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Best Online CNA Courses in Maine

Choosing the best online CNA course Maine has to offer can help you jumpstart a new career in allied health. Read on to learn how.

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Author: Shannon Lee

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When you’re ready to move into an exciting career that allows you to use hands-on skills to help patients, the online CNA course Maine offers might be your ideal option. Becoming a certified nursing assistant (also known as a certified nurse aide) provides the opportunity to test your mettle in the allied health field, where you’ll work with nurses, doctors, and other healthcare professionals to give patients the best possible experience during a difficult time in their lives.

The training to become a CNA can take as little as four weeks with an online CNA course Maine schools offer. These courses prepare you to sit for the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) exam – which you must pass to work as a nurse aide. Once you pass the test, you’ll have the credentials to work anywhere CNAs are needed.

If you’re ready to learn more about the online CNA course Maine has to offer, read on! You’ll discover what it takes to get the training, earn your credentials, and begin work as a certified nursing assistant.

Inside Maine’s Standout Online CNA Classes

Online courses are a wonderful way to pursue your education while still having the time to juggle other responsibilities in your life, such as work and family obligations. Years ago, the only way to get that education was through a traditional classroom, which meant you might have to drop everything for a few months to focus on your studies. Today, the online CNA course Maine offers makes it much easier to pursue your career dreams.

When you earn your certification, you’ll be ready to work in a variety of settings, including nursing homes, hospice, and home healthcare. To help you choose the classes that are best for you, we highlighted a few schools below. These programs stand out based on completion time, admissions requirements, learning outcomes, and much more.

Eastern Maine Community College

Eastern Maine Community College offers the Certified Nursing Assistant program, which requires 70 hours of classroom time, 20 hours of lab time, and 40 hours of clinical work to meet the 130-hour requirement to graduate.

This online CNA course Maine students can choose is special because it can be free for those who qualify. The Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan allows for a limited number of students to take the course at no cost, including tuition, books or materials, background checks, or even scrubs. This program includes one try at the certification exam. Any additional exams will be the responsibility of the student.

Because there’s a strong need for CNAs in Maine and because this program can be free, it’s highly competitive. As such, make sure you meet all enrollment requirements. These include:

  • 18 years of age by the start of the course
  • A resident of the state of Maine
  • A clear criminal record and background check
  • A signed “assumption of risk” form
  • A copy of your transcripts from other schools, including high school
  • Required immunizations

To get started, contact the school to express interest in one of the upcoming cohorts. You’ll be contacted when space becomes available, and then you can submit your application.

Maine College of Health Professions

Logo of Maine College of Health Professions (MCHP). The design includes a stylized yellow geometric shape on the left and the text "MCHP" in bold, followed by "Maine College of Health Professions" in smaller font beneath it, on the right.

The Maine College of Health Professions offers a wide variety of certificates, certifications, and degrees in all areas of allied health, including the Certified Nursing Assistant course. The college has been assisting healthcare professionals in earning their credentials for more than 132 years and currently has a 100% job placement rate; anyone who graduates from this CNA program is virtually guaranteed a position in their desired field.

The curriculum follows the guidelines set forth by the state of Maine to ensure that graduates can work anywhere in the state. This CNA course in Maine includes classroom and clinical instruction, which covers everything from communication to legal aspects of the job to the practical hands-on skills necessary to take care of patients. Full-time and part-time options are available, as well as assistance in paying for tuition. There are three start dates each year for even more flexibility.

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How to Become a CNA in Maine Online

To become a CNA in Maine, online classes are just the start. Other requirements are similar to those of many other states, but there could be some differences. The most important part is choosing an online CNA course Maine has approved through the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Only these approved courses will allow you to sit for the exam at the end of the program.

Step 1: Meet Basic Background Requirements

When you choose to take an in-person or online CNA course Maine schools offer, you must be 18 years of age (with some exceptions, such as when taking a program offered in high school). You must pass a background check and drug screen, show proof of full immunizations as required by the state, pass a physical examination, and meet any other requirements of the school you choose to attend.

Step 2: Graduate from an Approved CNA Program

Maine requires 130 hours of training for certified nursing assistants. When you earn your certificate, you must apply to be put on the CNA Registry, which ensures employers that your certification is valid and up to date.

