Online CNA Classes & Programs in 2021

Learn how CNA classes online work, how long they take to complete, and which schools offer the best accredited online CNA programs today.

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Last Updated: 09/21/2021
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Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) work on the front lines of patient care in hospitals, nursing homes, and other medical and healthcare facilities. CNAs usually serve under the supervision of a practical nurse or registered nurse, and support the nursing staff by helping patients with general hygiene, taking patient vital signs, and organizing supplies and other materials. They may also assist patients with sanitation needs, basic movement, and making sure they can eat and drink safely.

In May 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that CNAs earned a median annual salary of $30,830, with top earners taking home $42,110. The BLS also reported an estimated growth rate of 8% for CNA job opportunities between 2019 and 2029, much faster than average.

Aspiring nursing assistants can become CNAs in a matter of weeks. Short programs last as little as four months and end with on-the-job training. Longer (and potentially more robust) programs may run 9-12 months.

For students interested in more flexible programs, many of today’s schools have added online learning to their CNA curriculum. CNA classes online focus on the academic portion of the program and combine it with in-person clinicals to make sure future CNAs have ultimate flexibility while getting key patient-facing experience.

If a fast and flexible CNA education sounds right for you, get the inside scoop on how CNA classes work online, and review EduMed.org’s top online CNA classes and programs for 2021.

Best CNA Classes & Programs Online: ’21

CNA classes online give you the chance to become a certified nursing assistant on your terms. These partially online classes and courses allow you to learn the academic portion of the program via distance learning, and the hands-on elements at a campus or a third-party facility. But which online CNA classes and programs have the right combination of online learning options, quality instruction, and affordability? Sometimes it’s hard to tell. Using data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, as well as from the schools themselves, EduMed.org has created a list of the top online CNA programs available to students today. Review and compare the best CNA classes and programs online this year.

or
About the ranking

X

Methodology for EduMed’s 2021 Best Online Programs

1. Create List of Eligible Schools and Programs

To be eligible for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria based on government data provided by The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

  • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • At least one program in subject area offered partially or fully online.

2. Assign Weightings

After creating the list of eligible schools, EduMed data scientists assigned weights and ranked schools based on a mix of affordability, support services, and online program availability metrics. Online program availability and overall affordability metrics received the heaviest weightings.

Online Program Availability

  • Number of online programs in subject area reported by school to the U.S. Department of Education.

Affordability

  • Cost – Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on tuition and fees per academic year.
  • Students w/ Institutional Aid – Percentage of students who receive financial aid from the school itself.

Support Services

  • Academic Counseling – Existence of this service on campus or online.
  • Career Placement – Existence of this service on campus or online.

About Our Data

EduMed’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Most recent data pull: July 2021

# School Name Type Cost Online Programs More Details School Information Online Students Academic Counseling Career Placement Students w/Institutional Aid Median Earnings 10yrs After Entry Accreditation
1 Ivy Tech Community CollegeIndianapolis, IN Public $ 1

The Certified Nursing Aid (CNA) Short-term Certificate program at Ivy Tech is a 5-credit, 1-semester program that prepares graduates for eligibility to sit for the Indiana State Department of Health’s CNA exam. The program is presented in a “blended, primarily traditional” format that combines face-to-face class sessions with online readings and other course materials that supplement the concepts and skills covered in the face-to-face classes. Students participate in clinical practice experiences at local area hospitals and other healthcare sites. The blended/traditional program is currently available through eight Ivy Tech campuses throughout Indiana. Contact local campuses directly for their program offerings.

Program Highlights:

CNA Short-Term Certificate

  • Credits: 5
  • Length: 1 semester
  • Cost: $149.55/credit
  • Mode: Partially online
  • Accreditation: HLC (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
11%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
2 American River CollegeSacramento, CA Public N/A 1

American River College’s Certified Nurse Assistant Certificate program requires the completion of two courses. The first course, Medical Terminology, provides an introduction to the basic structures of medical terms and their components. The course is available in a 100% asynchronous format and must be completed before beginning the Nurse Assistant course, the second course in the program. The Nurse Assistant course consists of 86 hours of classroom theory lectures accessed asynchronously online, nine hours of skills labs that are attended in-person on ARC’s main campus in Sacramento, California, and over 100 hours of hands-on clinical training at healthcare facilities in and around the school’s local area. Program graduates receive ARC’s CNA Certificate and are eligible to take the State of California exam to become certified nurse assistants.

