The A – Z Details of CNA Courses

Certified nursing assistants who assist the doctors and registered nurses in hospitals and nursing homes are the front line workers of the health care field. This is because they have to perform so many challenging and responsible tasks throughout their duties as well as they have to remain on their foot ready for any emergency case.

They work under the guidance and supervision of registered nurses (RNs), which automatically makes them learn and practice nursing skills daily.

Proper understanding and training of a specific task will help you perform the duty efficiently. Same is the case with the job of a certified nursing assistant. Every CNA aspirant must undergo a CNA course before applying for a job in the nursing field.

Structure of the CNA Course

The CNA certification program has been designed in such a way that the student will be trained to take care of the patient in a thorough manner.

The theoretical classes are conducted for 30-35 hours in some states to impart knowledge on various important aspects like:

  • Physiology
  • Infection control
  • Hygiene management
  • Respecting the rights of the patient
  • Emergency control procedures
  • Medication management
  • Reporting to nurses
  • Communication with patients etc.

The skills lab sessions are to improve the communication skills of the student as it is the CNA who spends the maximum number of hours with the patient, more than that of a nurse or a doctor.

So, you will have to communicate with the patient effectively to take care of him or her effectively and help in the process of curing.

Clinical training sessions are a very important part of the course and full attendance is mandatory for all the sessions.

You will be given on the job training by a nurse or a senior assistant in a healthcare facility. You will be required to be professional in your behavior with the instructors as well as the nurses you work with.

After you complete the required number of hours of training, you would be required to clear two tests, namely, skills test and written test.

The skills test would evaluate the practical skills that you have learned from your clinical sessions and the written test would evaluate your knowledge based on the aspects learned from lectures.

The passing score is high for the test and you will have to put in a lot of effort to clear these exams to be certified.

Once you clear them, you will be listed in your state’s registry as a certified nursing assistant.

CNA certification courses are designed to provide holistic training to you to become a professional nursing assistant and pursue a lucrative career in the future.

What Student Will Learn In Their Course

The duration of the training in all the states should at least be 75 hours as declared by the Board of Nursing. However, in many instances, the length of the program extends. During the training program, both theoretical and practical sessions will be conducted.

Following are the few things that will be taught during the CNA course:

Physiology and Anatomy of the Human Body

As the completion of this program will enable the students to become a part of the nursing field, it is important to know the human body basics and the functions of every part of the body.

Though the CNA’s would not be treating the patients, they need to know about the human body basics. It is advisable to make the foundation of any program strong so that things become more comfortable in the future.

Knowledge of the human body structure will help them understand the need for medical procedures.

Responsibilities of a CNA in a Health Care Organization

CNA trainees are taught all the duties of a nursing aide that are necessary to be performed in health care institutes. Some of them are:

  • Conducting vital tests such as checking the temperature, pulse rate, and the blood pressure of the patient’s body
  • Changing the bed linens.
  • Keeping the patient’s room clean.
  • Maintaining the hygiene of the residents.
  • Preparing health charts of the patients.
  • Answering patient’s calls.
  • Help in the transportation of the patients.
  • Prepare the residents for surgery.
  • Taking the necessary steps in case of an emergency.

Though a brief idea about all these is taught in the theoretical sessions, most of it will be learned in the practical sessions where you get hands-on experience about the skills.

Importance of a CNA Course

  • The primary objective of these courses is to educate the candidates to take care of the patients and to prepare them for the certification exams
  • To obtain the CNA certification and license
  • It is a mandatory requirement to get a job as a certified nursing assistant
  • It helps develop skillful nursing aides, who would later develop their career in the nursing field

Types of CNA Training Courses

Such courses are available in all regions of the USA. Community colleges, nursing schools, hospitals, Red Cross institutes, and other health care institutes are the places where such training is conducted.

There are two types (modes) of training that you can pursue. They are classroom and online CNA classes.

