You might have more than one reason for wanting to become a Certified Nursing Assistant.
If so, online training programs will help you fulfill some of your coursework.
However, you must choose your program wisely.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 What Courses Are in an Online CNA Program?
- 2 Can You Earn a CNA Certification Completely Online?
- 3 How Long Does it Take to Earn a CNA Certification Online?
- 4 How Much Does an Online CNA Certification Cost?
- 5 Types of CNA Certifications
- 6 Benefits of Online CNA Training Programs
- 7 Drawbacks of Online CNA Training Programs
- 8 Benefits and Drawbacks of Online CNA Training Programs – Summary Table
- 9 6 Self-Study Tips for CNA Online Students
- 10 What Can I Do With a CNA Certification?
- 11 Common Employers for CNAs
- 12 Earning Potential in the Nursing Field
- 13 Schools Offering Online CNA Training Programs
- 14 Summary
- 15 Sources
- 16 Frequently Asked Questions
What Courses Are in an Online CNA Program?
Your online CNA coursework will inform you about the human body, such as what you would learn in an anatomy or physiology class.
Other subjects that prepare you for nursing assistant jobs include a range of motion, safety, and vital signs testing.
In addition, you will learn how to clean and dress wounds, insert and remove catheters, and monitor or record a patient’s progress.
You might also receive an introduction to morals and ethics and receive advanced communication skills for dealing with challenging patients.
In addition, you will gain advice about how to handle emergency situations, such as CPR or what to do after a slip and fall.
When beginning your online CNA training, you will also receive details about daily housekeeping job responsibilities.
Can You Earn a CNA Certification Completely Online?
You can earn most of your CNA certification online.
For instance, you can sit in video sessions with your instructor while you watch demonstrations.
You also can access prerecorded videos and download supporting coursework materials.
If you need textbooks, you also may access them without having to step foot into a physical store.
You do, however, need to participate in practical training on people in person before employers would hire you.
On the other hand, you might acquire on-the-job training while earning your CNA certificate.
How Long Does it Take to Earn a CNA Certification Online?
It depends on from what online institution you plan to obtain your training.
In most cases, however, you can finish your CNA certification in as little time as four to 12 weeks.
The Red Cross offers a learning track often made available in multiple locations, for instance.
The time it takes you to complete this varies according to schedules and the amount of time free to study.
There is such a need for CNAs, however, that some workers found a way to complete the necessary training for certification in about eight hours.
It is an excellent way to secure full-time employment if you plan to pursue a nursing career while having a chance to find a job within a short period.
How Much Does an Online CNA Certification Cost?
You might have the opportunity to obtain CNA training for free through Job Corps if you are 18-24 years old.
Otherwise, it may cost you between $100-$500 and up to about $1500.
This does not include the cost for updating an LPN or RN training, which may cost you at least $1000 per semester, but all your nursing training costs less when you complete your coursework online.
Types of CNA Certifications
You can obtain a CNA 1 or CNA 2 certificate, depending on your location.
For Oregon residents, for example, the CNA 1 certification comes after about 80 hours of classroom training and approximately 75 hours of onsite healthcare training with patients.
You will also need to complete some lab time during your CNA 1 training.
The CNA 2 training puts you one step closer to entering a nursing-approved program.
In addition to the time spent achieving your CNA 1 certification, you will spend about 60 hours of your time in classroom and lab training.
In addition, you must complete at least 28 hours of clinical practicum experience where you would have contact with patients in person.
The above two certification examples offered in the state of Oregon resemble the kind of training you can receive anywhere you live if you are not sure where to obtain your CNA certificate online.
Upper-level training, by the way, will qualify you for working in a hospital setting rather than a nursing home if that is what you prefer.
Benefits of Online CNA Training Programs
You do not have to pay for room and board, and you might not have to travel to the campus, so you will not have to pay as much for your education.
In fact, you will not need to travel until you start your on-the-job training, which you most likely can start near you.
After all, you can work in just about any type of health care facility as a CNA, including nursing homes, adult daycares, or hospitals and clinics.
Shortened Training Periods
You will not have to always wait for everyone else to complete their coursework.
This benefits you if you want to finish as fast as possible and free up your time for work and personal activities.
Training does not take as long online because you may not always have to wait for other people to register before you can start.
You could have access to courses you want to take that you cannot attend near you.
This provides you versatility when first studying as a CNA and continuing your nursing coursework to working up to becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse or Registered Nurse.