Any CNA course in Maine must be approved by the state; if you’re not sure that a program you’re considering has state approval, don’t hesitate to ask. Attending a program that doesn’t have approval means your hard work might go to waste.

Keep in mind that many schools offer financial aid for those who qualify. Check with the program director to see if you might be able to get help to fund your education.

Step 3: Take the NNAAP Examination

To take the NNAAP exam, students must graduate from an approved program. Once they do, they must contact the Maine Department of Education to find the closest testing location and the requirements for that location. The knowledge test may be oral or written; the skills test will be hands-on and monitored by healthcare professionals. Those who take the test must pass the knowledge portion with a score of 70 and must pass seven out of ten tasks in the skills test. Some schools offer financial aid for this exam or include it as part of the program.

Some CNAs can obtain their credentials without an exam if they can prove that they earned the number of hours required by Maine and passed an exam in another state.

Step 4: Start Working as a CNA

In most cases, CNAs will find work in long-term care facilities, hospice care, some home healthcare (keeping in mind that they must always be directly supervised by a licensed nurse), and hospitals. Their work can include everything from taking vital signs to compassionate physical care to keep patients clean and comfortable.

The extent of the requirements for their employment will depend upon the location, the staffing situation, and whether they have earned the CNA-M designation; this designation allows CNAs to dispense medications to certain patients. Becoming a CNA-M requires one year of CNA experience and an additional 120-140 hours of training in a program approved by the Maine Board of Nursing.

Step 5: Renew Your CNA License Periodically

In Maine, your license must be renewed every two years through the Division of Licensing and Certification. This renewal process will begin between 45 and 60 days before the expiration of the license.

To keep the certification active, CNAs must complete at least eight hours of employment in the field every 24 months and complete 30 continuing education credits during that time. The cost of license renewal is $40.

Salary and Career Prospects for CNAs in Maine

Those who work as certified nurse aides in Maine can look forward to solid wages, especially after they’ve been in the field for a while. Workers in some areas make more than others, such as those who work in the Portland-South Portland area. You might also find that there are differences in pay based on the facility in which you work — for instance, you might be paid more in a hospital than in a nursing home.

When it comes to job outlook, the demand in Maine is a bit lower than in the rest of the country, but it’s still robust at over six percent growth each year. And it’s also important to consider that Maine is a rather small state in comparison to others where growth is stronger, such as California or Texas. Given that, the growth for CNAs in Maine is still strong and offers numerous opportunities to find the job that’s right for you.

Also keep in mind that earning your CNA puts you in a good position to move forward into other careers in allied health, such as attending a CNA-nursing bridge program.

The tables below break down the information you need to know:

Area10th PercentileMedian90th Percentile
Bangor, ME$32,020$37,140$45,510
Lewiston-Auburn, ME$31,770$36,310$45,600
Portland-South Portland, ME$34,550$38,620$47,620

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 Maine

Even if you’re ready for the online CNA course Maine schools offer, you might have more questions. We’ve attempted to answer them here.

Are there free CNA training programs in Maine?

Yes. In fact, some CNA training programs pay students as they go through the process. Maine Medical Center pays students to learn as long as that student then gives them a year of employment after they graduate. Free training programs are also offered through high schools and medical facilities in Maine.

How do online CNA programs in Maine facilitate clinical placements?

In most cases, you’ll take your classes online and then do hands-on training at a facility that the school chooses for you. It may be somewhere you already work or somewhere close to your home. Speak with your program director about what to expect from your clinical placement.

How long does a CNA license last in Maine?

Your license is good for two years. After that, you must renew your license by meeting employment and continuing education requirements, as well as paying a $40 fee.

How long is CNA training in Maine?

That depends on the school or facility offering the program, but most last for only a few months. Some accelerated programs can be completed in as little as four weeks, but you might need to allow more time to fit in the clinical work requirement.

What is the average cost of a Maine CNA program?

That number is tough to pin down. Some programs run just over $1,000, while others are only a few hundred. Some offer reimbursement for costs, and others cover certain expenses or pay students to take the course. In general, expect to pay between $400 and $700 to get your CNA education. In many cases, scholarships are available.

Who accredits/approves Maine CNA programs?

The DHHS approves the CNA programs in Maine, whether they’re online or in person. Always check with the DHHS to make sure a program you’re interested in has been approved; this is the only way to know for sure that you’ll be allowed to sit for the exam and that employers will be willing to hire you.