Best CNA Programs

Become Team
Become Team
November 11, 2021

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Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) help patients with day-to-day living while also keeping track of their vitals. They typically report directly to registered nurses and earn a CNA salary of around $32,000 a year. While some medical professions are removed from patients, CNAs are at the heart of patient care. CNA programs can take between a few weeks to six months.

25 Best CNA Programs

If you want to attend the best CNA program, you must choose one your state approves of. If not, you most likely won't be able to register as a certified nursing assistant.

Though each state calls CNAs something different, the following schools are all state-approved, affordable, and have great graduation rates. Here are 25 of the best CNA programs in alphabetical order:

How We Choose the Best Programs

We chose the best CNA programs based on the following criteria:

  • Under $35,000 net price
  • Over 50% graduation rate
  • State approval
Central Coast College Salinas, CA

School type: Private for-profit
Net price: $17,291
Graduation rate: 88%

Central Coast College's nursing assistant program takes just nine weeks to complete, and you'll receive a certificate once you graduate.

Charlotte Technical College Port Charlotte, FL

School type: Public
Net price: $532
Graduation rate: 98%

You can take Charlotte Technical College's nursing assistant program as a high school student. You'll take the course for one full school year, and you'll qualify to become a certified nursing assistant.

Cuyahoga Valley Career Center Brecksville, OH

School type: Public
Net price: $22,066
Graduation rate: 88%

Cuyahoga Valley Career Center's State Tested Nurse Aide program covers books, insurance, and the state test fee. After the program, you'll qualify for the state exam.

Emily Griffith Technical College Denver, CO

School type: Public
Net price: $975
Graduation rate: 88%

Emily Griffith Technical College offers a full-time and part-time nurse assisting program that you can complete in eight to 11 weeks. The program includes a 32 clinical hour internship.

Green Country Technology Center Okmulgee, OK

School type: Public
Net price: $55
Graduation rate: 88%

Green Country Technology Center's Health Careers Certification qualifies high school juniors and seniors for Long Term Care Aide, Home Health Aide, American Heart Association, and BLS certifications.

Hacienda La Puente Adult Education La Puente, CA

School type: Public
Net price: $788
Graduation rate: 87%

Hacienda La Puente Adult Education offers a Certified Nursing Assistant program that prepares students for the California exam. It takes 200 hours to complete

Healthcare Career College Paramount, CA

School type: Private for-profit
Net price: $20,861
Graduation rate: 95%

You can complete Healthcare Career College's Nurse Assistant Certificate Program in as little as eight weeks.

Indian Capital Technology Center-Muskogee Muskogee, OK

School type: Public
Net price: $1,775
Graduation rate: 98%

Indian Capital Technology Center's Muskogee campus offers a 37-week Diagnostic Aid & Nurse Assistant undergraduate certificate program.

International Training Careers Miami, FL

School type: Private not-for-profit
Net price: $17,000
Graduation rate: 96%

International Training Careers offers a Nursing Aide/Home Health Aide program involving 40 hours of clinical practice.

Miami Valley Career Technology Center Englewood, OH

School type: Public
Net price: $150
Graduation rate: 86%

Miami Valley Career Technology Center offers a Health Occupations program to high school seniors. In the program, you can earn State Tested Nursing Assistant certification.

Michigan Career and Technical Institute Plainwell, MI

School type: Public
Net price: $8,590
Graduation rate: 85%

Michigan Career and Technical Institute offers a certified nursing assistant program for adult students with disabilities.

Pontotoc Technology Center Ada, OK

School type: Public
Net price: Free
Graduation rate: 96%

Pontotoc Technology Center's Health Science Therapeutic Careers program is for high school students. It qualifies students to become certified nursing aides.

Quest College San Antonio, TX

School type: Private for-profit
Net price: $16,849
Graduation rate: 92%

Quest College offers a Nurse Aide program that you can complete in at least five weeks.

Regional Center for Border Health Somerton, AZ

School type: Private not-for-profit
Net price: $3,075
Graduation rate: 95%

Regional Center for Border Health's six-week nursing assistant program includes a 65-hour externship.

Ross Medical Education Center-Midland Midland, MI

School type: Private for-profit
Net price: $20,030
Graduation rate: 87%

Ross Medical Education Center's Midland campus offers a nursing assistant program where you'll complete clinical hours at local facilities. It takes two or four weeks (depending on whether you take the day or evening program).

South Texas Training Center San Benito, TX

School type: Private for-profit
Net price: $7,289
Graduation rate: 92%

South Texas Training Center offers a Nurse Aide and Home Health Aide program that you can complete in six weeks to become a CNA.

