The Comprehensive Guide to CNA Classes

Young nurse smiling

Introduction to CNA

After the CNA classes have become widely available in most parts of the world, the  nurse aides no longer can be found in only be found in a few large hospitals. They now serve as a well-established and conventional mode of nursing training. In fact, all but a few nursing schools include this training as part of the courses that they offer. The need to regulate these professionals and to ensure that only well trained and qualified ones enter the market has seen the establishment of certification bodies. These agencies are tasked with examining the skills of the Certified Nurse Assistant/Aide (both theory and clinical), certifying them, and then licensing them to practice within their jurisdiction.


As the medical sector continues to advance and the need to give customers the best services possible continues to become vital, it has now become necessary for most healthcare facilities to employ nurse aides. And although several programs are offering this training, there is still a shortage of CNAs in the market. This is according to reliable data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that indicates that the number of fresh graduates is not enough to cover the market demand in most states in the USA. The trend is also the same in other countries, and so this shows that this is an excellent career choice as employment is almost guaranteed provided you have the right qualification and certification.



Why It Is a Good Idea to Pursue a Career of a CNA

If you are thinking of pursuing a career in the healthcare sector, then it is a good idea to take the CNA classes. Just like most other professionals in the health sector, this profession comes with many advantages. Most people only think that the only advantage that you get from becoming a CNA is the availability of many employment opportunities but besides from this there are still many other benefits that you will get. The following are 5 of them that should persuade you to enroll for these classes for a career as a CNA.


  1. Job stability: The need for CNAs will always be there, and the demand will only continue to rise. By choosing this career path, you will practically always be guaranteed of employment. Few other jobs can offer you such stability.
  2. Affordability: Training to become a professional in the healthcare sector is not cheap. In fact, this is one of the most expensive sectors to train in globally. However, when compared to other courses in the sector, the classes required to become a nurse is way much cheaper.
  3. The training doesn’t take long: If you are looking for a сфкуук that you can be able to go through the training and start earning fast, then this is a perfect choice. CNA training does not take many months or years. In fact, you can become a CNA with only 75 hours of training, but other programs offer up to 180 hours depending on where you are.
  4. You can work in a variety of places: If you are one of the many people that get bored with working in one place for a long time, then this is a perfect profession for you as there are many places that you can work at. CNAs can work in hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, a wide range of healthcare institutions and any other places where there are patients who need care.
  5. Excellent salary: Although most people do not choose this career for the money, the fact remains that CNAs get magnificent wages. Considering also that you only need a certification that only takes six weeks the median salary (in the USA) of $24,000 is very attractive.

How to Find the Best Classes

As you plan to start a career as a nurse aide, the first step and also the most important one is to find the best classes. The classes that you enroll for or the school that you choose to pursue your training from is vital as it will have a significant impact on your career. Different institutions have different capacities and capabilities, and they are those that are known to offer quality training. Some employers will even specify that they want CNAs trained in particular institutions, and so it is important to choose your program carefully.

To find the best classes for your CNA training, you should consider the reputation of the school or training provider and their accreditation. Look for a school that has the reputation of offering quality nurse aide training and do not just go for it because it is a top college or university. Even the best colleges may not have a good CNA as this may not be their core area of specialization. And so the best schools for this training are that specialize in certified nurse aide training and related courses. School accreditation is also critical as it shows that the school has met all the conditions required to be able to train students in this area of study. A simple online search will give you all the accredited CNA classes in your area. Training in an accredited school is also important as it is a requirement for certification in most states.

To get the best classes, you should also consider the cost of training and the program completion rate of the school. Although it is relatively not expensive to get this training, the cost varies from one school to the other and so you should compare the various institutions. Look for one that is affordable but also ensure that it offers quality training. The program completion rate is also important because a good completion rate shows that the school provides an ideal learning environment that encourages people to complete their course.

The Modes of Study for CNA Training


Just like most other courses today, there are two methods of study for CNA that are offline and online. The offline mode of study is the traditional and most widely used model where students have to attend lectures. For CNA training, the classes are very flexible, and depending on the school that you choose, you have the freedom to attend the class at the most convenient time for you. Most schools offer daytime, evening and even weekend time classes meaning that you can be able to easily fix in your training into your busy schedule. The biggest advantage of attending the classes is that you get to interact more with the tutors and hence learn much faster. However, it also has many demerits with the key one being that you have to move from one place to the other to attend class and that they require you to adhere to specific and strict times of studying.

Certified Nurse Assistant Online Classes

Online nurse aide training classes have emerged in the last couple of years and are steadily becoming popular as more and more people opt for this mode of training due the many advantages associated with it. Even though there are still not as many schools that offer these classes online as one would expect, the ones that do have seen a rise in the number of their students in the past few years. And if this trend continues, it will only be a matter of time before all the famous CNA schools have online programs. To understand better why these online classes have become very popular, it is vital to look at the advantages and disadvantages of taking this course online.