Program Highlights:

CNA Certificate

  • Credits: 10
  • Length: 16 weeks
  • Cost: $46/credit (in-state); $370/credit (out-of-state)
  • Mode: Partially online
  • Accreditation:ACCJC (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
1%
AccreditationWestern Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges
3 Central New Mexico Community CollegeAlbuquerque, NM Public $ 1

Students living in and around the Albuquerque metropolitan area looking to become CNAs can get the training they need through the Nurse Assistant Certificate of Achievement program at Central New Mexico Community College. The program includes fully-online lectures sessions in an asynchronous format, skills labs attended in-person at CNM’s WORKforce Training Center in Albuquerque, and hands-on clinical practice experiences completed at program-affiliated hospitals and other healthcare facilities in the central New Mexico area. Students also complete either a clinical preparation or CPR, first aid, and safety courses. Some students may be required to also take a reading and writings skills course before beginning the certificate program. Successful completion of the program qualifies graduates to sit for the New Mexico nurse aide exam, which can be taken on CNM’s main campus in Albuquerque.

Program Highlights:

Nurse Assistant Certificate of Achievement

  • Credits: 7
  • Length: 1 semester
  • Cost: $57/credit (in-state); $301/credit (out-of-state)
  • Mode: Partially online
  • Accreditation: HLC (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
23%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
4 Middlesex Community CollegeBedford, MA Public $ 1

Middlesex Community College’s Nurse Assistant/Home Health Aide Certificate program provides the training required to sit for the Massachusetts nurse assistant certification examination and entry-level employment as a nurse assistant. The certificate program consists of three components that can be taken consecutively, allowing students to complete the program in approximately 2 ½ months. Students first complete the Nurse Assistant Online Theory course with online classes attended in two afternoon-to-evening sessions each week. Students progress to a skills lab course attended over four consecutive afternoons on MCC’s main campus in Lowell. The program concludes with 24 hours of clinical training held over two consecutive weekends at a long-term care facility in the local Lowell area.

Program Highlights:

Nurse Assistant/Home Health Aide Certificate

  • Credits: non-credit
  • Length: 2 ½ months
  • Cost: $1,697/program
  • Mode: Partially online
  • Accreditation: NEASC (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
30%
AccreditationNew England Commission of Higher Education
5 Pratt Community CollegePratt, KS Public $ 1

The Nurse Aide Certification program at Pratt Community College in south-central Kansas provides all the education and training required to sit for the state certification exam and work as a CNA in Kansas. Students complete PCC’s Nurse Aide I course which combines 56 hours of online didactic coursework with labs and 40 clinical hours of on-site supervised instruction at a hospital, long-term care facility, or school lab setting. The seven-week course is offered several times each term and open to adults and current high school students 16 years of age or older. Graduates of the program may sit for the state nurse aide certification exam on PCC’s campus in Pratt.

Program Highlights:

Nurse Aid Certification

  • Credits: 5
  • Length: 7 weeks
  • Cost: $150/credit
  • Mode: Partially online
  • Accreditation: HLC (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
80%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
6 Fort Scott Community CollegeFort Scott, KS Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
68%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
7 Mesa Community CollegeMesa, AZ Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
29%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
8 Bunker Hill Community CollegeBoston, MA Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
1%
AccreditationNew England Commission of Higher Education
9 Cowley County Community CollegeArkansas City, KS Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
66%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
10 Barton County Community CollegeGreat Bend, KS Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
83%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
11 Quinsigamond Community CollegeWorcester, MA Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
10%
AccreditationNew England Commission of Higher Education
12 Central Piedmont Community CollegeCharlotte, NC Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
4%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
13 Coffeyville Community CollegeCoffeyville, KS Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
94%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
14 Highland Community CollegeHighland, KS Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
62%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
15 Pima Community CollegeTucson, AZ Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
11%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
16 New Mexico Junior CollegeHobbs, NM Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
27%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
17 Salt Lake Community CollegeSalt Lake City, UT Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
6%
AccreditationNorthwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
18 Riverside City CollegeRiverside, CA Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationWestern Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges
19 Johnson County Community CollegeOverland Park, KS Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
20%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
or
About the ranking

X

Methodology for EduMed’s 2021 Best Online Programs

1. Create List of Eligible Schools and Programs

To be eligible for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria based on government data provided by The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

  • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • At least one program in subject area offered partially or fully online.

