If you’re interested in becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant, one of your first steps will be to enroll in a training program. CNA training programs vary widely based on location and other factors, and some of the regulations vary as well by state. As such, when choosing the right CNA classes to take, you should begin your search by contacting the State Nurse Aide Registry or the State Licensing Board for your state for information about regulations. This will tell you what all the requirements are which you need to meet, and can also help you find programs which are certified by the state regulatory boards.
CNAs are known by other names, which can be helpful to keep in mind as you do your research. Look up programs for nursing assistants, orderlies, patient care technicians, and others. These are all types of CNAs.
In terms of classes, you have several different options. You can of course pay for your training, but you may also find programs at local facilities which allow you to apprentice you work and are paid, and in return you are given free classes. Sometimes these programs will also pay your testing fees, but in return you will be asked to work at the facility for a certain time period once you complete your training and receive your certification.
You can also attend classes at a community college or trade school (which costs money), or train with the Red Cross (this also costs money). Your state test will involve both a written and clinical portion, so on the job training is essential to help you pass the second part of your exam.
You may also consider training for nursing online, especially if you don’t have a lot of money on hand, or you work fulltime. Online CNA classes can cost less than courses you take in a classroom, and can fullfill the theoretical requirements of your training. Just remember that if you go with this option for your CNA classes, you’ll still need to do some practical on the job training somewhere.
In terms of the specifics of which CNA classes you go with, this will be a matter of personal preference in many ways. The location of the school where you study and the hospital where you train may both be relevant to your choice. The size of the hospital and the kinds of conditions which are treated there may also influence your decision. Nursing is a broad discipline, and at some point you’ll need to figure out whether you want to do general practice or something more specific. You also probably want to check into reviews of various programs to find out about their quality.
Whatever your financial situation and whether you’re employed full time, part time, or not at all, there should be a program out there which can help you become a CNA. Taking the right CNA classes is going to be a question of finding a quality program which meets state regulations and also fits the specific constraints of your own life situation.