Medical or health sciences or allied fields are one of the hottest career options for students, but most of them are confused about where to start with. Many of them end up opting for the wrong options and in hind-sight get frustrated because they don’t carry out extensive research. Many veterans in the field will agree that starting out as a certified nursing assistant can prove to be a great career move. The job of a nurse aide is very stable and you can earn good enough salaries along with gaining experience in the nursing field. This opens many career advancement options for you by continuing education; you can go on to become a Registered Nurse (RN) or even a physician as per your will.
The next question for which many seek answer is the cost of CNA classes; well unlike the other courses and medical degrees the cost of becoming a nursing assistant is very low. CNA courses cost anything between $400 and $1200 whereas a RN degree can cost you up to $10,000. Of course the duties of a RN or that of a doctor is highly specialized and complex, but then nurse aide is just an entry-level job, so the cost is not very high.
Factors that determine the cost of classes
The cost of CNA classes has some of the following determining factors:
- Location: The location of your community college or vocation training institute is one of the factors that determine the cost of your training program; if you are located in one of the metros the cost will usually be low because of the competition from many other colleges and schools but in the countryside the number of training institutions will be less and they will charge higher fees
- Training quality: Some institutes hire the best trainers of the healthcare industry, especially for the clinical skills training. Additionally the study material, the books, the checklist, practice tests offered during the course are of the highest quality which increases the cost
- Facilities and equipments: The facilities provided for training like good classrooms, opportunity to participate in debates and discussions etc. and the equipments provided for clinical training and practice have a telling effect on the cost of training
- Number of hours: How long are CNA classes is another important determining factor when it comes to training cost; the more number of hours will mean that you have to pay more. This may depend on the number of hours fixed by the college or the optional extra hours you enroll for.
- Placement Assistance: If the community college or nursing school provides placement assistance the charges for classes may be higher; however you must check whether the college or school is providing placement assistance or job guarantee because assistance may or may not land you in a job. The factors above formulate the fee structure of nursing assistant classes; the amenities, course material, clinical equipments, training hours, allied services like placement, all contribute towards the cost of these classes. Some classes include the certification exam fee in the course cost which is suitable for students as a class will have more number of students at a given time and the state may consider giving discounts on the fees which is around $200.
The Red Cross training program even provides for background check and medical report which is necessary when you apply for the exam. Along with these services is the brand name of Red Cross and hence most of the Red Cross training programs for nurse aides are costlier, but the students passing out of the Red Cross programs are most sought after.
Online classes can vary in costs but are usually low because they don’t have to provide for classrooms, instructors, equipments etc. and the study material is also made available on the internet which can be reused for many years without wear and tear along with the skills videos which are a onetime cost. Thus the cost of the online training is comparably low.
Apart from these options you can find free CNA classes in hospitals and medical facilities with certain terms and conditions; usually pertaining to employment post certification. If you can find a free program you can take advantage of the low interest rate financial aid which many community colleges, nursing schools and universities offer.
Irrespective of the cost you must keep in mind that the CNA certification classes that you join must be accredited by your state’s health department to be eligible for the certification exam. You have to submit a program verification form with the application for the examination to verify that the classes from where you got your training are recognized by the health department.
There are accreditation levels for these classes; accreditation 1, 2 or 3 (one being the highest or accreditation A, B or C (A being the highest). As per the level of accreditation the fee will increase from lower to higher levels. The health department monitors the training structure of the classes on a regular basis and evaluates it to grant these levels of accreditation.
Hence you can choose the nurse aide training programs depending upon your financial situations. The above information will help you in understanding the factors behind the cost of CNA classes and you can avoid confusion before deciding which option suits you the best.