Best Online CNA Classes
CNA Online Certifications & Courses
In the coming years, the need for qualified, certified nursing assistants (CNAs) should rise. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects jobs for these professionals to grow 8% between 2019-2029, while all other occupations are projected to grow an average of 4%.
Competitive CNA programs admit a limited number of students annually, so possessing a strong GPA benefits applicants. During their studies, CNA students learn how to assist nurses and provide optimal bedside care for patients. This degree prepares students to earn entry-level jobs in the nursing field and gain experience for a full nursing degree.
Finding the best CNA program takes time and research, and this guide can help. Keep reading for answers to frequently asked questions surrounding this degree, a CNA program's goals, and helpful professional organizations and scholarships. We also rank the top CNA degrees based on factors like graduate retention rates and tuition.
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Common Questions People Also Ask About CNA Degrees
Aspiring CNAs who want to enter the workforce quickly should pursue an accelerated state-approved program. Some states require more on-the-job training and education hours than others.
Nursing assistants and orderlies earn $14.25 per hour, according to the BLS, which equates to a median annual salary of $29,640.
It depends on the state's requirements. For example, a CNA program in Missouri could take as long as six months to complete. Missouri requires 75 hours of class training and around 100 hours of on-the-job training.
To earn CNA certification, individuals must complete formal classroom credits and on-the-job training. Once completed, they must pass the state certification exam.
What Are the Goals of a CNA Diploma?
A CNA degree prepares students to take a state certification exam. The curriculum focuses on how to complete tasks like bathing, repositioning, and feeding patients. Courses also teach students how to actively listen to patients and record details about their care for other nurses and doctors to read.
Upon graduation, CNAs know how to properly assist nurses with supply stocking, equipment cleaning, and linen changing. To achieve these educational goals, learners complete clinical hours and traditional coursework. Graduates often find jobs at hospitals, nursing homes, acute care facilities, and doctors' offices.
Why Get a CNA Certification?
Although earning a CNA degree takes money and time, the degree can benefit professionals in several ways. In this section, we discuss the pros of enrolling in a CNA program.
- Online CNA Classes Cost Less
- Students pursuing this degree online usually receive reduced tuition and avoid paying campus maintenance and student activity fees. They also do not incur costs for room and board or commuting to campus.
- Higher Earning Potential
- According to the BLS, individuals with college degrees and certificates earn more than individuals with a high school diploma. View the Learn More, Earn More chart for details.
- Positive Job Growth Outlook
- The BLS projects the need for nursing assistants and orderlies to grow 8% between 2019-2029, which the organization considers much faster than average.
- Virtual Learners Experience Flexibility
- Some states allow learners to gain on-the-job training hours during their studies. Online programs usually do not interfere with work schedules.
- Enhance Others' Lives
- Nursing assistants help individuals recover their health. They help them meet basic needs and stay comfortable during hospital stays or doctor visits.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Nurse - Nursing Timeline
A typical nursing degree can take 2-4 years to complete. Each level of nursing has its own timeline, and that timeline can vary depending upon factors like part-time vs. full-time enrollment, certification, and the type of program.
Below is an overview of the typical amount of time it takes to complete a nursing degree, keep in mind that the length provided is for the amount of time it takes to complete that segment of the degree, not the entire academic path overall:
|Nursing Degree Level||Time of Completion|
|Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)||2-3 years|
|Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)||1-2 years|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||4 years|
|Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)||4-5 years|
|Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)||1.5-3 years|
|Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP)||1-3 years|
What Are the Requirements for a CNA Certification?
To qualify for a CNA program, applicants must submit relevant test scores and transcripts. Competitive programs may also require an essay or interview. Once a student earns enrollment, they complete coursework that prepares them for licensure. Most CNA programs include lectures, traditional tests, and clinical rotations.
Since certification requirements for CNAs vary by school, learners should attend a school in the state in which they want to practice. However, online programs make it possible to attend a school in any state. Most states require CNAs to pursue on-the-job training hours and pass a competency exam.
