Find Online CNA Classes

How to Become a CNA

Get Your Degree!

Find schools and get information on the program that’s right for you.

Powered by Campus Explorer

Wondering how to become a CNA? As a CNA you will be providing health care services to patients and residents, but there are a few requirements you will have to meet first. In order to become a certified nursing assistant you must obtain CNA certification by completing anywhere from a state mandatory 75 hours up to 180 hours of state approved nursing assistant training AS WELL AS completing a state approved comprehensive exam. Requirements can vary from state to state however–such as how many hours of training you must complete–so make sure you know what your state demands from you. After receiving state certification you will be able to apply for a job at any of the following settings:

  • Nursing homes
  • Home health aide agencies
  • Assisted living homes
  • Retirement facilities
  • Urgent Care Centers
  • Hospitals
  • Hospices
  • Pediatric offices
  • Physician/Doctor offices
  • Medical Clinics

How to Become a CNA

In order to qualify for state approved nursing assistant training and earn state certification, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 16-18 years old (depending on state)
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent (i.e. GED)
  • Be fluent in English
  • Be physically fit
  • Have what it takes to be a great CNA

Once you are enrolled in a CNA certification program, you will be required to complete a certain amount of hours split between didactic teaching and clinical training (laboratory training and hands on instruction). A mandatory minimum of 75 hours is required on how to become a CNA. Didactic training can be completed online from a state approved program or at various on campus sites such as community colleges, vocational schools, technical colleges, hospitals, or other institutions that offer state approved CNA training. For clinical training you will have to complete the required hours on campus. Online CNA certification programs will require on campus laboratory training and hands on instruction, and these programs are often referred to as blended programs. Free CNA classes can often be found from places such as nursing homes or the Red Cross, but it will have to be state approved if you want to receive state recognized certification.

A CNA class may or may not cover the following topics and can last anywhere from 6-12 weeks up to 6 months:

Didactic instruction:

  • Patient privacy and rights
  • Basic human anatomy, physiology, and nutrition
  • Medical terms
  • Mental health care
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Legal issues


  • Basic patient care – bathing, moving, feeding, oral care, dressing, and grooming
  • Special needs care
  • Restorative care
  • Communication skills or social skills
  • Stress management
  • How to measure vital signs
  • CPR skills
  • Documentation skills
  • Infection control
  • Dealing with emergencies

how to become a cnaCNA classes will focus primarily on making you a successful certified nursing assistant, but can vary depending on what setting you are choosing to work in as well as where you choose to obtain training. You can expect to do a good amount of reading, so attendance is extremely important. This is pretty obvious if you want to know how to become a CNA. There will also be a certain amount of clinical hours you will have to complete as we’ve explained earlier, so remember that practice makes perfect. You will be expected to apply newly learned skills on patients where you will be supervised by an instructor (most often a registered nurse). There is also a state competency exam you must complete in order to obtain CNA state certification. It will cover both your knowledge and skills, and is taken in two parts: the written portion and the clinical portion. The written portion will cover your nurse assisting knowledge and will consist of anywhere from 55 – 70 multiple choice questions. On the other hand, the clinical portion will test your competency of skills–usually between 3 to 5 skills.

After completing the exam you will be told whether you have passed or failed. If you were nervous during the clinical portion of the exam and made a mistake, you can ask to re-demonstrate your competency. If you happen to fail don’t worry! You can always re-schedule to take the test again while you study and practice your skills in the meantime, but remember that some states have a limit of how many times you can re-test.

How Much do CNA Classes Cost?

This can really depend but most state approved CNA classes are generally cheaper from community colleges while trade and vocational schools are more expensive. Online CNA certification is also an option that is generally cheaper. CNA classes generally cost anywhere from $200 to $2000 and can vary in length. CNA classes can last anywhere from 6-12 weeks all the way up to 6 months. The length can also differ depending on if you choose to attend part time or full time. It can be assumed that longer CNA training programs offer a more comprehensive education. Just remember, make sure that the CNA class you sign up for is recognized by the state you live in or else you could risk not receiving state certification.

