CNA school provides the training necessary for an individual to become a certified nursing assistant, also known as a nurse’s aid, home health aide, or personal care technician. These professionals are in great demand thanks to our aging population. Job opportunities in this field can be found at nursing homes, hospitals, clinics, and in private homes.


CNA courses consist of classroom training, skills lab training, and actual hands-on clinical instruction. Skills are taught by means of lecture, discussion, role-playing, videos, and demonstration. CNA school is usually taught by registered nurses and take anywhere from two to six weeks of fulltime work to complete. After the course is completed, students are required to pass a state-administered test to receive their certification.

Psychosocial Care Skills

CNA school will teach you what some would call “people skills.” These are skills that will help you deal with your patients’ mental states and emotional needs. You will be taught basic communication skills, nonverbal communication, stress management, and how to deal with death and dying patients and their families. CNA school will also teach you how to evaluate a patient’s needs, condition, and state of mind.

Physical Skills

Physical skills will make up the bulk of your training in CNA school. You will learn how to make a bed and ensure a patient’s environmental comfort, as well as how to assist your patients with bathing, grooming, and dressing. You will study elimination, safety, and infection control procedures. You will be taught anatomy and physiology, nutrition, and how to take vital signs. CNA school will teach you how to care for patients with diabetes, cognitive impairment, respiratory diseases, and other special needs. You will also learn how to assist with rehabilitation.

Role as a CNA

You will be taught important considerations and guidelines in CNA school that will outline your role as a certified nursing assistant. Your legal and ethical responsibilities will be taught, as well as your place in the health care team as a whole. Patient rights will be discussed. You will need to understand how to keep patient records and protect your patient’s privacy.


CNA school will prepare you to pass your state’s certification test. Specific requirements vary by state, but each state’s test will consist of a written part and a clinical part. CNA school should provide practice tests and written materials to study so you can gain the necessary knowledge to pass this test. On the clinical part of the test, you will be required to demonstrate the skills you learned in CNA school on a live person, usually a friend who has volunteered to help. You will demonstrate proper hand washing, safety precautions, how to move a patient, treating a patient with dignity, and any other tasks the examiner requests. It is important to pay close attention in CNA school so you will be prepared to pass the test and receive your certification.

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