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Best Online CNA Classes in Arkansas

Online CNA programs offer flexibility, and most are fast and inexpensive to complete. Once you are done, you can take the state CNA exam and start your new journey in this career field.

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A woman in a kayak paddles down a serene river, surrounded by lush green trees under a clear blue sky. she holds a red paddle and wears a hat.

Whether you’re a recent high school graduate fueled by a passion for helping others or someone looking for a fulfilling career change, the decision to pursue Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) training could be the first step toward a rewarding new profession. Becoming a CNA may be the right educational path for people in Arkansas who want to make a difference in the diverse lives of their patients.

With many options available, finding the perfect online CNA classes in Arkansas can be daunting. This guide will help you navigate the maze of choices. From flexible schedules to a comprehensive curriculum with few courses, we’ll explore the top online CNA programs in Arkansas.

Inside Arkansas’s Standout Online CNA Classes

As it is an ideal entry-level position in modern healthcare, many online CNA classes in Arkansas make it quick and easy to complete a certification, often at a fraction of the cost of other healthcare degrees. The three universities below offer strong options for anyone pursuing the CNA path in Arkansas.

Arkansas State University – Mountain Home

Arkansas State University – Mountain Home (ASUMH) offers online CNA classes that only take seven credit hours to complete. That’s equivalent to one semester at a university. You’ll need to earn a “C” or better in order to pass the course. Upon completion, you’ll earn a Certificate of Proficiency, which qualifies you to take the Arkansas Nurse Aide Competency Evaluation.

Students pay an inexpensive $109 per credit hour. Since the program takes seven credit hours to complete, you’ll pay $763 to complete your course.

This course is meant to help students build on their healthcare knowledge and pursue further degrees in the healthcare industry. Arkansas State University recommends other degrees to go along with the CNA course. These include phlebotomy, professional medical coding, and pre-nursing.

Black River Technical College

This tech college offers multiple enrollment periods for its CNA program. After passing an entrance exam, students can sign-up for five-week or eight-week courses depending on the date they’re enrolling. Summer and spring registrations include five-week classes, while fall courses are eight weeks.

Students who graduate earn a Certificate of Proficiency in phlebotomy and as a nursing assistant, meaning students can work in a variety of healthcare areas. Students who receive these certificates also qualify for a Certificate in Proficiency for Patient Care Tech.

With these certifications, students have the skills needed to work for hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies, labs, and other medical facilities. Plus, Arkansas graduates will be eligible to apply for the state CNA exam, which students must complete within 12 months after they graduate.

Philander Smith University

Logo of Philander Smith University featuring a green and gold design with a small chapel icon on the left and the university name in bold text on the right. A horizontal gold line underlines "Philander" and separates it from "Smith University" below.

Philander Smith University offers a CNA program that is approved by the Arkansas Department of Human Services’ Office of Long-Term Care. The program costs $495 per credit hour, which is more expensive than others in Arkansas but also is affordable in comparison to tuition at many universities.

Gaining acceptance into the program is relatively simple. Students must be at least 18, have a high school diploma or GED, be able to lift at least 50 pounds, and meet the rest of the general requirements of Philander Smith.

To graduate from the program, students need to meet several requirements. The coursework portion of the training is about 74 hours, equal to 19 class days. The necessary clinical work takes 16 hours.

Graduates who complete the necessary coursework and clinical hours receive a Certificate of Completion, qualifying them to take the state exam to become a Certified Nursing Assistant in Arkansas.

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How to Become a CNA in Arkansas Online

Becoming a CNA in Arkansas is a quick process compared to other lengthy healthcare paths. Before they can search for a job, students need to take online CNA classes in Arkansas and eventually perform an exam to obtain their license.

Step 1: Meet Basic Background Requirements

The first step to becoming a CNA in Arkansas is to meet some basic and minimal qualifications: You need to be at least 18 years old and you must be able to pass a background check.

A thorough background check is required since CNAs work directly with patients from a variety of different backgrounds. CNA courses and programs may require their own set of background checks or other basic requirements.

Step 2: Graduate from an Approved CNA Program

To be eligible for the CNA exam, you must complete an approved CNA program, either in-person or online. Look for a stamp of approval from the Arkansas Department of Human Services or other government agency on your final certificate. You won’t be able to sit for your exam if your program was unaccredited.

The three online CNA classes in Arkansas we mentioned above are all approved programs that prepare graduates to be eligible for the state’s CNA exam.

