Top CNA Programs in New York

Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) and RNs provide nearly 85% of all direct patient care in the country. The United States Department of Labor has predicted that employment opportunities in the field of nurse assisting is projected to increase by 21% between 2014 and 2022.

CNAs can be found working inside urgent care facilities, assisted living facilities for elderly patients, hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Often, registered nurses begin their work in the field as CNAs.

How to Choose a Top CNA Program in New York

Those thinking about a career as a CAN should attempt to find the best CNA programs that are available in New York. Prospective CNA students should research the following when looking for top programs to attend:

  • Program accreditation
  • Accolades awarded to the program
  • Program success rate
  • Job placement rate
  • Partnerships with local healthcare facilities
  • Credentials of the instructors
  • Ease of procuring scholarships or financial aid
  • Tuition cost
  • State certification pass rate
  • Student to faculty ratio

Testing and Certification

The initial step on the road to becoming a CNA is to enroll in a state approved nursing assistant program. Once students have completed a state-approved CNA program, they must sit for and pass the New York State Nursing Home Nurse Aide Competency Exam. This exam can sometimes be taken at a student's college, but typically, CNA candidates will need to schedule examinations at one of the 23 regional testing centers.

The state certification exam in New York is made up of two components-knowledge and skills. The skills portion involves the student conducting a number of nurse aide duties while being evaluated by a proctor. The knowledge part of the exam consists of a series of multiple-choice questions which test the student's knowledge base. Students can also opt to take this part of the exam in an oral format. Test takers are allowed three attempts at both sections of the exam before having to retrain.

List of Top CNA Classes and Programs in New York

Nassau Community College

First established in 1959 as a part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system, Nassau Community College is a 2-year institution that’s located in the hamlet of East Garden City on Long Island.

NCC, in a partnership with the VEEB School of Nursing, offers students an 11-week Certified Nursing Assistant program (CE1 243). The program seeks to impart the appropriate technical skills to students that are required for effective care of elderly patients and those with cognitive disabilities. Throughout the program’s duration, students learn a wide variety of patient care techniques like transporting and transferring patients, administering treatments, taking vital signs, grooming, and more. Other topics covered in the course include nutrition, infection control, anatomy and physiology, and ethical and legal policies.

Healthcare facilities in Nassau County currently hiring CNAs

  • South Nassau Communities Hospital
  • Northwell Health
  • Humana


NCC’s CNA program will cost students approximately $1,700 to attend.

New Age Training

New Age Training is a licensed, for-profit business school with various locations in New York City. NAT is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training.

NAT’s Basic Nurse Aide course is 125 hours long. The program seeks to properly prepare students to pass the New York State Nurse Aide Competency Exam, and for employment as an entry-level direct healthcare worker. Included in the course are both didactic theory and hands on clinical instruction and training. The 125 contact hours of the program break down as follows: 25 hours of basics fundamentals of being a CNA, 25 hours of basic nursing skills, 45 hours of personal care skills training, 2.5 hours of training in mental health and social service needs, 7 hours of training to care for residents with special needs, 30 hours of supervised clinical experience, 8 hours of basic restorative service training, and CPR certification preparation.

NAT also offers a 250-hour Advanced Nurse Aide program. The difference between the basic and advanced course is that the advanced nurse aide program offers a dual certification as a CNA and a Patient Care Technician. This means that in addition to learning normal CNA duties, students also learn techniques like performing electrocardiograms (EKGs), phlebotomy and more.

Healthcare facilities in New York currently hiring CNAs

  • Northwell Health
  • NY Health + Hospitals
  • John’s Riverside Hospital


The basic CNA program at New Age Training will cost students $1,750 in total to attend. New Age Training’s Advanced Nursing Aide Course will cost $4,097 in total to attend.

Queensborough Community College

Located in Bayside, Queens, Queensborough Community College represents one of the seven colleges in the City University of New York (CUNY) higher education system. QCC first opened its doors to students in 1959. The college enrolls over 15,000 students and offers over 20 associate degrees and certificate programs.

QCC’s offers students a 120-contact hour, 30 session Certified Nursing Assistant program (NUX-200) that’s accredited by the New York State Education Department. The program is made up of a mixture of in-class lecture and discussion, lab practice and clinical experience under the direction of a licensed registered nurse. It seeks to ready students for employment in a multi-ethnic environment as a CNA. Classes meet Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 6pm to 10pm.

Healthcare facilities in Queens currently hiring CNAs

  • Northwell Health
  • Bethany Carestat Staffing Agency
  • John’s Riverside Hospital


Students who enroll in QCC’s CNA program can expect to pay $1050, plus the textbook cost.

Dutchess Community College

First founded in 1957, Dutchess Community College is a 2-year institution that serves the community of Dutchess County. DCC represents one of the 30 community colleges that comprise the State University of New York system (SUNY). In addition to its main campus, DCC also maintains a satellite campus in Wappingers Fall.

The CNA program offered by Dutchess Community College offers students both convenience and flexibility, since classes can be taken during the day and evening. The program is composed of 152 total contact hours and can be completed in just a few months. Unlike many other programs in the state, DCC offers students free, out-of-class lab practice time with instructors.

Healthcare facilities in Dutchess County currently hiring CNAs

  • Luke’s Cornwall Hospital


DCC’s Certified Nursing Assistant program will costs students $1,595 to attend.

