Free CNA Training in Nursing Homes and Hospitals (2024)

Free CNA Training in Nursing Homes and Hospitals (1)

If you want to become a CNA, you need to complete a college training program as well as sit for a certification exam.

However, a college education can be pretty expensive so many people cannot afford it.

Fortunately, there is a variety of free CNA training options you can enroll in.

Article Table of Contents

  • 1 Free CNA Training Options
    • 1.1 How to Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?
    • 1.2 Where Can You Receive Free CNA Training?
    • 1.3 The Scoop on CNA Classes
  • 2 Advantages of Free Hospital and Nursing Home CNA Training
    • 2.1 Guaranteed Employment
    • 2.2 Paid Training
    • 2.3 Networking
    • 2.4 Practical Hands-on Experience
    • 2.5 Potential Downside to Free CNA Training
  • 3 Additional Options for Free CNA Training
    • 3.1 American Red Cross
    • 3.2 Job Training Centers
    • 3.3 Job Corps
  • 4 Frequently Asked Questions
    • 4.1 How much does a CNA course cost?
    • 4.2 Can I take CNA classes online?
    • 4.3 What is the best shift to work as a CNA?
    • 4.4 What is the easiest CNA job?
    • 4.5 Can a CNA work with babies?
    • 4.6 How much does a CNA make an hour?

Free CNA Training Options

First of all, you need to know that obtaining a career in the medical sphere is very rewarding in different ways.

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It gives you an opportunity to earn a good salary while helping others.

Also, it is one of the spheres that have a growing demand for qualified specialists and can offer some great stability for the workers.

Nevertheless, it is not so easy to enter this field as it has pretty tough education requirements.

There are lots of medical careers that require long-lasting education as well.

CNA or Certified Nurse Assistant career can be a great way to eliminate these difficulties and enter the medical sphere.

These specialists are an essential part of the medical sphere as they help nurses and doctors, and take care of patients.

To be able to start working as a CNA, you need to complete your training and pass astate board certification exam.

How to Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?

You don’t need to spend much time and effort to start working as a CNA.

First of all, you need to find a good training program.

Usually, these programs last for about 4-12 weeks and contain theory classes as well as some clinical practice.

After completing the required amount of hours of training, you are eligible to apply for a certification exam.

Usually, during the exam, you need to answer written questions and show your practical skills.

After you’ve passed the exam successfully, you can start working as a CNA.

Read our full guide:

How to Become a CNA: The Definitive Guide

Where Can You Receive Free CNA Training?

There is a whole variety of facilities that provide CNA training programs.

The list includes such options as vocational schools, community colleges, and various medical care facilities including hospitals and nursing homes.

Speaking of colleges and schools, they provide great training but they can be pretty expensive.

Their price can be about hundreds and even thousands of dollars.

Of course, in many cases, you can apply for some financial aid but usually, it is in the form of a student loan.

It means that you’ll get into debt and be obliged to return this money later.

However, there are lots of nursing homes and hospitals that free training courses.

It is a great way not only to get your training for free but also find employment at the facility you are training at.

In other words, it is your opportunity to get free training and find a job simultaneously.

The Scoop on CNA Classes

You may have an essential question on how it is possible that some healthcare facilities offer free training programs.

In most cases, these programs are funded by the government.

If you want to know how to find out about these free offers, there are some simple options.

The first one is through the word of mouth from some of your friends, relatives or just people who work in one of these facilities.

Also, you can look for info on the websites of hospitals and nursing homes.

Moreover, it is always a good idea to call the facility’s HR office or pay a visit there in order to get the required info.

You should know that the training courses provided by healthcare facilities are very similar to those offered at schools and colleges.

Both these options contain some theory classes as well as practical training.

The question you might be asking is “How are healthcare facilities able to offer these courses free of charge?” The answer is that many of these programs receive funding from the state government.

Advantages of Free Hospital and Nursing Home CNA Training

In fact, training programs provided by healthcare facilities are great not only because they are free.

There is a whole bunch of other advantages as well.

Guaranteed Employment

As soon as you obtain your CNA certification, you need to start looking for a job.

It is a hard task most people don’t like.

However, getting your training at a healthcare facility, you can avoid this problem.

In most cases, hospitals and nursing homes that offer training programs tend to hire their students after training completion.

Usually, applying for a training program at one of these facilities, you agree to work there for a certain amount of time.

Paid Training

Usually, while getting your training in a healthcare facility it is likely you’ll be paid.

It is available not in every hospital or nursing home but there are lots of facilities that offer this option.

It is because even if you are a student you can perform numerous tasks and can be very valuable.

In other words, it is a win-win situation for both you and a medical facility.

While you getting your training, employment, and compensation, a hospital can get a qualified specialist that knows its requirements, regulations, and policies.