Classroom Training

As the name suggests, the lectures are conducted in a classroom where the instructors would either be registered nurses or highly qualified nursing experts are having several years of work experience in this field.

The training hours can be classified into three categories:

  1. Theoretical
  2. Skills lab sessions
  3. Clinical sessions

Every student should complete a stipulated number of hours of each category to be eligible for the certification. The number of hours to be completed in training varies from one state to the other.

Usually, it is in the range of 70-75 hours, which is divided among the classes, labs and clinical sessions.

Clinical sessions are very much compulsory when compared to the theoretical classes and there is a minimum number of hours to be completed in the CNA certification course order to be considered for the certification.

Theoretical Classes

The theoretical classes impart knowledge on various aspects related to the role and responsibilities of a certified nursing assistant like infection control, maintenance of hygiene, medication management, physiology, taking vital signs, dressing, etc.

Apart from physical disabilities and how to assist patients with such disabilities, you will be trained to become moral support to the patients as you would be spending more time with them than the nurses and doctors. You will have to be dedicated to the core objective of this job, which is service and everything will become enjoyable for you.

Skills Lab

In the skills lab, you would be trained on communication skills, which is very much essential as you will be expected to communicate appropriately with the patients and it is your support and care that will contribute to the improvement in the patient’s health.

As a nursing aide, you will have to deal with patients; who may get hyper or behave rudely as their physical illness has certain negative effects on their mental well-being as well as effectively. So, your communication skills have to be honed to become a successful certified nursing assistant.

Clinical Sessions

The training program consists of clinical sessions that are conducted in the healthcare facilities to demonstrate the duties of a CNA to aspirants so that one would have hands-on experience of the job.

You will exactly know what you are up to as you want to pursue a certified nursing aide as a career.


The ultimate test comes in the form of the examination for getting certified after completing the required number of training hours. You will have to clear a skills test and then clear a written exam with the required score to be certified.

The skills test will test your practical knowledge of the course and you will have to perform specific tasks and tests which are expected to be performed as a CNA.

After clearing the skills test, you will have to pass the written examination, which will test your knowledge on various aspects of a certified nursing aide. After clearing the final exam, you will be listed in the state registry as a certified nursing aide.

CNA Online Course

For becoming CNAs, the students have to complete certified nursing assistant training programs, either offline or online.

Both kinds of courses are available; the only thing is that the students have to look for the best one out of them. The principal reason for selecting a CNA online program is the lack of sufficient time for attending the offline classes.

Choosing the Best CNA Online Course

One has first to search various

  • Health schools
  • Medical colleges
  • Community colleges
  • Vocational schools
  • Nursing homes
  • Hospitals

And other health care institutions in the local areas if they offer any online certified nursing aide classes for the students.

This will make sure that the respective facility is in the local area and can be easily contacted in case of any query. It is always better to find such a facility that is recognized or accredited by the state nursing board.

Usually, the fee structure for certified nurse assistant programs is affordable, but some online certified nursing aide programs also offer free enrollment as well as free scholarship programs.

This is very beneficial for those students who are opting for online classes only because they cannot afford to pay for offline courses.

Like offline certified nurse aide programs, the duration of these online programs also may vary from 3 weeks to 6 months.

There are various free online classes too, but one should always be alert and search for the reliable one after a thorough inquiry of the same.

An Ideal Free Online certified nursing assistant Program Offers:

  • 100% free certified nurse assistant training course along with enrollment
  • All the information related to certified nurse aide certification and licensure
  • A step-by-step guide to obtaining the certified nurse assistant license
  • Free course material including all the essential content of the syllable
  • General necessary clinical tasks and steps for each of the skills
  • Illustrative course material composed of literature, descriptions, picture examples, demonstration videos
  • Practice tests meant for practicing before the state-certified nursing aide exam
  • Instructions about fire safety, infection control and emergency
  • Group discussions involving the students through a web-based medium

Fee Structure and Duration of the Course

There are certain fees applicable to the course. Given below are the fee structure and the duration of the course for some of the states.