2. Assign Weightings

After creating the list of eligible schools, EduMed data scientists assigned weights and ranked schools based on a mix of affordability, support services, and online program availability metrics. Online program availability and overall affordability metrics received the heaviest weightings.

Online Program Availability

  • Number of online programs in subject area reported by school to the U.S. Department of Education.

Affordability

  • Cost – Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on tuition and fees per academic year.
  • Students w/ Institutional Aid – Percentage of students who receive financial aid from the school itself.

Support Services

  • Academic Counseling – Existence of this service on campus or online.
  • Career Placement – Existence of this service on campus or online.

About Our Data

EduMed’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Most recent data pull: July 2021

# School Name Type Cost Online Programs More Details School Information Online Students Academic Counseling Career Placement Students w/Institutional Aid Median Earnings 10yrs After Entry Accreditation
1 Florida State College at JacksonvilleJacksonville, FL Public $ 1

The Nursing Assistant Training (CNA) program at Florida State College at Jacksonville consists of two courses, both of which feature substantial online components. Students first take the Basic Healthcare Worker five-week course introducing the healthcare environment with a focus on healthcare teams and delivery systems. The course is presented in a fully online synchronous format attended two evenings a week. Students then take the five-week Nursing Aid Training Course that combines online coursework and simulated lab and learning experiences two evenings a week with in-person, hands-on clinical experiences attended Saturdays at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Jacksonville.

Program Highlights:

Nurse Assistant Training (CNA)

  • Credits: Non-credit
  • Length: 10 weeks
  • Cost: $1,228/program
  • Mode: Partially online
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
11%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
2 Bakersfield CollegeBakersfield, CA Public $ 1

Bakersfield College’s Nursing Assistant (CNA) course prepares students for entry-level positions in the healthcare field providing basic care in a variety of settings. Graduates are eligible to take the Certified Nursing Assistant Competency Examination administered by the California Department of Public Health. Several course sections 13 to 16 weeks in length are offered each semester. Both in-person and hybrid (online/in-person) formats are available. All sections require completion of in-person clinical rotations, which are offered at a number of facilities in and around the Bakersfield area. Students must provide proof of a current American Heart Association Basic Life Support – Healthcare Provider Card throughout the CNA course period.

Program Highlights:

Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) Course

  • Credits: 6
  • Length: One semester
  • Cost: $1,274.07 (est.)/total
  • Mode: Partially online
  • Accreditation: ACCJC (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
4%
AccreditationWestern Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges
3 Bellevue CollegeBellevue, WA Public $ 1

The Nursing Assistant Certified (NAC) program from Bellevue College in Bellevue, Washington, prepares graduates to take the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) examination leading to eligibility for Washington State certification and employment as nursing assistants at healthcare facilities throughout the state. Nursing courses and labs are attended in-person on the BC campus on weekday afternoons Monday through Thursday. Some NAC program and prerequisite (e.g., math and English) classes are in fully online and/or hybrid (online/on-campus) formats. Open labs are completed in person at arranged times. Clinical training experiences are attended at program-affiliated healthcare sites in and around the Bellevue area.

Program Highlights:

Nursing Assistant Certified (NAC)

  • Credits: 10
  • Length: 1 semester
  • Cost: $116.05/credit (in-state); $299.12 (out-of-state)
  • Mode: Partially online
  • Accreditation: NWCCU (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
17%
AccreditationNorthwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
4 Schoolcraft CollegeLivonia, MI Public $ 1

Schoolcraft College offers a six-credit Nursing Assistant Training Program course in a hybrid format that combines online study with classes and lab activities attended on the schools Livonia, Michigan campus. Students complete hands-on clinical training at program-affiliated hospitals and nursing homes in the Livonia area. The three-day-a-week course is offered once each fall, winter, and spring and lasts seven weeks. A four-week version of the course is available in the summer and requires five days each week of attendance. Graduates are eligible to sit for the Michigan nursing assistant exam, which allows them to be placed on the Michigan Nurse Aide Registry.

