Obtaining Your Certified Nursing Assistant Degree

Becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is a smart choice for anyone looking to enter the medical field, especially if you love communicating with and assisting others. A CNA’s daily tasks include direct contact with patients, measuring and recording vital signs, helping with meals, dressing, bathing, and more. Certified Nursing Assistants have more daily direct contact with their patients than anyone else in the healthcare field. The type of care CNA’s provide allows them to build strong connections and meaningful relationships with their patients.

Obtaining a Certified Nursing Assistant Degree

If you are interested in training to become a Certified Nursing Assistant, there are several options available to you. Although you won’t need a degree in the traditional sense, there are certain requirements you will need to fulfill in order to be eligible to take the state exam and receive your certification.

Educational Requirements for a Certified Nursing Assistant

In order to become a Certified Nursing Assistant, there are a few prerequisites involved. First, you’ll need to have a high school diploma, or the equivalent (such as a GED). Many states also require potential CNA training students to be at least 18 years of age.

Your next step is to find an approved CNA course that is recognized by the state. Community colleges, adult education centers, and private medical training institutions are among your choices for training. Many local Red Cross branches also provide CNA certification courses. Weigh out all the options available to you before making your final decision. Factors to consider include cost, class availability and times, as well as the amount of hands on training you will receive. Keep in mind that many individuals are hands on learners. Ask plenty of questions about the subject matter that will be covered as well as the “bookwork to practical training” ratio.

The training includes 75 total clock hours according to federal regulations, although a few states require additional training hours:

  • New York – Requires 100 hours of CNA training
  • Delaware & Oregon – Require 150 hours of CNA training
  • Alaska – Requires 140 clock hours of training
  • Florida, Arizona, Virginia, & Idaho – Require 120 hours of CNA training

Online CNA Training vs. the Traditional Classroom Setting

For those who are currently employed full-time or have a family or other obligations, you may be tempted to obtain your Certified Nursing Assistant Degree from the comfort of your own home. Is this possible? Here’s the rundown…

First of all, when searching schools online, the first thing to look for is accepted by the National League for Nursing Accredited Commission (NLNAC). The NLNAC seal of approval is your peace of mind that the online courses you are taking will be recognized.

Another factor to consider when researching your online options are your own state’s requirements for certification. Contact your State Nurse’s Aide Registry or your State Licensing board before signing up for any online course. Some state’s only recognize or accept training that includes hands on experience obtained in a local healthcare facility. If this is the case for your state, the online course you choose may be useful for initial preparation, but you may not be allowed to take your state exam for licensing until the practical training requirements have been fulfilled. Some of the better online schools do make arrangements for their students to complete the hands on training in local facilities. Just be sure to check out all of the details in order to avoid any unwelcome surprises later on.