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CNA Classes in Raleigh, NC: Online & Campus

Certified nurse aide (CNA) classes offer a quick and affordable pathway to a nursing career. Explore top Raleigh CNA programs and get answers to your key questions in this guide.


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In as few as two months, you can complete a nurse aide program in Raleigh, NC that will give you the technical and clinical skills needed to begin work in the nursing field as a certified nurse assistant or aide (CNA). The greater Raleigh-Durham metro area offers several affordable CNA programs to choose from.

The best CNA training programs are accredited, state-approved, affordable, and provide a clear pathway to the successful completion of North Carolina’s Nurse Aide I competency examination. Some programs even offer a hybrid option with completion of some coursework online and self-paced.

This guide shows you what to expect from CNA classes in Raleigh and how to become certified. It also spotlights several top programs in the Raleigh area and gives information on cost, format, and income potential. Get started on your research of campus and online CNA classes in Raleigh below.

Best CNA Classes and Training Programs in Raleigh, NC

Below are three flexible and affordable CNA training options in the greater Raleigh area. These state-approved programs offer the technical and clinical training needed to enter the nursing field and earn a North Carolina-approved CNA certification. We picked these three programs because they excel in several key areas, including affordability, students support services, and learning flexibility.

Wake Technical Community College

Wake Technical Community College is unique from other nurse aide programs in the Raleigh area in that it offers both hybrid and in-person tracks for students interested in becoming certified nursing aides. Classified as a Workforce Continuing Education, this career training requires 168 hours of coursework. Of those 168 hours, 100 are dedicated to classroom lectures and labs with the remaining 68 hours spent in hands-on clinical experiences. The hybrid option involves 40 hours of classroom instruction completed online.

This nursing aid track gives you the basic nursing skills needed to provide safe and competent care. It is a broad overview providing an essential introduction to the nursing field. Topics include the aging process, nursing communication, and end-of-life care. Students learn about legal and ethical issues in the field and gain hands-on clinical experience under the supervision of registered nurses.

Upon completing this program, you can demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary for professional listing on the North Carolina Nurse Aide I Registry.

Durham Tech

Through a combination of in-class instruction, lab work, and clinical rotations, students completing Durham Tech’s Nurse Aide I track are well prepared to pass the North Carolina Nurse Aide Competency Evaluation. Offering both in-person and hybrid, prospective students need a high school diploma and proof of required vaccinations. Students interested in the hospital-based track must also have personal health insurance.

Durham Tech CNA students can choose a hospital-based concentration or traditional nurse aide track. Both tracks offer hybrid options with the lecture portion completed online. The traditional CNA track takes about 16 weeks to complete. There’s also an accelerated option, which is available for students with some college-level coursework and healthcare experience.

Johnston Community College

Located just outside Raleigh, Johnston Community College offers an affordable CNA program that prepares you for the North Carolina exam for nurse aide registry. This in-person option takes 12-16 weeks to complete. It provides 160 hours of training in the classroom, clinical, and lab settings. To enroll, prospective students must show proof of a high school diploma or equivalent, and high school students interested in this program must be at least 16 ½ years old and pass a reading test.

Offering daytime, nighttime, and weekend classes, Johnson Community College’s CNA track provides students with the physical, mental, and emotional skills needed to administer competent nursing care. Highlighted technical standards include communication, observation, and behavioral skills. This program also underscores the importance of reading and comprehension and their relation to critical thinking and clinical reasoning.

FAQs About CNA Classes in Raleigh, NC

What skills do you learn in CNA classes in Raleigh?

Enrolling in a CNA class in the Raleigh area teaches the skills for competent CNA care along with the technical knowledge needed to pass North Carolina’s nurse aide registry exam.

Individuals seeking CNA registry explore many technical standards of the profession, including communication, observation, and motor skills critical to providing patients with adequate care. Intellectual, behavioral, and emotional skills are also highlighted, ensuring CNAs can adapt and perform within the pressures of a medical environment. Successful students are self-motivated, have great interpersonal skills, are compassionate, and integrity-driven.

How much do CNA classes cost in Raleigh?

If you want to enter the nursing field, earning your CNA certification is a great start. With programs in the Raleigh area offering both hybrid and in-person coursework, this career track is a flexible and affordable nursing introduction. Programs often have tuition costs that are less than $300, making it a perfect option if you’re not ready to commit to an associate or bachelor’s degree. One thing to keep in mind is that the total program cost will usually be more than this, as there are other expenses for the nurse aide program such as learning supplies, uniform, and exam fees. That being said, below are three inexpensive options in the Raleigh area that will give you a rough idea of what to expect in terms of tuition.

