Many small nursing homes train people to become CNAs for free and will administer the state certification test at no charge to you. The catch is that you must agree to work at the nursing home for six months or some other predetermined length of time to 'repay' them for what they've done for you.
Yes I agree there are some places that will give you the classes for free. But that is the only way I would suggest trying to be a CNA. Don't think you should not have to go throught the classes. They are important! They just do not help you pass your tests. Sometimes I feel funny when people wanting to take short cuts to becoming a CNA, It makes me feel that people don't really have a regard for the training that we do get in our CNA classes. We are being prepared to be able to do this job, and give the best care we can to the people we work with. Can people pass the written and skills test without going through training? I have no doubt that people can. But are they prepared for the job? are they prepared and have learned things that you will need to know. do you know how to change oz to cc? Do you know how to take a blood pressure? What are normal pulse rates? What is normal Resperations? what are the 4 stages of pressure sores? These could be test questons, and maybe they would not be on your test but they are all things we need to know to do your job. What if you went to work and because you did not take the classes was never taught about the different positions to put a person in. If a nurse asked you to switch Mrs. Jones to a Supine Position, would a CNA that never took a class know what that ment? They should but if not properly trained they might not know.
How would it be if a smart person could pass the NCLEX without going through nursing school? Should they then be able to be a LPN? Of course not. So why is it that to be a CNA people should not have to go through a few weeks of learning, and a little expense. (maybe because some cna classes are free) to become a cna. Alot of jobs have to go to collage forthousands of dollars, and years of schooling? CNA takes less then 2 months out of your lives and with classes and testing fees will run you maybe around 1,000 at the highest. In comparison it is a drop in a bucket to what others have to go through.
In CA you HAVE to have in class and clinical hours in order to be able to take the test.
Candidates in CA can also challenge the state test without attending an official CNA course if they have successfully completed the first semester of a nursing program (fundamentals of nursing). When I was enrolled in an LVN program in southern CA, students were allowed to take the state test after having passed the first quarter of school.
The first quarter/semester of a typical nursing program is when students are exposed to CNA-type material and the hardcore fundamentals.
In my case, I was trained as a CNA in Illinois and worked in a nursing home shortly before moving to Minnesota and transferring to the University of MN. I began working for a group home company that did not require CNA certification even though the job description was that of a CNA (the company developed their own training program). After working there for 2 years, I realized I had let my Illinois CNA certificate expire because I had not worked a shift in IL during that time. This was frustrating because I had just received news that I got accepted into my nursing school which required an active CNA cert as a prerequisite , even though I've been working as a "nursing assistant" at the group home for the past 2 years. I was extremely relieved to find out that Minnesota offers you the chance to challenge the CNA state competency exams without having to retake any training.
My friend borrowed me her CNA text book (Mosby's textbook for NA 7th ed) and I just studied from it and watched videos from CNA Skills Videos | Kamanga CNA Training, Inc. CNA Training in Washington State to make sure I was following everything by the book. Thankfully, I passed the written test (60 questions?) and skills test (5 random skills out of 21) and officially became certified as a CNA in MN.
So if you're looking to get a CNA cert for cheap, MN lets you challenge it. However, if you haven't had any clinical experience, I would strongly suggested that you take the class so you can practice your direct patient care on actual people.