Hudson Valley Community College

Located in Troy, Hudson Valley Community College is a 2-year community college that’s a part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. HVCC was originally established in 1953 as Hudson Valley Technical Institute.

HVCC’s 8-week, 120 contact hour CNA program is offered to students multiple times throughout the year. During the program’s duration, students will acquire the necessary skills required to become a certified nursing assistant. 90 program hours are dedicated to in-class lecture, discussion and lab practice. The remaining 30 hours are dedicated to supervised clinical experience at a local health care facility. HVCC’s CNA program places a special emphasis on teaching its students how to meet the special needs of the elderly.

Healthcare facilities in Troy currently hiring CNAs

  • Ellis Hospital
  • The Wesley Community
  • McClellan Street Health Center


Tuition information for HVCC’s CNA program can be found by contacting (518) 6290-4822.

The City College of New York

The City College of New York is located in Hamilton Heights in New York City, and was the very first free higher education institution in the US. CCNY represents the oldest of the 24 CUNY colleges, and is thought of as CUNY’s flagship college.

CCNY’s 130-contact hour nursing assistant program boasts a 98% state certification pass rate. Of those 130 total hours, didactic lecture, discussion and lab practice compose 100 hours, while the remaining 30 hours is taken up by the clinical internship experience. Throughout the program’s duration, students learn to help patients with daily living tasks. Other coursework included in the program is anatomy and physiology, basics of patient care, and basic life support.

Healthcare facilities in New York City currently hiring CNAs

  • Windsor Park Nursing Home
  • The New Jewish Home
  • Northwell Health


The tuition cost to attend CCNY is $1,199 plus additional fees.

Fulton-Montgomery Community College

Fulton-Montgomery Community College is a 2-year community college that’s located in Johnstown and serves the populations in Montgomery and Fulton counties. FMCC is a part of the SUNY system.

FMCC’s Certified Nursing Assistant/Home Health Assistant program consists of 120 hours and is designed to ready students for the certification exam. Program graduates are well equipped with the skills needed for future careers as direct, entry-level health care workers. In addition to the CNA certification, students who wish to gain a Home Health Aide certification can complete a 12-hour course directly after finishing the CNA course.

Healthcare facilities near Johnstown that are currently hiring CNAs

  • Mary’s Hospital
  • Cobleskill Regional Hospital
  • HCR Home Care


To find out more about the current tuition and costs for FMCC’s CNA program, call (518) 736-3622.

Mohawk Valley Community College

Located in Oneida County, Mohawk Valley Community College is public, 2-year institution that was established in 1946 as the very first community college in the state. MVCC’s main campus is situated in the city of Utica. It also maintains a satellite campus in Rome. As a member of the SUNY system, MVCC offers the 6th lowest tuition of the member schools.

MVCC offers students a 120-hour CNA course that’s broken up into two sections: 90 hours of classroom lecture and discussion, and 30 hours of clinical training which are supervised by a RN. Topics that are emphasized in the course include mental health, care of residents who are cognitively impaired, restorative services, personal care skills, interpersonal skills, and infection control.

Healthcare facilities near Oneida County that are currently hiring CNAs

  • Rennes Health and Rehab Center
  • Ascension
  • Lake Shore Assisted Living


For current MVCC tuition and fees, call (315) 792-5400.

Finger Lakes Community College

Located in Hopewell, Finger Lakes Community College is a 2-year community college that was established in 1965. FLCC also operates additional campuses in Newark, Geneva, and Victor.

Like other programs in the state, FLCC’s Nursing Assistant program comprises a mixture of in-class lecture, discussion, and lab skills practice, and a clinical experience at a local healthcare facility. FLCC’s CNA program can be completed in only 3 weeks. Classes meet 5 days a week from 8:00am to 4:00pm. FLCC’s CNA curriculum includes topics on patient care, nutrient and diet therapy, infection control procedures, pre and postoperative care, and more.

Healthcare facilities near Hopewell that are currently hiring CNAs

  • Woodland Pond at New Paltz
  • ArchCare


Students who are thinking about enrolling in FLCC’s CNA program can expect to pay a $2,000. This includes tuition and associated fees.

Tompkins Cortland Community College

In 1963, Tompkins Cortland Community College initially opened its doors to students. TCCC’s main campus is located in the town of Dryden. The college serves the communities of Tompkins County and Cortland County, and is a member of the SUNY system.

TCCC’s 9-credit Certified Nursing Assistant course provides students with the theoretical knowledge base and practical experience needed to provide effective care for a wide variety of patients. Throughout the in-class and lab sections of the course, students are introduced to a number of different nursing care procedures, various legal and ethical facets of health, signs of illness and the structure and function of the body. During the clinical externship portion of the class, which takes place at a local healthcare facility, students will have a chance to apply the knowledge that they’ve gained in a real-world setting.

TCCC’s CNA program is comprised of the 3 following individual courses:

  • Medical Terminology (HLTH 104) - 3 credits
  • First Aid and Safety Education (HLTH 205) - 3 credits
  • Personal Health (HLTH 206) – 3 credits

Healthcare facilities close to Tompkins and Cortland counties that are currently hiring CNAs

  • Lake Shore Assisted Living
  • Riverview Health Services
  • Cortland Regional Medical Center


Current tuition and fees for TCCC’s CNA program can be found by calling (607)-844-8211.