If you want to become a CNA, you need to complete a college training program as well as sit for a certification exam.
However, a college education can be pretty expensive so many people cannot afford it.
Fortunately, there is a variety of free CNA training options you can enroll in.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 Free CNA Training Options
- 2 Advantages of Free Hospital and Nursing Home CNA Training
- 3 Additional Options for Free CNA Training
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
Free CNA Training Options
First of all, you need to know that obtaining a career in the medical sphere is very rewarding in different ways.
It gives you an opportunity to earn a good salary while helping others.
Also, it is one of the spheres that have a growing demand for qualified specialists and can offer some great stability for the workers.
Nevertheless, it is not so easy to enter this field as it has pretty tough education requirements.
There are lots of medical careers that require long-lasting education as well.
CNA or Certified Nurse Assistant career can be a great way to eliminate these difficulties and enter the medical sphere.
These specialists are an essential part of the medical sphere as they help nurses and doctors, and take care of patients.
To be able to start working as a CNA, you need to complete your training and pass a state board certification exam.
How to Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?
You don’t need to spend much time and effort to start working as a CNA.
First of all, you need to find a good training program.
Usually, these programs last for about 4-12 weeks and contain theory classes as well as some clinical practice.
After completing the required amount of hours of training, you are eligible to apply for a certification exam.
Usually, during the exam, you need to answer written questions and show your practical skills.
After you’ve passed the exam successfully, you can start working as a CNA.
Read our full guide:
Where Can You Receive Free CNA Training?
There is a whole variety of facilities that provide CNA training programs.
The list includes such options as vocational schools, community colleges, and various medical care facilities including hospitals and nursing homes.
Speaking of colleges and schools, they provide great training but they can be pretty expensive.
Their price can be about hundreds and even thousands of dollars.
Of course, in many cases, you can apply for some financial aid but usually, it is in the form of a student loan.
It means that you’ll get into debt and be obliged to return this money later.
However, there are lots of nursing homes and hospitals that free training courses.
It is a great way not only to get your training for free but also find employment at the facility you are training at.
In other words, it is your opportunity to get free training and find a job simultaneously.
The Scoop on CNA Classes
You may have an essential question on how it is possible that some healthcare facilities offer free training programs.
In most cases, these programs are funded by the government.
If you want to know how to find out about these free offers, there are some simple options.
The first one is through the word of mouth from some of your friends, relatives or just people who work in one of these facilities.
Also, you can look for info on the websites of hospitals and nursing homes.
Moreover, it is always a good idea to call the facility’s HR office or pay a visit there in order to get the required info.
You should know that the training courses provided by healthcare facilities are very similar to those offered at schools and colleges.
Both these options contain some theory classes as well as practical training.
The question you might be asking is “How are healthcare facilities able to offer these courses free of charge?” The answer is that many of these programs receive funding from the state government.
Advantages of Free Hospital and Nursing Home CNA Training
In fact, training programs provided by healthcare facilities are great not only because they are free.
There is a whole bunch of other advantages as well.
As soon as you obtain your CNA certification, you need to start looking for a job.
It is a hard task most people don’t like.
However, getting your training at a healthcare facility, you can avoid this problem.
In most cases, hospitals and nursing homes that offer training programs tend to hire their students after training completion.
Usually, applying for a training program at one of these facilities, you agree to work there for a certain amount of time.
Usually, while getting your training in a healthcare facility it is likely you’ll be paid.
It is available not in every hospital or nursing home but there are lots of facilities that offer this option.
It is because even if you are a student you can perform numerous tasks and can be very valuable.
In other words, it is a win-win situation for both you and a medical facility.
While you getting your training, employment, and compensation, a hospital can get a qualified specialist that knows its requirements, regulations, and policies.
Considering the fact that most classes are held at the hospital, you’ll be obliged to work with numerous healthcare professionals.
In such a way, you’ll be able to form some relationships with people who can be your mentors and can help you to move on through your career.
It is a great option especially for those who want to advance their careers in the future and start working as an RN or an LPN.
