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Top Online CNA Classes in Alabama

A career as a certified nursing assistant in Alabama can be yours with just a few weeks of online classroom instruction. Learn more about college and university programs in the state, and the CNA jobs available once you graduate.

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Author: Holly Riddle
Editor: Kimberly Zaski

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If you’re looking for a comprehensive guide to the online CNA classes Alabama colleges and universities offer, you’re in the right place. A certified nursing assistant career can be rewarding, especially if you are interested in entering the healthcare field, and it’s also a fast track to other healthcare careers. We have all the details you need to get started, including information on online CNA classes in Alabama.

Learn more as we break down the career path step-by-step, so you know what to expect along the way. We’ll show you some of the top online CNA classes in Alabama, and provide key data on the salary you can expect once you graduate, so you can launch your career in an area of Alabama that’s likely to pay you the most.

Ready to get started? You could be just a few weeks or months away from launching a career that improves lives by offering world-class, hands-on care.

Inside Alabama’s Standout Online CNA Classes

While we’re not ranking online CNA classes Alabama colleges and universities offer, we highlight some of our favorite options. These three top picks feature flexibility, affordability, and helpful student resources to get started in your CNA career.

Calhoun Community College

The image displays the logo of Calhoun Community College. It features a stylized blue geometric design to the left and the bold, blue text "Calhoun Community College" to the right.

The six-week Calhoun Community College’s certified nursing assistant program may not be among the fully online CNA classes Alabama schools offer, but it’s flexible, with evening classes at the Huntsville campus. Clinical hours for hands-on experience in a real-life healthcare setting, are also scheduled during evenings.

Tuition is $899, and includes textbook and scrubs. Students must be 18 years old or older to enroll, and a background check, drug screening, and TB skin test are required. Help covering the cost may be available through the school, national CNA scholarships, or student loans.

Once you complete the six-week course, you’ll be prepared to take the state’s nurse aide exam. If you pass the exam, you’ll be automatically listed on the Alabama Nurse Aide Registry and cleared for work as a nurse aide in the state.

Drake State Community & Technical College

Drake State Community & Technical College offers a CNA program that requires six weeks of class work. The school’s hybrid approach mixes on-campus learning with lab work and online classes. Clinical, on-site work is required so students gain crucial, hands-on experience for this career path.

You can apply for the program at 16 years of age, and will be required to submit proof of Basic Life Support (BLS) certification, a negative TB skin test, and Hepatitis Series B immunization.

Program cost is $1,800, and includes books and your nurse aide exam fees. Full payment is required before classes begin. Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act funding may help you cover these costs.

Northwest Shoals Community College

The Northwest Shoals Community College CNA program also features a hybrid format, combining online classes with clinical work in a long-term care setting. Once you complete this 80-hour program, you can take the state-required test for CNA certification.

This program does not require a high school diploma or GED, but you must be at least 18 years old, and show proof of a current negative TB skin test, current CPR certification from the American Heart Association, a clear background check, and negative drug screening.

The program cost is $568 for tuition and fees. You’ll pay additional fees to cover textbooks, drug screening, certification exam, and background check. Expect to pay around $900–$1,000 total for this program.

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How to Become a CNA in Alabama Online

Becoming a CNA in Alabama is relatively straightforward. If you meet the basic background requirements, you can apply for your chosen, state-approved CNA program, take and pass the state’s required examination, and be certified as a CNA.

Step 1: Meet Basic Background Requirements

There are no statewide program requirements. Some programs admit students as young as 16, while others only allow students ages 18 and up. Some programs don’t require a GED or high school diploma, but others do.

Most programs, though not all, require drug testing, a TB test, and proof of CPR certification. A background check is required for clinical work, so you can wait until clinicals begin to order yours.

Step 2: Graduate from an Approved CNA Program

Depending on the CNA program you choose, graduating will require a few weeks of coursework, either in a classroom setting or online, followed by a several weeks of clinical, in-person work in a healthcare setting. You’ll also be tested to ensure you are properly prepared to take the state’s competency and skills exam.

Step 3: Take the National Nurse Aid Assessment Program Competency Examination (NNAAP)

The CNA exam includes a written test to measure your knowledge and skills and a clinical test with a trained evaluator to demonstrate your mastery of specific duties and tasks.

Test services Prometric and Credentia offer the written and skills examinations required by the Alabama Department of Public Health for CNA certification.

