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Top Online CNA Classes in Virginia (VA)

Whether you study online or on campus, a rewarding career awaits you as a certified nursing assistant. The top online CNA classes in Virginia are ideal for newcomers to nursing, so explore these programs and the steps it takes to become a CNA.

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Author: Brenda Barron
Editor: Mark Earnest

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Panoramic view of a Virginia city skyline at sunset, featuring various modern high-rise buildings illuminated by lights, surrounded by lush greenery. A river with a bridge is visible on the right, while the sky transitions from warm orange to blue hues.

So, you want to become a certified nursing assistant. Maybe you’re still in high school making plans for your future, or maybe you’ve graduated and are ready to take the first step of your career. Or maybe something about nursing and helping others calls to you, and you’ve decided to transition into healthcare. It is a great field to join, as it can be very fulfilling and offers consistent job security.

Whatever the case, chances are you’re looking for online CNA classes that are close to home and can help you earn certification in Virginia. These programs are designed to fit seamlessly into your life, whether you’re managing school schedules or taking that crucial first step into the workforce.

The convenience of online classes means you can learn from home at a pace that suits you, without sacrificing the quality of your education.

This guide will walk you through a few of the best online CNA classes in VA, the steps you’ll need to get licensed in the state, and your career prospects. Read on for the most effective path to start your nursing career.

Inside Virginia’s Standout Online CNA Classes

Becoming a certified nursing assistant has fewer barriers to completion thanks to online CNA classes in VA, which are flexible and allow you to study partially from home.

Many of these are hybrid courses, so you’ll need to show up at school for hands-on components, but the basic classwork can be done online. To help you choose the best online CNA classes in Virginia, here are some affordable, accredited, and comprehensive program options.

Brightpoint Community College

At Brightpoint Community College, you can major in the Nurse Aide/Medication Aide career studies certificate program. This course was designed to prepare new students to earn their nurse aide certification or for current CNAs to become medication aides.

In this 16-credit course, typically lasting less than a year, you’ll learn how to handle various patient needs, work with a healthcare team, and administer care including medications. You’ll become a well-trained aide ready to dive into the healthcare field.

Some of the core classes include medical terminology courses, health care technician instruction, and medication administration training. You’ll also have a chance for a coordination internship and can take the CNA and medication aide exams separately.

Tuition is currently $164.61/credit for Virginia residents, but financial aid is available to help you pay for books and classes.

Richmond Community College

Logo of Richmond Community College featuring a maroon circle with a white and maroon flame above a maroon cogwheel on the left, and "Since 1964 RICHMOND COMMUNITY COLLEGE" in gray uppercase letters on the right.

Not far from the state of Virginia, you can choose to attend Richmond Community College’s Nursing Assistant I course. This college in North Carolina offers in-person and hybrid classes that are suitable for people living on the southern border of Virginia or who wish to be dually certified in NC and VA.

The course lasts 166-172 contact hours and involves traditional classroom teaching, lectures, videos, and hands-on learning. Day and evening classes are available, or you can go with the hybrid option which mixes online learning with classroom lectures and hands-on study.

The course only costs $441 on its own. Once finished, you may wish to take the Nursing Assistant II advanced course or Medication Aide course for licensed CNAs. These are available solely on-campus.

Richmond Community College is known for its affordability, and financial aid is available to students who qualify.

Virginia Peninsula Community College

If you’re searching for online CNA classes in VA, the Nurse Aide Education Workforce Credential at Virginia Peninsula Community College is a stellar nursing program. At VPCC, you’ll learn how to provide long-term care for clients while being supervised by a licensed nurse.

The 148-hour/8-week program features a 40-hour clinical internship so you can get hands-on experience. A hybrid program is available. Lab and clinical practice hours are included, but you’ll need to utilize these on-campus.

You’ll learn how to care for patients, communicate effectively, prevent infections, and provide proper nutrition, among other topics. On completion, you’ll be prepared to take the National Nurse Aid Assessment Program (NNAAP) exam and earn CNA certification.

Tuition at VPCC is $164.81/credit for Virginia residents, but there are multiple scholarship opportunities available for this nurse aide class. Once completed, you’ll receive certification and be ready to start a career in nursing.

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How to Become a CNA in Virginia Online

If you want to work as a CNA in Virginia, there are a few requirements to meet, including completing an approved educational program that prepares you for the necessary final exams before you are certified. This section outlines the pathway to CNA licensure in Virginia.

Step 1: Meet Basic Background Requirements

Though you can become a nurse aide at 16, most CNA certification programs require a high school diploma. In addition, CNAs in Virginia are subject to stringent prerequisites.

Here are the CNA requirements in Virginia. You must:

  • Complete a state-approved, 120-plus-hour CNA training program.
  • Submit to a criminal background check and have no disqualifying convictions.
  • Not have committed an act of patient abuse or negligence.
  • Not be on medically restricted activity/light duty.
  • Pass the NNAAP test.

