What's the best way to become a CNA?

  1. Hi! I am starting my Nursing School pre-requisites this winter and thought it would be a good idea to get CNA certified while I'm at it, so that I can get some practice in the field while I work towards getting into a program next year.

    Any suggestions on the best way to get CNA certified? I'm looking at local programs at Community Colleges, but would also be interested in online programs if such a thing exists.


    - Mel
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    Joined: Dec '06; Posts: 4
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  3. by   LoveMyBugs
    Best way, is to take the class and then take the test. I don't know about other states requirements, but in Oregon you have to have 75 hours class time and 75 hours in clinical and pass the finial test with a 70% or more. If you take the class at a community college, it isn't covered by financial aid, if you take it through a nursing home, you may have to commit to working for them for a period of time, however they most likely will cover the cost of the class.
  4. by   valifay
    I have never heard of CNA course on the internet. Your best bet would be to call a few nursing home and see if they offer the class or look into the community college or see if you have a career center in your area. Most places, like the college or career center will accept financial aid. IMO, its a good idea if you plan to become a nurse, if anything you will get an insight into the field and be better prepared for your core courses. Good luck to you!
  5. by   Pixiesmom
    The adult education center in my town offers a free CNA class. You do have to pay for your background check and your testing though. I would recommend checking around in your area and checking with the college(s) or career centers in your area like valifay recommended. :spin:
  6. by   bethin
    Best bet is to start calling nursing homes or hospitals, although in my small town the hospital didn't offer the classes. The nursing home did and I got paid for the classroom work and on the floor as a student. It certainly is alot cheaper than going to the cc and shelling out the money. I don't know what the state requirements are concerning hours in CA, but in IN I think I did two weeks of 8 hour days in the classroom and then we went to the floor.

    After I passed the state test (which is not hard at all) I got hired at a hospital. Being an aide does not mean you are chained to LTC.

    It is ultimately your decision if you are going to go to the cc or to the nursing home to do your classes. My local cc CNA class was much much longer than the nursing homes and very expensive. If you think you'll get a better education at the cc, then go that route.

    Good luck and don't be nervous for the test!
  7. by   Huscarl73
    I'm looking into this too as a way to learn if this is really for me before I sink 2 years into school for it. Our local CC offers a 16 hour one semester course on it but I can't figure several things about it. First, how does one CC graduate enough CNA's to satisfy the need for 4 counties worth of LTC's. (I live in a rural area, 90 miles to anywhere) and two, how do people that are looking to 'move up' to a 7$ an hour job afford the program.
  8. by   NaomieRN
    When you start nursing school, as soon as you pass nursing 101 you automatically can start working as a cna. Recently I accepted a nurse position and will be working 3 shifts a month just to gain experience. I will be doing more than cna, like chem sticks and hanging iv bags etc. The pay is slightly higher than a cna.
    If you not going to start nursing school soon, you can check the Red Cross, they usually have cna classes. Good luck to you.
  9. by   TiggerBelly
    I am in the same position as you. I am a pre-nursing student and just finished my CNA course offered by the local tech college. I would really start by calling around to hospitals and nursing homes to see if they will cover the cost of the class for you. You may have to work for them for a year in order for them to pay for it. I am starting my job tomorrow at a Nursing Home and they do not require a certificate in order to be an aide. I think it will be valuable experience for me for my nursing career. I had to pay $640 for the class and will have to pay $95 for the state test (I can't take it until Feb). The class was 6 weeks long along with two days of clinicals. Good Luck!