Home Health Aide Certification & Training Online

Find who offers accredited online home health aide courses, how the programs work, their cost, and how long it takes to go from school to a home health aide career

More than three million Americans currently work as home health aides, and more than one million new roles are expected to be added in the coming years. This fast-growing field allows compassionate medical support staff to help patients complete daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, and eating in the comfort of their homes rather than in a hospital or long-term care facility. While mostly online programs do exist, all programs will require an in-person clinical component. Keep reading to learn about 2019’s top programs and take your first step toward a career as a home health aide.

Best in Class: Home Health Aide Certification Programs Online

Many online home health aide certification programs exist, making it necessary for prospective students to do their research and find a respected and effective course that meets their needs. Because it can sometimes feel overwhelming to review every program available, we’ve made it easier for you. In this section, students considering this path can review our list of the most affordable and comprehensive programs with the accreditation you need to begin a rewarding career as a home health aide. We’ve also spotlighted three programs in full so you can begin to visualize your journey from start to finish. Read about some of today’s best home health aide certification programs online.

Spotlight: Pratt Community College

Since 1935, Pratt Community College in Kansas has served the needs of students seeking quality vocational training. The institution provides a home health aide course that helps currently certified nurse aides gain the advanced skills and knowledge needed to give care in a home setting. In addition to receiving institutional accreditation, PCC’s home health aide program also meets requirements set forth by the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services.

To meet the individual needs of a variety of students, PCC makes this course available online and at the main campus. Both high school and adult students are eligible to enroll. In order to receive consideration for admission, applicants must supply a completed PCC application, an active state nurse aide certification license, a valid social security card, proof of tuberculosis testing within the prior six months, a passing score on the COMPASS reading exam, and a signature of student agreement and memo of understanding. Once enrolled, students participate in a 75-hour home health aide course. After finishing, they must take the exam provided by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and pay a fee of $20.

Spotlight: E & S Academy

e-and-s-academy

E & S Academy in New Jersey focuses on providing medical vocational education for individuals looking to quickly move into the healthcare industry. The institution offers a 76-hour certified home health aide program; 60 credits can be taken online while the remaining 16 must be taken in a classroom, as mandated by the state. Learners can complete these hours either in South Plainfield or Lawrenceville. This program is open to students living outside New Jersey, but they must visit one of the campus locations to complete classroom requirements. At the end of the training program, and after individuals successfully passing the exam, they receive licensure via the New Jersey Board of Nursing.

All told, E & S Academy’s program takes three weeks to complete and the school offers a range of affordable payment plans to meet individual needs. Tuition charges include all textbooks, required uniforms, materials, and employment support. The school also provides a number of grants and scholarships. If learners do not have a computer and/or a steady internet connection, they can visit the main campus and take advantage of the computer lab to complete coursework requirements.

Spotlight: Southern Technical Institute

The Southern Technical Institute maintains campuses in Tampa Bay, Orlando, and Tavares, Florida for individuals hoping to gain the skills needed for home health aide careers. The institution offers online courses to help individuals balancing professional and personal responsibilities while also furthering their education. Once accepted into the program, students use online software to complete readings, watch videos, take quizzes, and sit for the final exam. While all course work can be complete online, learners must visit one of the three campuses for a full day of hands-on clinical skills learning and instructor demonstrations.

STI’s program meets federal requirements for home health aides working in agencies that accept Medicare/Medicaid by offering a program requiring more than 75 hours of study. Florida does not require home health aides to pass a state exam, but STI does provide certification after learners meet all requirements. Currently, STI charges $199 for the program. Applicants do not need to hold a high school diploma or GED to apply. Some of the topics covered include healthcare system structure, precautions against infection, basic nursing and personal skills, nutrition, and rehabilitative/restorative care.

Earning Your Home Health Aide Certification Online

Many home health aide certification programs now exist online to help busy students find the time to further their education and their careers without needing to visit campus multiple times per week. According to federal guidelines, home health aide programs only need to provide 16 hours’ worth of clinical experience (which requires in-person training). Because of this, the remaining portion of the program can exist fully online and meet all state and federal mandates. Most programs use a learning management platform such as Blackboard to organize readings, allow peers and professors to communicate, and administer quizzes and exams.

Mostly online

These home health aide programs and classes have most or all of their coursework and resources available online. Research material, complete exercises, collaborate with professors and peers, etc. However, students will need to visit a campus to complete hands-on work as directed by federal training requirements.

Why choose online training for HHA certification?

Online training for home health aide certification is becoming more and more popular as it makes it possible for learners to complete programmatic requirements at times best suited to their unique schedules without needing to drive to/from campus multiple times per week. Online learning offers numerous benefits for students determined to further their educations. Before committing to this option, however, individuals should do their research to make sure it’s right for them. Some of the components to consider include:

Convenience

Any location with a secure and steady internet connection can be used for completing online education programs, making them convenient for individuals with packed schedules. Prospective learners should remember that they must complete at least 16 in-person clinical hours as part of programmatic requirements.