Many programs also require you to be fully immunized, be screened for drugs, and take a tuberculosis test.

Step 2: Graduate from an Approved CNA Program

Successfully completing a state-approved CNA program is the next crucial step. Virginia has specific requirements for CNA programs, and you can find the list of approved nurse aide programs on the Board of Nursing website. When in doubt, the programs listed above are a good place to start.

Step 3: Take the NNAAP Examination

Once you’ve completed your nursing aide program, you’re ready to take the NNAAP exam. Note that you may need to take it within a certain time frame after completing your studies.

The exam consists of two parts: a written (or oral) section testing your understanding of nursing concepts, and a practical skills test where you demonstrate competency in direct patient care.

If you pass, you’ll be added to the state nurse aide registry.

Step 4: Start Working as a CNA

Once certified, CNAs in Virginia are qualified to start working in various healthcare settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, and home health agencies. Look around your area for jobs at these facilities.

Your primary responsibilities are assisting patients with daily activities like bathing and dressing. You’ll also document information and, if certified, administer medication.

Step 5: Renew Your CNA License Periodically

In Virginia, CNAs are required to renew their license every two years. Additionally, you must have worked at a nursing job for pay during this period. If not, you’ll be required to repeat the nurse aide competency evaluation.

Continuing education is not required in this role – just keep working at your job to be re-certified. When it’s time, you can renew your license online.

Salary and Career Prospects for CNAs in Virginia

CNAs in Virginia enjoy a promising career outlook, with a national CNA job growth rate of 8.3% being bested by Virginia’s own job growth rate for CNAs at 12.7%. Nearly 6,000 new jobs open up every year. Healthcare is an industry that always needs more workers, and you can fill this talent gap.

Unfortunately, the salary outlook isn’t as good. While the median earnings of full-time workers in the US are $59k/year, CNAs in Virginia only earn $33k/year. The entry-level (10th percentile) salaries can get as low as $23k/year.

The salary doesn’t vary much by region, so CNAs in expensive areas like Northern Virginia may have more trouble than people working in rural areas. The highest median salary is in Winchester, and the lowest is in Lynchburg.

Many people choose being a CNA as an entry-level career, moving on to become a licensed practical nurse or to other healthcare jobs. This job can serve as a stepping stone into a much better salaried position.

Area10th PercentileMedian90th Percentile
Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA$24,800$31,740$36,470
Charlottesville, VA$27,460$32,620$41,160
Harrisonburg, VA$23,050$32,000$40,170
Lynchburg, VA$23,740$30,140$35,990
Richmond, VA$25,280$31,750$38,480
Roanoke, VA$24,980$31,020$36,590
Staunton-Waynesboro, VA$24,340$31,990$39,480
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC$22,900$31,210$37,760
Winchester, VA-WV$23,070$34,290$39,310

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

AreaNew Jobs (2020-2030)Growth RateAvg. Annual Openings
United States115,3008.3%187,000

Source: Projections Central

Answering Your Questions About Online CNA Classes in Virginia

Embarking on a new career, especially one as involved as a certified nursing assistant, can leave you with plenty of questions. We’ve gone over how earning your CNA license works, but there may be some details that still need some answers. Let’s address some common questions from CNA students like you.

Are there 4-week online CNA programs in Virginia?

If you choose to study nursing at college, many of these programs will last an entire semester, but there are 4-week programs available. Virginia requires 140 hours of instruction at minimum, which could be completed in 3.5 weeks. Career training schools like Fast Track Healthcare Education can help you complete your course on time.

Are there free CNA training programs in VA?

Free CNA programs can be found at various institutions. In some cases, you may earn a scholarship or grant at a community college. The Virginian hospital chain Ballad Health also offers free CNA classes that meet the state’s registration requirements.

Can I get my CNA online in Virginia?

The answer is yes, but only partially. Classroom time can be replaced by online instruction, but Virginia requires you to complete at least 40 hours of direct patient care, so you will need to have actual hands-on work before you are certified.

How long does it take to be a CNA in Virginia?

CNA programs in Virginia generally range from four to 12 weeks. This can vary depending on the program’s structure and whether you attend full- or part-time. However long it takes, you must receive a minimum 140 hours of instruction. Some institutions are more strict about missing scheduled days than others.

How long is a CNA license good for in Virginia?

In Virginia, a CNA license must be renewed every two years. License holders must have performed paid nursing or nursing-related services during the two-year renewal period, or you’ll need to repeat the nurse aide competency evaluation again.

How much does it cost to become a Virginia CNA?

This can vary in cost. CNA training may cost nothing at all, or you may need to pay per credit for your tuition. Many programs require you to buy your own uniforms and shoes. The NNAAP exam may also charge a fee, and there may also be renewal fees.