Program Highlights:

Nurse Assistant Training Program

  • Credits: 6
  • Length: 7 weeks (fall/winter/spring); 4 weeks (summer)
  • Cost: $1,485 (est.)/program (in-district); $1,779 (est.)/program (out-of-district)
  • Mode: Partially online
  • Accreditation: HLC (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
36%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
5 Madison Area Technical CollegeMadison, WI Public $ 1

The Nursing Assistant Technical Diploma program at Madison Area Technical College consists of a total of 93 hours of classroom, skills lab, and clinical practice activities. The program is presented in a hybrid/online format where students complete all classroom participation online via Blackboard. Students participate in face-to-face labs and complete clinical practice components in local area healthcare facilities. The program is not self-paced, students must meet strict deadlines for coursework, and 100% attendance is mandatory. Graduates receive a Technical Diploma and are eligible for competency testing for the Wisconsin Nursing Aid Registry. Program start times are available each fall, spring, and summer.

Program Highlights:

Nursing Assistant Technical Diploma

  • Credits: 3
  • Length: 9 to 10 weeks (standard format); 3 to 4 weeks (accelerated format)
  • Cost: $661.05 (est.)/program
  • Mode: Partially online
  • Accreditation: HLC (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
17%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
6 Great Basin CollegeElko, NV Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
18%
AccreditationNorthwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
7 Renton Technical CollegeRenton, WA Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
10%
AccreditationNorthwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

A program that might interest you:

How Online CNA Classes Work

Many certified nursing assistant paths allow students to take part in both online and in-person learning. Most academic coursework tends to exist on a digital learning platform, while clinical and lab work takes place at the physical campus or at a local healthcare facility so learners can gain hands-on skills. Here’s how most online CNA programs work:

Mostly online

These CNA programs and classes have most or all of their coursework and resources available online. Research material, complete exercises, collaborate with professors and peers, etc. However, students will need to visit a campus to complete hands-on work, e.g. clinical/patient activities.

Partially online

These CNA programs and classes have some of their coursework online, but students will mostly work on campus.

Unpacking the CNA Class Online Curriculum

The CNA curriculum covers a wide range of clerical and clinical knowledge and skills in order to prepare students to succeed as CNAs in a variety of medical settings. Before enrolling, learners should get a clear sense of what to expect from a program. Here’s a glimpse at some of the core CNA classes students can take online.

  • CNA classes available online

    Introduction to Basic Care

    An introductory course, students in this class learn about the basics of controlling infections, safely caring for patients, administering treatments under the supervision of qualified medical staff, and ensuring all patients in their charge receive care as needed.

    Nurse Aide Healthcare Skills

    This course introduces learners to fundamental CNA skills, with emphasis on how to communicate with patients and other healthcare providers, OSHA and HIPAA rules, emergency care response, restorative services, mental health principles, cultural sensitivity, safety measures, and the rights of patients.

    Acute Care Nurse Aide Skills

    Students enrolled in this class look at common issues surrounding acute care, such as advanced nurse aide skills, reporting findings to the nursing supervisor, caring for and preparing patients before they go into surgery, taking care of them post-op, and patient rights in acute care settings.

    Nursing Assistant

    With a focus on learning how to assist medical professionals in direct patient care, this course outlines all the responsibilities of a CNA and reviews the types of direct and indirect care a student can administer according to the state board of nursing.

  • CNA classes mostly on campus

    Nurse Aide Clinical Experience

    Building on the skills gained in the nurse aide healthcare skills course, this class – which is usually taught in a local healthcare facility – allows them to put those skills to use in real-world settings. Students follow safety protocols, observe how nurses and doctors communicate with patients, and learn about administrative responsibilities.

    Advanced Nurse Aide Clinical

    Students continue growing their hands-on skills and knowledge in this clinical course, which takes place either on campus or in a medical facility. Learners work under RNs and other medical staff, receive feedback, and take on more responsibilities to test their competencies and grow in confidence.

    Caring for the Elderly

    This clinical course introduces learners to the basics of caring for an aging population. Students develop skills in assisting patients with eating, bathing, dressing, grooming, and using the restroom. They also learn proper techniques for lifting and moving patients in a way that does not harm either body.

    Home Health Aide Clinical

    Designed for individuals who want to work with patients in their home, this class teaches them about shopping for, preparing, and storing nutritious meals, keeping a clean home, managing infections, serving the patient’s social needs, and creating a safe environment.

