Among all the healthcare-related courses, CNA certification course is the most popular course and this is mainly because of the numerous job opportunities one gets after completing the course successfully. As the training program involves study material and equipment for the practical session, there is a general query about the CNA certification cost.
The certified nursing assistant course is to train individuals to provide daily care to patients who are physically or mentally ill or disabled. The training program has been designed to offer professional training to those aspirants who want to become certified nursing assistants in healthcare facilities like hospitals, nursing homes, mental wards, rehabilitation centers, daycare centers, and nursing homes.
The cost of such a professional training program is bound to be high but it can be reduced to a certain extent if you cannot afford it.
You can apply for grants or loans which are provided by government institutions and reduce the course fee to a certain extent but there is nothing like free CNA certification but you will have to shell out a bit of money from your pockets as well.
We have a details guide on how much it cost, options to reduce the cost and more on below.
How Much Are 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 an RN degree can cost you up to $10,000. Of course, the duties of an RN or that of a doctor are highly specialized and complex, but then nurse aide is just an entry-level job, so the cost is not very high.
|Medical Checkup Fee||$0 – $20|
|Criminal Background Check Fee||$0 – $40|
|Program Registration Fee||$10 – $100|
|Certification Test Fee||$50 – $150|
|Extra Credit Hours Cost||$50 – $300|
|Program Supplies Cost||500 – $1000|
Apart from above-mentioned cost, if you want to apply for the CNA state license, this will require you to sit for a state exam and thus will may have to pay for exam and additional license fees.
Is CNA Certification Worth the Cost?
The next question for which many seek answers is the cost of CNA classes worth it?
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 as a certified nursing assistant can prove to be a great career move.
Certified nursing assistants play an important role in irrespective of the kind of healthcare facility they work in.
In long terms healthcare facilities like hospitals and nursing homes, you will be expected to be a part of a team of nurses and doctors and the objective would be to help in the recovery of the patients by providing daily care and emotional support. Daily care involves helping them in taking a bath, personal care, toileting, and taking vital signs needed to be monitored.
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.
CNA certification cost is precisely not a deterring criterion for aspirants who want to become successful certified nursing assistants. If you put in some efforts, you will find options to pursue the course and pursue a lucrative career in the healthcare sector.
Factors That Determine The Cost Of Classes
You will also come across schools and colleges where the course fee is much higher and this would be mainly due to the high quality of the training and the materials provided. The value of the certification offered in such an institution may also be high among employers in the healthcare industry.
The cost of CNA classes has some of the following determining factors:
- Location: The location of your community college or vocational 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 in the healthcare industry, especially for 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 equipment: The facilities provided for training like good classrooms, opportunity to participate in debates and discussions etc. and the equipment provided for clinical training and practice have a telling effect on the cost of training
- The 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 with 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 equipment, 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 students at a given time and the state may consider giving discounts on the fees which are around $200.
- Accreditation Levels: 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 health department recognizes the classes from where you got your training. 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 regularly and evaluates it to grant these levels of accreditation.
Tips to Pay your CNA Program Fees
The CNA certification cost may be high but this hasn’t dampened the demand for the course by aspirants who want to pursue a lucrative career in the healthcare industry. Aspirants who cannot afford the course fee can find ways to minimize the course fee.
Scholarships and Grants
If you do a little bit of research, you may find renowned medical institutions offer options of full scholarships and sponsorship and there may be certain criteria to fulfil or exams to be cleared to secure the scholarship or sponsorship.
Usually, the education center where you have applied as a long procedure for filtering out applications for sponsorship or scholarships and it is better if you know what they expect and how the form is to be filled. You will also have to prepare for any exam which may be conducted by the school or college.
You can also contact the concerned department of your state and gather information on the schools and colleges which are funded by the government and thus can offer scholarships or grants. For more information on scholarships and grants read our this post.
The Red Cross training program even provides for background checks and medical reports 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. Before taking the Red Cross training program it would be better to understand the course structure, we have details post here.
Online CNA Classes
If you are not able to afford the course fee for such regular programs, you can opt for online courses which will also help you in securing a lucrative job offer.
Online classes can vary in costs but are usually low because they don’t have to provide for classrooms, instructors, equipment 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 online training is comparably low.
You should be careful while choosing such online programs as the value of the certification must be high among the employers. This is important as only if the value of your certification is good enough; the potential employers would consider your certification and offer you jobs.
Such online courses are useful for those who are working or already pursuing a full-time course. The flexibility of morning, as well as evening classes, is provided by schools that offer online courses.
You will have to be careful as to whether the school or college from where you are pursuing the course is accredited correctly or not. If there is no accreditation, then there may be trouble when you go for job hunting.
Free CNA Program
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. Our this post may help you find a free CNA program.
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.
To become a certified nursing assistant is a complicated process and you should be determined enough to complete the training program successfully.