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Best Online CNA Classes in New York City (NYC)

Want to become a CNA in NYC? This guide pulls back the curtain on quality CNA programs, necessary steps to follow, salary expectations, and FAQs.

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Street signs at the intersection of fifth ave and west 33rd st in manhattan, with a high-rise building under construction in the backdrop.

You’ve helped them turn over in bed, get to the restroom, walk for the first time since surgery, and learn to eat after a stroke. You go to work because these patients need you. The small things they took for granted are now the big things they can’t do on their own.

You’re a certified nursing assistant (CNA), and that is what your day-to-day interactions with patients may look like. It’s not glamorous, but every day you can go home knowing that you’ve helped someone live a little better.

Becoming a certified nursing assistant is relatively straightforward. You take one of the many online CNA classes NYC offers, complete hands-on training in labs, attend a few clinical experiences, and then take a certification test where you’ll showcase your knowledge and newly acquired skills. This guide was written for you, the aspiring healthcare professional who wants to enter the healthcare field for the first time. Below, we’ll spotlight several high-quality online CNA classes in NYC, create a list of steps you’ll need to follow to get your license, and discuss a CNA’s career potential and salary outlook. Read on to get started.

Inside New York City’s Standout Online CNA Classes

Let’s first start by exploring several online CNA classes in NYC. These school spotlights will provide insight into course prerequisites, the amount of time needed to complete a CNA course, and how much CNA programs may cost.

The City College of New York

The image shows the logo of The City College of New York. On the left is a purple circular seal with an intricate design, and to the right, in purple text, reads "The City College of New York.

The Certified Nursing Assistant course from the City College of New York is one of several online CNA classes in NYC. It’s completed in a standard college semester and is 120 hours, 30 of which you’ll spend in clinical rotations in a local nursing home. Students must have their high school diploma or GED equivalent to apply. The course is offered in a hybrid format, with classroom lectures available online and labs and clinicals completed in person.

To apply, you will need a recent drug screening. Future employers may also require fingerprinting and a background check. Cost for the course is $1,260 which includes tuition and registration fee. Upon graduation, you’ll be eligible to sit for New York’s Nursing Home Nurse Aide Competency Examination, provided through the school’s partnership with Prometric. You’ll need to fill out an application and pay the testing fee to receive information about your test date and time.

Monroe College

Logo of Monroe College. The text "MONROE" is in blue and "COLLEGE" is in yellow, with both words in uppercase letters.

At Monroe College, you’ll learn necessary role-specific skills, practice patient care techniques, and develop medical knowledge during the CNA certificate course. Following six weeks of classroom instruction, students spend a seventh (and final) week completing clinical experiences. The course costs $1,400 and must be paid in full prior to the start date. Classroom work is in-person at the Bronx campus or virtually. Upon graduation, you will be eligible to take New York’s CNA certification exam and pursue employment in hospitals, long-term care facilities, or patients’ homes.

SUNY Schenectady

Logo of SUNY Schenectady County Community College. "SUNY" is in blue, and the rest of the text "SCHENECTADY County Community College" is in black. The design is simple and clean.

Another online CNA class in NYC is available at SUNY Schenectady County Community College (SCCC). The course lasts eight weeks with 90 classroom hours and 30 hours of clinical field experience through clinicals. To ensure success, more than the required number of classroom and lab hours are provided. You’ll have the option to attend class virtually and complete labs onsite. Medical and immunization information is required to enroll, and a high school diploma or equivalent is preferred.

The course costs $1,800 and includes the state’s certification exam fees. Upon graduation, you’ll be prepared to take the written and practical state certification test and begin working with the elderly, children, or disabled patients.

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How to Become a CNA in New York City Online

Now that you have an idea of what online CNA classes in NYC look like, let’s look at the steps you’ll need to follow to reach your goal of becoming a certified nurse assistant in New York, starting with meeting basic background requirements and ending with license renewal information.

Step 1: Meet Basic Background Requirements

Most online CNA classes in NYC require students to meet certain eligibility criteria. These could include successfully passing a background check, being current on your vaccinations, passing a TB screening and drug test, and being at least 18 years old. A high school diploma is not required but is encouraged for improved career prospects and increased earning potential. If you’re a high school student looking to become a CNA in New York, here are multiple secondary school CNA programs throughout the state.

Step 2: Graduate from an Approved CNA Program

To be eligible to take New York’s CNA certification exam, you must complete a CNA program approved by the New York State Education Department or New York State Department of Health. A list of approved programs can be found on Prometric’s website, the state’s test partner. Check the list before you commit to a program to ensure your educational effort will be accepted. Approved CNA programs meet state requirements, including a minimum number of classroom, lab, and clinical hours.