Earning Certification: The C in CNA

Even if an individual attends the top program in the state, makes perfect grades, and graduates at the top of their class, they cannot practice as a certified nursing assistant unless they successfully pass their state’s required certification exam. Before signing up for the test, read over requirements and common exam topics to feel prepared.

General requirements

All individuals hoping to receive certification as a nursing assistant must attend a state-approved CNA training program that meets specific and individual requirements. Individuals who fail to attend an approved program may not be allowed to sit for the examination.

State-specific requirements

The majority of states maintain similar requirements as other locations, but prospective students should review those specific to their state before beginning the process. While the majority of states require individuals to be 18 when applying, California, for example, allows 16-year-olds with parental consent to begin the training process. Reach out to your state’s board of nursing for further details.

Required documents

When seeking to enroll in a CNA program, applicants must provide proof that they are 18 years of age or older, a high school diploma or GED, results of a physical exam, proof of immunization and tuberculosis test results, a background check, and a valid driving license or identification. Some schools also require first aid/CPR certification.

Content of the exam

Some of the topics covered include the aging process, infection control, safety, anatomy and physiology, ethical/legal issues, nutrition, vital signs, body mechanics, mental health, personal care, client rights, responsibilities of the CNA, communication, range of motion, daily living activities, and medical terminology.

The exam itself

The CNA exam is divided into two parts: written and clinical. Those administering the test ask examinees to demonstrate three to six skills. Some of the options include taking vitals, providing dental care, transferring patients to a bed or chair, rotating their position, giving a partial in-bed bath, providing catheter care, and making a bed while occupied.

Still have questions about the exam? Check out the following section for answers to common queries.

Certification Exam Q&A

After students finish their CNA training program, it’s time to study for and schedule the certification exam. Prometric acts as the overseeing agency for administering the test and provides lots of helpful information for students seeking answers. In addition to the questions answered below, learners can find state-specific information on Prometric’s website.

How much does certification cost?

The cost of the exam depends on the state. In Alabama, for instance, the written exam costs $30 and the clinical exam costs $35. In New York, the written portion costs $57 and the clinical portion costs $68. Some states also charge a test site administration fee. Check with Prometric to get exact costs.

Where do I take the test?

Prometric provides a list of testing centers in individual states so examinees can find the site closest to them. Because test locations can change over time, students should ensure they review the most up-to-date listing available before applying.

What should I bring?

Applicants must wear nonskid, closed toes shoes and are encouraged to wear scrubs to perform clinical tests. Test takers must also bring two forms of identification. The first must be non-expired and include both a photo and a signature. The second must include a signature. The names on both must match.

How many questions are on the test?

The written exam comprises 50 scored and 10 unscored questions. The clinical portion of the exam calls on examinees to perform between three and six skills tests. The exact number is chosen by the examiner based on level of difficulty.

How long does the test take?

The test is divided into two sections, written and clinical. Students can take up to 90 minutes answering questions on the first section, while the clinical portion takes between 30-40 minutes. The total amount depends on the specific skills the examiner asks the test taker to demonstrate proficiency in.

What is a passing score?

States set individual passing scores based on the National Standard Setting Study. Because of this, no overarching passing score exists. Applicants to the exam should speak with their state board of nursing to get a better sense of what’s required of them to receive certification.

When do I get the results?

Results are available at different times, depending on the state you live in. For the majority of locations, individuals receive printed score reports before they leave the testing center. Some states email the results within 48 business hours of the exam, while others must wait up to five days after the exam to receive emailed results.

How Much Are CNA Classes Online?

Before enrolling in online CNA classes, applicants must ensure they can afford to attend. The cost of higher education continues to rise year-on-year, making it difficult for many individuals to pay out of pocket. Every school sets unique price points for their CNA classes online, so degree seekers should spend time familiarizing themselves with the costs of each so they can make an informed decision. Some programs include the application and exam fees required for actually receiving certification as a CNA while others do not. Pay close attention to what the stated amount is used for and whether you might incur additional fees throughout the learning process.

Depending on the type of school, costs can vary considerably. At Middlesex Community College, for example, students pay $1,199. At Manhattan Institute, however, the cost rises to $6,050. These can vary considerably when looking at public community colleges versus for-profit institutions, so pay close attention to the type of school you attend.