Considering the fact that most classes are held at the hospital, you’ll be obliged to work with numerous healthcare professionals.

In such a way, you’ll be able to form some relationships with people who can be your mentors and can help you to move on through your career.

It is a great option especially for those who want to advance their careers in the future and start working as an RN or an LPN.

Practical Hands-on Experience

Applying for a CNA training program at a college or a school, you’ll get some clinical experience required for an exam pass.

Training courses offered by hospitals also have clinical training but in comparison with college programs, there are more opportunities for practicing.

Unlike college programs, this option offers you an opportunity to train in a hospital setting instead of classrooms and labs.

Potential Downside to Free CNA Training

Of course, training programs provided by healthcare facilities have not only advantages but a bunch of disadvantages as well.

First of all, you need to remember that applying for free training, you need to sign a contract according to which you’ll be obliged to work for the facility for a certain amount of time.

If you don’t fulfill this requirement, you’ll be obliged to pay some sort of fine.

In other words, you may be asked to pay for your training if decide to leave the facility before your contract ends.

Despite some disadvantages, these training courses provided by a healthcare facility can be a great way to get your education.

They can provide you with numerous career options, as well as your first job without making you pay a fortune.

Additional Options for Free CNA Training

Of course, programs at medical facilities are the most popular options to get your CNA training for free.

However, there are some other great options you should take into consideration.

American Red Cross

The American Red Cross provides a CNA training course in some locations in the USA.

Just make sure to check whether it’s available in your location and if you are lucky enough you may apply for this free training program.

In some areas, this program is paid but usually, grants are offered for those who need financial aid.

However, you’ll still be responsible for some additional expenses.

Just make sure to check the American Red Cross website to learn more about the available options.

Job Training Centers

Some individuals can get their CNA training for free addressing job training centers.

To get more info on the available options, you need to address your local job placement center or unemployment office.

Even if there are no free programs, you may be able to get some discount, scholarship or other financial aid.

Job Corps

Job Corps – it is a program that was started to help people age 16-24 that want to learn some trade.

Applying for it, you can get not only free training but also a room and board at a Job Corps facility.

Moreover, you may even get assistance with your certification and job placement.

As you can see, all these options are great but they are available not for everyone.

Just make sure to check the requirements properly.

In case, you cannot apply for any of these options, the best option for you can be a training program at a community college or an accredited school.

Speaking of a CNA career, it can be a rewarding lifelong occupation but also you can use it as a stepping stone if you want to pursue other careers in the medical sphere.

In any case, obtaining a CNA license, you have an opportunity to start a great career.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a CNA course cost?

Most schools offer CNA programs between $1,000 and $1,500, which may not include the cost of the state exam you have to take at the end to get your certificate.

That will cost another $100 or so.

Online programs cost less than in-person classes so would be at the lower end of the scale.

Can I take CNA classes online?

You may earn your CNA certificate online, and you will be getting the same instruction that students get when they attend in person.

There may be some hands-on training that you will have to do in person, but almost all of it is online.

What is the best shift to work as a CNA?

The best shift for a CNA to work is one that fits your lifestyle or personal needs.

The second shift involves just one meal, and there is not as much to do, so it may be easier.

The third shift is hard in some ways, but it is also slow with not much going on.

The first shift is the busiest and can be the best for those that like a faster-paced job.

What is the easiest CNA job?

A lot of people like doing Home Health Care as a CNA.

It is easier because you control your schedule more.

There is no one watching over you, so you do not have to worry about bosses.

Many people also find this the most fulfilling because you are working with an individual over a time period and establishing a relationship.

Can a CNA work with babies?

CNAs can have an important role in helping take care of babies.

If they are in the ICU, the CNA can set up health equipment, feed newborns, and clean.

You could also help with childbirth, helping make the mother more comfortable.

A CNA is a nursing assistant, so a CNA can help a nurse in any medical situation, and working with babies is a natural fit.

How much does a CNA make an hour?

There is a lot of variety in how much a CNA makes per hour.

A person starting out could make between $10 and $18 per hour.

The median pay in 2020 was $14.82 per hour, and that was an increase over the previous year.

Alaska and New York have the highest-paid CNAs averaging $20 per hour.

Louisiana and Mississippi were the lowest at $11 per hour.

Additional Resources

  • Medical Assistant VS Nurse: What’s The Difference?
  • What Is an STNA?
  • What Is Nursing Informatics? (And How to Become a Nurse Informaticist)
  • What Is a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant)?
  • Travel Nursing for LPNs
Free CNA Training in Nursing Homes and Hospitals (2024)


How can I be the best CNA ever? ›

7 Qualities of the Most Successful Nursing Assistants
  1. Strong Attention to Detail. Certified nursing assistants must have good attention to detail. ...
  2. Excellent Communication Skills. Clear and direct communication is key for a CNA career. ...
  3. Knowledge of Medical Terminology. ...
  4. Patience. ...
  5. Empathy and Compassion. ...
  6. Flexibility. ...
  7. Optimism.

