How to Become a Certified Nursing Assistant:

CNAs are known as one of the most stable jobs in the healthcare industry. Awarded competitive salaries and steady growth opportunities, choosing to become a Certified Nurse Assistant is an excellent career choice for any driven individual.

  1. Find a CNA Training Program

  2. Graduate from a CNA School

  3. Prepare for the CNA Certification Exam

1. Find a CNA Training Program

Each state offers its own version of a CNA training program. The majority of the CNA training programs require applicants to have a high school diploma or equivalent, a background check, and be up-to-date on immunizations. Find CNA school requirements specific to your state here.

You can also enter your zip code in the Free School Finder to compare CNA schools side-by-side and customize your search with online or local classes.

CNA training programs can run anywhere from 4 weeks to 6 months. Each program requires both clinical and classroom instruction, with a total number of hours needed to be met before applicants are eligible to apply for the CNA certification exam. For example, California requires a minimum of 60 hours in the classroom and 100 hours in a clinical setting, where North Carolina only requires 75 hours total. Each state has different training regulations, but all states require the core classes to be completed before earning a CNA certification. Many CNA programs are offered at community colleges, career centers, and through the American Red Cross. Program cost can range anywhere from $500 to $2,000, depending on your program and location.

2. Graduate from a CNA School

Once you select the CNA training program, you will need to prepare for your upcoming classes. The classroom instruction of the CNA Program moves at a very fast pace and covers a lot of material. Further, the CNA exam will require all candidates to be able to demonstrate their skills in a live clinical setting supervised by actual registered nurses.

A typical CNA training class will cover anywhere from 30-100 hours on topics such as:

  • Anatomy

  • Social Service

  • Mental Health

  • Cognitive Impairment

  • Emergency Procedures

  • Personal Care & Hygiene

  • Infection Control

  • Basic Nursing Care

  • Restorative Services

  • Patients’ Rights

Show up prepared for your CNA training program and begin the classroom training now, for FREE, at We cover all the subjects needed, while also providing practice tests, video instructions, and quick tips from the healthcare field. A thorough understanding of all the nursing material within this course will save you time and money by enabling you to pass your CNA certification test the first time.

3. Prepare for the CNA Certification Exam

The CNA certification exam may look different in each state, but all will be comprised of a written and clinical version. The written exam will typically be anywhere from 70-100 multiple choice questions, and the clinical will be an observed demonstration of 5 random skills selected from the 100 you must learn. A time limit of roughly 3 hours is set at each test site.

The CNA exam cost can range anywhere from $100-$200, depending on location. Being prepared is essential, because if you do not pass the first time, you have to pay to take it again. If you are unable to pass a second time, some states require you to retake the CNA training program as well. Once you successfully pass your CNA exam, you will be issued a CNA license and allowed to work as a CNA in the state you tested.

CNA Job Outlook:

CNAs are highlighted by the U.S Bureau of Labor to be one of the top-growing jobs, with growth projected at 11% and adding 175,000 jobs by 2026. As one of the largest generations ages, the Baby Boomers, many will require additional medical care. Nursing facilities will be in dire need of Certified Nurse Assistants to help meet their patients’ needs. Take the your next step towards a stable career in the healthcare industry and become a CNA today! Please continue your course by selecting the next button.    

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