CNA Classes Online

Explore Online Course Options for CNA Training

Nursing assistants are vital employees at hospitals, nursing homes and residential care centers. Since they help patients with daily activities, like exercise and personal care, CNAs often have the most contact with patients and must perform a range of tasks that require proper training. Online courses and programs can help prospective CNAs gain the skills and knowledge needed to become certified and pursue nursing assistant careers. CNA students can get started by learning more about the perks of online classes and how to find a program that meets their needs.

Top 5 Things to Know About CNA Classes Online

Requirements to Apply

Students must:

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Hold a high school diploma or GED
  • Supply school transcripts and test scores
  • Pass a physical examination, including immunizations
  • Have good English reading, writing and comprehension skills
  • Have reliable access to a computer with internet
State Approved Programs Requirements for CNAs vary between states, so students should make sure their online program meets the requirements of the state in which they plan to practice. CNA students cannot practice or become certified or licensed if their program is not state approved.
Accredited vs. Non-Accredited

Since a college degree is not required to become a CNA, nursing assistant programs are generally not accredited by the customary higher education accreditation bodies. However, students can gauge the quality of their online CNA program by finding out whether the school’s main nursing program is accredited, and by which bodies. The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) both provide accreditation for nursing degree programs.

Knowledge Portion + Clinical Portion In order to pass their certification exams, CNA students must demonstrate both their theoretical and practical knowledge. Most online courses provide students with a working knowledge of CNA duties and protocol, and hands-on experience through skill labs and shadowing in a clinical setting prepare students to perform competently in real-world nursing assistant situations.
Length of Program CNA courses vary in length depending on the school and type of program sought, but they are generally designed to be completed in a short period of time. They often require between 90 and 180 hours, including clinical time. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Top Online Programs

Explore programs of your interests with the high-quality standards and flexibility you need to take your career to the next level.

Where Can I Take CNA Classes Online?

Online CNA students benefit from extra flexibility that allows them to choose the type of school and program best suited to their needs and career goals, even if it’s not nearby. Prospective students can find online CNA courses at these types of institutions:

Community Colleges

These public schools are generally inexpensive and provide many different course and program options to students.

For-profit Colleges and Universities

For-profit schools can be flexible and efficient, but they must generate revenue and, as a result, can be expensive.

Technical and Vocational Schools

Trade and vocational schools focus on hands-on, practical training.

Hospitals and Clinics

Some hospitals and health facilities provide online CNA training and are great places to earn clinical hours.

Not-for-profit Colleges and Universities

These schools can be either public or private and are a good option for students who want to pursue nursing degrees and are interested in the “college experience.”

Learning Outcomes of an Online CNA Program

Nursing assistants care for and ensure the safety of patients in a variety of settings, so a comprehensive understanding of CNA duties and the ability to perform them is essential. From knowing how to check vital signs to making sure patients feel comfortable during self-care routines, CNAs can expect a wide range of learning outcomes from their programs.

Effective communication Students will learn how to communicate with patients, nurses and other staff to ensure that patients receive the best care. This includes understanding medical terminology, having good bedside manner and accurately documenting information.
Safety protocols Adhering to safety standards is important for both patients and staff. Understanding laws, procedures and how to react in dangerous or uncertain situations will help new CNAs effectively navigate the workplace.
Personal care, nutrition and exercise procedures CNAs often need to assist patients with many different needs and limitations. They should expect to learn how to handle personal care routines, diet restrictions or supplements and exercise and mobility activities so that patients are safe, comfortable and properly cared for.
Workplace ethics CNA students will learn how to conduct themselves professionally in the workplace. They should also gain skills in dealing with moral or ethical dilemmas, like confronting coworkers or performing tasks that go against their personal beliefs.
Confidentiality laws Care facilities must keep their patients’ personal and medical information private. CNA courses will cover the specifics of confidentiality laws and how nursing assistants should handle sensitive information.
State exam preparation Along with practical and theoretical skills and knowledge, CNA courses should provide students with specific information and test-taking skills to help them pass their state exams. Online students can check with their programs to see what kinds of resources are available to help off-campus students prepare for the exam.

Key Benefits to Taking CNA Courses Online

Pursuing nursing assistant education comes with many benefits, like opening up job opportunities in a fast-growing field and building a solid foundation for educational and career advancement. Students who receive their CNA training online are privy to additional perks.


One of the biggest benefits to taking CNA classes online is the ability to access coursework and learn from anywhere an internet connection is available. This opens up many opportunities for students who don’t live near schools with CNA programs and those with busy schedules.


Similarly, the online format allows CNA students to learn at their own pace at times that work best for them. Rather than carve out a few hours each day to attend class, students can log on to their courses for a few minutes multiple times a day or dedicate one full day each week to their studies. Online CNA courses give students increased control of their time.

Professional Connections

Many online CNA courses let students choose where they want to gain their clinical hours. This gives students the chance to get experience at a facility they may want to work in once they finish their training and provides opportunities to establish relationships with potential employers.

Affordable starting point

Students who think they might pursue a nursing degree in the future can often transfer credits earned through their online CNA program to a four-year university. CNA courses taken at vocational or community colleges are usually less expensive, so this can help cut the cost of earning a nursing degree down the road.

Prepare to move

CNAs who know they want to work in a specific state but haven’t moved yet can get a head start preparing for their careers by taking online courses approved by the state in which they plan to live and work. CNAs who have taken online courses will be prepared to apply for nursing assistant jobs before they’ve even finished unpacking.

FAQ: Understanding Online CNA Classes and Costs

Those who already know they want to take their CNA courses online can find detailed information and program specifics on their educational institution’s website. Prospective students who still aren’t quite sure if online CNA courses are right for them can check out these general frequently asked questions about online nursing assistant classes first to get additional information.