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Best Online CNA Classes in Massachusetts

Becoming a certified nursing assistant (CNA) can be more convenient and affordable through online CNA classes in Massachusetts. Read on to learn about 2024’s top programs.

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Author: Ellery Weil
Editor: Kimberly Zaski

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Massachusetts may be a geographically small state, but it packs a punch when it comes to healthcare. With 75 acute care hospitals, and countless other clinics and healthcare facilities, demand for healthcare workers of all kinds is high in the Bay State. Among those in demand are Certified Nursing Assistants, better known as CNAs. CNAs are at the front lines of patient comfort and care, helping with ADLs (activities of daily life) such as eating and bathing, and ensuring that healthcare facilities are well-supplied for patient needs.

Want to join this in-demand profession? With online CNA classes in Massachusetts, you can get the skills you’ll need to become a CNA in as little as a month. Flexible online and hybrid classes make it easier and more convenient to get started in your healthcare career without having to relocate for your education. Let’s look at some of the best online CNA classes in Massachusetts, and see if they’re right for you.

Inside Massachusetts’s Standout Online CNA Classes

As you begin the application process for your CNA education, you’ll need to research the different opportunities available to you in Massachusetts. To help get you started, we’ve profiled a few high-quality online and hybrid Massachusetts CNA programs worth considering.

MassBay Community College

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At MassBay Community College, you can complete your CNA education almost entirely online through the CNA Certification in Greater Boston program. This certificate program, which can be completed in 8 weeks for a total of 102 hours, requires you to complete your traditional classwork through MassBay’s Webex remote system. You will also complete in-person lab skills courses at on campus, and clinical rotations at a long-term care facility in the Greater Boston area.

Remote classes are synchronous to enable participation from students, and enrollment is open three times a year for maximum flexibility. Upon completing the program, which is approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, you will be prepared to sit for your Red Cross Nurse Aide Competency Evaluation (NACE) and become an entry-level. Financial aid opportunities are available.

Northern Essex Community College

The Certified Nurse Assistant/Certified Nurse Aide Training Program at Northern Essex Community College is a certificate program that must be completed in a hybrid format, with theory classes online and lab skills and clinical training courses in person. The program is approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and is designed to prepare you to sit for the Massachusetts Nurse Aide Certification Exam. As with many online CNA classes in Massachusetts, you will complete in-person clinical courses in a long-term care facility under licensed CNA supervision.

This is an accelerated program that can be completed in as little as four weeks. To enroll, you must have up-to-date immunization records, pass a physical exam and a criminal background check, and attend an interview with the program coordinator.

Quincy College

Unlike many online CNA classes in Massachusetts, the Certified Nursing Assistant Program at Quincy College is a non-credit course, rather than a certificate program. This program is designed to qualify you to sit for the Massachusetts Nurse Aide Certification Exam once all educational requirements are met. The program, which can be completed in four to six weeks, is designed for flexibility, with online learning throughout the program, and evening and weekend classes. Lab skills must be completed in person, along with clinical training at a skilled nursing facility.

Upon completion of the program, Quincy College offers job placement assistance. In addition to your application, you must complete a physical exam and provide an immunization record and current TB (tuberculosis) test to be accepted to the program. Multiple start dates are offered each year.

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How to Become a CNA in Massachusetts Online

Completing your CNA education is only one step in the process of becoming a CNA in Massachusetts. While every state has similarities in requirements to become a CNA, it’s important to be aware of the steps to start your CNA career in Massachusetts.

Step 1: Meet Basic Background Requirements

In addition to being at least 18 years old to enroll in most Massachusetts CNA programs, you will likely need to meet other, program-specific requirements. Many CNA courses require a complete physical exam to ensure you can conduct a CNA’s day-to-day tasks. You will also be asked to provide immunization records to work in clinical settings, and you’ll also need to hold a high school diploma or GED to enroll.