Practical Hands-on Experience
Applying for a CNA training program at a college or a school, you’ll get some clinical experience required for an exam pass.
Training courses offered by hospitals also have clinical training but in comparison with college programs, there are more opportunities for practicing.
Unlike college programs, this option offers you an opportunity to train in a hospital setting instead of classrooms and labs.
Potential Downside to Free CNA Training
Of course, training programs provided by healthcare facilities have not only advantages but a bunch of disadvantages as well.
First of all, you need to remember that applying for free training, you need to sign a contract according to which you’ll be obliged to work for the facility for a certain amount of time.
If you don’t fulfill this requirement, you’ll be obliged to pay some sort of fine.
In other words, you may be asked to pay for your training if decide to leave the facility before your contract ends.
Despite some disadvantages, these training courses provided by a healthcare facility can be a great way to get your education.
They can provide you with numerous career options, as well as your first job without making you pay a fortune.
Additional Options for Free CNA Training
Of course, programs at medical facilities are the most popular options to get your CNA training for free.
However, there are some other great options you should take into consideration.
American Red Cross
The American Red Cross provides a CNA training course in some locations in the USA.
Just make sure to check whether it’s available in your location and if you are lucky enough you may apply for this free training program.
In some areas, this program is paid but usually, grants are offered for those who need financial aid.
However, you’ll still be responsible for some additional expenses.
Just make sure to check the American Red Cross website to learn more about the available options.
Job Training Centers
Some individuals can get their CNA training for free addressing job training centers.
To get more info on the available options, you need to address your local job placement center or unemployment office.
Even if there are no free programs, you may be able to get some discount, scholarship or other financial aid.
Job Corps – it is a program that was started to help people age 16-24 that want to learn some trade.
Applying for it, you can get not only free training but also a room and board at a Job Corps facility.
Moreover, you may even get assistance with your certification and job placement.
As you can see, all these options are great but they are available not for everyone.
Just make sure to check the requirements properly.
In case, you cannot apply for any of these options, the best option for you can be a training program at a community college or an accredited school.
Speaking of a CNA career, it can be a rewarding lifelong occupation but also you can use it as a stepping stone if you want to pursue other careers in the medical sphere.
In any case, obtaining a CNA license, you have an opportunity to start a great career.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a CNA course cost?
Most schools offer CNA programs between $1,000 and $1,500, which may not include the cost of the state exam you have to take at the end to get your certificate.
That will cost another $100 or so.
Online programs cost less than in-person classes so would be at the lower end of the scale.
Can I take CNA classes online?
You may earn your CNA certificate online, and you will be getting the same instruction that students get when they attend in person.
There may be some hands-on training that you will have to do in person, but almost all of it is online.
What is the best shift to work as a CNA?
The best shift for a CNA to work is one that fits your lifestyle or personal needs.
The second shift involves just one meal, and there is not as much to do, so it may be easier.
The third shift is hard in some ways, but it is also slow with not much going on.
The first shift is the busiest and can be the best for those that like a faster-paced job.
What is the easiest CNA job?
A lot of people like doing Home Health Care as a CNA.
It is easier because you control your schedule more.
There is no one watching over you, so you do not have to worry about bosses.
Many people also find this the most fulfilling because you are working with an individual over a time period and establishing a relationship.
Can a CNA work with babies?
CNAs can have an important role in helping take care of babies.
If they are in the ICU, the CNA can set up health equipment, feed newborns, and clean.
You could also help with childbirth, helping make the mother more comfortable.
A CNA is a nursing assistant, so a CNA can help a nurse in any medical situation, and working with babies is a natural fit.
How much does a CNA make an hour?
There is a lot of variety in how much a CNA makes per hour.
A person starting out could make between $10 and $18 per hour.
The median pay in 2020 was $14.82 per hour, and that was an increase over the previous year.
Alaska and New York have the highest-paid CNAs averaging $20 per hour.
Louisiana and Mississippi were the lowest at $11 per hour.