Durham Tech

Nurse Aide I Continuing Education

Total Hours: 179.5

Tuition: $279.25

Wake Technical Community College

Nurse Aide I

Total Hours: 168

Tuition: $250

Johnston Community College

Nurse Aide I

Total Hours: 160

Tuition: $214

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

Even though your CNA classes won’t break the bank, you might still struggle to come up with the money to pay for the program. Luckily, there are financial aid options that can offset the cost of tuition and fees. While traditional financial aid resources often don’t apply to continuing education courses, there are many scholarships available. Scholarships like the I Have A Dream Award, Golden LEAF Scholarship, and the Finish Line Grant Program all offer financial assistance for continuing education classes. Check out our CNA scholarships guide for additional financial aid information.

How long do CNA classes in Raleigh take to finish?

Students can expect programs to take 12-16 weeks to complete the necessary coursework and clinical requirements preparing them to pass North Carolina’s CNA registry exam. Additionally, Durham Tech offers a nurse aide short course designed for students who have already taken some college courses and have backgrounds in healthcare. This accelerated track requires 139 contact hours versus the 174 hours for the traditional track.

While hybrid tracks may not reduce the amount of time it takes to complete the program, online courses can free up schedules and better accommodate personal and professional responsibilities. This may indirectly lead to faster graduation times, as the flexibility from online learning may allow students to enroll with full-time status instead of completing the program as a part-time student.

Inside Look at Online CNA Classes in Raleigh, NC

While most CNA classes near Raleigh are in-person, both Durham Tech and Wake Tech offer hybrid options that allow you to complete some coursework online. Common online courses include nurse aid healthcare skills, introduction to basic care, and acute care nurse aide skills. In addition to traditional coursework, clinical requirements provide you with essential, hands-on experience in the field. Students work alongside RNs and LPNs in medical environments like hospitals, home health, and eldercare. Review our guide to CNA classes to learn more about what to expect.

Upon completing CNA classes, you’ll be eligible to take the nurse aide registry exam. This exam tests your CNA knowledge and allows you to apply many of the skills you’ve learned. Topics covered include body mechanics, client rights, and medical terminology. You’ll also demonstrate various essential nursing skills.

Common Questions About Online CNA Classes in Raleigh

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

Taking a portion of your CNA classes online will not impact your ability to get certified if you complete the coursework. . Just make sure the program you’re enrolled in has state approval. Also, keep in mind that online coursework requires self-discipline, so be prepared for that. CNA coursework, whether online or in person, provides the theoretical and technical skills needed for certification.

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

Probably not. And even if they somehow did (which is highly unlikely), employers typically won’t know whether you completed coursework online or in person. Employers want to hire certified CNAs, and graduating from an approved program is what matters.

Are online CNA classes in Raleigh more affordable than campus programs?

CNA classes are affordable whether taken online or in-person, and schools like Durham Tech and Wake Tech do not charge different tuition rates for hybrid learners. Enrolling in online courses does have hidden financial value, though. Whether by saving money on gas or spending the time saved earning money, online classes afford the chance to complete at least some coursework at your own pace.

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

Unless you complete the necessary work for admission into an accelerated track, your CNA training will take 12-16 weeks. While online courses won’t speed up the CNA certification process, hybrid courses provide a level of flexibility you won’t get from on-campus options.

How to Become a CNA in Raleigh

Becoming a certified CNA in Raleigh requires completion of a state-approved training program and the Nurse Aide I competency testing. Out-of-state nurse aides may be eligible for registry, but they need to complete a training waiver or a reciprocity application. Standard requirements for CNA certification include:

  • Completing an approved CNA training program
  • Preparing for your Nurse Aide I competency evaluation
  • Registering for the CNA test through the Credentia website
  • Taking and passing the Nurse Aid I test

Once you pass your Nurse Aide I test, expect to be listed on the CNA registry within 2-5 days. Your listing lasts two years before you need to renew. Take a look at our North Carolina CNA page to find step-by-step for more details on how to become a CNA.

Earnings Outlook: How Much Does a CNA Make in Raleigh?

While CNAs in Raleigh do not earn an incredibly lucrative salary, CNA training offers an inexpensive and practical way to enter the medical field. Median salaries for CNAs in Raleigh and nationwide are under $30,000. However, it’s a great first step to higher-paying medical jobs like registered nurses who earn a median salary of over $73,000 annually.

Annual Earnings for CNAs in Raleigh

10th Percentile Median Earnings (50th Percentile) 90th Percentile
Raleigh, NC $20,580 $26,200 $35,830
North Carolina $19,430 $26,360 $34,690
United States $21,960 $29,660 $40,620
Greensboro-High Point, NC $20,560 $25,830 $34,380
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC $19,770 $27,100 $35,670
Durham-Chapel Hill, NC $23,330 $29,500 $38,050

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2019

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