Professional Organizations for CNA Students
Current CNA students can get a head start on networking with successful professionals by joining an organization. These groups offer conferences, scholarly journals, newsletters, and webinars for student members for a small fee. See below for three professional organizations for CNA program enrollees.
Scholarships for CNA Students
Applying for scholarships can help CNA students fund their education. Nonprofits, foundations, and corporations all provide financial assistance to learners. Most scholarship applications require official transcripts, short essays, and recommendation letters. See below for two scholarships for students majoring in a healthcare-related topic.
Who Can Apply: The Daughters of the American Revolution administers this scholarship for nursing students with financial need. Applicants must submit their nursing program acceptance letter or a transcript stating their admission. The organization selects two winners annually. Current students and future students admitted to an accredited school can apply.
Who Can Apply: Nursing students can apply for multiple scholarships through this foundation. A scholarship committee selects recipients based on factors like financial need, community involvement, and academic merit. These awards assist undergraduate nursing students only.
Best Online CNA Classes
Located in Hazard, Kentucky, HCTC offers a four-month nurse aide program that combines lectures with hands-on laboratory and clinical experience. The program caps enrollment at 15 students per class.
Learners interested in earning an online CNA degree can choose from two program options: nursing assistant skills and Kentucky medication aide. The nursing assistant skills program prepares enrollees to earn placement on the Kentucky Nurse Aide Registry. The Kentucky medication aide option trains learners to administer medications under a licensed nurse's supervision.
Applicants need a high school or GED diploma or a 10th-grade or higher score on the TABE. They also need six months of experience as a nursing assistant within the past two years. HCTC is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Based in Maysville, Kentucky, Maysville offers an associate degree nursing program. The certified nurse aide (CNA) program prepares enrollees to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Learners can pursue either a Medicaid nurse aide certificate or a Kentucky medication aide certificate. Graduates may work in hospitals, clinics, or educational facilities.
Learners pursuing this online CNA degree can complete coursework asynchronously. However, enrollees must attend an on-campus clinical lab. All applicants need a "basic" or better score on the Test of Essential Academic Skills.
Maysville is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Somerset, Kentucky-based SCC offers a nurse aid certificate that prepares students to become state certified as nurse aids. Once students complete the 75-hour course and pass with a C or higher, they may take the state nurse aide exam. The Cabinet for Health Services Department of Medicaid Services mandates this program's training requirements.
Learners pursuing this online CNA degree must complete a background check and drug screen. Enrollees also need white scrubs and shoes for hands-on training in local nursing homes.
Certificate-holders may work in hospitals and nursing centers caring for patients under a licensed nurse's supervision. SCC is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
ACTC, based in Ashland, Kentucky, offers a practical nursing diploma program that prepares graduates to work as licensed practical nurses (LPNs). The program emphasizes the importance of nursing in maintaining health and preventing illness.
Enrollees can pursue either a Medicaid nurse aide certificate or a Kentucky medication aide certificate. Students may also continue their education by pursuing an LPN-to-RN degree.
Graduates may work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, or doctors' offices under the supervision of registered nurses (RNs) or physicians.
ACTC is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
SFCC, located in Sedalia, Missouri, offers a certificate in practical nursing and an associate of applied science in nursing degree. Students in the competency-based bi-level program can become licensed practical nurses (LPNs) in their first year. Aspiring registered nurses can then transition to the associate program in their second year. The program offers courses in a hybrid delivery format. Students attend courses online and at SFCC's Clinton campus.
Applicants need an overall minimum 2.5 GPA and a minimum 2.75 GPA in all prerequisite or required courses. They must also demonstrate professionalism, empathy, and excellent interpersonal skills. Current LPNs and paramedics can benefit from advanced placement opportunities. Articulation agreements ensure that students who wish to continue their education can transfer SFCC credits to four-year schools.
SFCC is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
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