CNA certification from LTC/nursing home/assisted living facility?

by zeezur (New) New

Well, nothing has been going as planned. My plan was to attend an accelerated BSN program since I just got by BA from a four year uni, but my GPA is horrible so I decided to do the 2 year nursing program at my local CC. I figured the first step in getting my foot in the door is to become a CNA, but I've hit a few road blocks. I was planning on doing a CNA program but they're all really expensive. All four community colleges around my area have shut down their CNA program. The commercial schools (the ones on TV with commercials) are charging 3000-4000 for CNA classes. I also called the Red Cross but they are full and their next open session isn't until august/september. The local high school/continuation schools are a semester long and won't start until september. I am itching to start working as a CNA.

This leads me to the actual question. I've read a few posts on here where people have gotten their CNA license and training via a Long Term Care facility. Most people say they were trained for free in exchange for committing to work for the facility for at least a year. I know many have said the working conditions are a bit ugly or harsh, but I don't care! I am willing to put in the work. One year is a long commitment, but I am not moving anywhere, have no kids, and no other responsibilities except bills.

Anyway, do these type of programs still exist? If so, who do I contact? or do I just call every single LTC facility in my area and inquire will you train me in exchange for my labor?”

More information that might be helpful: I am a guy, 23, living in Los Angeles, California. I do have previous work experience (not in health care).

Any responses are greatly appreciated! Thank you allnurses for helping a lost individual, haha.


318 Posts

You will probably have to contact facilities to ask about on the job training. Get a list of quality nursing homes from your state's BON or whomever is in charge of yearly nursing home inspections. Contact the highly rated ones first. If nothing else, look for CNA classes which allow you to do the bookwork online and then assign you to a qualified nursing home for clinical rotation hours. I did my CNA endorsement that way and only paid $450.


5 Posts

Thanks for responding! I will look that information up and start calling. Also, I didn't even know CNA classes were offered online so thanks for letting me know.


Specializes in Rehabilitation, Geriatrics. Has 6 years experience. 16 Posts

Wow, Cali is expensive. I think my CNA course in MA was about 1200. Then I moved to Florida and down here you don't even have to take a course. You just test and you can get certified. I have worked for facilities that hire you after course and state certification and then reimburse you. I would look into reimbursement too. I have no idea about Cali though.

I understand your struggle and ambition. The only other advice I could give you would be to jump on any waiting list if you can. Time will pass regardless and at least you would have something to look forward to. I know waiting sucks, but don't let a waiting list defer you. Also, I would look into a home health company and try to get hired as a sitter or companion. Then once you finally get your CNA license you could easily shift gears and transition within the same company. Plus you'll get some experience in the mean time. Good luck!