Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) provide crucial quality-of-life care to patients, communicate essential patient information to nurses and doctors, and perform duties that help a medical facility run smoothly. Becoming a CNA has different requirements depending on the state. In Texas, CNA training and classes can be completed through a local college or vocational school and can sometimes be found online as well.
Earning your Texas CNA credential online gives you the flexibility and convenience of taking some classes online and local support as you complete your clinical requirements in a facility near you. Some classes can be taken on campus, which provides great networking opportunities for CNA students. State-approved CNA programs in Texas offer a robust curriculum that helps prepare you for certification. This guide offers a comprehensive look at the training you’ll receive, how online and hybrid classes work, and job market and salary trends for CNAs in Texas.
FAQs About Online CNA Classes and Training in Texas
Texas CNA Program Online Spotlights
We’ve identified some of the top CNA programs in Texas, notable for their affordability, flexibility in scheduling, strong student support, approval by the state of Texas, and accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. These programs have also been approved by Texas Health and Human Services. Learn more about three CNA programs that stand out for 2020.
How Do I Become a CNA in Texas?
Becoming a CNA in Texas means more than taking a few classes and getting a certificate. There are essential processes that make you eligible to work in nursing homes and other skilled care facilities. Depending on where you want to work, it’s important to know these requirements ahead of time and plan accordingly. Take these steps as you work towards becoming a CNA in Texas.
Enroll in a state-approved nurse aide training and competency evaluation program (NATCE)
In the state of Texas, CNA students aren’t required to have a GED or high school diploma, but they must be free from certain criminal convictions. Most people without these convictions on their record can simply go right into a CNA program and get started on their training. Students must typically also have proof of vaccinations, drug screening, and CPR training to be accepted in a CNA program. It’s important to look for a program that is state-approved to ensure you are getting a high-quality education that will help you move right into work upon passing the competency exam. Find a list of approved programs in Texas here.
Complete your CNA classes and clinical training
Each state-approved program must offer 60 clock hours of classroom training that does not involve direct patient care and 40 clock hours of hands-on training with patients The established curriculum includes 16 introductory hours of training before the first patient contact, which includes communication, infection control, safety and emergency procedures, promoting independence, and respecting the rights of residents. Satisfactory completion of these requirements can allow you to sit for the nurse aide competency exam.
Pass the nurse aide competency exam
Those who have completed a Texas-approved training course within the last 24 months are eligible for the exam. Prometric is the organization administering the exam. It will confirm your eligibility, and then you can register for the test. Submit the required fees and schedule the exam, then pass both the written and oral sections within 24 months of graduation from your CNA training program. You have three attempts to pass before being required to retrain.
Begin gaining valuable experience
Once you’ve passed the exam, it’s time to get started on the next phase of your journey. Submit applications to places where you’d like to work. Join the Texas Nurse Aid Registry. Take on jobs that will give you hands-on experience working with patients, which will boost your resume when you’re ready to move up in your company or move to another position somewhere else.
Keep your certification current
CNAs are required to renew their certification every two years with 24 hours of in-service education. Texas Human Health and Services provides a list of programs approved to meet that requirement. Twelve of those 24 hours can be completed somewhere other than a facility licensed or certified by HHS, the Texas Board of Nursing, or the Texas Department of State Health Services.
Salary and Job Outlook for CNAs in Texas
When you move into any new career, it’s important to have a good idea of the job market, where to expect the best employment options, and the salary you can expect to receive.
Are CNAs in high demand in Texas?
Texas has some of the highest employment levels in the nation for CNAs, with the highest numbers in the Houston area. Jobs will continue to be in demand in skilled nursing facilities, general medical and surgical hospitals, and continuing care in assisted living facilities. Home health care services are also good places to find employment, and some CNAs turn to healthcare employment agencies to find their next job. Here’s what to expect from Texas employment versus the national average for the profession.
Job Outlook for Certified Nursing Aides in Texas
|Employment (2018)||New Jobs (2018-2028)||Job Growth Rate (2018-2028)||Average Annual Openings (2018-2028)|
Source: Projections Central
How much do CNAs make in Texas?
When seeking a job as a CNA, it’s no surprise that major metro areas are where the jobs are. Given that there is such competition among skilled nursing facilities and other medical and health institutions, the pay grades are set accordingly. Though pay in Texas overall is on a par with the national average, there are some areas of the state that tend to pay more than others.
Annual Earnings for Certified Nursing Aides in Texas
|10th Percentile||50th Percentile (Median)||90th Percentile|
|San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX||$20,900||$ 26,790||$36,380|
|Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX||$20,470||$27,450||$38,670|
|Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX||$ 21,590||$28,760||$39,480|
|Austin-Round Rock, TX||$21,820||$29,350||$38,030|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2019
Similar Texas Nursing Programs You May Be Interested In
If you’re thinking about a CNA program, you might be interested in other entry-level degrees that allow you to enter the medical profession in Texas. Here are a few to consider.
- Online LVN Programs in TexasWorking as a licensed vocational nurse (LVN) enables you to work closely with patients on a day-to-day basis while under the supervision of a registered nurse or other healthcare professional. You can build strong experience in a medical facility, which can be valuable if you choose to expand your career later on and pursue a registered nursing degree.
- Online ADN Programs in TexasChoosing an associate degree in nursing can lead to a career as a registered nurse. This job comes with higher pay and good job security, as there is a perpetual nursing shortage around the country and RNs are in high demand. Those who choose to become an RN through the associate degree route can later earn their bachelor’s and then move on to their master’s in RN, which can both be completed online.
Texas CNA Student and Professional Resources
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Nursing Assistants and OrderliesThis site offers a wealth of information on nursing assistants, what they do, how much pay they might expect, and more.
- Career One StopThis site offers a comprehensive career profile for CNAs including videos and an in-depth outlook.
- CNA AssociationThis group for CNAs can help with everything from networking to job leads to information on where CNAs are doing great things across the nation.
- NAR-Approved In-Service Education ProgramsCNAs looking for ways to keep up their certification can turn to this page for more information on local opportunities.
- NAR Credentialing FactsThis is what you need to know to become a CNA, including the basic requirements and more expanded rules for keeping up with certification.
- Nurse Aide RegistryThis site is dedicated to registration and compliance of nurse aides in the state of Texas. Only those listed here are eligible to work in skilled nursing facilities in the state.
- Scholarships and Online Resources for CNA StudentsLooking for a way to help pay for tuition and find other resources before you enter your program? This is the place to go.