Training Institute
Duration of the Course
CaliforniaSeasons Medical Training160 hoursUSD 1,350
GeorgiaCenter for Progressive Training140 hoursUSD 500
New YorkABC Training120 hoursUSD 1,600
AlabamaRio Salado190 hoursUSD 1000
MichiganAmerican Red Cross90 hoursUSD 900

Where Can You Find Cheap CNA Courses?

One of the primary reasons that an individual decides to become a certified nursing assistant is that it takes very little input in terms of money, as well as the fact it requires no prior official degree in the field of medical science.

Along with these factors, a professional certified nursing assistant can start earning quickly without putting in resources such as a large amount of money and time as well.

Despite all these factors, there are still some colleges that offer professional certified nursing assistant courses at a high price. Still, there are also medical institutes that provide cheap CNA courses or free CNA courses. All the certified nursing assistant has to do is sign a bond that entitles the individual to work for the institute once his or her course finishes and they officially becomes a certified nursing assistant for a specific duration of time.

The duration will be informed to the certified nursing assistant when he or she is signing the bond and doing so is beneficial for both parties because it will promise the individual a job after the completion of the course. It grants the medical institute an employee without having to go through the entire hectic procedure of hiring one.

Yet another method that people usually follow is by finding out about courses in the colleges around their vicinity.

If it suits their needs, then they can opt for joining their local community college. Still, all they need to make sure is that they are cheap and offer a degree that is recognized by the medical community or else the individual will end up paying for a course that will get him or her nowhere after completing the course.

CNA training courses can be costly at times, but there are cheaper alternatives that are just as good.

An average certified nursing assistant program will last for around five weeks and requires multiple characteristics such as

  • Confidence
  • Dedication
  • Self-belief

And commitment, along with the criteria of clearing the NNAAP or the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program, which is the examination at the end of the course.

All an individual needs to do is make sure that the course they are on is state-approved. They will get a certificate that is recognized in the nursing industry after clearing the examination mentioned above. State-approved nurses should teach all courses.

As mentioned above, an individual can also opt for the provision of getting trained for free without paying a cent.

Yes, there are cheap CNA courses for the aspirants; these will usually take place at nursing homes. There is always a catch, though. In turn, for the free training, the individual must work for them for free after officially becoming a certified nursing assistant.

Both clinical and classroom training is performed on location and the individual could be fully qualified in a year.

This may seem scary, but on the job training can be a great way to qualify. From the start, the certified nursing assistants are exposed to real-life patients, which grants them the experience required to grow in the field and makes them thorough professionals as soon as they become certified nursing assistants.

The best way for an individual to get involved and become a professional certified nursing assistant is by signing up with a medical institute and contact them to see if they have any openings.

A different yet beneficial source for an individual to get cheap CNA courses is the internet.

Schools for Free CNA Courses

Many individuals who are looking for a fast and efficient as well as cheap method to obtain knowledge related to certified nursing assistants and become a professional CNA often resort to courses online.

These courses allow people to learn anywhere on the planet without any hassles, and all they need to do is log in to the course online and start learning.

The only disadvantage perhaps is the unavailability of practical knowledge if one opts for courses online.

Practical training and knowledge are, by far the most important factor in becoming a successful and professional certified nursing assistant.

However, some courses promise practical training if the individual is willing to commit to the course and travel to their centers to get trained. Still, yet again, one needs to ensure the authenticity of the course and the facilities they provide before joining the program.

To conclude, free CNA training can be found online from various schools that offer nursing assistant training. The web-based experience comes without the clinical expertise that students obtain from training in a hospital or even community college and other such professional medical environments.

After making sure that the student has found the right institute or college to enroll in, he or she needs to work hard during the course, become a thorough professional certified nursing assistant by crossing the final hurdle, which is the NNAAP or the examination required to clear to become a licensed, certified nursing assistant.


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