Become a Nursing Assistant by Taking CNA Classes Online

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Updated February 2, 2023

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Interested in becoming a nursing assistant? Consider taking CNA classes online to jumpstart your healthcare career in no time at all.

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Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) help patients with daily tasks and provide basic care, such as monitoring vital signs. With an aging population, the need for CNAs is projected to grow a lot over the next decade.

And the best part? You can become a CNA by taking classes online. Through a four-week online CNA program, you can pass the CNA exam and in-person clinical skills component to start working as a nursing assistant right away.

What Does a CNA Do?

CNAs are a key part of the healthcare system. Under the supervision of nurses, CNAs help patients dress, bathe, and eat. They transfer patients into wheelchairs, measure blood pressure, and record health information.

Many CNAs work in residential care facilities, hospitals, and in-home care settings.

Because CNAs take on important responsibilities, they typically need a state license or certification. In many states, you must complete an approved CNA training program to get your license.

Did You Know?



How to Become a CNA

  1. Earn your high school or GED diploma
  2. Complete an online or in-person state-approved CNA program
  3. Pass a background check
  4. Pass a medical/physical exam
  5. Pass your state's CNA certification exam

How Do Online CNA Programs Work?

You can complete your CNA training online in as little as one month. That makes CNA programs different from degree-granting options like an associate degree in nursing. CNAs generally take classes for 4-12 weeks before sitting for the CNA exam.

CNA classes are also less expensive than a degree. You can finish your CNA certification online for roughly $600-$2,000.

In online CNA classes, you'll learn basic nursing skills, medical terminology, and personal care skills. Classes also cover emergency care, safety, and patient communication.

In addition to coursework, CNA programs include clinical training hours to meet certification requirements. These allow you to practice the hands-on skills you'll need in this in-demand role.

Before applying to online CNA programs, research their delivery format. Will you take classes at set times or complete coursework on your own schedule? Where will you meet the clinical training requirements?

Reputable programs will also provide information about CNA exam pass rates.

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Does Accreditation Matter for Online CNA Programs?

If you're considering taking CNA classes online, make sure you choose an accredited program. Only accredited programs meet the requirements for a CNA credential.

As you compare programs, look for accreditation from a recognized agency, like the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

You can also check whether your state has approved the CNA program for certification.

To find accreditation information, go to the program's website. Then, confirm its accreditation status by visiting the accreditation agency and your state's nursing agency.

What Are the Benefits of Taking CNA Classes Online?

  • Online CNA classes are flexible, allowing you to complete coursework anywhere without commuting to and from campus.
  • Asynchronous CNA programs let you schedule classes around work and family responsibilities.
  • Most online CNA programs last just a few short months.
  • You can meet other healthcare workers and grow your professional network.
  • Tuition for online CNA programs is relatively inexpensive.
  • You may qualify for financial aid, such as scholarships and grants.

What CNA Classes Can You Take Online?

Ready for your CNA program? Here are some of the classes you'll take to become a CNA. Keep in mind that the exact course description will vary depending on the program.

  • Basic Healthcare Skills

    In this online CNA class, you'll go over patient care and how to communicate with patients and family members.

    You'll gain many skills to use during your clinical rotation, such as how to move patients comfortably. You'll also learn how to help other healthcare professionals transfer and discharge patients.

  • Nursing Assistant Training

    In this online CNA class, you'll go over patient care and how to communicate with patients and family members.

    You'll gain many skills to use during your clinical rotation, such as how to move patients comfortably. You'll also learn how to help other healthcare professionals transfer and discharge patients.

  • Clinical Rotation

    A clinical rotation lets you apply your knowledge in a real-world setting. You'll work with CNAs, registered nurses, and doctors at a hospital or long-term care facility.

    Most rotations last around six weeks. You'll perform actions like moving patients and recording patients' vital signs. Practicing these tasks will help prepare you for the CNA exam.

  • Continuing Education

    After earning your CNA credential, you'll need to meet continuing education requirements in order to maintain certification. Depending on your state, that might mean taking classes on infection control, nursing ethics, or hospice care.

    Some states don't require continuing education, so be sure to check with your licensing board.

Frequently Asked Questions About Online CNA Classes

Can you become a CNA online?

Yes, you can become a CNA through an online program. While taking CNA classes online, you'll complete hands-on clinical training at a local site.

Online CNA programs typically take 4-12 weeks. After that, you'll take the CNA exam to earn your CNA certificate.

How much do online CNA classes cost?

Most online CNA programs cost in the range of $1,000 to several thousand dollars. Costs vary depending on the program and your residency status. Public technical and community colleges typically offer the most affordable tuition rates for in-state and in-district students.

Be sure to check with your prospective schools to see whether you qualify for financial aid and any in-state, in-district, or online student discounts.

Where can you take CNA classes online?

You can take online CNA classes through a community college, technical college, hospital, or nonprofit organization like the Red Cross.

When choosing an online CNA program, check the program's accreditation status. Only programs approved by the state meet the requirements for CNA certification.

How long does it take to become a CNA online?

Most accredited online CNA programs take 1-3 months to complete. You'll split your time between coursework and a clinical rotation. At the end of the program, you'll usually receive a diploma or certificate.

Is the CNA exam hard?

The CNA exam measures your nursing knowledge and skills, and an accredited CNA program can help you prepare for it. During the test, you'll take either a multiple-choice, written, or oral exam. You'll then complete a hands-on skills test.

Online CNA programs design their course material to prep students for the certification exam.


Next Steps

Learn More About Becoming a CNA

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