Reputation

Cost

The In’s-and-Out’s of Home Health Aide Certification  

As students begin researching and reviewing prospective home health aide training programs, they may wonder how long it typically takes to move from matriculation to graduation. Put simply, this depends on the state the student lives in. The federal government mandates that programs last at least 75 hours. 33 states follow this mandate. The remaining 17 states follow the National Academy of Medicine’s suggestion of 120 hours. Regardless of the path, home health aide programs can be completed relatively quickly – far more quickly than a traditional diploma or degree path. To begin working, students at bare minimum will need to meet federal training requirements and pass a competency examination.

What are the federal HHA training requirements?

In order to meet federal requirements, home health aide training programs must meet certain criteria. For starters, all programs must total at least 75 hours, 16 of which must be focused on in-person, hands-on clinical training. These hours focus on building the skills needed to interact with and care for patients and includes sessions on communicating effectively, observing and reporting the patient’s health status, taking and recording vital statistics, controlling basic infections, maintaining a clean and safe home, caring for physical, emotional, and developmental needs, attending to personal hygiene and grooming needs, improving range of motion, implementing safe transfer techniques, and providing adequate nutrition.

Understanding HHA training requirements by State

In addition to federal mandates, prospective home health aides must also familiarize themselves with the rules of individual states. As of 2019, 33 states follow the standard federal requirements that mandate 75 hours of general training and 16 hours of clinical training.

Some students may notice that HHA programs frequently mention becoming a certified nurse aide before becoming a home health aide. If you see this, chances are you live in one of the 11 states that maintains this requirement.

While 33 states follow the federal minimum, the remaining 17 states require even more coursework to meet the National Academy of Medicine’s suggestion of 120 hours. If unsure of what your state requires, review PHI’s map demonstrating home health aide training requirements by state.

If your state requires that home health aides receive certification as a nurse aide first, we can help. Check out our page dedicated to online CNA classes to learn more.

Course Overview: Online Home Health Aide Training

When reviewing home health aide curricula, prospective students soon notice that all cover specific clerical and clinical knowledge and skills. The majority of these courses are mandated by the federal government, which requires every program to provide at minimum 59 hours of academic coursework and 16 hours of clinical, hands-on training. The following two sections take a look at some of the skills gained in both online and classroom-based courses.

Home health aide classes that can be taken online:

Creating-safe-home-environments

Creating safe home environments. Students in this course consider some of the everyday items that can act as safety hazards for those they serve. Learners consider outdoor hazards, learn how to assess an environment for safety issues, and how to help their patients avoid situations that would cause them to slip, trip, or fall.

Communicating-effectively

Communicating effectively. This class helps learners build effective communication skills for working with patients and other healthcare providers. Students learn how to observe and identify changes in patients, communicate with family members, and work with their patients to regularly assess comfort and health.

Serving-children

Serving children. This specialized course helps learners develop the unique skills needed to serve children in the home. Some of the specific topics covered include understanding developmental stages, identifying developmental disabilities, navigating family relations, addressing abuse, and providing care to premature infants.

Nutritional-needs

Nutritional needs. Individuals enrolled in this class learn about how to plan, purchase, and serve food to their patients. They learn about “My Plate” guidelines, how to navigate food allergies, proper food preparation and storage, and how to handle feeding issues. They also cover several therapeutic diets.

Home Health Aide clinicals that must be taken in-person/on campus:

Moving-patients

Moving patients. Home health aides in training learn how to properly lift and move patients from beds, chairs, and automobiles in a way that is safe for them and the patient. They also learn about moving other heavy objects such as medical equipment or furniture.

Checking-vitals

Checking vitals. Because their patients aren’t in hospital settings, home health aides must know how to check blood pressure, pulse rate, body temperature, respiration rate, and oxygen saturation.

Cooking-meals

Cooking meals. Students learn how to shop for, prepare, and cook meals that meet specific nutritional requirements. Home health aides must cook for a variety of health concerns, including diabetes, high blood pressure, coeliac, and other diseases that can be partially managed through diet. They must also learn how to store these meals.

Giving-medications

Giving medications. While home health aides cannot prescribe medications, they are often in charge of ensuring their patients take the right dosage at the correct time(s) each day. Examples could include preparing pills, using prescribed creams, or giving injections.

Salary & Career Outlook for Home Health Aide Professionals

Before committing to a career as a home health aide, many individuals want to learn more about how much money they can expect to make each year and whether the career offers stability in the future. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, roles for home health aides and personal care aides are projected to grow by 41% between 2016 and 2026. 2.93 million Americans currently fill these roles, and the BLS projects that 1.21 million new positions will be added during the same time frame.

In terms of income, the BLS found that the 2017 median pay for this profession sat at $23,210, although some industries pay more or less than this figure. Nursing care facilities, for instance, pay the highest average salary of $24,360, while home healthcare services pay the lowest average annual salary of $22,900.

After working as a home health aide for a number of years, some individuals may decide to advance their careers. Some decide to pursue training as a licensed practical nurse by completing a postsecondary certificate/diploma. These individuals earn an average salary of $45,030. After working in this role for a few years, these same individuals may decide to complete an LPN to RN bridge program and become a registered nurse. These individuals earn $70,000 annually. By getting on the path to a career in healthcare by becoming a home health aide, many individuals pursue various paths that help build their skills while also growing their salaries.

Home Health Aide Resources  

After reviewing the information provided in this guide, some would-be students may decide they need more information to make up their minds. The resources highlighted below exist to help make the decision easier.