The Best Online Home Health Aide Certification Programs
Many online home health aide certification programs exist, making it necessary for prospective students to do their research and find a respected and effective program that meets their needs. In the list below, students considering this path can review a list of affordable, comprehensive programs with the accreditation they need to begin a rewarding career as a home health aide. Read about some of today’s best home health aide certification programs online.
Methodology for EduMed’s 2022 Best Online Programs
1. Create List of Eligible Schools and Programs
To be eligible for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria based on government data provided by The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).
- Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
- At least one program in subject area offered partially or fully online.
2. Assign Weightings
After creating the list of eligible schools, EduMed data scientists assigned weights and ranked schools based on a mix of affordability, support services, and online program availability metrics. Online program availability and overall affordability metrics received the heaviest weightings.
Online Program Availability
- Number of online programs in subject area reported by school to the U.S. Department of Education.
- Cost – Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on tuition and fees per academic year.
- Students w/ Institutional Aid – Percentage of students who receive financial aid from the school itself.
- Academic Counseling – Existence of this service on campus or online.
- Career Placement – Existence of this service on campus or online.
About Our Data
EduMed’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Most recent data pull: July 2021
|#||School Name||Type||Cost||Online Programs||More Details||School Information||Online Students||Academic Counseling||Career Placement||Students w/Institutional Aid||Median Earnings 10yrs After Entry||Accreditation|
|1||Pratt Community CollegePratt, KS||Public||N/A||1||
The Home Health Aide Course at Pratt Community College gives current CNAs the additional training and knowledge they need to provide personal care assistance in home settings. Students learn to deliver supportive personal care safely and effectively to clients, including those in home health care and state aid programs for the elderly and disabled. Certification opens opportunities in nursing homes, hospitals, assisted living facilities, and other health care facilities. The course also covers the function and structure of the home care industry and a CNA's role within it. This hybrid course presents theory portions online with labs and clinicals on site. Applicants must have current State Nurse Aide Certification, negative TB tests administered in the past 6 months, and satisfactory scores on placement tests. This course prepares participants for the state exam for home health aide certification.
Home Health Aide Course
|AccreditationHigher Learning Commission|
|2||Long Beach City CollegeLong Beach, CA||Public||N/A||1||
Completion of the Certificate of Accomplishment, Home Health Aide through Vocational Nursing program at Long Beach City College guarantees state certification as a Home Health Aide. Through 18 hours of lecture and 27 laboratory hours, the Home Health Aide course synthesizes the theories and principles necessary for providing basic home health care services. Many of Long Beach’s nursing courses are offered in a hybrid F2F format with both face-to-face meetings on campus and online content. The course meets the requirements set by the California Department of Public Health Services for Certified Nursing Assistants to become Certified Home Health Aides. Students must be CNAs to take this course.
Certificate of Accomplishment, Home Health Aide
|AccreditationWestern Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges|
|3||Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell CampusRoswell, NM||Public||N/A||1||
The Certificate of Employability in Homemaker/Home Health Care Aide at Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU) teaches students to provide care to the disabled, chronically ill, cognitively impaired, and anyone needing assistance in their homes or long-term care facilities. They also learn to assist in hospice and day programs and to help discharged hospital patients with short-term needs. Aides learn light housekeeping and homemaking that might include laundry, meal preparation, and grocery shopping and to help patients bathe, dress, and groom. They may also take them to doctors’ appointments and on other errands. This certificate program prepares students to take the National Association for Home Care and Hospice certification for the Homemaker/Home Care Aide exam. While ENMU has not provided a list of virtual courses on their website, they did announce the intent to use a combination of in-person and online instruction for course content beginning Fall 2021.
Certificate of Employability in Homemaker/Home Health Care Aide
|AccreditationHigher Learning Commission|
|4||Northcentral Technical CollegeWausau, WI||Public||N/A||1||
The Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Technical Diploma at Northcentral Technical College teaches students to provide personal care in nursing homes, hospitals, other health agencies, and patients’ residences. Students learn basic nursing and patient care, including how to lift and move residents/patients in and out of beds and chairs. Graduates also interact with patients experiencing dementia, assist clients in attaining and maintaining independence, support clients’ rights and safety, demonstrate sensitivity to all aspects of client health, and exhibit employability. Graduates can take the State of Wisconsin Nurse Aid Certification Exam, which is required to be employed by any federally funded agency. Courses are available at a variety of campus locations as well as partially online with clinical instruction through area nursing homes and hospitals.
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Technical Diploma
|AccreditationHigher Learning Commission|
Penn Foster College
PROGRAM: Online Physical Therapy Aide Diploma
Take the first steps toward a career as a Physical Therapy Aide with Penn Foster’s online program. Physical therapist aides work under the supervision of a physical therapist to help patients regain movement and manage pain as they recover from injuries or illnesses. You can gain the skills you may need to work in this field in as little as one month.
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.
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:
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.
When looking at potential community colleges and vocational schools offering home health aide courses, students should ensure they maintain a good reputation. Individuals should look for institutional accreditation – especially if they plan to return to school for a degree, as reputation can affect their ability to receive admission.
The cost of home health aide programs can vary widely, with schools such as Southern Technical Institute offering programs for as low as $199 and others costing thousands of dollars. Learners should check with the financial aid office to learn about cost, available scholarships and grants, and payment plans before enrolling.
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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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
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.
- Five Reasons to Become a Home Health Aide. BAYADA lays out meaningful reasons to follow this career path for those who are still on the fence.
- Home Health Aide Profile – Bureau of Labor Statistics. Use this page to learn about what home health aides do, how to become one, pay, job outlook, and more.
- Home Health Aide Profile – Career One Stop. This page offers actionable and helpful information about what it looks like to work as an HHA.
- Home Health Aide Interview Questions. Glassdoor provides examples of real questions you may encounter on a job interview.
- 4 Tips for Becoming a Better Home Health Aide. The Harris Casel Institute helps individuals become the best HHAs they can be in this helpful resource.
- A Day in the Life of a Home Health Aide. Angeles Institute offers this insightful look at how HHAs spend a typical day at work.