CNA Training

CNA training is essential if one intends to enter the healthcare field as an assistant to a nurse, known in the industry as a Certified Nursing Assistant or Aide – or simply a CNA.

In this role, the professional caregiver functions under the guidance and supervision of such senior healthcare professionals as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Registered Nurse (RN).cna training

The CNA is integrally involved in numerous factors of patient care, including those as basic and straightforward as interacting with patients and family members to such tasks as changing bedding or assisting with bathroom necessities.

While the job of a certified nursing assistant is not nearly as broad as those carried out by an LPN or RN, a nurse aide is still charged with a wide array of fundamental patient-care services.

In addition, the CNA training process carries with it numerous requirements, including the completion of essential training and satisfying certification requirements imposed by the local jurisdictions in which you will find yourself working.

What is involved working as a CNA?

Many choose to become a certified nursing assistant as a formidable entry point in the healthcare profession. This career choice allows the honor of being part of this respected field, without the extensive schooling it takes to become a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse.

Essentially, a nursing aide operates as an entry-level healthcare provider, meaning that he or she provides the basics of patient healthcare.

These tasks include aiding patients in eating, grooming, going to the bathroom and supporting them in getting up and moving around. Despite such accountability, it is essential that the budding certified nursing assistant understands that he or she will not become a licensed nurse by way of CNA training.

What qualifications are needed?

The two most important personal qualities for those entering the CNA field are compassion and nurturing, as you are there to provide both companionship and emotional support to patients who are often confined to bedside.

This level of support often extends to family members, as well.

Additionally, it helps to have a strong stomach, as it were, since the field almost always requires the less-than-pleasant tasks of assisting patients with the toilet and/or cleaning bedpans.

Where to get CNA Training?

cna trainingNumerous facilities exist in all states to obtain qualified nurse aide training and the requisite knowledge for the CNA exam, including technical training schools and community colleges.

In the U.S., CNA training programs must be state approved.

Some allow online training courses, but it is always recommended that you check your own state and community regulations.

What courses are required?

In general, courses necessary to successfully complete a training program depend on the college or technical school you are attending. Typically, they offer the basics related to nursing, including the likes of understanding patients’ bodily functions, knowledge of controlling infections and knowing patients’ legal rights.

Other certified nursing assistant programs offer more comprehensive skills, such as fundamental medical procedures, restorative care giving and nursing essentials.

All such programs offer CNA trainees a clinical practicum, which educates candidates on the full course load of skills required in your new career as a certified nursing assistant.

What costs are involved?

As with any type of professional training or schooling, there are costs involved in training and gaining CNA certification. In most cases, expenses are relatively low, because the length of time involved is only between about six and 12 weeks, on average.

In general, the cost of a certified nursing assistant program is between $400 and $1,000, based on specific schools. In many states, there are also free training opportunities available.

Your job as a CNA

cna trainingYour career as a nurse aide is not paved in gold. The average annual salary of a certified nursing assistant is typically about $29,000.

However, this entry-level position within the healthcare industry will often provide many opportunities for further training in order to advance toward a career that pays well, while, not surprisingly, requiring a deeper well of responsibilities.

All said, while a job as a certified nursing assistant can be noble, it is still an admirable introduction to the medical field, albeit subject to the supervision and guidance of either a licensed practical nurse or a registered nurse.

The CNA should expect to work in such environments as assisted living facilities, nursing homes and hospitals. As a certified nursing assistant, you will be expected to do things that are not that complicated, and some that are considered either a nuisance or downright unpleasant for many individuals.

Becoming a certified nursing assistant is straightforward in terms of education. It requires a commitment of several weeks or months time in order to earn certification.

As long as the CNA understands the tasks involved in dealing with rudimentary patient needs and is comfortable in being closely supervised under the direction of senior nursing staff, it can offer a wonderfully rewarding career, as well as a springboard to bigger and better opportunities in healthcare and the medical field. With further education, the sky is truly the limit.

What’s next?

We recommend you get started with a full understanding of requirements and eligibility regulations, since they vary from state to state.

