CNAs, or certified nurse assistants, are health care professionals who perform basic bedside care duties, from changing bed pans to feeding and dressing patients. To become a CNA, you need to take and pass a nurse assistant program.


Nurse assistant programs teach students nursing skills by lectures and hands-on learning. Students learn to take vital signs, communicate with patients, perform CPR and move or transport patients, among other subjects.


CNA programs are typically found in technical schools, community colleges and nursing homes. Programs offered at technical schools and community colleges may cost between $300 to $600, according to, however nursing homes may train you for free in return for you signing a contract to work for them.

Time Frame

Programs generally last a few weeks to a little more than a month, depending on whether the program is day or night or full or part-time.


Some programs offer online lectures and hands-on classes at hospitals so you can learn partially from home. This may save you a lot in commuting gas and allow you to work while attending school.


You may find yourself paying more if you attend a program in a major city, but as an employed CNA in a large city you'll make more hourly than someone working in a rural area.

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About the Author

Amanda Williams has been writing since 2009 on various writing websites and blogging since 2003. She enjoys writing about health, medicine, education and home and garden topics. Williams earned a Bachelor of Science in biology at East Stroudsburg University in May 2013. Williams is also a certified emergency medical technician.