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Best Online CNA Classes in Colorado

Ready to become a CNA in Colorado? Learn all you can about online CNA classes with this handy guide.

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Author: Shannon Lee
Editor: Mikalee Byerman

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A panoramic view of snow-covered Maroon Bells mountain peaks in Colorado, illuminated by the golden light of sunrise. The foreground features lush green forests and a valley leading up to the towering, rugged mountains against a clear blue sky.

Are you interested in exploring a healthcare career? Becoming a certified nursing assistant, or CNA, is a practical way to start. But keep in mind that any position in allied health that puts you in direct contact with patients requires specialized skills and training.

Getting that training often begins with online CNA classes; Colorado has plenty of them, all approved by the Colorado Department of Nursing. Once this basic nursing aide training is complete, you’ll sit for the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) Exam, which provides you with the credentials necessary to find work as a CNA.

One of the biggest perks of this program is time: It can be completed in as little as a month, but those weeks of training can launch a career that brings you a great deal of satisfaction — not to mention job security and decent income. Read on to learn more about the online CNA classes Colorado has to offer, what you need to know about getting certified, and what you can expect after you graduate and earn your certification.

Inside a Standout Online CNA Class in Colorado

If you’re looking for online CNA classes, Colorado delivers. These classes provide strong flexibility for students who have plenty of life to juggle, including work, family, and social obligations. Below, we’ve highlighted a school with a look at learning outcomes, admissions requirements, costs, and more to help you make an informed decision about what is right for you.

Interested in searching for even more program options — in Colorado and beyond? Review this list of best online CNA classes and programs.

Technical College of the Rockies

Logo of Technical College of the Rockies. The logo features the letters "TCR" in front of a stylized mountain range. The text "TECHNICAL COLLEGE OF THE ROCKIES" is displayed to the right of the mountains. The image has a white background.

Technical College of the Rockies offers one of the standout online CNA classes in Colorado, a 113-hour Nurse Aide program delivered in eight weeks of hybrid learning. You won’t qualify for federal financial aid when taking the 5.5-credit class, but scholarships and other financial assistance options are available for those who need help. Students can choose between in-person classes or the blended option, but the clinical hours will be completed in a long-term care facility near the college.

Admission requires presenting a photo ID and transcripts from any other schools attended (including high school), a background check, proof of all immunizations, and a completed application. Students will also be required to attend an orientation at the start of the program. The class costs $1,581, not including assessment and state testing fees, books, and supplies.

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How to Become a CNA in Colorado Online

If you’re researching how to become a CNA and you want to work in Colorado, you’ll find that the requirements tend to be very similar to those in other states. The most important part of the process is to identify online CNA classes Colorado has approved through its Board of Nursing and passing the CNA exam to earn your credentials. You’ll also need a solid foundation in communication skills, as this will be a key part of your role. Here’s what else you can expect of the requirements you’ll face as you work to become a CNA.

Step 1: Meet Basic Background Requirements

Every CNA program begins with the basics. To take online CNA classes, Colorado residents must be at least 18 years of age; some programs allow students who are 16-18 if they have permission from a parent or guardian to enter the program. Most classes require you to have a GED or high school diploma, pass a background check, and pass a physical examination. Typically, students must also be fully vaccinated to begin programs.

Step 2: Graduate from an Approved CNA Program

When you begin online CNA classes in Colorado, you’ll be completing a minimum number of hours of instruction based on state or federal requirements. Federal law requires that those in a training program have no less than 75 hours of clock training as well as at least 16 hours of supervised practical training.

It’s very important to find a program that has been approved by the Colorado Board of Nursing; a program without this approval might not be accepted by employers and certainly won’t be accepted as previous training if you choose to pursue a higher credential or a degree in allied health.

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

The NNAAP exam is issued through Credentia, a program that will allow you to register online, read through the registration handbook, schedule and take the exam, and get your scores all in one convenient place. There is a written examination for a cost of $85, as well as a skills evaluation for $50.

There are several locations at which you can take the exam, but you can also choose online proctoring and complete the written portion of the exam from the comfort of home. You can take the examination three times; if you don’t pass it after three times, you must go through training again.

Step 4: Start Working as a CNA

Numerous facilities in Colorado are looking for CNAs to assist patients and residents. From nursing homes to hospitals, health care clinics, outpatient clinics, home health care, and more, CNA roles are often readily available. Your job will be to provide support to nurses and other medical professionals in those settings, providing basic hands-on care to patients. The specific work will depend upon the facility and the expectations of CNAs in that atmosphere.

