If you’re considering a career in healthcare, working as a CNA offers a fulfilling peek into the practice of patient care. Take CNA classes in Arizona, whether online or on-campus, and you’ll learn to provide basic healthcare services to ensure patients at hospitals and long-term care facilities have their core needs met, from professional intake procedures to compassionate hygienic care.
If you have a busy schedule, you can choose online or partially online CNA classes in Arizona, which will give you more flexibility. On-campus learning will allow you to interact more with classmates and instructors, but you’ll have less flexibility.
When you graduate and become a certified nursing assistant, you’ll join an in-demand career path that can serve as a starting point for more advanced healthcare positions.
This guide will help you understand state nursing assistant requirements and find the best accredited CNA programs in Arizona as you take your first step toward a career as a nursing assistant. You’ll learn how much classes cost, how much time it takes to complete a course, and get a better idea of your job prospects after graduation.
Top CNA Classes in Arizona (AZ)
CNA classes in Arizona provide the patient care skills and training you’ll need to assist with essential daily needs such as mealtime, bathing, and checking vital signs. As a nursing assistant student, you’ll learn patient communication techniques and the fundamentals of effective care while receiving thorough clinical training.
With so many nursing assistant programs available in Arizona, aspiring CNAs might find it overwhelming to choose the best program for their needs. To help you consider your options, we’re highlighting the most affordable and comprehensive programs with Arizona State Board of Nursing approval. From online and hybrid programs to entirely in-person training, these three programs stand out as some of the best CNA programs in Arizona in 2023.
Eastern Arizona College
Eastern Arizona College’s Nursing Assistant Certificate provides several online CNA class options for students’ convenience. With more than 16 credit hours of study, including 40 clock hours in a clinical setting, students gain the knowledge and skills to deliver essential patient care. Students can complete the program in as little as one semester and be well prepared to take the state board of nursing assistant exam.
Nursing assistant students at EAC receive the necessary instruction and experience to assist patients with their routine healthcare needs. The required coursework provides training in universal precautions in the professional field, accurate data collection in clinical settings, and guidelines for conforming to HIPAA confidentiality standards.
Core classes in healthcare concepts and skills, medical terminology, math for medications, and medical dosage are all available online, allowing students to complete some of their studies on their own schedules. However, 40 hours of work in a clinical setting (20 of those in a skilled nursing facility) must be completed in person. EAC’s nursing assistant program is approved by the Arizona State Board of Nursing, and EAC’s average nursing assistant examination pass rates are 89% on the written exam and 85% on the skills exam.
Mesa Community College
With Mesa Community College’s Nurse Assisting program, students can become CNAs after just six weeks of study. After completing the required classroom instruction and clinical laboratory practice, students can take the nursing assistant exam through the Arizona State Board of Nursing. Graduates can anticipate careers aiding patients with daily living activities, bedside care, and basic hygiene procedures in healthcare settings such as nursing homes and hospitals.
This program stands out for its scheduling flexibility and ability to accommodate students who are balancing the demands of their current employment and personal obligations. All CNA program courses take place on MCC’s Red Mountain Campus in Mesa, Arizona. Students can choose from morning and evening weekday or weekend courses during the spring, summer, and fall semesters. For students with previous direct patient care experience, there’s also a fast-track advanced placement study option.
MCC students gain expertise in the safe performance of nurse assistant skills, effective patient communication, and managing information confidentially and ethically. MCC’s Certificate of Completion in Nurse Assisting is approved by the Arizona State Board of Nursing and has an 87% pass rate on the written exam and an 88% pass rate on the skills exam.
Northland Pioneer College
Northland Pioneer College’s Nursing Assistant training program prepares graduates for careers in nursing and residential care facilities or hospitals as CNAs. To give students the maximum opportunity for flexible study, mandatory lecture portions of the program are offered in interactive video or face-to-face formats.
Plus, students can fulfill their hands-on lab training hours on the Show Low, Snowflake/Taylor, or Winslow campuses or at the Whiteriver or Springerville centers. Once studies are completed, students can take the Arizona State Board of Nursing examination to become certified nursing assistants.