Step 2: Graduate from an Approved CNA Program

Once you’ve been accepted into a CNA program, it’s time to hit the books. The length of your program may vary from four weeks to a full academic term, but whatever the length, you’re likely to learn the foundations of day-to-day healthcare, including elder care, first aid, and the structure of various healthcare facilities (hospitals, long-term care facilities, etc.). You will probably complete a combination of theory classes, lab courses, and clinical experiences in a healthcare facility.

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

Once you’ve completed your online CNA classes in Massachusetts, you’ll be prepared to sit for your CNA exam. In Massachusetts, testing for CNA certification is administered through D&S Diversified Technology, and you must use their website, or be registered through your school to take your exam. Tests can be taken online, or in a paper format at one of the listed test sites.

Step 4: Start Working as a CNA

Now that you’ve become certified, you can start working as a CNA. You can look for jobs in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, elder care facilities, nursing homes, and more. Wherever your job, you will likely be helping patients with activities of daily life (ADLs), including eating, bathing, and mobility, as well as assuring that supplies and other necessities are well-stocked in your facility.

Step 5: Renew Your CNA License Periodically

In Massachusetts, your CNA license is valid for two years before required renewal. You can check your license validity online to know if it’s close to expiring. You can renew through the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Licensing Renewal System, which offers step-by-step guides for how Massachusetts CNAs can renew a license when necessary.

Salary and Career Prospects for CNAs in Massachusetts

Before you begin CNA classes, you may wonder about job prospects and the job market in your state. The salary you can expect, coupled with the CNA job market in Massachusetts, can help you decide if your CNA credential is a investment of your time and money.

The salary and job outlook for Massachusetts-based CNAs is good. As you can see in the table below, Massachusetts CNAs earn an average of over $3,000 more per annum than the average CNA in the United States. This number goes even higher when applied to CNAs working in Boston, Cambridge, and the surrounding areas. CNA job openings in Massachusetts are projected to grow by 6.5% over the next decade, a steady, roughly average rise.

Location10th PercentileMedian90th Percentile
Barnstable Town, MA$33,280$38,140$50,320
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH$36,240$40,060$50,060
Leominster-Gardner, MA$32,120$36,550$42,710
New Bedford, MA$35,270$36,360$45,090
Pittsfield, MA$31,390$36,820$45,240
Springfield, MA-CT$31,540$37,390$47,180
Worcester, MA-CT$33,020$37,440$45,660

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 Massachusetts

Still have a few questions before you apply to a CNA program? Whether you plan to study online, in person, or in a hybrid program, it’s natural to have a few things you’re wondering about before starting CNA school.

Are there any 4-week CNA classes in Massachusetts?

It’s not uncommon to find a four-week program for your CNA education in Massachusetts. Some of these programs, such as the one at Northern Essex Community College, describe themselves as accelerated, while others, such as the one at Quincy College, have some flexibility on completion times.

Are there any free Massachusetts CNA training programs?

In Massachusetts, you may be eligible for free CNA training through government-funded initiatives. The Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund offers training opportunities for in-demand fields, which can include CNA training for those eligible. This program may apply toward online CNA classes in Massachusetts.

Can I take the CNA test without classes in Massachusetts?

Generally, you will need to take approved CNA training, such as online CNA classes in Massachusetts to sit for your exam. However, there are a few specific circumstances, such as long-time work in a nursing home, where you may sit the exam without training.

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

The time it takes to become a Massachusetts CNA can vary significantly depending on your training. CNA classes can range from four to eight weeks or even more, or two years of working in a nursing home or long-term care facility. In addition, you may need time to prep for your exam.

How much does the CNA test cost in Massachusetts?

Typically, you will need to pay a total of $150 to take the full set of CNA exams in Massachusetts. This includes a $100 fee for the written and skills portions of the exam, plus a $50 fee for the oral portion of the exam. Each portion may be scheduled and paid for separately.

What’s the fastest you can become a CNA?

In Massachusetts, the availability of four-week CNA training programs cuts down on the time needed to become a CNA. After you’ve completed your training, you will need to take the exam. Generally, one month is the fastest you can become a Massachusetts CNA.