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

The NNAAP is a necessary exam that gives you a right to practice as a CNA. The exam includes both written and oral sections, plus a skills demonstration portion. If you pass, your name is added to the Arkansas nurse aide registry and you can start practicing as a CNA.

When preparing for the test, practice tests will be immensely helpful. Additionally, you should purchase an NNAAP test prep book and carefully study it. You can also join study groups online or through your CNA program to help prepare you for the final exam.

Step 4: Start Working as a CNA

In Arkansas, CNAs work at a range of medical facilities including hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living centers, rehabilitation centers, and even private homes. Within these settings, CNAs assist nurses and other medical professionals with patient care and a variety of responsibilities. From helping patients with bathing, dressing, and grooming to ensuring they can move around safely, CNAs offer physical and emotional assistance.

CNAs also do basic tasks such as monitoring and recording vital signs such as blood pressure and pulse. They also alert healthcare teams to any changes in a patient’s condition. Assisting with feeding, bathroom use, and maintaining a clean and sanitary environment are also typical roles for a CNA.

Step 5: Renew Your CNA License Periodically

In Arkansas, your CNA license is good for 24 months before you must renew it. Renewing your license is vital, because you aren’t eligible to keep your job as a CNA without your license being active. Your employer relies on you to regularly renew your license.

Salary and Career Prospects for CNAs in Arkansas

In Arkansas, CNAs are paid an average of $29,190, low compared to the U.S. median of $35,760. However, CNAs in Little Rock, North Little Rock, and Conway beat the state’s median salaries at $30,960. People working in Fayetteville or Springdale can expect even more, with a median salary of $31,140.

Although salary expectations for Arkansas CNAs are lower than in other parts of the country, they can expect their job prospects to be higher. This is because Arkansas beats out the U.S. median CNA job growth rate of 8.3% with a slightly higher rate of 8.8%. On average, there are 2,480 CNA positions open in Arkansas annually.

Location10th PercentileMedian90th Percentile
US$28,030$35,760$45,940
Arkansas$25,390$29,190$34,770
Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO$25,710$31,140$35,620
Fort Smith, AR-OK$24,780$29,240$34,530
Hot Springs, AR$25,790$28,490$33,290
Jonesboro, AR$24,640$29,320$36,440
Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR$28,070$30,960$34,860
Pine Bluff, AR$24,980$28,150$33,860

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

AreaNew Jobs (2020-2030)Growth RateAvg. Annual Openings
United States115,3008.3%187,000
Arkansas1,6208.8%2,480

Source: Projections Central

Answering Your Questions About Online CNA Classes in Arkansas

Although becoming a CNA is fairly straightforward, each university is a bit different in the courses they offer and the financial aid or scholarships you can get. If you have any lingering questions about taking online CNA classes in Arkansas, here are some of the most commonly asked questions.

Are there free CNA classes in Arkansas?

If you qualify for its programs, you can take CNA classes for free in Arkansas at all five of the state’s Human Development Centers, located in Arkadelphia, Booneville, Conway, Jonesboro, and Warren.

Human Development Centers in Arkansas work with people who have developmental and intellectual disabilities. To qualify for free training, you’ll need to be a new hire in a direct care position at one of these facilities. This includes helping patients with personal care, daily activities, and recreational activities.

Can you take the CNA test without classes in Arkansas?

No, you cannot take the CNA test without completing a program. Prior to October 1st, 1990, this was a possibility, but you’ll now need to complete the courses regardless of whether or not you were employed as a CNA before this policy was put in place.

How do I get my CNA license in AR?

Getting your CNA license in Arkansas involves completing the necessary coursework from one of the programs above or others throughout the state. Once you’ve completed one of these programs, you’ll receive a certificate that qualifies you to take the state’s licensing exam, which you often must finish within a year after graduating.

How long is CNA school in Arkansas?

In Arkansas, the length of CNA education depends on the training program you attend. Some programs are just a few hours while others are much longer and have an in-person training component. By law, your training is technically required to last at least 75 hours.

Is it possible to complete a 2-week CNA class online?

Yes, it’s possible to complete a single CNA course online within a few weeks. There are even some CNA programs that consist of a single course that is only a few hours long. For example, the University of Arkansas offers a course that students can complete in seven hours.

What’s the fastest you can become a CNA?

There’s no exact time frame for a CNA program. Different universities require different hourly commitments, both online and within internship requirements. The University of Arkansas has one of the shortest CNA courses in the state, and at just seven hours it will take you a single semester to complete.