Prometric’s exam is $85 and takes about 120 minutes to complete. Score reports are printed the same day and if you pass, you’ll be added to the state’s CNA registry.

Credentia uses the NNAAP exam and costs $135. Your score will be provided within a few hours and if you pass, you’ll be added to the state’s CNA registry.

Step 4: Start Working as a CNA

After you’re on the Alabama Nurse Aide Registry, you can begin working as a CNA. Certified nursing assistants often work in hospitals, nursing homes, or home healthcare settings. Responsibilities are generally the same and include helping patients live their daily life and assisting with tasks that may not be easy for them like grooming, eating, and going to the restroom.

Step 5: Renew Your CNA License Periodically

While Alabama does not issue a certificate or license to CNAs, you must renew your standing on the Alabama Nurse Aide Registry every 24 months. For your registration to be renewed, you must work at least eight paid hours every 24 months for a nursing home, hospital, home health agency, hospice agency, or mental health facility. Work in an assisted living facility, doctor’s office, or private sitting arrangement will not qualify.

Salary and Career Prospects for CNAs in Alabama

Certified nursing assistant jobs are expected to grow as the population ages, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Through 2030, Projections Central predicts a growth rate of about 8.3%, nationwide, with a slightly lower number for Alabama at about 7.3%.

According to the BLS, the median salary for a CNA in Alabama is just over $28,000 per year, slightly lower than the national median salary for CNAs, which is about $38,000.

You can earn more if you live in certain areas of Alabama. For example, the highest median CNA salaries are found in Decatur, at around $30,000. Drake Staste Community & Technical College reports this median salary as the expected earnings for its CNA program graduates.

In addition to geography playing a role in how much nursing assistants are paid, healthcare settings also influence pay. The BLS notes that CNAs are paid most when working in government settings, followed by hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, retirement communities and assisted living facilities, and lastly by home healthcare agencies.

Area10th PercentileMedian90th Percentile
Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville, AL$19,940$24,500$31,830
Auburn-Opelika, AL$27,040$27,040$34,820
Birmingham-Hoover, AL$23,910$28,890$35,850
Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, AL$23,520$28,710$34,140
Decatur, AL$24,430$30,170$35,210
Dothan, AL$22,200$25,180$30,160
Florence-Muscle Shoals, AL$21,950$27,160$33,640
Gadsden, AL$21,680$25,980$33,680
Huntsville, AL$25,180$28,400$36,380
Mobile, AL$23,260$28,000$34,590
Montgomery, AL$23,220$27,500$35,930
Tuscaloosa, AL$21,540$28,300$40,910

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

AreaNew Jobs (2020-2030)Growth RateAvg. Annual Openings
United States115,3008.3%187,000

Source: Projections Central

Answering Your Questions About Online CNA Classes in Alabama

CNA programs may differ in cost, time required, modality (online, in-person, or hybrid), prerequisites, and more. Here are a few questions and answers to keep in mind as you move forward.

Are there 2-week CNA classes online in Alabama?

Yes! While two weeks is on the short side to complete a CNA program, it is possible. In Mobile, Alabama, Taite Healthcare Training offers a two-week CNA program for $600. In Mobile and Spanish Fort, Saad Healthcare also offers a two-week program, for $850.

Are there free CNA classes in Alabama?

In some instances, yes. However, do note that often free CNA programs come with the stipulation that, if you pass the program, you then work for the provider. For example, the Huntsville Hospital offered such a program in 2021 to fill high CNA demand in the region. Huntsville Health and Rehabilitation has done the same, offering free CNA training for incoming employees.

Can you take the CNA test without classes in Alabama?

No, you must complete a state-approved nurse aide training program within the last two years to take the CNA test and be added to the Alabama CNA registry.

How long is CNA training in Alabama?

Program length depends on the CNA program you choose, but most are completed in about four to six weeks. Most of the weeks focus on classroom education (online, in-person, or hybrid) with the latter portion of the program for in-person clinical work.

What are the technical requirements of online Alabama CNA classes?

Most CNA classes require no special technical capabilities, so as long as you have a laptop with a stable, high-speed internet connection, you’ll be able to log in to your classes and complete all online assignments.

What topics are covered in Alabama CNA classes?

It depends on the program you choose. For example, the CNA program at the University of West Alabama includes course work on communication, body mechanics, disease control, safety, aging, and patient abuse. Meanwhile, the program at Jefferson State Community College covers communication, safety, body mechanics, aging, disease, and death and dying.