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Top Online CNA Classes in Kentucky

Jump-start your healthcare career with just a few weeks and less than $1,000. These top online CNA programs in Kentucky make it possible.

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Author: Holly Riddle
Editor: Mark Earnest

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Becoming a certified nursing assistant in Kentucky allows you to quickly enter the healthcare workforce and qualifies you to work in settings including hospitals, nursing homes, correctional facilities or home healthcare. In Kentucky, CNAs are often referred to as SRNAs, or a state registered nursing assistant, but they may also be called Medicaid nurse aides or simply nurse aides.

Regardless of what you call these tireless workers, their jobs provide immense value, helping care for the country’s population, especially people who are aging. As you embark on this admirable career path, the first decision you’ll need to make is which CNA program is right for you. Not all online CNA classes in Kentucky are the same, and you may prefer some based on factors such as time required, resources provided, prerequisites, and cost.

Keep reading to learn what to expect from a few of the top online CNA classes Kentucky schools offer, as well as what to anticipate along the entire CNA journey.

Inside Kentucky’s Standout Online CNA Classes

As a Kentucky resident, you likely are familiar with some of the choices for online CNA classes. The standout online CNA class providers are colleges and universities with extensive reach throughout the state. While this isn’t a strict ranking of providers, these three online CNA classes in Kentucky are what we believe are the top choices.

Bluegrass Community & Technical College

At Bluegrass Community & Technical College, the online CNA classes Kentucky students might take use the term “Medicaid Nurse Aide” to refer to its state registered nursing assistants, but rest assured that the courses still qualify you for SRNA testing, so you can go on to pursue a job as a CNA.

The program provides a Medicaid Nurse Aide certificate in just one semester, and the course’s estimated cost is $858, though scholarships are available. Required courses are offered in-person and online, as well as in hybrid formats.

Like all certified nursing assistant programs, the program features a mix of classroom instruction and clinical work, as students get a chance to practice their skills in a real-life healthcare setting with a hands-on approach.

Do note that a background check is required before you begin the clinical portion of the program, and you are responsible for the background check fee. Certain background check factors will disqualify you from the program, including felony and misdemeanor convictions.

University of Kentucky

The image displays the University of Kentucky logo, featuring the initials "UK" in large, bold blue letters with a white outline, and the text "University of Kentucky" written in black to the right of the initials.

The University of Kentucky’s College of Nursing offers a State Registered Nurse Aide Training Program to students as young as 16, making this online CNA class provider from Kentucky a great fit for early high school grads.

The program takes about 75 hours to complete, including 59 hours of a mix of in-person and online instruction, and 16 hours of clinical practice. It all takes place within just four weeks. Once the course is completed, students may take the SRNA test, as they have learned everything needed to provide basic nursing care as supervised by a more qualified nurse or other healthcare professional.

The course costs $675 and includes textbooks, your background check, and CPR certification. It does not cover the cost of sitting for the SRNA test. Scholarships are available to cover the cost of the program and the test.

Western Kentucky University

The image shows the logo of WKU (Western Kentucky University). It consists of a stylized red square with a white tower and crescent inside it, next to bold, black letters "WKU".

Western Kentucky University’s SRNA program is designed to equip students to work as SRNAs, as well as set up students for success if they want to pursue a more advanced healthcare career with a good foundation of prior experience.

The program’s three-week classroom portion takes place entirely online before the in-person clinical and skills portions begin. A mock skills exam takes place before students are cleared to take the State Registered Nurse Aide test. The program only takes about six weeks to complete.

The SRNA program costs only $250, but there are some eligibility requirements. You must have earned a minimum high school GPA of 3.0, take a TB skin test, and be able to pass a criminal background check and random drug tests. Priority is given to recent high school graduates and current Western Kentucky University students.

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How to Become a CNA in Kentucky Online

Becoming a certified nursing assistant in Kentucky requires a few basic steps. The process is fairly streamlined and requires minimal time. In just a few months, you can begin working in a healthcare setting, providing daily hands-on care to a range of patients. Better yet, many of these CNA programs can be completed mostly or entirely online, except for clinical work, allowing you to fit a new career path into an existing busy schedule.

Here’s what to expect.

Step 1: Meet Basic Background Requirements

Background requirements aren’t particularly strict for enrolling in a Kentucky nurse aide training and certification program. However, there will be slight differences between programs. For example, some may require a high school GPA.

There are some across-the-board requirements, as all schools require a background check before you begin clinical training and limit ages to 16 or older. Depending on the program, you may have to cover the background check fee yourself.

