CNA Classes in North Carolina: Online & Campus Training Programs

Find state-approved campus and online CNA classes in North Carolina that can help you qualify for an in-demand healthcare career in as little as four weeks.

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Timon Kaple

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Timon Kaple, Ph.D., is a full-time writer and researcher. His work focuses on sociolinguistics, small-group folklore, the anthropology of sound, higher education, and student support services. He has experience as an ethnographer and enjoys conducting fieldwork and archival research.

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Do you want an in-demand healthcare career without having to spend several years in school? Maybe you’ve always dreamed of a job where you can help improve people’s lives on a daily basis. If so, CNA classes in North Carolina might be a great choice for you. By following the information in this guide, you’ll be able to find the best affordable training and become certified as a CNA in 10 months or less.

Below you’ll find information about in-person and hybrid learning options, where to find the best programs and financial aid, as well as what you can expect to earn as a CNA in the state. Best of all, you’ll learn step-by-step how to become a CNA in North Carolina so you can feel confident that all of your requirements are met. Keep reading to find affordable, approved CNA classes in North Carolina that meet your needs and get answers to your key questions.

Best CNA Classes and Training Programs in North Carolina

When you start looking into all of your online and in-person CNA learning options, it can be a little overwhelming. These best-in-class profiles will help you with that. Here are the top three state-approved CNA programs in North Carolina. These programs were chosen based on their quality of education and one-on-one training they offer students, as well as their affordability. Bear in mind that only state-approved programs can offer you training or credentials that will adequately prepare you to sit for the required state certification exam. That’s what we’ve included here. Let’s see which CNA programs stand out in 2021.

Bladen Community College

Located in Dublin, North Carolina, Bladen is a public institution established in 1967. The school today offers one of the best CNA programs in the state. This is a state-approved program in addition to the school’s institutional accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

CNA learners choose between two for-credit programs: the nurse aide certificate or diploma. The certificate requires two six-credit classes, nurse aide 1 and 2, which include clinical training hours. The nursing aide diploma is a 38-credit program with both general education and major courses. Required classes for the diploma include general biology and psychology, writing and inquiry, critical thinking, and the two primary nurse aide classes. Most learners complete the diploma in three semesters.

Prospective nurse aide certificate or diploma students should possess a high school diploma or GED. Applications must include official high school transcripts.

McDowell Technical Community College

Founded in 1967, McDowell Tech is a public institution with a wide range of degrees and certificates. The college offers one of the best CNA programs in North Carolina.

The school’s nurse aide certificate is an 18-credit program. In addition to the nurse aide 1 and 2 courses, certificate-seekers must also complete two classes in medical terminology. In most cases, students can complete the program in two semesters, including clinical components. The four classes cover essential patient care topics in vital signs, professional communication, nutrition, therapeutic activities, fire safety, and more.

Learners can also earn a specialized nurse aide diploma in therapeutic and diagnostic services through McDowell Tech. This three-semester program includes some additional general education and nursing major classes than the certificate, including two anatomy and physiology classes. Lastly, the school offers a 16-week nurse aide 1 class for those preparing to sit for the state certification exam.

Prospective students must submit their official high school transcripts, admissions application, and FAFSA for consideration.

Guilford Technical Community College

GTCC is a public school in the North Carolina Community College System with campuses in Jamestown, Colfax, Greensboro, and High Point. The school offers one of the top CNA classes in North Carolina.

This nurse aide 1 training program consists of 202 hours of clinical and classroom studies. In most cases, students can complete this program in three months. Upon completion of the course, learners may sit for the state certification exam. Trainees from this program have moved on to successful careers as nursing aides in nursing homes, home health agencies, hospice care, hospitals, and doctors’ offices.

Applicants must be at least 18 years old with a high school diploma or GED. Additionally, incoming students must possess a government-issued social security card and an unexpired photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport. GCTCC expects applications to include official high school transcripts, proof of negative tuberculosis test results, and documentation of a flu shot that’s valid through the duration of the applicant’s tenure in the program.

Learn More About North Carolina CNA Classes in a City Near You

FAQs About CNA Classes and Training in North Carolina

What skills do you learn in CNA classes in North Carolina?

Certificates, diplomas, and training courses for nurse aides cover a wide range of patient care topics. The academic and clinical training involved in state-approved CNA classes in North Carolina will give you the chance to learn everything you need to know to pass the state certification exam upon completing the program. You’ll study how to take patient vital signs and operate the essential equipment that CNAs use on a daily basis. You’ll also acquire the specialized knowledge to handle patients who suffer from common health problems like cognitive impairment, diabetes, and respiratory issues. The nurse aide 1 course at Bladen Community College, for example, provides training in special care procedures, death, and end-of-life care, and care for elderly patients.