Online CNA Classes that Accept Financial Aid

Financial aid can be a great way to pay for your online CNA classes, but students must meet a few stipulations to qualify. These include:

Accreditation

When looking at prospective online CNA training programs, the first step a student should take is to make sure it received accreditation. In addition to receiving approval from the state board of nursing, learners should also find a school that secured national or regional accreditation. The U.S. Department of Education provides the Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs for students to search individual schools. Nursing accreditation bodies do exist, but they do not accredit CNA programs.

Courses for credit

Some schools offer non-credit CNA programs. Steer clear of these, as many financial aid sources do not recognize these schools when providing funding.

CNA examination pass rates

Some financial aid sources are wary of programs with low student examination pass rates as it signals that the school does not adequately prepare learners. If you cannot find pass rates on the institution’s website, reach out to the program administrator and ask for two or three years’ worth of the most recent examination pass rates.

For more information, check our EduMed’s full page on financial aid for medical support.

How Else Can I Pay for Online CNA Classes?

Because paying out of pocket isn’t realistic for many learners, several funding sources exist to help lighten the financial burden and steer students clear of debilitating debt. In addition to reviewing the ways highlighted below, students should check with their state to find out if any additional methods exist.

1. Scholarships. Scholarships can be found through educational institutions, state and local governments, private foundations, nursing facilities, healthcare companies, and other organizations that want to further the work of CNAs. Research both national and local options early as many require submitted applications months in advance of the program start date. Learn more about scholarship opportunities and other valuable resources for CNA students.

2. Loans, subsidized and unsubsidized. The U.S. Department of Education offers a number of subsidized and unsubsidized loans to help cover any portion of an education that the student cannot pay for after exhausting personal income and other funding sources. If possible, seek out a subsidized loan as the government pays the interest on these while the student is enrolled.

3. Veterans benefits. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides a number of educational programs designed to offset costs for those who served in the military. Be sure to review each program carefully to find one that you qualify for and that covers CNA programs.

4. Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act. Overseen by the U.S. Department of Labor, the Workforce Investment Act helps individuals access career training programs that result in the employment of dislocated workers considered low-income. Each state receives funding via the federal government to disburse to qualified individuals.

5. Employer tuition assistance. Under this scheme, individual companies can provide up to $5,250 in tax-free education assistance per year. Individuals interested in taking advantage of this should speak to their employer to find out if such a program exists at the organization.

6. Payment plans. Some schools, such as Middlesex Community College, providetuition installment payment plans so learners can begin their studies even if they cannot pay the full amount at once. MXCC arranges payments into three separate installments, but students should speak to their school to learn about specifics.

Find Top-Rated Online CNA Classes in Popular States

Profiling Online CNA Programs & Classes

Finding the right online CNA classes and programs can improve your ability to find employment, so it’s worth taking time to do your research. We’re featuring three of the most affordable and comprehensive programs with the accreditation you need to begin a rewarding career as a CNA. While most CNA programs only serve the state in which they are located, these three CNA programs with online classes have wider appeal and can give you a sense of what your journey could look like from start to finish.

Forsyth Tech Community College

Middlesex Community College

Manhattan Institute

CNA Salary & Job Growth

According to the latest data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing assistants earned median salaries of $27,510 in 2017. The agency projects that roles for these healthcare professionals will grow by 11% between 2016-2026, with 177,700 new roles being added to the existing 1,564,300 positions. Individuals in the lowest 10% of earners made $20,680 per year, while those in the highest 10% brought home in excess of $38,630 annually. Nursing assistants working in roles funded by the government tend to earn the highest wages – averaging $32,860 per year – while those employed by retirement communities and assisted living facilities earned the lowest at $25,880 each year.

The reason for the growth of nursing assistant positions is multifaceted. In addition to a growing aging population thanks to seniors living longer, individuals who receive care in hospitals, nursing care facilities, ambulatory healthcare, and home healthcare programs also frequently rely on nursing assistants.

Resources for Students Taking CNA Classes Online

After reviewing all the information provided within this guide, some prospective students may still have a few queries about the educational process or what it looks like for job searchers after graduation. Review the resources below and on our dedicated resources page for CNA students for additional information and answers to outstanding questions.