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CNA Classes in Houston: Online & On-Campus Training

Choose a hybrid or on-campus CNA program in Houston and move into your new nurse aide career within a matter of weeks. This guide tells you what you need to know from cost to certification info and more.

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WRITTEN BY: Shannon Lee
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REVIEWED BY: Edumed Editing Staff

Last Updated: 06/08/2023

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Certified nursing assistants or aides (CNAs) work under the supervision of registered nurses and other healthcare professionals. CNAs provide basic nursing care to patients in hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, mental health institutions, and home healthcare settings. The need for CNAs is expected to rise, given the increased demand for healthcare services as a result of an aging the population and individuals living longer.

To meet this increased demand, there are plenty of CNA classes available in the Houston area. These programs are found at community colleges, vocational schools, private schools of higher learning, and even in hospitals and high schools. The short program duration means you graduate and are ready for the workforce in a matter of months.

Traditionally, CNA coursework in Houston and elsewhere has been fully hands-on. However, many schools have begun shifting some of the classroom requirements to virtual instruction. It’s now possible to find hybrid CNA classes in Houston that provide knowledge through online means yet still require hands-on clinical hours.

This guide helps you understand what it takes to become a CNA in Houston and the surrounding area, including what to expect from courses, the salary and job outlooks, how to pay for classes, and more.

Best CNA Classes and Training Programs in Houston

There are many CNA classes in Houston, so it can sometimes be a challenge to figure out which one you should enroll in. To help you choose the one that’s right for you, we highlight three that are top-notch in terms of state approval and accreditation, affordability, students support services, and learning flexibility. These classes give you a good idea of what to look for in a CNA program in Houston.

Houston Community College

Earn the Certified Nurse Aide credential through Houston Community College on a fast-track that gets you into the workforce quickly. This program prepares CNAs to work in long-term healthcare facilities and teaches communication, safety, residents’ rights, observation, reporting, and assisting residents in basic safety and comfort measures. Students must meet certain criteria like having CPR certification, all immunizations as required by state law, a clean criminal background check, and appropriate drug screening.

You must attend an online information session to learn more before enrolling. The program requires 60 hours of classroom time, four hours for a lecture and final exam, and 44 clinical hours at a nursing facility. It currently costs $895.

Texas Health School

The Nurse Aide Program at Texas Health School offers a variety of options for those with busy schedules. First up, there’s the daytime track, where students take courses during the day and can graduate in four weeks. Next, there are evening classes, which means graduation occurs in six weeks. Finally, there’s the weekend track, which takes 12 weeks to finish. Regardless of which track they choose, students will learn to work with a variety of patients, specifically those who are homebound or in nursing homes. Graduates have strong skills in communication, safety protocols, patient rights, nutrition, infection control, vital sign reporting, and using proper body mechanics for lifting, turning, and moving patients.

Expect to complete 100 hours, 60 of which is completed in the classroom and 40 at a designated site. Completion of these hours satisfies the criteria set forth by Texas Health and Human Services and allows graduates to sit for the competency exam.

Lone Star College

Those at Lone Star College can earn their Nurse Aide (CNA) Certificate for work in entry-level positions in the healthcare industry, especially among those in long-term care facilities. This non-credit, fast-track program requires 108 hours of study, 64 of which are in the classroom and 44 that are hands-on for the clinical component. Students learn about the health, safety, and comfort of patients with an emphasis on the elderly. Training has a special focus on proper communication between the caregiver and the patient, the patient’s family, supervisors, and other healthcare providers. This program is offered at six different locations, including LSC-Houston North. Students must meet certain requirements for admission, including submitting a copy of their social security cards, Texas IDs, and immunization records and passing the necessary background checks.

FAQs About CNA Classes in Houston

What skills do you learn in CNA classes in Houston?

Students learn about basic nursing and healthcare in their CNA program. This includes how to record vital signs, care for wounds, help individuals dress, bathe, and feed themselves, nutrition and bodily functions, the basics of motion, the aging process, some pharmacology, anatomy and physiology, and an understanding of death and dying. Good communication is stressed in all programs, including appropriate communication between different people. For instance, you’ll learn how teaching a family to care for a patient takes different communication skills than talking with colleagues about that patient’s care.

Hands-on skills are also a strong component of CNA programs in Houston. Required clinical hours are spent working with simulations in a controlled setting or working with real patients in a healthcare facility while under the watchful eye of an instructor. Some skills go further than the basics, like learning how to sterilize instruments or insert catheters.