Step 2: Graduate from an Approved CNA Program

Once you’ve applied to and been accepted into a CNA program, you’ll spend the next few weeks completing it. Most programs include several weeks of classroom education, either online or hybrid, followed by several weeks of clinical experience. Topics include basic nursing skills, patient safety, patient rights, and infection control. All state-registered programs specifically prepare you to take the state’s nurse aide competency evaluation and exam.

Step 3: Take the Kentucky SRNA exam

After graduating from your program, you can register to take the state’s nurse aide competency exam. It costs $115. You must take the exam within one year of graduation. The test is split into a computerized test and a skills test. You can take the test up to three times within the year after graduation; if you can’t pass the test after three tries, you’ll have to retake a nursing assistant course.

The Kentucky Community and Technical College System administers the test and provides the Kentucky Board of Nursing with test scores. Test scores are available within 30 days after examination. If you pass the test, you will be automatically listed on the Kentucky Nurse Aide Registry and be permitted to work as a CNA.

Step 4: Start Working as a CNA

Once you’re listed on the Kentucky Nurse Aide Registry, you can begin looking for jobs in a range of settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and correctional institutions. Regardless of the setting, you’ll be helping patients live their daily lives, from grooming to eating to getting around the facility, and you’ll work closely with other healthcare professionals to ensure patients’ quality of life.

Step 5: Renew Your CNA License Periodically

Your listing on the Kentucky Nurse Aide Registry must be updated every 24 months. To be eligible for renewal, your employer will provide documentation to the registry that you have completed at least 12 hours of ongoing staff development training and that you have worked at least eight hours for compensation.

Salary and Career Prospects for CNAs in Kentucky

As the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, nursing assistants and aides will be in demand in the coming years, particularly as Baby Boomers age and require more care. Additionally, growth of chronic disease will also require more nursing care.

However, the bureau notes that CNAs can expect more job opportunities in certain areas than others. For example, while jobs might not be as available in nursing homes, you could find significant work in home-based healthcare.

Wherever you end up working, as a certified nursing assistant you can expect the job opportunity growth rate to remain about the same in Kentucky as it is across the United States. Additionally, the median salary remains very consistent across the state, reaching the lower $30,000s whether you’re living in a small Kentucky city or in a larger one such as Louisville or Lexington.

Area10th PercentileMedian90th Percentile
Bowling Green, KY$26,480$31,150$36,120
Elizabethtown-Fort Knox, KY$24,650$31,620$35,890
Lexington-Fayette, KY$27,490$35,580$37,920
Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN$28,930$34,660$40,310
Owensboro, KY$28,750$33,490$35,260

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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

Source: Projections Central

Answering Your Questions About Online CNA Classes in Kentucky

If you still have questions, we have answers. While your CNA experience will differ depending on the CNA program you choose and your individual needs as a nursing aide student, here’s a little more of what you can expect when you embark on a career as a CNA in the Bluegrass State.

Are there affordable CNA classes in Kentucky?

CNA programs are relatively affordable in Kentucky, with programs often costing under $1,000. If this is still out of your reach, don’t worry. Some programs offer full scholarships, as is the case at the University of Kentucky, and you can also find free CNA training through employers such as Nazareth Home, which provides this service to its employees who want to explore their career development opportunities.

How long are CNA classes in Kentucky?

Most CNA programs in Kentucky require just a semester, or even less time. Western Kentucky University’s SRNA program can be completed in about six weeks, and the University of Kentucky State Registered Nurse Aide Training Program takes place in about four weeks.

How much does it cost to become a CNA in Kentucky?

Most CNA programs cost less than $1,000. For example, the CNA program costs $858 at Bluegrass Community & Technical College. However, you can find programs for much less, like Western Kentucky University’s SRNA program at just $250. Beyond tuition fees, other costs to anticipate include the CNA exam fee ($115) and ones that your program may require for items like background checks, tuberculosis testing, or textbook rentals.

Is it possible to become a Kentucky CNA online in just 2 weeks?

Yes, if you’re willing to put in a lot of hard work. For example, Emergency Medical Professionals LLC in Lexington offers an SRNA day program with an intensive class schedule over two weeks, with 59 classroom hours and 16 clinical hours.

What is the difference between an SRNA and a CNA?

SRNAs and CNAs are the same role. State registered nursing aides, certified nursing aides, Medicaid nursing aides, and nursing assistants are all titles used interchangeably to describe the same type of work. Preferred titles just depend on the program and state.

Who approves/accredits Kentucky CNA classes?

The Kentucky Community and Technical College System oversees all Kentucky CNA classes and administers CNA testing.