CNAs are tasked with the important responsibility of providing basic care for patients in long-term care facilities and other healthcare settings. Becoming a CNA is a great way to enter the healthcare field quickly while leaving the door open for further career advancement in nursing down the road.
To become a CNA in Connecticut, you must take classes from a program approved by the Connecticut Department of Public Health. Many CNA classes in CT are offered by community colleges and vocational schools and take as little as one month to complete. For added convenience, there are even some online CNA classes in CT, though students still need to complete their labs and clinical components in person.
This guide can help you find a state-approved CNA training program in CT and learn more about what it takes to become certified after your training program. You’ll also get answers to key questions about costs and coursework, get details on the job market for CNAs in CT, and much more.
Best CNA Classes and Training Programs in CT
If you’re considering becoming a CNA in Connecticut, there are many state-approved programs to choose from. To help with your school search, we’ve identified three standout schools in terms of affordability, student support services, and learning options. These are accredited schools with state-approved CNA programs, and they offer some of the best CNA classes in CT for 2022.
The Certified Nursing Assistant program at the American Institute of Healthcare & Technology lasts six to eight weeks and makes becoming a CNA as convenient as possible with classes available for day or night enrollment for ease of scheduling. This CNA program prepares students for entry-level positions where they assist nurses and other healthcare workers in direct patient care.
Students earn their clinical training hours through clinical externships that not only help them receive the education necessary to become licensed but also forge professional connections to aid in their post-graduate job search. Students begin their externships after completing all their classroom and lab hours. Graduates take the Connecticut Prometric Nurse Aide License Exam and receive their licenses through the Connecticut Department of Health.
Stone Academy’s Certified Nurse’s Aide training program stands out when it comes to flexible learning schedules for prospective CNAs. The 125-hour program is available in both accelerated and traditional formats, and students can graduate in 4-16 weeks. Working full time and meeting other responsibilities is made easier through Stone Academy’s day, night, and weekend class options.
Stone Academy is also affordable. In fact, the school markets itself as the least expensive nurse’s aide training program in the entire state. For added convenience, Stone Academy students can take the official CNA licensing exam on Stone Academy’s campus. Graduates leave with a strong professional network to help them find employment, and Stone boasts more than 400 CNAs employed since 2012.
Online learning is the future of college education, and Manchester Community College’s Certified Nurse Aide Certification program demonstrates that reality. Students take their five lab courses on campus, but their classroom lectures can be completed online. Classes are offered asynchronously and require about 10 hours each week with assignments due weekly. In-person clinical training takes place over four weekends at HaborChase in South Windsor.
Manchester’s CNA program is offered in an accelerated format that allows students to graduate in just six weeks, after which they can sit for the Connecticut CNA licensing exam. This exam fee is included in the overall program cost. Students must receive at least a 70 in the program and attend all labs and clinical sessions to graduate.
FAQs About CNA Classes and Training in CT
How much do CNA classes cost in Connecticut?
CNA Classes in CT are affordable, and many schools offer plans where students can pay for their programs in weekly payments. The schools listed below give you an idea of what you can expect to pay to complete the CNA education requirements in Connecticut.
Can I get financial aid for my CNA classes in CT?
There are a variety of options to help pay for CNA classes in CT. Most of these are grants, scholarships, and student loans generally be available to students who attend an accredited institution approved by the Connecticut Department of Public Health. Grants and scholarships are typically offered by the schools themselves or private nonprofit organizations and corporations. Student loans are offered by private financial institutions, though you can also get them from the federal government.
Find out more about how to pay for your CNA education in our CNA scholarships guide and main financial aid guide.
How long do CNA classes in Connecticut take to finish?
Connecticut requires CNAs to complete at least 100 hours of classroom and clinical instruction. Most CNA classes in CT consist of 108 to 120 hours of instruction and are usually delivered in two formats. The accelerated academic track allows full-time students to complete their academic training in four to six weeks. The traditional pathway takes about 12 weeks. Some schools offer one or the other, but a few, like Quinebaug Valley Community College, offer both the traditional and accelerated formats.
Inside Look at Online CNA Classes in CT
Given the hands-on nature of CNA work, there are no 100% online CNA classes in CT. However, some programs offer hybrid CNA programs with part of the curriculum offered through remote learning and the rest completed in person. For example, at Manchester Community College and Middlesex Community College students can complete the lecture portions of the curriculum online while labs and clinicals must be completed in-person at approved nursing facilities.
If you’re interested in enrolling in online CNA classes in Connecticut and want to learn more about them, see our main guide to online CNA classes.
How to Become a CNA in CT
There are seven routes to becoming a CNA in Connecticut. However, individuals with no prior CNA or nurse training will use the New Nurse Aide (Route 1) process. This route consists of two primary components: completing a nurse’s aide training program that’s been approved by the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) and passing the Connecticut nurse’s aide exam administered by Prometric. The following is a step-by-step walkthrough of that process.
Complete a CNA training program approved by the Connecticut DPH
Most approved CNA programs in Connecticut consist of at least 108 hours of instruction and take four to 12 weeks. The training consists of in-class lectures, on-campus skills training (often referred to as labs or clinicals), and off-site clinicals.
Apply to take the Connecticut Nurse Aide Exam
Applicants must complete a written application and send it to Prometric. Part of it needs to be completed by an instructor from the applicant’s Connecticut DPH-approved CNA program. If this isn’t possible, the applicant must provide a copy of the certificate of completion from the approved CNA program. There’s a fee of $118 to take the exam.
Take and pass the CNA certification exam
This certification exam is administered by Prometric and consists of two parts. The written section lasts 90 minutes, and the in-person skills assessment takes 30 to 40 minutes. Both portions of the CNA exam must be completed at a Prometric-approved testing center. This exam must be passed within 24 months of completing a DPH-approved CNA training program.
Meet other basic requirements
While not a formal part of the CNA licensing process, prospective CNAs must also pass a criminal background check and meet specific medical requirements, such as receiving certain vaccines.
Keep a current CNA license
Connecticut requires its certified nurse’s aides to recertify every two years, but there is no fee to renew the license. The recertification process simply involves the completion of at least one shift as a CNA with that shift lasting at least eight hours. This renewal process requires CNAs and their employers to complete the Connecticut Nurse Aide Employment Verification Form.
Salary and Job Outlook for CNAs in Connecticut
Like many other medical careers, the overall demand for CNAs in Connecticut is strong. The growth rate for Connecticut is lower than the national average but still a respectable 6.6%. CNAs in Connecticut can expect to make more than the national average, especially in the more metropolitan parts of the state. Connecticut CNAs can also expect to earn at least as much as CNAs from neighboring states. For instance, the typical salary for a CNA in Connecticut is comparable to CNAs in Massachusetts and New York, but a Connecticut CNA can expect to earn more than a CNA from Rhode Island.
Job Outlook for CNAs in Connecticut
Annual Earnings for CNAs in Connecticut
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2020