Are you an Indiana resident looking for a quick and affordable entry point into a career in nursing? Becoming a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) may be for you. CNAs provide personal patient care services in a range of settings, including nursing homes, long-term care facilities, and in homes.
Before you can work as a CNA in Indiana, though, you’ll first need to obtain state certification and be listed in the state’s Nurse Aide Registry. For most that requires completion of a state-approved nurse aide training program. CNA classes in Indiana are available throughout the state, with some requiring as few as four weeks to complete.
This guide provides a comprehensive look at CNA classes in Indiana, including what they offer and how much they cost. Plus you’ll learn how to obtain your certification, what you can expect to earn as a working CNA, and much more. So, if a career as a CNA sounds like it could be for you, keep reading to learn how to get started by finding and completing a great CNA training program in Indiana.
Best CNA Classes and Training Programs in Indiana
With so many CNA training programs in Indiana to choose from, how do you know which ones are worth your while? To help on your program search, we researched CNA classes in Indiana and come up with three of the best to spotlight below. Our choices are based on major program elements, such as affordability, quality curriculum, study convenience, and the availability of student support services. Most importantly, all three programs are state approved. These aren’t the only great CNA classes available, but our spotlights will give you a good idea of what you should expect from the programs you consider.
The University of Saint Francis and a few other private colleges and universities are among the dozens of providers of CNA classes in Indiana. Saint Francis’s eight-week Certified Nurses Aide Certificate program is a noncredit program consisting of academic classes and labs at the university’s Crown Point campus and supervised clinical practice experiences at a long-term care facility near the school. Like all of the CNA classes in Indiana reviewed in this guide, Saint Francis’s Certified Nursing Aide Certificate qualifies graduates to take the required written and skills competency tests to obtain CNA certification from the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH). The University of Saint Frances is institutionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Ivy Tech Community College is a public community college system with 50 locations throughout Indiana. Ivy Tech offers its Certified Nursing Aide Short-Term Certificate on 23 of its campuses as part of its larger Healthcare Specialist program. The eight-week, five-credit program is state-approved, meeting all requirements of the Nurse Aide Training Program Curriculum. Students complete academic courses and labs on their home campuses and clinicals at various healthcare agencies and facilities in neighboring communities. Ivy Tech students have access to various support services, including free campus-based and virtual tutoring. Like most public community colleges, Ivy Tech’s tuition rates are affordable, with a current per-credit rate of $149.55 for Indiana residents and $292.57 for out-of-state residents. Ivy Tech Community College is regionally accredited by the HLC.
Saint Joseph’s College is a private, Catholic-affiliated institution located in the northwest Indiana city of Rensselaer. Its Certified Nursing Assistant program features an eight-week course of study that combines five weeks of classroom training with 80 hours (three to four weeks) of clinical rotations at practice sites in the Rensselaer area. Classes meet on campus two days per week (9:00 am to 1:00 pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays). Current practice sites include George Ade Memorial Health Care, Franciscan Health Rensselaer, and the Rensselaer Care Center. The cost for this noncredit program is $870 plus a $100 nonrefundable registration fee. Students are responsible for the additional costs for scrubs, a physical, a criminal background check, a TB test, and a drug screen. These CNA classes in Indiana start every other month, with class sizes limited to 12 students per session.
FAQs About CNA Classes and Training in Indiana
How much do CNA classes cost in Indiana?
As indicated in the spotlights above and figures listed below, the cost of CNA classes in Indiana vary significantly, primarily depending on the type of class provider. For example, total program costs for classes offered by private schools (like Vincennes University and Saint Joseph’s College) and private certification providers (like Freedom Academy) tend to run around the $1,000 mark, which typically includes the cost of class sessions and labs plus fees for the state-mandated written and competency skills tests. Classes available from public school entities (like Ivy Tech Community College and Elkhart Area Career Center) are substantially less expensive, usually in the $150 range. Facility-based programs are required to pay for CNA training for employees.
Certified Nursing Aide
Total cost (including classes, textbooks, materials, and state testing fees): $1,195
Cost does not include criminal background check, physical exam, TB test, or clinical scrubs.
Where can I get help paying for my CNA classes in Indiana?