Students seeking federal financial aid may expand their course enrollment with additional classes and earn a Nursing Assistant Certificate of Proficiency. This extended education track includes studies in English, Law & Ethics of the Health Care Professional, Nutrition, and Medical Terminology, and the core nurse assisting course.
The NPC Nursing Assistant program is approved by the Arizona State Board of Nursing. On average, graduates of NPC receive first-time pass rates of 85% on the written and 82% on the skills portions of the nursing assistant examination.
FAQs About CNA Classes and Training in AZ
How Much Do CNA Classes Cost in Arizona?
CNA programs in Arizona are generally very affordable. To make enrollment even more approachable for prospective students, many schools provide the option to pay tuition in multiple installments.
Students can expect the typical costs of becoming a CNA to include course tuition, required textbooks, and necessary supplies such as nursing scrubs.
To help you understand what you can expect to pay, we’ve featured tuition costs at three schools with CNA classes in Arizona approved by the State Board of Nursing.
Arizona Medical Training Institute
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) or Licensed Nursing Assistant (LNA)
Total Credits: 126 hours
Arizona Western College
Total Credits: 5
Paradise Valley Community College
Total Credits: 4.5
Do CNA Classes Accept Financial Aid?
When it comes to paying for CNA programs in Arizona, you have several options. Because many accelerated CNA programs are classified as vocational training and not secondary education, they are not eligible for federal financial aid funds. However, students enrolled in nursing assistant programs can usually receive private or school-based grants, student loans, scholarships, and some federal and state grants.
To increase your chances of receiving financial aid, there are a few key features to look for as you choose a CNA program:
Approval by a qualifying nursing authority.
Professional certifications in healthcare are closely regulated, and whichever program you choose should be approved by the Arizona State Board of Nursing. This approval ensures that your chosen course fulfills the core educational obligations and minimum required hours of instruction to become a nursing assistant.
Courses for credit. Non-credit courses do not qualify for financial aid.
Depending on which of the CNA programs in Arizona you choose, courses may or may not earn traditional college credits. Typically, non-credit CNA courses will not qualify for financial aid. However, some schools offer an expanded educational offering with additional classes for students receiving federal financial assistance, like Northland Pioneer College’s Nursing Assistant Certificate of Proficiency (CP).
You can learn more about how to pay for your CNA classes in Arizona in our CNA scholarships guide and main financial aid guide.
How Else Can I Pay for CNA Classes in Arizona?
Even though CNA assistant programs are quite affordable and can be completed quickly, the tuition and related expenses might present an obstacle for some students. If you need assistance to pay for CNA programs in Arizona, there are several ways to pursue additional funds toward your education.
Several Arizona-based scholarship programs welcome CNA students as applicants. The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona offers a one-time grant to individuals pursuing training toward a vocational certification. The Association for Career Technical Education of Arizona awards scholarships to students enrolled in career and technical education programs. Additionally, specific schools may provide individual needs-based scholarships.
2. Loans, subsidized and unsubsidized
While many CNA programs in Arizona are not eligible for federal financial aid, other loan options are still available to nursing assistant students. Some schools, like Arizona Medical Training Institute, have partnered with financial institutions to offer private student loans to nursing assistant students. You may also be able to obtain an independent private student loan from a local or online bank.
3. Workforce Investment Act
The Workforce Investment Act training grant is a federal program funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, which provides approved participants with tuition assistance for qualifying professional training programs. The Arizona Department of Economic Security maintains up-to-date information on available programs.
4. Employer tuition assistance
To meet Arizona’s growing demand for professionals in the field of nursing assistance, many employers will include tuition reimbursement as a benefit for new CNA recruits and hires. If you already work in a healthcare setting, you may be able to receive funds from your current employer toward CNA program tuition.
5. Payment plans
Recognizing that students may need more choices for paying their tuition in full, several schools have developed flexible payment plans. For example, Sumner College offers interest-free payment plans to nursing assistant students.