How much do CNA classes cost in Houston?

It depends on the school and program selected. Because CNA classes are often short, tuition and fees are relatively inexpensive. In some cases, tuition is free with the only costs being some fees and the expense of required items like uniforms and proper shoes. In most cases, a one-time payment is required at the start of a program, but some offer installment plans. The following are examples of what CNA classes in Houston typically cost.

Houston Community College

Certified Nurse Aid

Total Cost: $895

San Jacinto College

Certified Nurse Aide Training

Total Cost: $635

The Vocational Nursing Institute

Nurse Aide Program

Total Cost: $995

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

CNA classes in Houston cost less than many other healthcare programs. Despite this, many students can still struggle to pay for their nurse aide training. Aspiring certified nursing assistants can look to scholarships, grants, and loans to help them pay for the cost of schooling. Keep in mind that in most cases, these forms of financial aid only apply to those who are attending a program approved by the state of Texas. To learn more, visit our CNA scholarships guide and financial aid guide.

How long do CNA classes in Houston take to finish?

Most CNA programs take only a few months to complete. Each program provides 100 hours of training spread out over a short period. Some programs that allow full-time learning can be completed in as little as one month. Those allowing for evening or weekend study might take two to three months to complete, however.

Inside Look at Online CNA Classes in Houston

In most cases, CNA classes in Houston are delivered in person over a matter of weeks. However, in recognition of the shift to virtual learning that’s taking place across the nation, many schools now have online components to their CNA programs, one example being the Southern Careers Institute. This format means some parts of the course, such as lectures and discussion boards, are online while other parts must be completed hands-on under the supervision of instructors.

To learn more about what an online CNA curriculum looks like, check out our guide to online CNA classes.

Common Questions About Online CNA Classes in Houston

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

No. As long as a CNA program is approved by the state of Texas, you can sit for the examination and become a certified nursing assistant or certified nurse aide. If the approved program provides some elements online, you can rest assured you’re still getting the knowledge and skills necessary to do the job of a CNA.

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

Probably not. Employers want to know you can do the job, and certification as a nursing assistant tells them you can. Given the ubiquity of online learning, many employers might expect that you took courses online and should have no problem with that. As long as the state approves your program and you completed it and passed the competency examination, you’re ready for employment.

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

They can be, but in an indirect way. Many CNA programs in Houston have recently moved some components to online learning, and the pricing seems to be the same. Given that programs include clinical hours that must be completed as usual, it’s safe to say the prices might not drop for online portions. However, there are other savings to be had with online learning, like lack of a commute to campus and parking fees. There’s also the fact that online courses make it easier to work while in school.

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

Though some online learning might allow for more flexibility in when you finish the classwork, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s faster to finish the entire program. Most CNA training programs move in a cohort model, which means you’ll still have to complete the on-hands training with the rest of the class.

How to Become a CNA in Houston

To become a nurse aide, nursing assistant, or certified nursing assistant (the exact title depends on the employer), applicants must graduate from an approved Nurse Aid Training and Competency Evaluation Program (NATCEP). These programs provide at least 100 hours of training, including 60 hours of classroom time and 40 hours of hands-on resident care.

After graduation, your school arranges for a test through Nurse Aide Competency Evaluation Services. You should receive your certificate within six weeks of passing your test. While you wait for your certificate, you can work at a nursing home or other facility for up to four months. You must then have passed the test and been added to the Nurse Aide Registry to continue working as a nursing assistant.

To learn more about these requirements, please see the NAR Credentialing Page.

Renewing certification requires 24 hours of in-service education every two years. This education can be completed through online or in-person means at any NATCEP.

Further information on becoming a CNA in Houston can be found on our Texas CNA page.

Earnings Outlook: How much does a CNA Make in Houston?

CNAs in Houston make slightly more than CNAs state-wide but a bit less compared to the overall average for the United States. Keep in mind that the cost of living comes into play with the income for CNAs and other healthcare workers; for instance, someone might be paid more in Dallas because the cost of living in Dallas is 5% more than the cost of living in Houston. The following chart breaks down salary expectations for CNAs across Texas.

Annual Earnings for CNAs in Houston

10th Percentile Median Earnings (50th Percentile) 90th Percentile
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX $20,470 $27,450 $38,670
Texas $20,740 $27,020 $37,660
United States $21,960 $29,660 $40,620
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX $21,590 $28,760 $39,480
Austin-Round Rock, TX $21,820 $29,350 $38,030
San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX $20,900 $26,790 $36,380

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2019

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