How Long Does it Takes to Complete CNA Course

“How long are CNA classes?” is a question that might come to your mind when you start researching about the nursing assistant’s certification program. Many people believe that nursing programs are lengthy and time-consuming as they deal with the study of the human body and medical aid.

If you want to become a doctor, nurse etc., this belief stands true as you have studied for years before you enter these professions as you must gain in-depth of the human body and its medication requirements.

But you don’t have to put in years at medical school to become a certified nursing assistant because the duties of a CNA are allied services to medical care and are not core- medical duties and you have to work under the supervision of a Registered Nurse (RN).

All you have to do is enroll in a short training program which may be of a duration of six to twelve weeks which involves both classroom and clinical training and on completion of the training you have to seek certification by passing the exam held by the state health department.

Unfortunately, the workload of the nursing staff has increased many folds because of the increased healthcare demands and aging population in America.

The nurse aide is a Para-medical profession born out of the need of decreasing the burden of the RNs. So you can become a certified nursing assistant by joining CNA classes in your locality and start a wonderful nursing career.

The responsibilities of nurse aides are assisting patients in everyday activities like:

  • Bathing
  • Changing clothes
  • Grooming, feeding
  • Providing bedpan
  • Taking and recording the patient’s vital signs
  • Reporting any health changes to the RN and following directions given by the nurse

These are healthcare duties that do not require in-depth knowledge of the medical sciences; basic knowledge, clinical skills, and passing a certification exam is what is required to become a nursing assistant.

National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission or by the health department of the state governments are the responsible bodies to recognize nursing assistant courses and to be able to qualify for the state held certification test, so ensure that you enroll in classes that are accredited by either of these bodies.

How long are CNA classes?

The United States government has passed a federal law according to which the obligatory training hours stand at a minimum of 75 hours; 51 hours of classroom and 24 hours of clinical skills training in a laboratory. Depending on the number of hours you enroll for, the length of the programs will differ; more the hours more the duration.

Usually, the classes are of six to twelve weeks and it may differ on the number of hours the classes are held on a daily basis.

For example, if you are enrolled in CNA evening classes which are part-time, the course will take a longer time to complete. Whereas, regular classes will be conducted for eight hours daily and will finish earlier as compared to the evening classes.

The length of nurse aide classes may differ from state to state as the minimum training hours are different; in most states, the mandatory hours of training are higher than what has been stated by the federal law, so classes in such states will be of a lengthier time period.

Apart from the difference of states the length of classes differ from institute to institute and the type of training you have enrolled for.

For example, if you have joined an online program, the number of training hours per day maybe four hours and the theory classes will be more to cover for the lack of maximum exposure to practical training.

Additionally, you will have to watch the skills videos online and participate in online discussions and debates which will consume more time span.

Any regular CNA classes will last for three weeks minimum and the breakdown is 8 hours a day, 4 days a week; this means the obligatory 75 hours can be completed in 10 days.

You have to perform 8 hours of clinical duty in a medical facility which is an essential requirement for the certification test and certain hours are dedicated to taking practice tests before the final exams.

Some students enroll for longer training hours, especially for the clinical training to fine-tune their skills and this increases the length of the classes.

The main subjects covered in the nurse aide classes are:

  • Resident Rights
  • Personal Care Skills along with
  • Infection Control
  • Nutrition
  • Body Mechanics
  • Anatomy
  • And Physiology

Those give students all the required knowledge and makes them comfortable with their healthcare responsibilities.

No matter how long these classes are if you have the flair for the healthcare profession; state-accredited CNA classes will serve your purpose of passing the certification test and practice as a skilled nursing assistant.

It is not a very high salaried profession, but in these times of economic slowdown it is a steady career option and it will be a stepping stone in a medical career that is always in demand.

All the various factors put together will determine “how long are CNA classes?”,

Whether it’s full-time or part-time classes, online CNA classes or evening classes. Choose the one that suits you best and enter the noble nursing profession by starting out as a certified nursing assistant.