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

New York requires aspiring CNAs to complete a recognized certified nursing assistant program before applying to take the CNA certification test. The two-part test is given through New York City’s partner, Prometric, and consists of a written (or oral) multiple-choice exam and a practical skills demonstration. You will have 90 minutes to complete 60 multiple-choice questions and about 30 minutes to demonstrate five nursing skills, often chosen at random. Tests can be taken at separate times and must be completed within 2 years of finishing a recognized CNA course.

Step 4: Start Working as a CNA

Once you pass the NNASAP exam, your name will be added to the New York State Nurse Aide Registry. Employers can access this list to verify you are certified. Certified nurse aides typically work with the elderly, children, and other disabled patients, helping them with everyday activities they can’t do on their own due to illness or disability. These tasks could include bathing, dressing, eating, and moving. Nursing assistants typically work in hospitals or long-term care facilities such as nursing homes, but others provide care in patient homes.

Step 5: Renew Your CNA License Periodically

Once certified, your name will remain on the New York State nurse aide registry for two years, at which point you will need to renew. You are eligible to renew your certificate if you have worked as a nursing assistant performing nursing or nursing-related services for pay for at least eight consecutive hours during the two years following your initial certification. You’ll fill out Prometric’s CNA renewal form to document your work and then pay the renewal fee.

Salary and Career Prospects for CNAs in NYC

The career outlook for certified nursing assistants in New York remains positive due to the ongoing demand for healthcare services. An aging population requires additional healthcare, and various kinds of healthcare facilities continue to employ CNAs to provide direct patient care and support services. Projections Central projects that more than 15,000 new CNA positions will be created between 2020-2030, with more than 13,000 CNA job openings every year.

As shown in the table below, the projected job growth rate for CNAs in New York is 17%, significantly higher than the national projection of 8.3%. CNAs working in New York can expect to earn a median income of $45,500 per year, with the highest-paid CNAs making about $52,000 annually and the lowest-paid CNAs earning around $36,000.

Area10th PercentileMedian90th Percentile
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA$36,280$45,500$52,270

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

AreaNew Jobs (2020-2030)Growth RateAvg. Annual Openings
United States115,3008.3%187,000
New York15,36017%13,340

Source: Projections Central

Answering Your Questions About Online CNA Classes in NYC

So far, we’ve explored a few CNA programs and offered insights into essential career steps and a CNA’s financial potential. However, you likely still have some questions. Below, we’ve gathered some of the most commonly asked questions to offer additional clarity about becoming a certified nurse assistant in New York City.

Are there any NYC hospitals that offer free CNA training?

There are several ways that your CNA training could be entirely paid for in New York, such as going through the NYC Health + Hospitals free programs when available. Another option is to work with the Montefiore Workforce Investment Organization (WIO). This organization is designed to enable long-term care workers to provide services that are essential to preventing unnecessary hospitalizations. It offers free training to a broad cross-section of workers in long-term care, with a focus on Home Health Aides (HHAs), Personal Care Aides (PCAs), and Certified Nurse Assistants (CNAs). You can also be reimbursed for your course and test fees if you are hired by a nursing home (see details here).

Are there any paid CNA training programs in NYC?

As noted above, there are several ways to become a CNA in New York without paying for the course or the test. However, getting paid to complete the training is rare. The only example we could find was through this NYC Health + Hospitals free program in connection with the Carter healthcare facility.

Can I become a CNA in NYC entirely online?

No, but you can earn your certification partially online. Many online CNA classes in NYC deliver their classroom instruction in a virtual format. Labs and clinical experiences must be completed in person to ensure you can properly perform the necessary skills required of a nurse assistant.

How long are CNA classes in NYC?

This depends on the program you choose to attend. In the spotlighted programs above, we saw CNA courses that ranged from 7 weeks to an entire semester. You can expect most CNA courses to last between 4 and 12 weeks.

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

Again, this depends on the program you choose. As discussed in the questions above, some employers are willing to pay the course and test fees, and other New York programs partner with healthcare institutions to provide free CNA training. In our spotlighted programs above, the CNA courses cost $1,200-$1,800.

Who accredits NYC CNA programs?

There’s no specific accrediting body dedicated to accrediting CNA programs in New York City. However, the program you choose to attend must be approved by New York’s Department of Health and Department of Education; otherwise, you will not be eligible to sit for the state certification exam.