To acquire comprehensive information about CNA training and how to become a certified nursing assistant or aide, check out the following pages:

State by State Guide:


Job Corps center to inquire for free CNA classes.
Locate the the Job Corps center near you here:

National Network Of Career Nursing Assistants:

State Nursing Boards:

One-Stop career centers:


38 Responses to “CNA Training”

  1. mali says:

    Great source of information. Bookmarked for later.

  2. Brian Carter says:

    This is a remarkable site. The best information on CNAs I’ve discovered so far. Particularly, the resource links are very useful.

  3. Beatrice Pino says:

    How long does it actually take to become a CNA?

    • Dayton says:

      Beatrice, it depends on the training facility you choose. However, if everything works out like planned, you can get your certification usually within eight to twelve weeks.

  4. Amy Clarke says:

    My license has expired. Is it difficult to have it re-certified?

    • Dayton says:

      Thanks for stopping by Amy. Generally, it shouldn’t be a big problem. To keep a license valid, it must be renewed biannually. What can happen after that is that you need to retake your CNA exam (or both, training and exam) in order to become eligible for certification again. Since this can vary from state to state, it’s advisable to check with the appropriate authority.

  5. Rachel says:

    I will pass this onto my sister who is looking into becoming a CNA. Thanks!

    • Dayton says:

      Great for being able to help you and hopefully your sister as well. It’s definitely the right time to consider becoming a certified nursing assistant. This entry-level position in healthcare is an excellent start for establishing a promising career in this industry.

  6. Jen says:

    I had been looking into taking courses to become a CNA. This blog post answered a lot of my questions thanks!

  7. Trish says:

    I have plans to become a CNA, and this site is very useful. Thanks! I am going to use it as a reference.

  8. Mindy says:

    Great site you have Dayton on CNA training. Lots of great info!

  9. Cara says:

    I am impressed with what I have read here. Will be back later for more.

  10. Madelaine says:

    Wow I have not seen a site with so much information about CNA training, thanks!

    • Dayton says:

      You’re welcome Madeleine. I hope you found all the info you were looking for. If you got further unanswered questions just use the contact page.

  11. Kelly says:

    This is a great site and very informative for anyone who is becoming or wants to become a CNA.

  12. Kaley Morgon says:

    Woow! Really Great Information on Site. Thank you so much for sharing Dayton.

  13. Randi says:

    Great page on CNA training. I am starting my training soon and excited.

    • Dayton says:

      Randi, good luck with your CNA training and all the best for starting a successful career in this industry.

  14. Corey says:

    I am excited to become a CNA and I have to say this is truly an awesome site. So much great info!

  15. Melissa says:

    I have been considering taking a CNA course. I am glad to have found this blog as it is very informative.

  16. Kim Rawks! says:

    I’m training right now to be a CNA and you know what? It has inspired me to continue my training and education so I can be an RN. I never realized how interesting and fulfilling this field was until I began my CNA track. Good post here, very useful to be people starting out.

  17. Jennifer D. says:

    Exactly – like you said above, I became a CNA because I wanted to get my feet wet in the health care industry. Now that i have a taste of it, I really want to go further with it. Maybe even on the Med school. I just have to get my schedule and financing in order.

  18. Elena Shella Villamor says:

    Hello Dayton,

    Well, the first ones to leave their comments here already said it all – this blog is truly helpful and inspiring. A CNA, after all, is often the frontliner when it comes to healthcare, with her being the first to come in contact with the patient. CNAs deserve to read blogs such as these. As an editor for Nursing Explorer, I know the hard work that it entails to accomplish a nursing diploma, certificate or degree so I do appreciate the efforts that nursing students, CNAs, LPNs and RNs give.

    Kudos to you and your awesome blog!

  19. Bryan Training says:

    It is a physically and emotionally demanding job, but rewarding as well. CNAs know it.

  20. Jodie says:

    I having been looking into becoming a CNA to help diversify my experience and make me more marketable in the health care field. This website looks like a great resource. Thanks!

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