How much do CNA classes cost in North Carolina?

The cost of CNA programs or courses will vary between institutions. You’ll find that most for-credit programs, where you’ll earn a certificate and diploma, will charge tuition by the credit or course. Those institutions that offer non-credit training programs typically required learners to make a one-time payment upfront. Here’s a look at instances of both for-credit and non-credit program costs.

Bladen Community College

Nurse Aide Diploma

Total Credits: 38


McDowell Technical Community College

Nurse Aide 1 Course

Total Credits: 6


Guilford Technical Community College

Nurse Aide 1 Course

Non-credit course

$244.26/total, minus supplies

Where can I get help paying for my CNA classes in North Carolina?

It can be daunting to think about tuition payments, course fees, and the cost of supplies for school. Thankfully there’s a handful of financial aid options out there to help you offset the cost of your CNA classes in North Carolina. Between for-credit and non-credit CNA programs, those learners in for-credit programs are more likely to receive financial aid in the form of grants or scholarships. Private scholarships from professional organizations can be an excellent source of funding for both for-credit and non-credit CNA-seekers. Your school itself may offer internal funding opportunities or payment plans which can make your education more affordable, so be sure to check with them directly. Also, be sure to have a look at EduMed’s CNA scholarships guide for more resources.

How long do CNA classes in North Carolina take to complete?

The duration of your CNA classes in North Carolina will also vary among institutions. If you’re planning on pursuing a nurse aid certificate or diploma, you can expect to spend several months, or about three semesters, in school. Durham Technical Community College, for example, offers a stellar diploma program that takes about 10 months to complete. Alternatively, there are non-credit training programs in North Carolina that can prepare you to sit for the state certification exam in as few as four to six weeks. The Harris Training Institute, for instance, offers learners a four-week nurse aide 1 training program.

Inside Look at Online CNA Classes in North Carolina

Most CNA classes in North Carolina today require a significant amount of on-campus attendance. Some institutions today are beginning to offer hybrid learning formats where you take classes both online and in-person. Fully online or hybrid students often enjoy the scheduling flexibility that comes with remote learning. Distance learning classes can take place during the day or evening, depending on the program, and are often valuable for those with outside jobs or familial obligations.

Wake Technical Community College, for example, offers its nurse aide 1 training program for hybrid learners. At Wake Tech and other hybrid nurse aide training scenarios, you’ll take most academic or bookwork classes online and complete clinical, hands-on training on-campus or at an approved medical facility. For more information, be sure to review EduMed’s guide to online CNA classes to learn more about what to expect.

Common Questions About Online CNA Classes in North Carolina

Will taking CNA classes online in North Carolina impact my ability to get certified or licensed?

No. Taking online CNA classes in North Carolina will not affect your ability to sit for the certification exam, provided the program is approved by the state. If you attend a program that’s not state-approved, you may encounter eligibility issues.

Do employers in North Carolina care if I take some of my CNA classes online?

No. Most employers today understand the value of online learners and do not discriminate against those learners who complete classes remotely. Oftentimes, your diploma, certification, or confirmation of training documents won’t even indicate that you took classes remotely, anyway.

Are online CNA classes in North Carolina more affordable than campus programs??

Online classes may be more affordable for some learners, especially since many schools today charge remote students the same tuition rates as in-state learners. You’ll also be able to save money by making fewer commutes to and from campus.

Can I complete my North Carolina CNA training faster by taking classwork online?

If you enroll in self-paced, accelerated, or asynchronous online CNA classes in North Carolina, you might be able to complete them more quickly than on-campus classes. Nurse aides in training, however, must complete at least 16 hours of hands-on clinical training, which can’t be rushed or substituted.

How to Become a CNA in North Carolina

There are a handful of important steps that you’ll need to complete in order to obtain CNA licensure as laid out by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Health Service Regulation After choosing CNA classes in North Carolina that fit your personal, academic, and financial needs, you’ll need to make sure you have all of the information required to sit for the state certification exam. Here’s a list of steps to keep you on track. Completing all of these steps will ensure that you’re on the job market as soon as possible.

Step 1
Choose a Training Program

At this point, you’ve decided to pursue CNA training. You’ll need to choose between state-approved for-credit or non-credit programs. If you’re planning to pursue additional nursing education in the future, choosing a for-credit diploma or certificate CNA program is the best choice for you. If you see training as a quick way to enter the job market as a CNA, then a non-credit state-approved program is a quick and affordable way to get there.

Step 2
Meet Basic Requirements

Most CNA classes in North Carolina will require incoming learners to possess a high school diploma and be at least 18 years old. This may not be required by some non-credit programs. Additionally, prospective CNAs will at some point need to pass a background check. You should also be able to show documentation of your good physical health and up-to-date immunization records.

