Because the US Department of Labor has projected Certified Nursing Assistant (CAN) job growth to increase by 21% through 2022, now is perhaps one of the best times to begin a journey towards a profession as a CNA.
CNAs work on the front lines of patient care. They assist patients with primary physical needs like feeding, grooming, and bathing. In addition to helping patients with physical needs, CNAs also provide patients with all-important psychosocial and emotional support.
CNAs can be found working in a wide variety of healthcare settings. These settings can include a patient's home, transitional care units, hospitals, rehab centers, and long-term care facilities. Although CNA salaries will vary from state to state, on average, CNAs earn $20,000 each year.
If you're considering enrolling in a CNA program, it would be wise to find the best program available. While looking into the top programs in the Utah area, take the following into consideration:
The initial step for anyone who wishes to become a CNA is to enroll in a state-approved program. CNA candidates can then go on to sit for the state certification assessment. In Utah, the state government administers its own exam. Like all other states, Utah's CNA certification assessment is comprised of two sections-theory/knowledge and practical skills. Students must pass each of these sections within a year of completing their CNA program to become licensed in the field. The knowledge portion of the exam tests a student's knowledge of nursing assistant theory. This section consists of a series of multiple guess questions which can be completed in either a written or oral format. To successfully pass this part of the exam, students must score a 75 out of 100. The practical skills section requires the CNA candidate to demonstrate proficiency in a number of skills which are integral to work as a nursing assistant. These skills can be carried out on a mannequin or on an actor who plays the part of the patient. Skills like taking and recording vital signs and performing range of motion exercises will be tested.
Situated in the city of Logan, Bridgerland Technical College is a two-year higher education institution that was first established in 1971. BTC is a member of the Utah College of Applied Technology system. In addition to its main campus in Logan, the college also maintains two satellite campuses in Brigham City and Rich County.
BTC offers students a 124-hour Nursing Assistant certificate program (CNAT 1001), in which 100 hours are dedicated to didactic lecture, discussion and lab skill training. The remaining 24 hours consist of a clinical externship at a local long-term care nursing facility. Throughout the course’s duration, students will learn basic entry-level nursing care skills which will allow them to work effectively as a direct care provider. There are two different programs from which students can choose. One can be completed in two months and meets two days a week from 5:30pm to 9:30pm. The other takes one month to complete and meets Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 12:00pm. Classes meet at the Logan campus and at the Brigham City Branch Campus.
The estimated cost of attendance for BTC’s CAN program is $440. Course fees can vary, however.
First established in 1888, Snow College is a community college situated in the city of Ephraim in the central region of the state. Snow College represents one of the oldest community colleges west of the Mississippi. It is a part of the Utah System of Higher Education.
Snow College offers students a 6-credit hour, one-semester nursing assistant training program that’s comprised of 80 lecture hours and 40 hours of clinical practice. During the lecture portion of the course, students will learn knowledge and skills that are integral to work as a CNA. Students will then hone the knowledge and skills that they’ve learned and apply them to real-world settings during clinical training. SC offers this course at its Ephraim and Richfield campuses as well as at their numerous learning centers throughout Utah. Course enrollment is limited to 20 students each term.
For in-state students, SC’s CNA program costs $216 plus associated fees. Out-of-state students can expect to pay a course fee of $864 plus additional fees.
Originally established in 1948, Salt Lake Community College is a public, two-year community college that’s situated in the state’s capital city. SLCC represents Utah’s largest community college, serving over 60,000 students on its 10 campuses. Its student to faculty ratio is 20:1.
SLCC’s CNA program is specifically designed to help students acquire the appropriate knowledge and skills that are required for certification. In total, the program is 150 clock hours—30 hours of Computer Concepts, 78 hours of Patient Care Theory and Skills, 24 hours of Long-term Care Clinicals and 18 hours of Acute Care Clinicals. Topics covered during the course include anatomy and physiology, body mechanics, an introduction to human relations, and disease processes. Course instructors place a special emphasis on the protection of both the patient as well as the CNA.
SLCC’s CNA course fee is $548. This includes tuition, lab fees, books, supplies, and other student fees.
Originally founded in 1911 by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Dixie State University is a public university that’s located in the city St. George. DSC grants associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
The nursing assistant course at DSC is made up of 100 contact hours. Of those, 76 hours are dedicated to classroom instruction and lab practice, while the remainder are dedicated to a clinical externship. Some of the CNA courses run over the entire course of the semester, while others can be completed in just seven weeks. Classes are held at the Taylor Health Science Center and the Hurricane Education Center, which are both off campus.
The total cost of DSC’s Certified Nursing Assistant program is $1,275. This does not include the state certification assessment fee.
Tooele Technical College is a post-secondary technical institution that’s situated in the city of Tooele. TTC is one of the eight-member colleges that make up the Utah System of Technical Colleges.
TTC’s Certified Nursing Assistant program is composed of a total of 128 contact hours—104 hours of lecture time and 24 hours of clinical practice. This program can be completed in as little as two months. Throughout the course’s duration, students will learn concepts regarding communication, personal care, vital signs, infection control, patient needs, activity and exercise and more. Classes meet on Wednesday and Thursday at the Tooele Technical College Campus from 9am to 5pm.
For current information on TTC’s CNA program tuition, contact them directly at (435) 248-1800.
Utah State University is a public post-secondary institution that’s located in the city of Logan. USU grants a wide variety of certificates, associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. They specialize in engineering, science, agriculture, military science and mechanic arts.
USU’s Nursing Assistant program (NURS 1000) is a 5-credit hour course which can be completed in a single semester. The course is specifically designed to prepare students for future employment in a long-term care nursing facility. In compliance with state standards, the program is comprised of 100 total hours of training—80 hours of lecture and skills practice with 24 hours of clinical training. Before beginning the clinical training portion of the course, students will need to have demonstrated proficiency in all clinical aspects presented during coursework and lab practice. NURS 100 is offered during Fall and Spring semesters at the USU Eastern campus only.
Current tuition information for USU’s CNA program can be found by calling (435) 613-6207.