  • It offers you a more flexible and convenient mode of learning as you are free to choose the time that you want to study. Whether you want to take your classes very late in the night after work or early in the morning before going to work, it is up to you as all that is needed is a computer and internet connection.
  • There is plenty of material available online for use in your study, and so you will be able to learn more within a relatively short period of time. These materials also make it possible for you to refer later on in case you fail to understand something. Although most of these materials are also available for those taking offline CNA classes, most of them are not motivated to use them due to the belief that they learn everything they need in class.
  • Most online classes are cheaper than the offline ones mainly because it costs the school less to offer these lessons. For online classes, there are no costs for hiring tutors or renting space for classes as all the school needs to do is upload material for students and offer support when needed.
  • You also get to learn at your pace by choosing the online classes. With the offline classes you are probably not the only student in the class, and so the tutor cannot go at your learning pace if you are a slow learner. However, when learning online, you go at the pace you want and are free to take as much time as you wish to study a concept until you fully understand it.


  • The biggest problem with learning this course online is that you do not get the benefit of personalized training like you would in a regular class. With the latter, you can ask for clarification if you do not understand anything. When taking online ckasses, this is very hard and sometimes not possible, and the only way to fully understand is to read again and again.
  • This course cannot be offered entirely online because at some point it will be necessary to attend clinical training that is required to qualify as a CNA. Since you must attend some clinical training, you will not save as much time as you would have wished and so it is even better to go for the traditional classes.
  • Some online training programs are not genuine, and they are not affiliated with the schools that they claim. The danger of falling into an online scam that will only swindle you and offer no training at all is very real. However, if you attend the CNA class at the particular school that you have chosen, you will eliminate this danger.

The Free Certified Nurse Assistant Classes

The high cost of tuition and the materials required to undertake a course is one of the things that discourage most people from furthering their education. However, these costs should never be an impediment to your dreams of becoming a nurse aide as there are free classes available for certified nurse aides. These free programs are offered by nonprofits and governmental organizations and many health facilities that try to cover the great need for CNAs. Although the training is free, it still maintains the same quality of education that you would find in a college.

Happy afro medical worker holding case sheets, smiling.

If you are looking to become a CNA by taking these classes for free than your local nursing home would be a good place to start your search for a free program. Due to the shortage of nurses most nursing homes and other health facilities are finding it necessary to train their nurse aides to try and cover the deficit. Apart from the free training offered by nursing homes and other health facilities, some community colleges also offer these classes for free as part of their community social responsibility and as a way of empowering the youth in their location. However, it is important to note that most of the free training programs will only cover the tuition costs, and so the student will still be required to pay for the examination and certification fees.

The other place that you can get the classes for free is online because some reputable nursing organizations have them for free, and some nursing schools also offer certain sections of the course online for free. Free classes are also made possible by organizations such as American Red Cross, Job Corps, and other organizations that offer scholarships and grants to students wishing to pursue a career in CNA.

Areas of Study in a Certified Nurse Aide Class

Now that you know how to choose the best CNA classes and the mode of study and even how you can get free training, it is also important to understand the area of study before enrolling in this program. CNA requires that a student cover certain things in their training so that they can be able to perform their role in the hospitals or nursing homes. Although the areas of study may be given different names, this course should cover the following important things.


  • Basic nursing skills: A CNA is expected to perform most of the primary nursing roles, and so their training involves equipping the necessary skills that will make this possible. Even though there are many other things that the nursing aide will learn in the training this one of the most important if not the most important.
  • Client/Patient rights: The rights of a patient may sound very obvious, but there are quite complex issues involved, and so the nurse aide has to know all these rights before they can get to work with patients.
  • Communication Skills: There is way much to communication between a caregiver and their patient and so the CNA needs to be equipped with the relevant communication skills required. CNAs are taught how to talk to patients suffering from severe conditions or stress and also how to communicate with fellow staff.
  • Daily living skills: One of the roles of a nurse aide is to assist patients with daily life and so they need the skills to do this. In their classes, the aides will be taught how to help patients in feeding, ambulation, mobility and many other daily living skills.
  • Cultural and Spiritual Issues: There will also be classes that will deal with cultural and spiritual issues because they are important for the CNA to be efficient in his or her duties. The CNA must try to conform to the culture of the patients, and as he tries to assist them, he should also respect their religious belief.


The CNA Certification Process

Portrait of confident nurse with arms crossed standing against patient and medical team at hospital

Each state has its certification process that you must follow to be allowed to practice in their jurisdiction. Even if you are moving from another state, it might still be necessary to undergo the certification process regardless of whether you were certified in the other state or not. Certification comes after the completion of the classes and clinical training, and most states require that you make an application for the certification. In the application form, you have to indicate where you studied and completion date. An application fee and a fee for the certification test should then be paid and a date for taking the exam scheduled. One will only become certified upon sitting and passing the certification exams in the respective state that he or she wants to practice.

CNA Job Outlook and Salary


Just like most other nursing professionals, there is a shortage of nurse aides in the USA and globally and so the job outlook is positive. The demand for nurse aides is also expected to rise in the coming years with the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicating that the employment of these professional will grow by 17% between 2014 and 2024. This growth is much faster than the average for most other occupations in the USA. The median pay for nurse aides is $24,000 which is higher than the average for most other occupations and hence making this a well-paying career.


Summary of How to Become a CNA

Step 1. Find and accredited and reputable CNA training school.

Step 2. Register for the course and take CNA classes that are most convenient for you.

Step 3. Take the written and clinical certification exams to qualify as a CNA.



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