Becoming a certified nursing assistant, or CNA, is one of the easiest ways to break into the nursing field. In a matter of weeks, you can complete a training program and become eligible to sit for your state's competency exam. Upon passing the exam, you'll receive your CNA license and will be able to start looking for certified nursing assistant jobs.
Your ability to pass the licensing exam hinges on the quality of training you receive, so it's important to find a CNA program that aligns with your goals and requirements. Choose a program in the state where you want to work as a nursing assistant. Below, explore today's 10 best CNA programs.
Top 10 CNA Programs for Aspiring Nursing Assistants in 2022
- Madison Area Technical College — Located in Madison, WI, MATC offers a Nursing Assistant Program that is approved by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. This hybrid program includes online and in-person training. To be eligible, you must be at least 16 years old and must undergo a criminal background check and health screening. Offered during first, second or summer semester, MATC's CNA program is a three-credit course. The average cost of tuition is a little over $650, and financial aid is not available.
- Gateway Technical College — This Kenosha, WI, school offers a 75-hour nursing assistant program across all of its campuses (not centers). Therefore, you can choose to complete the program in Kenosha, Elkhorn, or Racine. Tuition and fees for the program are $518, while books and supplies cost $207. The school has an approved waiver from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. To be admitted to the program, you'll need a technical diploma or higher, a minimum high school GPA of 2.6, a minimum college GPA of 2.0, or to submit ACT or Accuplacer test scores. Prospective students must also undergo a criminal background check and a health screening. The program is designed to prepare students for the Wisconsin Nursing Assistant competency evaluation, and it includes classroom instruction and hands-on patient simulation lab work. Students are also eligible to join the Health Occupations Students of America club.
- Harper College — This Palatine, IL, school offers a nursing assistant training program at its Palatine campus and Prospect Heights center. The program consists of six credit hours of theory and clinical training. Approved by the Illinois Department of Public Health's Office of Health Regulations, Harper's CNA program prepares students for the state's Nursing Aide Competency Exam. To be admitted, you'll need a valid Social Security number, and you must undergo a criminal background check and health screening. Contact the college directly for latest tuition, fees, and other costs information.
- Davis Applied Technical College — If you would like to work as a CNA in Utah, Davis Applied Technical College in Kaysville may be right for you. Its CNA training program is available only at its main campus in Kaysville, and it consists of 115 hours of classroom and clinical training. Tuition and fees is $370 for in-state students. To be admitted to the program, you must be at least 16 years old and, if you are an adult, have a high school diploma or equivalent. A tuberculosis screening is required, and you must also take the Davis Tech Placement Assessment if you are not a high school student or are a student with a Davis Tech Certificate of Completion at an equivalent level or higher or an associate's degree or higher from a regionally accredited college. The school is programmatically accredited by the Utah Nursing Assistants Registry, or UNAR, which also administers the certification exam.
- Fox Valley Technical College — For CNA training in Wisconsin, Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton is an excellent option to consider. The school's nursing assistant training program is offered at the Appleton and Oshkosh campuses and at the Clintonville Regional and Wautoma Regional centers. Offered during day and evening, this is a three-credit program. An accelerated training program is also available. The program cost is $522.70 in all the campuses and centers, and the program is approved by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
- Johnson County Community College — For top-notch CNA training in Kansas, JCCC in Overland Park is a great choice. The school's CNA program is taught in classroom and at a state-of-the-art healthcare simulation center with four full-size acute rooms and a surgical room. This five-credit-hour program is available in a flexible array of options, including four-, eight-, and 16-week and daytime, evening, and weekend classes. You'll need ENGL 121 with a grade of "C" or higher or an appropriate reading placement test score to be admitted. A total of 197 hours of training is needed. In-state students pay a tuition of $78 to $122 per credit hour depending on where they live in the state, while out-of-state students pay a tuition of $207 per credit hour. The program is approved by the Kansas Board of Nursing. Upon completion, you'll be eligible to sit for the Kansas CNA test.
- Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College — Approved by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the CNA program by this New Richmond, WI, school offers complete nursing assistant training to aspiring CNAs. The three-credit-hour program consists of 120 hours of classroom instruction, laboratory instruction and supervised clinical training at local nursing homes and hospitals. To be accepted into the program, you must be at least 16 years old and pass a background check and a tuberculosis screening. An orientation session is also required prior to starting the program. You can complete this program at the following campuses: Ashland, New Richmond, Rice Lake and Superior. Moreover, this program is offered at the Ladysmith High School and outreach centers in Hayward and Shell Lake.
- Waukesha County Technical College — Another terrific option for aspiring CNAs who want to work in Wisconsin, Waukesha County Technical College's CNA training program is offered at its main campus in Pewaukee. Available year-round, the campus-based, three-credit-hour program consists of 120 hours of classroom and clinical training. The latter is completed at local hospitals and nursing homes, providing students with hands-on experience. Day, evening and weekend classes are available, and the program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. In-state students pay a tuition of $138.90 per credit hour, while out-of-state students pay a tuition of $208.35 per credit hour. There are other fees as well. To enroll, you must undergo a health screening and criminal background check.
- Northeast Wisconsin Technical College — At the locations of Aurora, Crivitz, Green Bay, Luxemburg, Marinette, Oconto Falls, Shawano, and Sturgeon Bay; WI, NWTC offers a comprehensive nursing assistant program with flexible options for busy students. Approved by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the three-credit-hour program consists of 120 hours of classroom lectures and clinical training conducted at local hospitals and nursing homes. You must be at least 16 years old to enroll, and you have to pass a criminal background check and undergo health screening. The program may be completed on days, evenings and weekends. The total approximate cost of the program is $726.
- Florida Career College — Florida Career College offers patient care technician program at 10 campuses across the state, including its main campus in Miami. This is a hybrid training program, so some of the work is done online, while other, in person. The program spans about 10 months with a little over 36 credits. The school is accredited by the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education, or COE.