Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) provide direct care for mentally or physically disabled or infirmed patients who are generally confined to long-term nursing care facilities, hospitals, mental health settings or their own homes. CNAs perform a wide variety of basic nursing tasks under the supervision of registered nurses and other medical staff.
Now is a great time to begin on the path towards becoming a CNA in Texas. The United States Department of Labor has projected that job growth in the nursing assistant field will increase by 21% nationally through the year 2022.
CNAs help their patients with tasks involving personal care, taking and recording vitals, exercising, housekeeping and more. CNAs earn an average annual salary of $20,000.
If you're seriously considering a career as a CNA, you should find the best programs in your area. Here are some items you can use to measure what exactly constitutes a top program:
Like other states, prospective CNAs in the state of Texas will need to enroll in a state-approved program. To be approved, programs must be comprised of at least 100 total contact hours-60 hours of theory and 40 hours of clinical training. Prospective CNAs can search for approved CNA programs on Texas' Health and Human Services website.
When students have successfully completed an approved program of study, they can then sit for the state certification assessment. Texas CNA candidates take the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP). The NNAAP is composed of two different tests-knowledge/theory and practical skills. The knowledge section of the assessment is made up of a series of multiple-choice questions, taken in a written or oral format. The practical skills exam tests the student on a number of skills that are integral to work as a CNA.
The Texas Health School was first chartered in 2002 to provide training programs to meet the growing need for skilled healthcare professionals. This post-secondary educational institution offers learning locations throughout the Houston metropolitan area.
THS’s Nurse Aide Training Program is composed of a total of 100 contact hours. 60 of these hours are dedicated to in-class lecture and discussion, with the remaining 40 hours devoted to a clinical externship experience. The program arms students with the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities required to assist patients in achieving and maintaining their vitality and health.
Primary course components include: Introduction to Long Term Care, Personal Care Skills, Basic Nursing Skills, Restorative Services, Mental Health & Social Services and Clinical Practice.
Morning classes meet each day of the week from 8:00am to 1:10pm. Evening courses meet from 6pm to 10pm Monday through Thursday, while weekend classes run from 8:00am to 5:30pm. Day programs can be completed in four weeks, while evening and weekend courses take six and twelve weeks, respectively.
For current tuition information for Texas Health School’s CNA program, call (713) 932-9333.
First established in 1944, Wharton County Junior College is a two-year community college with a main campus in Wharton, near the Colorado River. WCJC is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The college also maintains satellite campuses in Bay City, Richmond and Sugar Land.
WCJC offers students a 106-contact hour CNA certification program composed of three parts—lecture/theory, lab and clinicals. Throughout the duration of the lecture/theory and lab portion of the course, students will learn effective communication techniques, interpersonal skills, emergency safety protocol, the Heimlich maneuver, care for the cognitively impaired and more. During the clinical portion of the course, students will be required to demonstrate their ability to apply the knowledge and skills they have learned to a real-world clinical situation. Class times meet Monday through Friday from 7:00am to 4:00pm.
To enroll in WCJC’s CNA course, students must pay $850 plus additional fees.
Founded in 1985, Collin College is a 2-year community college which serves the northern and northeastern region of Dallas—namely Rockwell and Collin counties.
Collin College offers students a 4 credit, 112-contact hour CNA program (NURA 1301 and NURA 1160) which can be completed in as little as seven weeks. The instructors of the course seek to equip future CNAs with the appropriate knowledge, abilities and skills that are needed to provide adequate care for patients at long-term care centers. NURA 1301 course curriculum includes topics like safety, observation, resident’s rights, reporting and more. Additionally, instructors leading the course place a special emphasis on effective interaction with members of the interdisciplinary healthcare team, mental health and restorative services. During NURA 1160, the clinical portion of the course, students will work on-site at a local healthcare facility under the supervision of a registered nurse instructor. Classes meet Monday through Thursday from 5pm to 9pm at the Central Park Campus.
The total estimated cost to attend Collin College’s CNA program is $391.
First chartered in 1972, El Paso Community College is a public, 2-year college that’s situated in El Paso, a city along the Rio Grande river. The college operates 5 campuses in the El Paso metropolitan area and Hudspeth County.
EPCC offers students a nursing assistant certification course that is composed of 240 hours. The program can be completed in just seven weeks. During the course, students will learn how to take a patient’s temperature, check vital signs, set up healthcare equipment, answer patient call lights and more. The in-class lecture and discussion portion of the course meets Monday through Friday the first four weeks, then the clinical component of the course is carried out during the final three weeks.
For current information on EPCC’s CNA program tuition, call them at (951) 831-2642.
Vernon College was first opened in 1972 in the county of Wilbarger and serves the communities of twelve campuses in the northern region of Texas.
VC offers students a 116-hour CNA training course (NURA1001 and NURA1060) which can be completed in less than two months. The course seeks to impart the appropriate skills to provide adequate care to patients in long-term care facilities. Topics that are emphasized during the course include effective cooperation with the health care team, methods to help patients maintain basic comfort, and personal care and effective communication techniques. Classes meet Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 8:00am to 12:00pm.
To enroll in Vernon College’s CNA training program, students can expect to pay a course fee of approximately $668.
First chartered in 1961, San Jacinto College is a 2-year community college that serves the Greater Houston community, headquartered in Pasadena.
SJC’s CNA course is composed of 108 total contact hours. Comprised within these hours is a mixture of in-class lecture and discussion, lab practice and a clinical skills experience. The theory and lab portion of the course takes up 68 hours, while the clinical skills experience makes up 60 hours. Throughout the course’s duration, students will learn a wide variety of skills that are integral to the nursing assistant profession.
The approximate total cost of attendance for SJC’s CNA program is $902.
Laredo College is a public community college that was established in 1947 under the name Laredo Junior College. The college is located in Webb County, in the southern region of the state. LC operates a campus in Laredo, plus Fort McIntosh and the South Campus.
Laredo College offers students a one semester, 16-credit hour CNA training program. LC’s program is comprised of three main sections—lecture, lab and a clinical externship. The following courses comprise the program’s entirety: Nurse Aid for Healthcare, Body Systems, Clinical – Nursing Assistant, Medical Terminology and Electrocardiography. By the end of the program, students should be well-prepared to function efficiently as a CNA in a wide variety of healthcare settings. This program is offered during the Fall and Spring terms.
Students coming from inside of the district can expect to pay an estimated course fee of $2,170, plus additional fees. Students from out-of-district or out-of-state can expect to pay $2,970 and $3,802, respectively.
Located in the Rio Grande Valley area of southern Texas, South Texas College is a public college that was first established in 1993. STCC enrolls more than 31,000 students across its six different campuses, which are located in McAllen, Weslaco, and Rio Grande City.
STCC offers students a combined Nursing Assistant/Patient Care Assistant program. The program is comprised of 16 credit hours and takes one semester to complete. During the program, students are instructed on how to adequately provide fundamental nursing care to people of all ages. What differentiates this program from most is that after a student completes the CNA portion of the program and passes the state competency exam, they then go on to specialized patient care and acute care. Courses included in the program include Nurse Aide for Healthcare, Clinical I, Patient Care Technician/Assistant, Phlebotomy, Electrocardiography, and a Capstone: Clinical II. Following the completion of this program, students will be certified as Nursing Assistants as well as Patient Care Assistants. This program is offered during Fall and Spring semesters during daytime, afternoon and evening hours. There is also a hybrid in-class/online option.
Those coming from inside of the district can expect to pay an estimated course fee of $2,016 plus additional fees. Those coming from out-of-district or out-of-state can expect to pay $2,176 and $4,096, respectively.