To make the CNA programs affordable, students can opt for low-cost options such as a community college or online program. They also have scholarship and sponsorship opportunities available to them through various organizations. There are even free certification courses offered by some schools which make CNA education convenient and feasible. Once you complete the CNA training, clear a certification test, and gain experience in the healthcare field, you can always continue further education and prosper in the nursing career.
How much does a cheap CNA program cost?
You can find the cheapest classes which will charge you around $300. However, if you need study books they are your responsibility and expensive to buy new ones because nurse aides usually sell them for minimal prices after passing their certification exams. Other classes charge you $400 or more but will provide all the required textbooks so you don’t have to worry about searching or buying used copies yourself.
All these cheap classes don’t cover the exam fees, so you’ll have to pay that yourself. The certification test fee is usually around $200. So how can you find an affordable CNA program? Read below for answers!
Although becoming a certified nursing assistant is great for starting your career, it does require some time and money to complete the necessary coursework.
First of all, you need to consider the cost of tuition at free or private schools near you.
Second, even though most hospitals offer programs after high school, they can be very expensive with fees that exceed $2,000.
Finally, although many community colleges offer less expensive tuition rates (around $700), they take an average of six months to finish the program (or one semester for free).
To avoid any unnecessary financial stress during your training process; make sure you find easy ways to find affordable CNA training. We have compiled a list of ten suggestions to help you find the right school for your training needs.
1. Start with free schools first
Public schools are a great place to start your search because they provide free nursing assistant training, as well as certificates after you pass your exams. In addition, public schools usually offer some financial assistance to those who meet certain requirements such as financial need, military status, and/or previous employment within the healthcare industry (which is quite common).
2. Consider local employers and hospitals near you
One of the best places to go when looking for affordable CNA programs is direct to the source: employers like doctors’ offices or hospitals! Many facilities work together with community colleges and private schools to offer discounted training for both students and working professionals.
In some cases, you can complete your coursework while working on the same campus! Not only will you get paid during training, but you’ll also have a job waiting for you upon graduation.
3. Negotiate with employers on tuition costs
One way to find affordable CNA programs is through negotiation with employers who offer in-house courses. Sometimes, hospitals and doctor’s offices will allow students to pay just a percentage of their overall tuition fees once they begin their career and prove that they remain employed in the medical field after six months or one year (depending on the agreement). This type of arrangement typically works best if you already have previous experience within a medical office.
4. Network with friends and family to find schools near you
If you have a friend or family member who is already an established CNA, see if they can help steer you in the right direction towards affordable training facilities in your area.
Someone working in the healthcare industry might know about certain employers that work together with local colleges and offer discounted rates for employees or their children’s tuition fees. You never know where your next lead will come from, so it’s always good to start building relationships early on!
5. Search online for free classes at community colleges near you
If public and private institutions aren’t in your immediate price range, don’t worry: almost all community colleges offer courses for CNA training at no cost to you! Sometimes, employers will even reimburse your tuition fees for taking the class.
6. Consider online classes if you are tight on money or time
Remember that almost all local community colleges offer free courses over the Internet through their websites (either self-paced or with a set timeframe). This provides you with the flexibility to study around your busy schedule and—if necessary—from any location in the country. You can finish school without ever having to leave home!
7. Take advantage of financial aid opportunities when available
Since becoming a certified nursing assistant requires some heavy investments, many free schools will provide students with some type of financial aid option. Although most government grants and loans require you to be enrolled at a brick-and-mortar facility, some states offer funding for training through electronic schools. Check with your state’s department of education for information about potential grants or subsidized loans that can help foot the bill (or at least reduce it significantly).
8. Apply for special scholarships to help pay the costs
Local CNA associations, hospitals, and private companies often conduct scholarship programs to select individuals who meet certain criteria: many times these requirements include students with previous experience in the medical field (either as an employee or as a volunteer) and/or those who come from low-income backgrounds.
9. Look into employer reimbursement opportunities before you enroll in classes
Many employers will help subsidize your CNA training if you commit to working with them after graduation.
However, it’s important that you know the terms of the agreement upfront: some reimbursement programs might require that you work for a specific amount of time (usually between six months and one year) before receiving any money back, while others will only reimburse tuition fees rather than other associated costs like books.
10. Look for scholarships & grants for veterans or disadvantaged people
Last but definitely not least, remember that there are tons of scholarships specifically designed for veterans or disadvantaged individuals who want to complete their basic nursing assistant certification. These opportunities typically require the applicant to be part of a certain group (like former prisoners, abused women who have fled their homes, and/or drug addicts) or specific sex, race, religion, etc.
For example, the “Bridges to Success” scholarship is specifically awarded to female recipients who have been out of school for at least five years and are now returning to complete their CNA training. The application process for this scholarship requires applicants to identify how they’ve overcome certain disadvantages in their lives—which can be used as an essay prompt!
Other nursing assistant scholarships will provide financial assistance on a merit-based system: if you meet certain requirements like ranking within the top 10 percent of your class or having above-average grades throughout all of high school, you might qualify for one of these unique awards.
Remember that there are tons of sources for help when it comes to paying for your CNA certification, whether you’re looking for free training or something more affordable. Knowing where to look is the first step in obtaining this important credential—so good luck!