Top CNA Programs in Connecticut

Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) play an absolutely essential role in America's healthcare system. Many consider CNAs and their registered nurse (RN) counterparts as the backbone of the country's medical establishment, since together they provide approximately 85% of direct patient care.

Generally, most CNAs find gainful employment in hospitals, home healthcare, long-term care facilities, or in self-employment.

How to Choose a Top CNA Program in Connecticut

Individuals pursuing careers as Certified Nurse Assistants should seek out and attend, if possible, the best programs available in their area. Prospective CNA candidates should take the following into consideration when looking for top programs to attend:

  • What credentials do program administrators and instructors have?
  • What scholarships/financial aid/grants are available to students?
  • How many students enroll versus how many actually graduate?
  • Program awards
  • Does the program have any local healthcare facility partnerships?
  • Determine the program's CNA certification exam pass rate and compare them to the statewide average
  • Tuition cost
  • Are there satellite campuses the program is offered at?
  • Hold long has the program been continuously running?

Testing and Certification

Prior to being permitted to sit for the state Nurse Aide Competency Exam, students will need to have successfully completed a Connecticut Department of Public Heath approved program. All state approved CNA programs must have at least 100 hours of instruction/skills training time, and should be coordinated by RNs with experience in long-term care. Students who have completed CNA programs out of state which meet Connecticut requirements can also be approved to sit for the state certification exam.

The exam consists of two portions: the skills section and the knowledge section. During the skills test, CNA candidates are required to interact with resident actors and assist them by proving their mastery of various CNA functions (i.e. lifting, dressing, etc.) The knowledge portion of the test is multiple choice and is completed on the computer. Both exams are administered in English only.

List of CNA Classes and Programs in Connecticut

There are a variety of CNA programs for students to choose from in the state of Connecticut. To help potential students narrow them down, we’ve compiled a list of the most prolific programs across the state. Prospective CNAs can browse the list at their leisure to find the perfect program.

Asnuntuck Community College

Originally established in 1972, Asnuntuck Community College is a publicly funded, 2-year college located in the city of Enfield. The college mainly specializes in delivering healthcare certificate programs and business/industry programs to students.

ACCs Certified Nurse Aide program seeks to prepare its students to provide day-to-day patient care in different healthcare settings. In total, the program is 190 hours and awards students a dual certification as a CNA and a Patient Care Technician. During this 5-month course, 100 hours are allocated to CNA instruction and training. 90 hours are dedicated to the Patient Care Technician program, 4.5 to the Basic Life Support certification course, and 14 hours to an Essential Job Skill and Development course.

Healthcare facilities near Enfield currently hiring CNAs

  • Comfort Keepers
  • Wachusett Healthcare


Students wishing to attend Asnuntuck Community College’s CNA program can expect to pay an approximate cost of $1,419.

Norwalk Community College

Norwalk Community College is a public 2-year community college located in the city of Norwalk. NCC is the second largest of the 12 institutions in the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) system. The school has about 6,000 full and part-time students and offers 45 associate degrees and 26 certificate programs.

NCCs CNA 14-week program is comprised of 40 hours of in-class instruction, 36 hours of lab practice, 36 hours of hands-on skills training in a clinical setting, and 8 hours of state exam review. The program focuses on teaching students tasks like monitoring patients’ conditions, taking vital signs, and assisting patients with feeding, bathing, dressing, and mobility.

Healthcare facilities near Norwalk currently hiring CNAs

  • Caregivers Home Solution
  • Maplewood Senior Living
  • Home Instead Senior Care


Students wishing to attend Norwalk Community College’s CNA course can expect to pay an approximate cost of $829.

Stone Academy

Stone Academy has provided career-oriented instruction to the students of Connecticut as far back as 1864. Currently, the college maintains campuses in Waterbury, West Haven and East Hartford.

The institution’s 125-hour CNA program looks to teach students the essential 25 nursing aide skills throughout its duration so that students are prepared to successfully take the State of Connecticut CNA certification exam. The program includes both didactic and clinical skills training portions which prepare students for employment in long-term care facilities, hospitals, and other healthcare settings.

Stone Academy’s CNA program is designed for individuals who may be working alongside their courses. Program courses are offered during the day, evening, and on weekends – the program’s duration is between 14 and 16 weeks.

Healthcare facilities near Waterbury and East and West Hartford Campuses currently hiring CNAs

  • Mary’s Hospital
  • Companions for Living, LLC
  • Hartford Hospital


Stone Academy states that their CNA program is one of the cheapest in the state; for current tuition and fees, contact them directly at (800) 585-1315.

Manchester Community College

Manchester Community College is a publicly funded, fully accredited, non-profit community college in Manchester, Connecticut founded in 1945. The school offers over 60 certificate programs and associate degrees. Currently, MCC enrolls around 3,500 students each semester with individuals from over 50 countries across the world.

MCCs Certified Nurse Aide program is a 120-hour course specifically tailored to prepare its students with the entry-level skills required to work successfully as a CNA. The program is comprised of 2 sections: in-class lecture and practical skills/clinical instruction. The school complies with the state regulation which requires CNA students to successfully complete 16 hours of instruction in specific skills areas before beginning clinical rotations. Students who are unable to meet this requirement cannot start clinical rotations and are ineligible to finish the program. In order to become eligible to sit for the state certification exam, MCC students need to attend a minimum of 100 hours and achieve a passing grade of 70% in the program.

Healthcare facilities near Manchester currently hiring CNAs

  • Benchmark Senior Living
  • Panda Home Care


Students wishing to attend Manchester Community College’s CNA program can expect to pay approximately $1,241.

Quinebaug Valley Community College

Located in the northeastern town of Danielson, Quinebaug Valley Community College was established in 1971 and has been serving the community ever since. QVCC has been the recipient of many state and national awards.

QVCC offers students two CNA program options: a traditional 3-month program and a 4-week accelerated program. Each program is comprised of 120 hours of classroom lecture, clinical rotations at an area nursing facility and hands-on lab skills instruction. Students can attend four days during workday hours or six days a week during evening hours.

Healthcare facilities near Danielson currently hiring CNAs

  • Windham Hospital
  • Orthopedic Partners


Attending Quinebaug Valley Community College’s CNA program has an approximate cost of $1,150.

Naugatuck Valley Community College

Naugatuck Valley Community College is a publicly funded 2-year higher learning institution with locations in Waterbury and Danbury. NVCC’s 125-hour Certified Nurse Aide program seeks to prepare students for the State of Connecticut Nurse Aide Competency Exam, and they take pride in their first-time exam pass rates, which exceed 98%. Students will learn both CNA theory and real world clinical skills throughout the different program sections.

Healthcare facilities near Waterbury currently hiring CNAs

  • Genesis HealthCare
  • Saint Mary’s Hospital
  • Abbott Terrace Health Center


Naugatuck Valley Community College’s CNA program has an approximate cost of $1,500.

Three Rivers Community College

Founded in 1992, Three Rivers Community College is a 2-year higher learning institution located in Norwich. The college is named after the Shetucket, Yantic, and Thames rivers that run through the region.

TRCC offers students a 120-hour CNA training program designed to equip individuals with the required knowledge and skills so they can flourish as direct patient caregivers in the medical field. Program instruction occurs two days a week on Tuesday and Thursday from 5:00pm to 9:30pm.

Healthcare facilities near Norwich currently hiring CNAs

  • William W. Backus Hospital
  • Rushford Center
  • Hartford Healthcare


The cost to attend Three Rivers Community College’s CNA program is roughly $1,400.