Certified Nursing Assistant Training

Working as a Certified Nursing Assistant or CNA is a great way to start working in the medical field. CNAs, also known as Certified Nurses Aide, do some of the lower level, yet very important tasks around nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and hospitals. There are several ways to get Certified Nursing Assistant training, and each has pros and cons.

Types of CNA Training Programs

Programs are offered through both public and private venues. A good place to start if you don’t know of any nearby schools that have CNA programs is to get acquainted with the Red Cross. They offer Certified Nursing Assistant training, though often the prices for the program are higher than a public institution. Going through the Red Cross is valuable, however, because they cater to non-traditional types of students. They offer day and night classes, and have more available times to take the state examination test. The downside is that the class could be held in a far off distance from you depending where they are able to hold it.

Certified Nursing Assistant TrainingPublic institutions, such as community colleges, and trade centers offer CNA training. You would have to apply to the school and be accepted into it to be able to register for the classes. Public institutions are a great way to take training classes because they are able to offer financial aid and license pre-requisites are usually included in class costs (whereas with the Red Cross it is an additional cost). However, the cost for books is not included and is often at the student’s own expense.

Private institutions that offer CNA training can be at either high school or college level. High schools can offer training through a local trade school, and although the high school might be public, you would need to be enrolled in that high school to qualify. Private institution price ranges for CNA training are much like that of a public college or university. Although, private institutions regulate their own price ranges so it could be of higher or lower cost.

Another route for training is to enroll in an online CNA training program. Online Certified Nursing Assistant programs are a good fit for individuals whose schedules keep them from being able to attend in-person training program. Generally, online programs are with “for profit” businesses. Even online schools can be considered for profit, though not all of them are. When enrolling in an online program be sure to get an exact amount of all the costs required for the program. The costs posted online are subject to change and don’t always include book fees and other costs. You also want to make sure that the online training meets your state’s CNA certification requirements.

Sometimes nursing homes, hospitals, and home health agencies will offer free CNA training for potential employees. In return, the individuals who received this training agree to work for the employer for a specified period of time after their CNA training is complete.

CNA TrainingCost of CNA Training

Unless you recieve Certified Nursing Assistant training from a potential employer there will be a cost associated with the training. Depending on where you live and who provides the CNA training, you should usually expect that it will cost between $350 and $1,000+ for training.


There are several requirements you must complete before you can go through Certified Nursing Assistant Training. Age requirements for program participation vary per state; however, most states require a person to be at least 16. Other requirements include current vaccinations, additional certificates or licenses (such as CPR), and additional fees.


To officially receive a Nursing Assistant certification, you must have completed all of the required hours (both in the classroom and out) as well as take a state examination. The state examination has two parts. The first part is a proctored test of skills, how to make a bed, take blood pressure, and so on. The second part is a written test. The test, although called written, is taken online and supervised. It is broken into sections, much like the coursework is and it is multiple choice. You must receive a certain percent correct on the test to pass. You cannot pass one part of the test, and not the other, and still receive certification. You will also have to pay to take the test; prices vary per state.

Certified Nursing Assistant training is a great place to be introduced into the medical field. CNA jobs are in high demand and, in most places, pay nine dollars and up. And if you already plan on going into the medical field, a Nursing Assistant certification under your belt will certainly help you along the way.

Image Credits: Walt Stoneburner & Walt Stoneburner on Flickr

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