Step 3
Complete State-Approved CNA Training

After you choose your CNA training classes in North Carolina, you’ll need to successfully complete the established requirements set by your institution and the state. In North Carolina, that means you’ll need to finish at least 75 hours of instruction, including 59 hours of classroom instruction and 16 hours of clinical training.

Step 4
Register for CNA Exam

Upon completion of your CNA training program, your institution will notify the North Carolina Nurse Aide Registry that you’ve passed. You’ll receive an email with account activation instructions (be sure to check your spam folder). After you activate your account, you’ll be able to register to sit for the CNA certification exam. Check out the Nurse Aide 1 Candidate Guide for more information.

Step 5
Continuing Education

Continuing education (CE) credits are not required for CNAs in North Carolina. Maybe CNAs with only nurse aide 1 training choose to pursue nurse aide 2 coursework. This allows them to brush up on existing skills and learn more advanced knowledge and nursing techniques. CNAs in these programs engage with more complex and invasive patient care skills, which may help them better serve patients or take on more responsibilities at work.

Salary and Job Outlook for CNAs in North Carolina

It is an exciting time to work in the healthcare field, and the demand for CNAs is greater than ever, not to mention salary expectations in North Carolina are comparable to the national average. Learn more about what to expect professionally and financially from a career as a CNA in North Carolina below.

Is there high demand for CNAs in North Carolina?

After completing your CNA classes in North Carolina, you can look forward to a bright future with employment opportunities. As the baby-boom population continues to age and needs more assistance and care from medical professionals, more CNAs will be in demand each year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, available jobs for CNAs in the state will grow by 9.3% by 2028. That’s more than double the average projected growth of all other occupations in the U.S., for which BLS projects a 4% growth by 2028. Compared to CNAs nationwide by 2028, the projected growth for CNAs in North Carolina is slightly higher.

Job Outlook for CNAs in North Carolina

CNA Employment (2018) Projected New CNA Jobs (2018-2028) Projected CNA Job Growth (2018-2028)
North Carolina 64,910 6,020 9.30%
United States 1,513,200 135,400 8.90%

Source: Projections Central

How much do CNAs make in North Carolina?

CNAs in North Carolina make a good living and salaries comparable to professionals working in other states. At $29,360 in annual earnings, the average CNA in North Carolina makes only slightly below the national average of $29,660. Those CNAs residing in Goldsboro make slightly above the national median earnings, at $30,090. On the lower end, CNAs in the state make $19,430 each year. In the 90th percentile, professional CNAs in North Carolina earn a median annual wage of $34,690, which is only about $6,000 below the average earnings of CNAs in the same percentile.

Annual Earnings for CNAs in North Carolina

10th Percentile Median Earnings (50th Percentile) 90th Percentile
North Carolina $19,430 $26,360 $34,690
United States $21,960 $29,660 $40,620
Asheville $22,820 $29,080 $37,710
Burlington $17,780 $24,810 $33,080
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia $19,770 $27,100 $35,670
Durham-Chapel Hill $23,330 $29,500 $38,050
Fayetteville $18,340 $23,820 $33,720
Goldsboro $22,790 $30,090 $37,510

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2019

North Carolina CNA Student and Professional Resources

  • Scholarships and Online Resources for CNA StudentsEduMed’s scholarship and resource guide for CNAs provides a detailed overview of financial aid opportunities, student support services, and valuable membership organizations for CNA learners. Its list of school-based, national, and regional scholarships for CNA students offers students quick access to applications for excellent financial support.
  • North Carolina Nurses AssociationThe NCNA website offers CNAs in the state access to continuing education information, networking opportunities, and professional growth resources. Members can take advantage of online resources and articles, as well as an active job board for potential employment opportunities.
  • North Carolina Board of NursingThe North Carolina Board of Nursing serves as the best information hub for CNA students and professionals. From the latest news, publications, and continuing education opportunities to updated rules and regulations for CNAs, this site keeps students and professionals informed with accurate information.
  • North Carolina Department of Health and Human ServicesThe DHSR gives CNAs the chance to verify their registry information with the state. This is especially helpful for new nurse aide 1 CNAs who wish to check their registry status after passing the certification exam. The site also includes a FAQ section, online publications, and information on continuing education opportunities
  • Pearson Nurse Aide Practice Written ExamThis site offers prospective CNAs the chance to take a practice National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) written exam. This gives you the chance to get a feel for the exam and be able to check your answers with an answer key after you finish. You’ll also be able to see how long it takes you to complete the practice exam to help you plan or adjust your test-taking strategies.