The rewarding career of a certified nursing assistant (CNA) remains in high demand in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, hospices, home health agencies and physician’s offices. As the elderly population in the United States continues to increase, the amount of skilled CNAs are also required to meet that need. The high job prospects and flexible schedule make this profession extremely attractive to people who have family responsibilities, aspire to seek higher education, healthcare experience or simply desire to be an integral part of a healthcare team that makes a difference in patient’s lives. Those who wish to become a CNA can expect to enroll in a relatively short and comprehensive program that provides hands-on CNA training as well as formal classroom education. CNA Classes Online can also help satisfy some of the requirements for certain CNA programs and provide extra convenience to a busy student. Let us give you the information you need to become a CNA and expect to earn a higher-than-average salary.
- What are certified nursing assistants?
- What are CNA classes?
- Where can I find CNA classes?
- What can I expect in a CNA class?
- What do you learn in a CNA program?
- How can I study for CNA Programs?
- What is the cost of CNA classes?
- What are the requirements for CNA classes?
- How long are CNA classes?
- What is the level of difficulty for CNA classes?
- What happens after the completion of CNA courses?
- What schools offer CNA programs?
- What types of courses are required to become a CNA?
- What is Certified Nursing Assistant training?
- Is this career the right choice for me?
- Are there free CNA Classes?
A certified nurses assistant (CNA) play a critical role in helping a Registered Nurses (RN) or Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) assist patients with their healthcare needs. Most CNAs know and understand basic nursing practices and will be able to help RNs or LPNs with day-to-day task such as dressing, bathing, toileting, feeding, and transferring a patient.
Aspiring CNAs take classes to learn how to perform various patient-related duties that are necessary to the care and diagnosis of people in need of medical care. Classroom work and online courses may provide basic knowledge and skills to perform:
- Vital sign checks
- Assessment of patient’s condition
- Proper diet and fluid intake
- Signs and symptoms of stroke, heart failure, etc.
- Common diagnostic tests and laboratory sample collection
In addition to classroom education, the clinical portion of training includes assisting patients with activities of daily living:
- Feeding or meal setup
- Transfers or transportation in wheelchairs
- Online CNA Courses: This is an excellent strategy for a busy student that may have family responsibilities, limited transportation or need to continue working while pursuing a certification. Online classes are convenient, may be offered at your own pace and can be done in the privacy of your home. Feel free to use our search tool (to the left of the screen) or browse our list of approved online courses:
- Specialization in Nurse Educator (MSN)
- Home Health Aide
- Medical Office Assisting
- AA: Medical Office Assistance
- Military Physical Assistant Prerequisite Program
- Dental Assistant
- Traditional Educational Schools: Call your local junior colleges, vocational and technical schools or trade schools and ask if they have a CNA program available. Private schools may also offer CNA programs—but the tuition may be high.
- Nursing Homes: Check the skilled nursing facilities in your area. Some of these institutions sponsor a CNA program and may even offer you employment at the completion of the course.
- Government Sponsored Programs: Your area may have programs that satisfy the state-required courses. Check with the Department of Health, the Board of Nursing or the community colleges in your area.
- Vocational, Technical and Community Colleges: Often are sponsored by the state to provide CNA programs that meet the demand of the local population. Call your state board of nursing or visit their website and search for the list of accredited CNA programs offered by local schools.
- Hospitals and Skilled Nursing Facilities: Offer accredited CNA programs that are approved by the board of nursing. Nursing assistants frequently move on to higher education and other healthcare positions, leaving openings to be filled by newer CNAs. Hospitals and nursing homes may offer classes for certification when they experience a shortage of assistants. Call the department of education and inquire about their CNA program.
- The Red Cross: Offers a program that may available in at your location. A certified instructor or registered nurse usually presents the class material and conducts the skills lab. The advantage of becoming certified with the Red Cross is that the documentation is recognized all over the country rather than only the state of origin.
Pioneering distance education since 1985, Liberty University is now the nation’s seventh largest university. With more than 300 online and residential areas of study, Liberty offers programs from the certificate to doctoral level.
Kaplan University is focused on recognizing the achievements of military and veteran students and offers the flexibility of an online education. Eligible students can receive college credit for prior military experience and coursework—up to 75 percent of the credit needed for a Kaplan University undergraduate degree.*
Generally, the first few weeks are spent in the classroom. A high volume of educational material is presented rapidly and exams and quizzes may be given often. After several weeks of classroom attendance, you may expect to attend a clinical rotation at a hospital or skilled nursing facility where you will experience hands-on patient care and experience with medical equipment. Online courses can help the student to satisfy some coursework for their program. After the successful completion of your training, you will be eligible to take the CNA certification exam.