Step 5: Renew Your CNA License Periodically

To renew your CNA license in Colorado, you must perform 12 hours of in-service work each year and pursue paid nursing aide work every 24 months. Renewal is through the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies. A CNA is eligible to renew their license during the four-to-six-week window before their registration expires.

Salary and Career Prospects for CNAs in Colorado

The charts below illustrate that graduates from online CNA classes in Colorado schools will find a great number of openings where they can begin their new career. You’ll notice that in Colorado, demand for CNAs is expected to grow by over 25% each year, compared to the 8.3% growth anticipated across the rest of the country. As the population continues to age and more patients live longer, the demand for CNAs is expected to continue to rise.

The income of most Colorado CNAs is on a par with or slightly higher than the median in the United States. In fact, the median income for CNAs in the U.S. is $35,760, but those who live in Colorado can expect a slightly higher salary at an average of $37,470. Those who work in larger metro areas can expect even greater income, such as those in Boulder, who make a median of $40,180.

The following charts provide information on what to expect for your upcoming career and the income you might expect to bring home. Remember that those in rural areas might make less than the median, and those who are just starting out are more likely to fall in the 10th percentile. The more experience you earn as you work, the more money you will likely make.

And keep in mind that once you earn your CNA license, you’ve opened the door to pursue higher levels in allied health, such as entering a CNA to LPN program.

Area10th PercentileMedian90th Percentile
U.S.$28,030$35,760$45,940
Colorado$32,610$37,470$45,440
Boulder, CO$33,650$40,180$48,500
Colorado Springs, CO$32,500$36,240$44,470
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO$34,260$38,270$46,660
Fort Collins, CO$32,740$37,110$43,710
Grand Junction, CO$30,630$35,220$39,340
Greeley, CO$30,760$36,160$43,480
Pueblo, CO$31,110$35,960$41,700

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

AreaNew Jobs (2020-2030)Growth RateAvg. Annual Openings
United States115,3008.3%187,000
Colorado5,69025.1%3,180

Source: Projections Central

Answering Your Questions About Online CNA Classes in Colorado

If you’re ready to begin your online journey to become a CNA, you likely still have questions. Here we answer many of those questions with solid information that can help you make an informed decision on your future career path.

Are there free CNA training programs in Colorado?

In most cases, CNA classes in Colorado are available to students who pay a set tuition. However, there are programs that offer free or very low-cost training, such as Cross Purpose, anon-profit workforce development agency. Specific to this program, you’ll start with a three-week personal mindset and professional development training, then launch into CNA classes. But even if you find a program has a set tuition, that might not be your bottom line — tuition assistance may be available to those who qualify.

Are online CNA classes in Colorado accredited/approved?

When looking for the right classes for you, make sure the program is approved by the Colorado Department of Nursing. Programs without this approval do not meet predetermined standards; as a result, spending time in a non-approved CNA class could result in a loss of time and money as you will be unable to complete your licensure and you’ll be ineligible for hire in Colorado.

Do online CNA classes in Colorado offer financial aid?

Typical forms of financial aid from the federal government focus on degrees; therefore, those who pursue certification through CNA classes will not be eligible for traditional financial aid. However, many schools offer scholarships and financial assistance programs. It’s also possible to get financial help from a future employer who is willing to pay for the courses in exchange for your promise to work for them for a certain amount of time.

How long does it take to become a CNA in Colorado?

In most cases, CNA programs last a few months. For instance, Front Range Community College ensures students will earn their CNA within one semester. During that time, you will receive the online education you need to pass the written portion of the licensing exam, as well as the hands-on training you need to pass the skills test. In some cases, a CNA program can take as little as four weeks to complete. Interested in other ways of fast-tracking your healthcare career? Here are eight healthcare certificates you can earn fast.

How much does a CNA class cost in Colorado?

The cost of online CNA classes in Colorado depends upon the school, how many credits are required, and how much tuition assistance or financial aid you might receive. The school you choose might require a lump sum payment at the start of the program or might break the fee up into installments. Payment plans that allow a student to make partial and equal payments throughout the program tend to be quite popular. Typical costs for CNA classes range from $500 to $1,500 or more.

What technology or software do Colorado CNA classes require?

In most cases, an up-to-date computer and basic software will be enough to begin your CNA classes. Because online CNA classes in Colorado use learning management systems like Canvas or Blackboard, your computer will have to be able to handle the requirements for those programs. Speak to the school before you enroll to be certain the technology at your fingertips is suitable for completing the coursework. And whatever technology you’ll use to access your classroom materials, follow these tips for ideas to stay connected as an online student.