Some common forms of financial aid, such as Pell grants and federal student loans, may not be available for your CNA classes. However, many CNA classes in Indiana offer their own financial aid opportunities, such as scholarships and tuition assistance programs. The best way to find out what’s available is to contact the program directly. Plus, there are national and regional scholarships you may qualify for. To learn more about these opportunities, visit EduMed’s CNA scholarships guide.
How long do CNA classes in Indiana take to finish?
CNA classes in Indiana typically require an eight-week commitment. However, some programs (for example, In Training’s CNA program) require four weeks or less of full-time training. Regardless of specific program length, all CNA classes in Indiana must meet stated ISDH program requirements to get state approval and qualify their students to take the written and competency skills tests for CNA certification. These requirements include a minimum of 30 hours of traditional classroom (or online equivalent) instruction and a minimum of 75 hours of clinical instruction.
Inside Look at Online CNA Classes in Indiana
Currently, CNA classes that are primarily offered online in Indiana are not available. However, there’s a trend developing that will allow CNA program providers in the state to offer some components of their classes online. An example is the recently launched Online CNA Program which, through a partnership between CNAonline.com and the Indiana Health Care Association, will allow both facility-based and non-facility based CNA classes in Indiana to incorporate academic coursework into their curriculums. Additionally, some Indiana CNA programs may currently offer specific class components (lectures, assignments, readings, communication with instructors, etc.) online due to the COVID pandemic. Be sure to check with the programs you’re considering to see if any online features are available. And remember, regardless of these online features, you’ll still be required to complete the clinical component of your CNA training in person.
How to Become a CNA in Indiana
Before you can work as a nurse aide in Indiana, you must obtain your CNA certification from the ISDH and be added to the Indiana Nurse Aide Registry. The steps to obtain certification are slightly different for each applicant, depending on their nursing education background and work experience. Here’s a look:
Complete Your Nurse Aide Training
If you have no nursing education or work experience, your first step is to complete state-approved CNA classes in Indiana, including any of the ones mentioned in this guide. There are dozens of other CNA classes in Indiana to choose from as well, all of which include ISDH-mandated Nurse Aide Training Program Curriculum. Curriculum requirements include a minimum of 30 hours of classroom instruction and a minimum of 75 hours of clinical training.
Apply for the Required Portions of the Nurse Training Competency Evaluation Exam
All Indiana CNA certification applicants are required to complete the written portion of the exam. Applicants who have completed a CNA training class or who are nursing school graduates who have failed to pass their boards must also complete the skills competency portion of the CNA exam.
All testing for Indiana CNA certification is administered by Ivy Tech Community College, regardless of your applicant status or the provider of your CNA training program. Detailed information on applying for both the written and skills competency portions of the exam can be found here. The current application fee is $75 for those taking both portions of the exam and $65 for those taking only one portion of the exam.
Complete Your Examination
Schedule the written and skills competency portions of your exam through the Ivy Tech Testing Center Self-Serve Application. You’ll be assigned to take the exam at the testing site nearest to the address on your application unless you request a different location. Once you pass your exam, your results will be submitted to the ISDH. It will then take eight to ten weeks to receive your CNA certification and be added to the Nurse Aide Registry. After that, you can begin working in Indiana as a fully licensed Certified Nurse Aide.
Indiana CNAs must renew their certifications every two years. Renewal requirements include obtaining a minimum of 12 in-service hours each year of certification and working in nursing or nursing-related activities for a minimum of eight hours during each two-year renewal period. Private care hours are not accepted.
Use the Indiana Enterprise Licensing portal to renew your license. In Indiana there is no fee for renewing your CNA certification.
Earnings and Job Outlook for CNAs in Indiana
Two important factors to consider when choosing any occupation are job security and earnings. As you’ll see in the charts below, trends appear to be solid in both areas for Indiana CNAs. For example, the number of CNA jobs in the state is projected to increase by 8% between 2018 and 2028, according to figures from the U.S. Department of Labor. Data from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development is even more encouraging, with a projected job growth rate of 11.3% for nursing assistants in the state during the same time period. In terms of pay, earnings for CNAs in Indiana are currently just slightly less than those for nurse aides and assistants in the nation overall.
Job Outlook for CNAs in Indiana
Annual Earnings for CNAs in Indiana
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2020