6. Arizona Health Care Association Funds
Arizona invests in nursing professionals and caregiver training. The state set aside fund for recruiting, training, and employing CNAs in the state’s skilled nursing facilities and assisted living centers. Consult the AHCA Works site for details.
How Long Do CNA Classes in Arizona Take to Finish
Nursing assistant curriculums cover a range of skills to prepare students for success in diverse medical settings. CNAs must learn clinical care competencies, such as patient grooming and changing bed sheets, clerical skills, and patient intake procedures.
Schools range in the amount of time it takes to accomplish adequate training. For example, Sumner College completes nursing assistant education in one month, while Cochise College’s CNA program takes one semester.
In Arizona, Can You Take CNA Classes Online?
All CNA programs in Arizona combine academic lectures and practical labs with on-site clinical experience. Though Arizonan students might be able to complete part or all of the educational requirements of a CNA program online, it is necessary to meet the required clinical hours in person. Here’s a closer look at the three main ways Arizona’s certified nursing assistant programs work:
These online CNA classes in Arizona offer most or all core academic instruction online. Whether attending a lecture, collaborating with other students, or checking in with a professor, it’s not necessary to physically attend a class on campus to complete these portions of a CNA program. However, students must still visit a campus or healthcare facility to complete hands-on work such as clinical activities.
In partially online CNA programs, Arizonan students can expect classes to require at least some coursework to be completed online. Though specific research materials, testing, or pre-recorded lecture material may be available online, most of the required coursework will be completed on-campus and in person.
These CNA classes in Arizona take place entirely on campus. Though in-person classes don’t offer the complete flexibility offered by using online CNA classes, many schools plan for various class cohorts to meet at different times of day, on different days of the week, or on weekends, so students can find a time slot that meets their scheduling needs.
How to Become a CNA in Arizona
To become a CNA in Arizona, you must transfer your license from another state or undergo training for new nursing assistants. If you’ve never worked as a CNA before, you’ll need to complete a CNA program approved by the Arizona State Board of Nursing before successfully passing the Arizona nursing assistant exam.
Step 1. Complete a nursing assistant program approved by the Arizona State Board of Nursing
Approved CNA programs in Arizona consist of lectures, lab training, and on-site clinicals. Each program takes at least 120 hours to complete, which can be accomplished in as little as one month or as long as one semester. You may also need to meet additional individual program requirements; many schools require a criminal background check, Arizona DPS Fingerprint Clearance Card, CPR certification, proof of immunization, or drug testing.
Step 2. Apply to take the state nursing assistant exam
D&S Diversified Technologies is the provider of the Arizona State CNA exam. To register for the test, you must provide D&S with a physical exam application, proof of completion at an approved nurse assistant training program, and evidence of legal residence in the United States. Test fees of $130 to $140 also apply.
Step 3. Pass a knowledge and skills examination
The nursing assistant exam is divided into two sections: knowledge and skills competency. Students may complete the knowledge portion of the exam in written or oral form. Once they’ve successfully passed the exam, their names are placed on the CNA registry, and they receive an original CNA certificate from the state of Arizona.
Salary & Job Growth for Certified Nursing Assistants in AZ
As Arizona’s population ages, and the need for long-term medical care facilities increases, CNAs can look forward to an expanding job market in the coming years. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the demand for nursing assistants in Arizona is expected to grow by 39.2% by 2030.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that nursing assistants in Arizona earn a median hourly wage of $16.64. That’s slightly higher than the median hourly wage of $14.57 for all U.S. nursing assistants. Plus, on average, Arizona’s nursing assistants earn $34,610 per year, which is just a bit higher than the national average of $33,250.
Within the state, nursing assistants in the Prescott metropolitan area earn the largest average yearly salaries of $35,620, while those in Yuma earn the smallest average wages of $31,620 annually.
Arizona CNA Student and Professional Resources
D&S Diversified Technologies Arizona CNA Testing
National Association of Health Care Assistants
Prometric Nurse Aide Practice Exams
Arizona State Board of Nursing: Apply for a License