It may also open you up to various integrative nutrition tracks that you can use if you also aspire to plan menus at some point.
Less Waiting Periods
You most likely will not have to wait longer than a few weeks to start the CNA class that you want to attend online.
That is because virtual sessions may occur on demand, which reduces the chances that the class will fill up before you can join.
Even if instructors do require live attendance during the training period, you will not have to worry about waiting too long to enter them.
Flexible Learning Options
Some courses allow you to attend both sessions online and in person.
This reduces the time it takes you to complete your classroom certification portions, but it also increases your chance of receiving instructor feedback in person.
Sometimes, all you need to do is show up once or twice a week, depending on your learning arrangement.
You, at least, can instantly communicate with a professor via text or email without having to stand in line to ask your question.
This gives you the chance to express your concern while it is still fresh in your mind.
Drawbacks of Online CNA Training Programs
Limited Face-to-Fact Contact
You might not ever meet your instructor in person unless that teacher comes to your workplace where you would begin your on-the-job practice.
Not attending class in person also does not allow you to meet other students in person, but you can at least communicate with them online.
If you are a self-motivated person, this may not matter.
You need to discipline yourself and learn how to manage your time and stay on task when no one else is watching when in online training.
Block out all distractions when working through your coursework and when studying before exams.
Limited Personal Feedback
You might receive less personal feedback unless you decide to join a hybrid learning program.
On the other hand, you will at least have options to attend live video sessions.
Still, you will not have the same opportunities to receive one-on-one assistance as you would in person.
Longer Question Response Times
Although you can instantly send your question to your instructor, you may have to wait longer for a response than in person.
On the other hand, you can request help without any interruptions from other students.
You do not necessarily need to attend a school that has an office in your state.
However, make sure you only take the courses online that your state recommends.
For instance, you might want to check out offerings at local trade schools or community colleges.
Otherwise, you could risk wasting money on training that may not include information on your CNA certification exam (use this CNA practice test to make sure you are ready for your exam).
You also do not want to associate yourself with schools that healthcare facilities do not trust.
Otherwise, it could ruin your reputation.
Do not worry though.
Plenty of legitimate programs do exist.
Just do not hastily sign up for a class if you do not know who is running it.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Online CNA Training Programs – Summary Table
|Benefits of Online CNA Training Programs||Drawbacks of Online CNA Training Programs|
|Reduced Cost||Limited Face-to-Fact Contact|
|Shortened Training Periods||Requires Self-Discipline|
|Increased Accessibility||Limited Personal Feedback|
|Less Waiting Periods||Longer Question Response Times|
|Flexible Learning Options||Credibility Concerns|
6 Self-Study Tips for CNA Online Students
Explore Training Options
Find out what programs will work with your schedule and location after having received your high school diploma or GED.
You will also want to make sure you attend CNA classes approved by accredited schools and official, non-profit associations that serve your state.
Establish Your Career Goals
For instance, you can obtain your CNA first and get a job.
Then, you could work toward a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and eventually become a Registered Nurse (RN) if you want.
The path to becoming an RN while working full time might take you about four years.
Keep this in mind as you sign up for CNA training.
Set Aside Studying Time
Even if you plan to complete most of your coursework online, keep in mind that you do need to plan for study and exam time.
Make sure you know you can make mandatory live sessions if any and set aside time for in-person clinical training to fulfill practicum (internship or on-the-job training) requirements.
Work Toward Certification
As you work toward a CNA certification, also look for on-the-job training opportunities.
These include postings at blood banks, local clinics and doctors’ offices, nursing homes, and hospitals.
Look for Full-time Employment
You might end up in an entry-level, long-term position at the place where you fulfill your on-the-job training hours or where you had your internship.
It is also possible to seek temporary work that turns into full-time employment, or you can seek permanent positions at local or online employment agencies.
Continue Your Education
A common degree path for people starting out as a CNA includes the one-year or two-year certificate you can earn to become an LPN.
Then, you may have the chance to transfer some of your community college credits to a four-year university and obtain your nursing degree, after which you would become an RN.
It is also important to update your certificates at every level to keep up with current medical advancements.
What Can I Do With a CNA Certification?
After obtaining a CNA certification online, you can qualify for careers in a few fields.
A CNA can provide in-home care or work in a nursing home.
Below, there are several options that graduates of CNA programs can access.
