As the most common source of CNA training, community centers provide great resources for hopeful CNA candidates. These centers may be private nursing homes with community service programs, Red Cross-affiliated institutions, or hospitals with training programs available. People choose these types of programs because they cater to the public, both in price and class structure. They offer programs at reasonable prices or with perks for future employment. For example, once certification is complete, some nursing homes will reimburse the cost of training and test fees. Other programs are designed to improve conditions in the community instead of for profit, resulting in much lower costs for the same services. The advantages are the convenient locations and reduced costs, but drawbacks include crowded classes and the possibility of a disorganized system, as they are required to accommodate as many people as possible.
This is a suitable option for those who are already enrolled in college-level classes. This route is most often taken by students studying the field of medicine or nursing. The certification to be a CNA is useful for Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses in-training, as it requires similar knowledge and skillsets. Having CNA certification can be useful as a resume building qualification or even as an intermediary position before working as a RN or LPN. This is not the best option for those who are not already enrolled in college classes.
Technical and Community Colleges
There are a number of private institutions that offer classes and training for hopeful CNAs. Because state regulations have standardized CNA training programs, there are a number of state-approved training programs available in every state. Sometimes these are offered at community colleges or technical colleges. The advantages of these types of programs is that they are widely available, offer hands-on guidance in a class of limited size, and are specialized to provide the most appropriate training. The drawbacks include high costs and enrollment barriers. But depending on your location, it is possible that the high price of tuition will be covered by your employer. Because they are often for profit, these programs will charge more for their lessons, but provide experts in the field of nursing and competitive passing rates.
Some states do not require a CNA applicant to complete any training program before taking the certification test. Therefore, it may be useful to seek out the necessary training on your own. There are a number of CNA training programs and available materials to facilitate independently-minded CNA candidates. There are risks involved, however. Online programs can be incomplete and some states prohibit them as qualification for the test. If this is the option you are most interested in, make sure to do thorough research on your state's certification requirements and the program of your choice.