That’s basically how to become a CNA, we’ve covered the most important areas you need to know but it’s up to you to decided whether this is the right career for you.

Matching School Ads
  • Gain Knowledge and Skills While You Earn Your Nursing Degree at Fortis!


  • Patient Care Technician
  • Medical Assisting
  • Medical Assisting - Diploma
  • And more...
Locations: Grand Prairie

Centura College, with campus locations in Virginia, South Carolina and Florida, is dedicated to helping students gain the skills and attitudes necessary to succeed. Drawing from over 30 years of career school experience.


  • Associate of Occupational Science Degree in Medical Assisting-Concentration in Clinical Support
  • Associate of Occupational Science Degree in Medical Assisting-Concentration in Management
Locations: Chesapeake

Experience the Rewards of Caring, With ECPI’s Medical Careers Institute, you can Earn Your Bachelor’s Degree in 2.5 Years or Your Associate’s Even Sooner through Our Year-Round Schedule!


What Are You Waiting For?


  • Medical Assisting - Diploma
  • Medical Assisting - Associate's
  • Practical Nursing - Diploma
  • And more...
Locations: Newport News

The Metropolitan Institute of Health and Technology (MIHT) is dedicated to educating men and women to serve with confidence in the health and technology industry. MIHT provides career training for students to move forward in their chosen field of study, changing their lives for the better. MIHT strives to provide quality education with affordable tuition. Our staff works to determine the best financial options for students on an individualized level.


  • Clinical Medical Assisting
  • Dental Assisting
Locations: Lorton


Online Education That Fits Your Life

For 80 years, we’ve been preparing students for career success. We’ve led the wayso that our students can too.

Globally Renowned Purdue to Acquire Kaplan University

Purdue University, one of the nation's most respected universities, will acquire Kaplan University and create a new, nonprofit, public institution within the Purdue system. Pending regulatory approvals, this exciting transition is expected to take place later this year. This change will be seamless—during the transition, you will still be able to enroll at Kaplan University, earn a high-quality education, and meet your educational and career goals.


  • Medical Assisting
  • MS in Nursing
  • Executive Leader Graduate Certificate
  • And more...
Get the hands-on training and skills it takes to succeed with Ashworth College, a respected, worldwide leader in distance education. Study at the times and places most convenient for you.


  • Physical Therapy Aide
Turn your talents into a career. Nationally recognized and accredited Platt College offers degree programs in Graphic Design, Multimedia, IT Networking and Paralegal.


  • Respiratory Therapy
  • Why study nursing at Grand Canyon University?
  • Our bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing are CCNE-accredited and the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions (CONHCP) is approved by the Arizona State Board of Nursing.
  • We provide many options to prepare you to begin or advance your nursing career, including bridge programs and dual degrees.
  • GCU provides a low student-to-teacher ratio and a Christian environment that provides an opportunity for you to embrace a holistic approach to caring for patients.
  • Request more information today about program offerings, CCNE accreditation, start dates, financial aid and more!


  • Doctor of Nursing Practice with an Emphasis in Educational Leadership
  • Online Bachelor's programs include BBA, Criminal Justice, Psychology, IT, Healthcare Management & Public Health
  • Over 115 years of delivering quality education and personalized attention to students
  • Provide a range of campus experiences and services online including advising, tutoring, student community, and career services
  • Give students and alumni access to career assistants who help with resumes, cover letters, job hunting, and more.
  • We're now Non-Profit.


  • Nursing (RN to BSN)
  • RN to Master of Science in Nursing with a specialization in Family Nurse Practitioner (RN-MSN)
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Nursing with a specialization in Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • And more...

100% Online & No Standardized Testing

We are committed to helping you achieve your goals and complete your degree as quickly as possible.


  • Master of Science in Nursing: Nursing Administration
  • Master of Science in Nursing: Nurse Educator