What is the passing score for the CNA exam in California? ›

This examination consists of the following components: Training and Experience Evaluation – Weighted 100% of the final score. The examination will consist solely of a Training and Experience Evaluation. To obtain a position on the eligible list, a minimum score of 70% must be received.

What is the passing score for CNA written exam Colorado? ›

The score needed to pass the CNA exam will differ depending on your state and the test provider. However, it is safe to say that you need at least a 75-80% to pass.

How old do you have to be to be a CNA in Texas? ›

How to Become a CNA in Texas. To start a CNA training program, you need to be at least 18 years old. There is no minimum education requirement for nurse aides such as a high school diploma or a GED. Trainees with specific criminal convictions will not be allowed to practice as a CNA.

What is the best CNA pay? ›

Top 10 Best Paying States for CNAs in 2023
  1. Alaska. With an average annual salary of $43,080, Alaska tops our list of the highest-paying states for CNAs. ...
  2. New York. ...
  3. 3. California. ...
  4. District of Columbia. ...
  5. Oregon. ...
  6. Washington. ...
  7. Massachusetts. ...
  8. Minnesota.
Mar 13, 2023

What is the most money a CNA can make? ›

The best CNA jobs can pay up to $106,000 per year.

A CNA, or certified nursing assistant or certified nursing aide, is an assistant to RNs (registered nurses) and LPNs (licensed practical nurses) on the medical staff.

How many times can I take the CNA exam in California? ›

You are allowed three (3) attempts to pass both parts of the exam during the two (2) years that your CDPH 283B is valid or before the "must successfully pass the evaluation by" date on the CDPH 932.

How many questions can you miss on the CNA written exam California? ›

If you still make a mistake, you'll see the correct response displayed along with an explanation to help you understand. If you miss more than eight questions, you can restart the test and try again.

Can you take the CNA test without classes in California? ›

To register for a CNA exam in California, the applicant must be at least 16 years of age, have completed a training program approved by the Department of California, and obtained a criminal record clearance.

How long is the Colorado CNA test? ›

The exam has two segments, both of which you must pass to qualify for the nurse aide registry. You must complete the 70-question multiple-choice written test of the CNA exam within 90 minutes. The skills evaluation part requires demonstrating five different skills within 30 minutes.

Can I be a CNA with a felony in Colorado? ›

An applicant will be disqualified from a CCCS Nurse Aide Program based on the following guidelines: Any violent felony convictions of homicide (No time limit). Crimes of violence (assault, sexual offenses, arson, kidnapping, any crime against an at-risk adult or juvenile, etc.)

How many questions are on the Colorado CNA written exam? ›

The written portion is comprised of 70 questions and covers the role of a nurse's aid, communication, client rights, psychosocial care skills, and physical care. This is a timed test and must be completed in 90 minutes. Here is a link to some practice written CNA practice tests.

What is the youngest a CNA can be? ›

First, you should be at least 18 years old, although a few states allow 16- or 17-year-olds who have parental consent. A high school diploma or the equivalent is required. Next, you will need to find a CNA training program that is approved by your state.

What is the youngest age to be a CNA? ›

CNAs must be at least 16 years old and complete a minimum of 80 credit hours at a state-approved and accredited program.

What do CNAs do? ›

CNA stands for “certified nursing assistant,” an entry-level role that provides vital support to both patients and nurses. From transporting, bathing, and feeding hospital patients, to stocking medical supplies and logging patient information, CNAs are on the ground working to enhance patient outcomes.

What makes you stand out as a CNA? ›

Focus on good organization skills, reliability, attention to detail, quick thinking skills, communication skills, a strong work ethic, and how well you get along with others: “My main strength is my ability to communicate with people from all walks of life.

What is the hardest thing about being a CNA? ›

CNAs are Notoriously Underpaid for Their Hard Work

Daily, certified nursing assistants face countless challenges, such as the risk of burnout, dealing with death and grief, caring for dying patients, working in sometimes dangerous conditions, and many more difficult tasks they are faced with.

How can a CNA improve on their work performance? ›

Communication is Key

CNAs must be able to effectively communicate with both patients and other members of the health care team. This includes being able to listen carefully and express oneself clearly. CNAs can improve their communication skills by taking courses or attending workshops on effective communication.

Can you make a good living by being the CNA? ›

Once you gain more experience, you can expect an hourly rate of $14.83 or $30,085 a year. The top-level salary for a CNA is around $20.25. This means that top-level experience can make approximately $32,050 a year. The average CNA salary is about $15.41 an hour or $32,050 a year.

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