Nursing assistants learn how to care for patients with specific medical conditions and diseases. A skilled and knowledgeable nursing assistant promotes safety, demonstrates patience and knows what problems need to be documented and reported to the physician. State-required classes usually include a supervised clinical rotation in addition to formal classroom training and exams. Students learn basic nursing skills and attend a hospital clinical that includes:
- Anatomy and physiology
- Infection control
- Vital Signs and the normal values
- Common diseases and conditions
- Performing care for disabled patients
- Cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
- Patient documentation and assessment
Training provides classroom instructions and hands-on education on how to provide daily care for patients that are unable to perform self-care due to physical or mental restrictions. Students in the CNA certification program learn how to care for patients of various ages that may experience:
- Age-related illness and conditions
- Recovery from surgery that experience immobility
- Spinal cord, muscle degeneration or stroke injuries with paralysis
- Advanced stages of cancer or other life-threatening illnesses
- Dementia or other kinds of brain injuries
- End of life care and support
- Common medications and side effects
There are a number of different ways to prepare yourself for a certified nurses assistant class. At FindCNAClasses, we want to prepare you as best as we can and that is why we offer free information, practice exams, and study guides to help you ace your class and become a certified nurses assistant in no time. Feel free to visit our practice test page for more information.
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Depending on your location, local colleges may charge the cost of a typical semester and may add a fee for the clinical rotation. State sponsored vocational and technical schools may charge tuition that is based on a flat fee or similar costs of tuition. Online courses provide affordable and convenient ways to satisfy the course requirements. Private institutions may charge higher costs and fees for the convenience of their program. Be sure to check all your resources before choosing a CNA program.
In most states, students are required to have a high school diploma or an equivalent before enrolling in a state approved CNA program. Although most classes are designed by each individual state, most programs divide formal classroom training and clinical practicum (hands-on) to provide a graduate with basic nursing knowledge and patient care experience. Many programs require that the student maintain a flawless attendance record.
Typically, a CNA program will last four to twelve weeks, but check with your particular state to be sure of the length of time or hours they require. Part-time programs that meet a few times a week may be available in your area. Online courses may also help reduce the amount of time in a classroom due to the convenience of being able to work through online courses in your own home and at your own pace. Also, if you are enrolled in a nursing program, you may be eligible to take the certification exam after you have attended the nursing class for a specified number of hours.
The educational material is generally equivalent to a 12th grade level of high school. Some people have more difficulty learning the hands-on skills, such as working a blood pressure cuff, rather than learning the classroom portion. CNA classes are not easy, but universally, the majority of students do pass the course.
State-required education is designed to prepare the graduate for the nursing assistant certification exam. A candidate must pass the clinical portion (given by your instructor) and the written state exam. Once passed, the nursing assistant holds a state recognized certification. In addition, most states allow the graduate to work as a nursing assistant while waiting to take the certification exam. CNAs are in high demand and positions are often easy to secure.
Depending on your location, CNA programs may be offered at junior colleges, vocational and technical schools, local hospitals, nursing schools and government sponsored programs. Private technical programs in franchised organizations may also be offered, but tend to be expensive. Online training is also offered for those who wish to complete some of the classroom learning required for completion of their CNA program. It is imperative that you ensure the program you choose is approved by your state board of nursing or other authoritative entity responsible for certification.
Among the skills and knowledge the skilled CNA will require, some programs include courses about:
- Medical terminology
- Patient rights
- CPR for healthcare professionals
- Documentation and communication skills
- Anatomy and physiology
- The roles and responsibilities for healthcare providers
- Infection control
- Legal issues for nursing staff
- Skin care of the patient
CNA training is a program that is accredited by the state and includes the classroom portion and the clinical component that provides hands-on experience for aspiring nursing assistants. Students learn basic nursing concepts in the classroom such as:
- Healthy diet and nutrition
- Anatomy and physiology
- Infection control
- Body mechanics and prevention of injury
- Skin and wound care
- Prevention of patient falls
- Care of surgical patients
- Patient care throughout the lifespan
- Medical terminology
Students also learn technical skills in the practice lab, a practicum in a hospital care setting and gain knowledge about safely assisting patients with activities of daily living such as:
- Dressing and undressing
- Meals and proper assistance with feeding
- Bathing and toileting
- Transfers and ambulation
- Light cleaning and room organization
- Patient assessment and documentation
- Report patient status to nurses and physicians
- Technical skills: Blood pressure, temperature, pulse
- Record fluid intake and output
- Collection of laboratory samples
Choosing a new career can be difficult, so before you enroll yourself into a CNA class you should consider the following questions to see if this is the right career move for you:
- Do you find healthcare interesting?
- Do you have the ability to learn about human anatomy and physiology?
- Are you comfortable around patients with terminal diseases?
- Do you have strong people skills?
- Do you have strong technical skills?
If your answer was yes to most, if not all of these questions, then a career as a CNA might be a good fit for you.
Most classes advertised as “free” are actually not classes. They are typically training resources that provide information for people pursing a career as a certified nurses assistant. If you’re thinking about taking a CNA classes and it’s advertised as free, make sure you check to see if it’s been approved by your State board of nursing and that it meets the requirements for your CNA certification.