Top CNA Programs in Massachusetts

Whenever there's a need for direct patient care, Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) are there. Nursing assistants are hands-on, personal caregivers who assist patients of every age in performing crucial activities needed in everyday life such as bathing, dressing, going to the bathroom, and eating. CNAs work under the supervision of a registered nurse (RN), and because they have such an immense amount of daily contact with patients, CNAs play a crucial role in keeping nurses properly informed regarding a patient's needs.

CNAs can be found working in a wide variety of healthcare settings which include nursing homes, correctional institutions, hospitals, and long-term geriatric nursing care settings.

How to Choose a Top CNA Program in Massachusetts

Those who are considering going to school to become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) are making a life-changing decision. When it comes to finding information about the best CNA training course, prospective CNA students should take the following measures into consideration:

  • Recognition and awards of the CNA program
  • Cost of tuition for the CNA program
  • The program´s year of establishment
  • Student to faculty ratio
  • CNA course exam pass rate compared to the statewide average
  • Retention rates, graduation rates, employment data
  • Opportunities for financial aid, scholarships, and grants
  • Partnerships with local healthcare facilities
  • Number of campuses the program is offered at

Testing and Certification

To become a CNA in Massachusetts, students have to attend a CNA training program which has been approved by the state's Department of Public Health (DPH). The American Red Cross (ARC) and all other nurse aide training programs in Massachusetts have to provide at least 100 hours of training to CNA students-75 hours which are devoted to classroom instruction and 25 hours devoted to clinical training. After the training program has been successfully completed, CNA candidates can register for the Nurse Aide Competency Evaluation (NACE), which is administered by the American Red Cross. The evaluation is made up of two components. For the skills component, the student must act as a real-life CNA for 30 minutes and provide proper care to a simulated patient, who must be brought to the examination by the candidate. Five randomly issued clinical skills are tested in this section. The knowledge test is composed of 60 multiple choice questions-students are given two hours to finish. In order to obtain certification, students need to pass both components of the NACE. Finally, the names of those who pass are added to the Nurse Aide Registry. Once this has occurred, students are able to work as authorized CNAs in the state. If a student fails the testing, he or she is permitted to retake the written component three more times and the clinical test two more times.

List of Top CNA Classes and Programs in Massachusetts

Bunker Hill Community College

Founded in 1973, Bunker Hill Community College is a two-year, multi-campus post-secondary education institute which serves the Greater Boston Metropolitan area. BHCC happens to be the largest community college in Massachusetts and boasts two campuses and three satellite locations. The Chelsea campus offers a certificate program which qualifies its graduates for the Nurse Aide exam and the Home Health Aide exam.

BHCC’s offering is an 8-week intensive Accelerated Nurse Aide/Home Health Aide Program which starts during fall and requires an off-site clinical practicum in addition to online and in-class learning. In order to gain certification by the American Red Cross, the following courses have to be taken concurrently: AHE110—Principles of Clinical Practice (online), AHE111—Patient Care Skills (in-class) and AHE106—Practicum for Nurse Aide (off-site). BHCC’s CNA program is accredited by the Nurse Aide Registry, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and MDPH/Division of Health Care Quality.

To be eligible for clinical placement, students must undergo a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check as well as a Sex Offender Registry Information (SORI) check.

Healthcare facilities near the Boston Metropolitan area currently hiring CNAs

  • Brightview Senior Living
  • Boston Medical Center
  • IntelyCare


For up-to-date information on tuition and fees, contact NHCC at (617-228-200) or (617)-228-2101.

Middlesex Community College

Middlesex Community College is a 2-year post-secondary institution with two campuses – one located in the city of Lowell and the other in suburban Bedford. The college was first chartered in 1970. Today, it’s one of the largest community colleges in the whole state.

The nursing assistant certificate program is offered via the Academy of Health Professions at its Health, Science and Technology Center in Lowell. The 19-credit program prepares students for entry-level employment and includes courses in medical terminology, computers in the medical office, and more.

Healthcare facilities near Lowell or Bedford currently hiring CNAs

  • IntelyCare, Lowell
  • Care One Mass, Bedford


Contact Middlesex Community College for more information on CNA tuition costs at 1-800-818-3434.

Massachusetts Bay Community College

Massachusetts Bay Community College was founded 1966 and is also one of the largest community colleges within the Massachusetts Public Higher Education system. Its campus is located in the city of Wellesley.

MBCC’s CNA program prepares students for the Nurse Aide Competency Exam (NACE) in just eight weeks. The training program is made up of a total of 120 hours: 80 hours of which are composed of in-class, didactic lectures and on-campus laboratory skills training, while the remaining 40 hours of clinical instruction are carried out at a long-term care facility.

The course concentrates on the student’s development of fundamental skills such as checking and monitoring vital signs and dealing with a wide range of patients’ needs: safety, personal care, food service, infection control, hygiene, use of assistive devices and restorative nursing.

Classes are usually held during the day in the weekend and on some Friday evenings, while clinical clerkships conducted at nearby long-term care facilities are scheduled for Saturdays and Sundays, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Healthcare facilities near Wellesley currently hiring CNAs

  • National Health Care Associates
  • Wingate Direct Care
  • IntelyCare


The total cost to attend MBCC’s Certified Nursing Assistant program is approximately $1,319. This includes tuition, clinical uniforms, the course textbook, and a CPR certification.

Quinsigamond Community College

As far back as 1963, Quinsigamond Community College has been offering higher education to the community of Worchester, a city in the central region of Massachusetts. The two-year, post-secondary institution boasts three different campuses in Worcester, Upton, and Southbridge. QCC is known to be one of the most affordable community colleges in Massachusetts and is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

QCC offers students a 15-week CNA program which is made up of two courses, both of which are carried out at the Healthcare and Workforce Development Center in downtown Worcester as well at the QCC Southbridge campus. The program requires students to travel to a number of different campuses within the Worcester County area. Additionally, there is an option to complete 50% of the program online.

Healthcare facilities near Worcester currently hiring CNAs

  • Lutheran Rehabilitation and Skilled Care Center
  • IntelyCare
  • Royal Health Group


Students thinking about attending QCC’s Certified Nursing Assistant program can expect to pay around $415 plus additional fees.

North Shore Community College

Originally established in 1967, North Shore Community College is a large 2-year college located in the city of Danvers. NSCC maintains additional campuses in Lynn and Middleton. The college is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

NSCC’s 115-hour CNA training program provides dual certification as a Nurse Assistant and Home Health Aide simultaneously. The 115 hours are split up into 21 hours of clinical instruction at a healthcare facility in the area and 94 hours of in-class, didactic lecture. During the clinical instruction portion, the CNA candidate will be required to carry out tasks such as measuring and checking vital signs, providing patients with restorative care and keeping clear and concise records.

Healthcare facilities near Danvers hiring CNAs

  • Berkshire Healthcare, Danvers
  • Life Care Center of the North Shore, Lynn
  • Best Home Care, Middleton


To find out more about the cost of the program, contact NSCC at (978)-236-1200 or at [email protected].