to the geriatric population.

Hospitals and health clinics in the area currently hiring CNAs include:

  • Canyon Vista Medical Center
  • Copper Queen Community Hospital


Students who attend Cochise College’s CNA program can expect to pay $873.

Arizona Medical Training Institute

Arizona Medical Training Institute is a private, vocational healthcare institution located in Mesa, Arizona. The institution specializes in providing their students with entry-level medical training in fields like nursing, assisted living or home health careers, and clinical laboratory science.

Arizona Medical Training Institute CNA students have some of the highest first-time state board pass rates in the whole state. In contrast to the 2017 state average first-time pass rate of 86% and 81% (written and skills portion, respectively), AMTI boasts a first-time pass rate of 96% and 94%.

AMTI’s Certified Nursing Assistant program is comprised of 80 in-class/in-lab hours and 40 clinical externship hours and is approved by the AZBN. The school offers 3 programs—one during working daytime hours, an evening program, and a weekend program.

Hospitals and healthcare centers currently hiring CNAs in the area include:

  • Desert Grove Family Medical
  • Desert Vista Hospital


AMTI charges $1,355 to attend their CNA program.

Arizona Western College

With its main campus located in Yuma County, Arizona, Arizona Western College is a community college that also offers courses and certificate programs in Dateland, Somerton, San Luis, La Paz and Wellton.

Arizona Western College’s CNA program has been producing competent CNAs since 1990 with the full approval of the AZBN. The program prepares its students to take and pass the state examination to become fully certified CNAs.

Hospitals and healthcare centers hiring CNAs in the area include:

  • Yuma Regional Medical Center
  • Yuma Rehabilitation Hospital
  • Yuma VA Clinic


At $900, the total cost of attendance for AWC is one of the most reasonable in the state.

Medstar Academy CNA School of Arizona

Medstar Academy’s main campus is located in Peoria, Arizona and mainly serves the surrounding Phoenix metropolitan zone. Medstar Academy offers students high pass rates and small classes with highly trained instructors who are experts in their field.

Medstar Academy CNA School of Arizona has a Certified Nursing Assistant program which has been designed to be completed in 6 to 8 weeks, and to prepare students for the state CNA certification exam. The program is comprised of 80 hours of classroom theory and 40 hours of clinical training. In the past, CNA students who have attended Medstar Academy CNA School of Arizona have exhibited high pass rate for students taking their certification exam on the first try. Programs are offered during the day, evening, and weekend.

Hospitals and healthcare centers hiring CNAs in the area include:

  • Curahealth Hospital Northwest Phoenix
  • Abrazo Arrowhead Hospital
  • Trillium Specialty Hospital


Medstar Academy CNA School of Arizona will cost students $1,595.

PIMA Medical Institute

PIMA Medical Institute is a for-profit medical career college that was established in 1972 in Tucson, Arizona and specializes in training students for careers in the healthcare industry.

The institution offers prospective CNA students a 130-hour nurse assistant program approved by the AZBN which can completed in as little as 6 weeks. The school’s website boasts high first-time state board pass rates.

The program is offered at their East Valley and Mesa locations.

Hospitals and healthcare centers in the area currently hiring CNAs include:

  • Tucson Medical Center
  • Northwest Medical Center


To attend PIMA Medical Institute’s CNA certificate program, students will need to pay a total of $1,630.

Providence Training Institute

Located in Glendale, Arizona, Providence Training Institute offers students a number of vocational training programs having to do with the healthcare field which includes a robust CNA certificate program.

Providence Training Institute’s Certified Nursing Certificate program consists of 80 classroom hours and 40 clinical hours and thus meets the standards set by the AZBN.

The primary focus on PTI is making sure its students pass the Certified Nursing Assistant State Examination administered by the AZBN.

Hospitals and healthcare centers in the area currently hiring CNAs include:

  • Arrowhead Hospital
  • Arizona Family Medical Center


The cost of PTI’s Certified Nursing Assistant certificate program is $1,200.