Southwest Technology Center Altus, OK

School type: Public
Net price: Free
Graduation rate: 89%

Southwest Technology Center offers a certified nurses aide class and a Health Science Technology program. The former is a 96-hour course. The latter is free for high school students.

Suncoast Technical College Sarasota, FL

School type: Public
Net price: $1,145
Graduation rate: 92%

Suncoast Technical College offers a month-long nursing assistant program, including 40 hours of clinical experience at a nursing home.

Technical College of the Rockies Delta, CO

School type: Public
Net price: $1,572
Graduation rate: 89%

Technical College of the Rockies has a Nurse Aide program that you can take either online or in person.

Treasure Coast Technical College Vero Beach, FL

School type: Public
Net price: $4,197
Graduation rate: 94%

You can complete Treasure Coast Technical College's nursing assistant program in 10 weeks, part-time.

Uintah Basin Technical College Roosevelt, UT

School type: Public
Net price: Starting at $360
Graduation rate: 84%

Uintah Basin Technical College's 138-hour nursing assistant program prepares graduates to become CNAs. It's open to both adults and secondary students.

Valley Grande Institute for Academic Studies Weslaco, TX

School type: Private not-for-profit
Net price: $8,791
Graduation rate: 84%

Valley Grande Institute for Academic Studies offers an eight-month Nursing Assistant/Aide and Patient Care Assistant/Aide program.

Vantage Career Center Van Wert, OH

School type: Public
Net price: starting at $745
Graduation rate: 96%

Vantage Career Center offers an 80-hour State Tested Nursing Assistant certificate program. After you graduate from the program, you can take the state test to become an STNA.

Washington County Career Center-Adult Technical Training Mariette, OH

School type: Public
Net price: $671
Graduation rate: 96%

You can complete Washington County Career Center Adult Technical Training's State Tested Nursing Assistant & Patient Care Tech in as little as two weeks.

Waynesville Career Center Waynesville, MO

School type: Public
Net price: $595
Graduation rate: 88%

Waynesville Career Center's CNA program entails 76 hours of training and 100 hours of clinical experience.

How to Become a CNA

Anyone interested in becoming a CNA must complete a CNA course from a state-approved program. Depending on where you live, you can find state-approved CNA programs at:

Once you have completed the best CNA program for you, which may take as little as a month to an entire semester, you will take a state certification exam. Once you have passed the exam, your name is on the state registry, and you can get to work.

How to Choose the Right CNA Program

Many people interested in becoming a CNA have a few programs to choose from that are nearby, accredited, and affordable. The best CNA programs:

Other Ways to Become a CNA

Unfortunately, there are no alternative ways to become a CNA. If you are not in the medical industry and want to become a CNA, you must take the required coursework and pass your state's exam.

However, if you are already a licensed nurse or are studying to become one, you may be able to take your state's CNA certification exam. If you are a nursing student, you must have completed at least one course in your program before you can take the CNA exam.

Some states allow CNAs to take additional training that will allow them to dispense medicine to patients. Once qualified, your job title would shift from CNA to certified medication assistant.

Financial Aid for Your CNA Program

Scholarships for CNA Programs

Nurse Corps Scholarship Program

Professional Caretakers Scholarship

Grants for CNA Classes

Dorothy Rupe CNA Program

Pell Grant

FAQs on CNA Programs

Do you have to take a program to become a CNA?

To become a CNA, you must complete a state-accredited program, and, depending on your state, you may also be required to take an exam. Additionally, some employers also require CNAs to complete on-the-job training.

What will you learn in a CNA program?

A CNA program prepares you for work as a certified nursing assistant. This means you will train in how to:

  • Take and record a patient's vital signs
  • Properly communicate your findings to RNs, LPNs, and doctors
  • Help patients with their daily activities, such as bathing, toileting, and moving.
  • Keep a safe, sanitized environment for both patients and coworkers
How long is CNA training?

It all depends on the program and location of study. Some training programs last as long as an entire semester (or six months), while you can complete others in as little as a few weeks.

When choosing a program, make sure it fits with your schedule and provides sufficient hands-on training. While you may be able to find an online CNA program, make sure it also provides students opportunities for real-world experience.

How much is CNA training?

Costs vary from program to program. Taking the required coursework at a community college may require three or more classes.

If you are still in high school, the cost may be dramatically less if your county has a technical/ vocational school for aspiring students. Also, remember that some nursing homes provide training, too.

Become Team
Become Team
Contributing Writer

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