Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Certified Nursing Assistant Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

September 9, 2010 by  
Filed under Certified Nursing Assistant Schools

A certified nursing assistant (CNA) works under the supervision of registered nurses or physicians to provide routine personal and healthcare assistance to the sick and elderly. Becoming a CNA requires the successful completion of a nursing assistant school program followed by passing a state certification examination.

How to Select a Certified Nursing Assistant School

There are many nursing assistant programs available with very similar curriculum and requirements. Most programs are a combination of classroom course work and clinical lab experience. Course work usually includes introduction to healthcare, infection control, psychology, physiology, anatomy, nutrition and advanced patient care. Clinical experience is generally gained in hospital, long-term care and home healthcare settings, learning how to help patients with daily activities like eating, bathing and grooming. Almost all programs require students to pass physical, drug and criminal background tests and have current immunization.

However, there are a couple of big differences to consider when looking for a nursing assistant school. These include program length and tuition, if there are any additional certifications included and state examination eligibility.

Full-time nursing assistant programs vary in length from 4-18 weeks. Obviously, the longer courses will be able to provide an expanded curriculum, including more clinical hands-on experience. However, a 4-week course may be ideal for students who already have some experience in the field or who want to quickly qualify to take the state exam.

Tuition is always somewhat of a factor when looking at schools, and it is no different here. Programs range in price from just a few hundred dollars up to $1,000. One thing to consider when looking at tuitions is whether or not the program offers any additional certifications, such as CPR, BBP (blood borne pathogens), First Aid or HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). Some schools will charge a higher tuition, yet provide the above certifications as part of the program; other schools may charge a lower tuition, but require that you already have certifications before taking the course.

Finally, students should verify that a school will prepare them for certification. In order to become a CNA, students must take the state designated examination. While requirements and exams vary from state to state, most all states require the completion of an approved nursing assistant course in order to qualify for the certification exam.

Largest Certified Nursing Assistant Schools by Student Enrollment

College/University Student Population Institution Type
Riverside Community College 36,146 2-year, Public
City College of San Francisco 34,868 2-year, Public
American River College 34,610 2-year, Public
Salt Lake Community College 29,396 2-year, Public
Long Beach City College 26,927 2-year, Public
Pasadena City College 26,713 2-year, Public
Northeastern University 25,837 4-year, Private not-for-profit
College of DuPage 25,668 2-year, Public
Central New Mexico Community College 24,870 2-year, Public
Mesa Community College 23,825 2-year, Public
Southwestern College 22,030 2-year, Public
South Texas College 21,666 4-year, primarily associate’s, Public
College of the Canyons 21,010 2-year, Public
Sierra College 20,664 2-year, Public
Chaffey College 20,304 2-year, Public
Santa Rosa Junior College 20,298 2-year, Public
San Joaquin Delta College 20,190 2-year, Public
Lansing Community College 19,445 2-year, Public
Modesto Junior College 19,307 2-year, Public
Bakersfield College 19,287 2-year, Public