Top CNA Programs in Missouri

Even though doctors technically represent the patient's primary caregiver, it's the Registered Nurses (RNs) and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) who directly care for patients. RNs and CNAs provide nearly 85% of direct patient care. It's these healthcare professionals that are often seen as the backbone of the medical establishment. Without CNAs, both RNs and physicians would not be able to do their jobs nearly as effectively.

Choosing to begin a career as a Certified Nursing Assistant in today's job market is an excellent decision, as healthcare jobs continue to rise. According to the United States Department of Labor, jobs in the nursing assistant sector are predicted to grow by 21% until the year 2022.

CNAs can be found working in a wide variety of healthcare settings. Places of potential employment include nursing care facilities, hospitals, and long-term assisted living facilities for geriatric patients. CNAs provide personal care needs for patients such as bathing, feeding, performing transfers from wheelchairs to beds, and dressing.

How to Choose a Top CNA Program in Missouri

Individuals who are looking to pursue a career as a CNA should do their best to find and attend the best programs available to them. Prospective CNA students should pay attention to the following when looking for top programs to attend:

  • The approximate cost to attendance
  • Student to instructor ratio
  • Any special awards or accolades the program may have received
  • The program's state certification exam pass rate compared to the statewide average
  • Length the program has been operating
  • Student enrollment to graduation ratio
  • Number of different campuses the program is offered at
  • Does the program maintain partnerships with healthcare facilities in the area?
  • Availability of financial aid/grants/scholarships

Testing and Certification

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services oversees the testing and certification process. State requirements must be met by all students who wish to enroll in CNA training courses. Prospective CNA students in the state of Missouri should expect to submit a background check prior to enrollment. To become certified as a nursing assistant, students must be at least 18 years of age. The only exception to this rule is if the underage student is taking high school health education classwork.

State standards for Missouri CNA programs require at least 75 hours of in-class lecture (theory) and at least 100 hours of on-the-job clinical skills training. Once these hours have been successfully completed, students are then permitted to sit for a two-part state certification exam. This exam will test a student's knowledge as well as their practical skills. Students are allowed to take the knowledge portion of the exam in either written or oral formats. CNA have six months from the time they finish the program to take the final certification exam.

List of Top CNA Classes and Programs in Missouri

Jefferson College

Jefferson College is a 2-year college located in the city of Hillsboro, in Jefferson County. The college was originally charted in 1963. In addition to its main campus in Hillsboro, JC also maintains satellite campuses in Arnold and Imperial, two smaller cities 5 and 15 miles outside of St. Louis, respectively.

JC offers students a Certified Nursing Assistant program (HEA 954) during daytime and evening hours. The CNA program is comprised 175 total contact hours—75 hours of didactic lecture in the classroom and 100 hours of on-site, supervised clinical training. Both daytime and evening courses are held at the JC’s Hillsboro campus. The primary aim of the course is to instruct students how to best perform elementary nursing skills so that they are prepared to effectively care for patients in long-term healthcare settings.

Healthcare facilities located near Jefferson County currently hiring CNAs

  • SSM Rehabilitation Hospital
  • Veterans Affairs Administration
  • Washington University in St. Louis


Students who enroll in Jefferson College’s CNA course can expect to pay an estimated course fee of $1,800.

Moberly Area Community College

Moberly Area Community College is a public, 2-year, post-secondary educational institution that was established in 1927. MACC is based out of Moberly but maintains six satellite campuses that span across much of central and Northeastern Missouri.

The Certified Nursing Assistant program at MACC is composed of a total of 180 contact hours—80 hours of classroom instruction and 100 hours of clinical training which is carried out under the supervision of a registered nurse. Upon successful completion of the course, students should be entirely prepared to work in hospitals, long-term care healthcare facilities, for home health agencies and other kinds of healthcare employers. CNA courses are conducted at the Moberly campus, the Hannibal Area Higher Education Center in Hannibal and at the Advanced Technology Center at the Mexico campus.

Healthcare facilities located in and around the area surrounding Moberly that are currently hiring CNAs

  • Pyramid Home Health Services
  • Valley View Health
  • Moberly Nursing and Rehab


Students who enroll in Moberly Area Community College’s CNA course can expect to pay a course fee of $995.

St. Louis Community College

St. Louis Community College is a 2-year community college funded by the Junior College District of St. Louis City. STLCC operates three other campuses: Forest Park Community College in St. Louis, Florissant Valley Community College in Ferguson, and Meramec Community College in Kirkwood.

STLCC’s 180-contact hour Certified Nursing Assistant program is offered at their Forest Park campus. This program’s lecture portion has a total of 20 class meetings, each four hours long—80 hours total. After this has been completed, students are then required to complete 100 hours of supervised on-the-job instruction and training. In order to be successful in this program, attendance is absolutely compulsory, as is an intermediate proficiency in the English language.

Healthcare facilities located near the St. Louis Metropolitan area that are currently hiring CNAs

  • Veterans Affairs Administration
  • Select Specialty Health
  • United Surgical Partners International


Students who enroll in St. Louis Community College’s CNA course can expect to pay approximately $1,009, plus the cost of the required textbook. Additionally, students will need to pay a fee $100 to take the state certification exam.

Eastern Central College

First established in 1968, East Central College is a community college located in the St. Louis metropolitan zone, in the central part of the state. ECC’s primary campus is located in the city of Union. The college also maintains two satellite campuses in Washington and Rolla. The student to instructor ratio at ECC is approximately 17 to 1.

Eastern Central College’s CNA program seeks to ready its students to provide long-term direct care for patients in a wide variety of healthcare settings. ECC’s CNA program consists of 75 contact hours of in-class instruction and 100 hours of clinical training supervised by a registered nurse. Included in the program is a CPR certification course. Once both sections are successfully completed, students are then eligible to sit for the final exam. Once passed, students will have their named added to the state CNA registry.

Healthcare facilities located near the city of Union that are currently hiring CNAs

  • Pyramid Home Health Services
  • Mercy Health


Contact EC’s office directly at (636) 649 5803 for more information on tuition and associated costs.

Hillyard Technical Center

Hillyard Technical Center, located in the city of St. Joseph, first opened its doors to students in the year 1941.

HTC offers students a 175-contact hour Nurse Aide (CNA) program that has been approved by the Missouri Division of Health Standards. Of the total 175 program hours, 75 hours takes place in an in-class lecture setting. During this time students also undergo CPR training. The final 100 hours of the program is comprised of on-the-job training at a local long-term healthcare facility.

Healthcare facilities located in and around St. Joseph currently hiring CNAs

  • St. Joseph Chateau Nursing & Rehab
  • Riverside Place Nursing & Rehab


Contact HTC’s office at (816) 671-4170 for more information on current tuition and fees.