Nursing assistants work with doctors and nursing staff providing vital patient care.
They hold at least a CNA certification that can be earned online within several weeks.
Nurse aides are also known as orderlies or attendants.
They work under the supervision of a registered or licensed nurse.
They can be employed in different settings, including psychiatric care facilities or hospitals providing care to patients and handling housekeeping duties.
Home Health Aide
Home health aides should be patient and willing to handle challenging situations.
They work with patients in their homes, help the elderly and people with chronic illnesses.
State-Tested Nurse Aide
State-tested nurse aides’ work is similar to nurse aides.
However, they hold a special credential with which they can have a higher salary and more responsibility.
The online CNA training provides the skills necessary for this job.
Common Employers for CNAs
In hospitals, CNAs usually work under the supervision of a licensed or registered nurse.
They are usually tasked with checking and monitoring the vital signs of patients, assisting them with self-care, and changing linens.
Long-Term Care Clinics
In long-term care facilities, CNAs work with patients recovering from injuries or suffering from chronic diseases.
They can also work with elderly patients.
Typically, these CNAs help patients with their daily routine tasks, such as bathing, using the restroom, or eating.
Home Health Agencies
CNAs working with home health agencies go to patients’ homes and assist them with their everyday activities, such as monitoring vital signs or taking medications.
They function as a liaison between doctors and patients, monitor the symptoms and progress of every patient.
Earning Potential in the Nursing Field
- Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) average annual median salary – $28,540.
- Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)/Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) average annual median salary – $47,480.
- Registered Nurse (RN) average annual median salary – $73,300.
Schools Offering Online CNA Training Programs
|Ivy Tech Community College||50 Walnut St, Lawrenceburg, IN 47025, United States|
|Pratt Community College||348 NE SR 61 - Pratt KS 671|
|Procareer Academy||11133 1st Avenue, Whittier, CA 90603|
|Howard Community College||10901 Little Patuxent Parkway Columbia, MD 21044|
|C.N.A Technical Center||7614 N 56th St. Tampa FL 33617, USA|
|Johnson County Community College||12345 College Blvd Overland Park, KS 66210-1299|
|College of Western Idaho||5500 E. Opportunity Dr. Nampa, ID 83687|
|Middlesex Community College||100 Training Hill Rd., Middletown, CT 06457|
|Miles Community College||2715 Dickinson Street Miles City, MT 59301|
|NCK Tech||3033 US HWY 24 Beloit, Kansas 67420|
|The School of Continuing Education - Santa Ana College||2900 W Edinger Ave, Santa Ana, CA 92704|
|Lehman College||250 Bedford Park Boulevard West Bronx, NY 10468|
|Howard Community College||10901 Little Patuxent Parkway Columbia, MD 21044|
|The City College of New York||160 Convent Avenue New York, NY 10031|
|Mount Eagle College & University||4025 University Pkwy, Winston-Salem, NC 27106, USA|
|International Institute of Minnesota||1694 Como Avenue Saint Paul, MN 55108|
|Prince George's Community College||301 LARGO ROAD LARGO, MD 20774|
|Iowa Health Care Association||1775 90th Street, West Des Moines, IA 50266|
|Abilene Christian University||1600 Campus Ct, Abilene, TX 79601, USA|
|National Caregiver Certification Association||337 N Vineyard Avenue, 4th floor. Ontario, CA. 91763|
Online CNA training programs can send you on the fast track to a new health care career.
Make sure you verify the credibility of a training program before you start it, however.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where do I find more information about CNA certification in my state?
The National Association of Health Care Assistants (NAHCA) has an interactive map that shows you how to become a CNA in your state.
This includes data about the number of classroom hours required, which typically ranges from about 75-100 hours.
Where do I take the online CNA exam?
You can find more information about the certification exam on the This Red Cross practice test page.
Otherwise, you can browse the NAHCA website for information related to your state.
Nursing association sites and your local colleges might offer you details, and you also will want to check with the school offering the online program of interest to you.
Does my state require a license to become a CNA?
In most cases, you may start at least training to become a CNA, and you can earn money during that time.
However, national health care provider standards exist to ensure the safety of both workers and patients.
Making sure you have the proper certification improves your credibility when seeking new employment.
Furthermore, here you can check out CNA classes by state.
How often do I have to renew my CNA license?
You most likely will have to renew your CNA license at least once every two years.
Make sure you verify that in your location, however.