Ultimate Guide to Finding CNA Classes in Your State

two nursing assistants with their clinical instructor at CNA class
Written by
Lori Fuqua
Reviewed by
Miranda Kay, RN
January 30, 2024

Table of Contents

Are you interested in a high-demand healthcare career that won’t require years of time and financial investment? Maybe becoming a certified nursing assistant (CNA) is right for you. We’ve put together this resource guide to help you find CNA classes near you that are approved in your state.

How Do I Find CNA Classes near Me?

If you’ve spent any time investigating the path to becoming a CNA, you already know many program options are available. The trick is understanding that to become certified in your state and legally employed, you must complete a state-approved CNA program. That means you must confirm it’s approved before you sign up and pay for any CNA school or invest your valuable time in a free online CNA course with a certificate of completion that the state may not recognize. In this guide, we’ve provided a quick summary of each state’s regulations for approved CNA programs and how to find them. Scroll down to your state and follow the instructions to find a list of approved CNA classes near you. But first, let’s answer some frequently asked questions.

What’s the Cost for CNA Training?

Costs vary for CNA classes and typically include tuition or an enrollment fee for the class itself, textbooks, and necessary materials (scrubs, stethoscopes, etc). Some states offer scholarship programs or waivers for eligible persons, while others even have a few free programs. 

Additionally, you may want to investigate the possibility of reimbursement from your prospective employer if it is a licensed Medicaid facility.

How Quickly Can I Become a CNA?

Compared to other nursing professions, becoming a CNA is a relatively short process with some variation due to your state’s length requirements. According to Federal Code of Rules § 483.152, the minimum length for a program is 75 hours, with at least 16 of those hours set apart for supervised practical training. Many state regulations surpass the federal minimum requirements, but not all. You may be able to find CNA training classes that finish in as little as 4 weeks. Again, we encourage you to check your state’s approved programs before making class commitments.

Can I Take CNA Classes Online?

Some states have approved hybrid programs incorporating theory classroom instruction into a digital format, offering 2-week CNA classes online. Nevertheless, all states require a clinical experience component for program completion. 

Learning how to operate a lift is an important part of CNA classes.

How Do I Find Free CNA Classes?

The best thing you can do if you’re concerned about the cost is to check with each program on your state-approved list. Not all states offer free programs; however, as mentioned earlier, you may be eligible for reimbursement, a scholarship, or a waiver.

What Will I Learn in a CNA Program?

CNA curriculums vary depending on state regulations, but in general, you can expect to develop skills and knowledge in the following areas: personal care skills, mental health needs, social needs, care of cognitively impaired patients, restorative services, resident (or patient) rights, infection control, emergency procedures, basic nursing skills, and charting.

How Many Residents Will I Be Responsible For?

Hospitals and other healthcare facilities must follow strict regulations for licensing and, as such, usually have requirements they must adhere to for nurse and CNA staffing. Check out our CNA-to-patient staffing ratios guide to understand what you can expect in your state.

Alabama

Per the Alabama Administrative Code r. 560-X-10-.15, the Alabama Department of Health regulates nurse aide training and competency programs, certification, and registry.

  • Find state-approved nurse aide training programs with the help of the certified nurse aide registry.
  • CNA training programs are a minimum of 75 hours, of which a minimum of 16 hours are clinical training and a minimum of 16 hours are laboratory.

Alaska

The Alaska Division of Corporations, Business, & Professional Licensing regulates CNAs.

  • Find a list of state-approved CNA training programs here.
  • According to Alaska Administrative Code 12 AAC 44.835, certified nurse aide training programs consist of a minimum of 140 hours, including classroom learning (60 hours) and clinical/skills training (48 hours of facility clinical practice and 32 hours of supervised practice).
  • Applicants must be at least 16 years old.

Arizona

Arizona regulates two types of nursing assistants: CNAs and Licensed Nursing Assistants (LNAs). 

  • State-approved training programs for both CNAs and LNAs are the same and can be found on the Arizona Board of Nursing site.
  • Per Arizona Administrative Code § R4-19-802, nursing assistant training programs offer a minimum of 120 hours in total: 40 hours of classroom instruction, 20 hours of skills practice and testing in a laboratory setting, 40 hours of supervised clinical practice (20 hours minimum in a long-term care facility), and an additional 20 hours to any of the three categories based on resources and student needs.
  • Applicants must be at least 16 years old.

Arkansas

The Arkansas Department of Human Services regulates Arkansas’s certified nurse aides.

  • Contact the Department for a list of state-approved programs.
  • According to the Department’s regulations, nurse aide training programs consist of at least 90 hours of training: 74 hours of theory instruction, clinical skills training, and demonstration in a classroom lab, and 16 hours of supervised practical training in a facility.

California

The Healthcare Workforce Branch (HWB) and the Healthcare Professional Certification and Training Section (HPCTS) under the California Department of Public Health regulate CNAs in California

  • Find a list of approved CNA training programs (including online training providers) here.
  • Per California Code of Regulations 22 CCR § 71835, CNA programs in California consist of at least 100 hours of supervised clinical training and 50 hours of classroom instruction.
  • Applicants must be at least 16 years old.

Colorado

The Colorado Board of Nursing regulates the certification of nurse aides for the state.

  • Contact the Board to request a list of approved CNA training programs.
  • Per Colorado Administrative Code 3 CCR 716-1.11, Colorado nurse aide training programs are a minimum of 75 hours: the first 16 hours are pre-clinical, followed by a minimum of 16 hours of classroom instruction and a minimum of 16 hours of clinical instruction under the direct supervision of a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse.

Connecticut

The Connecticut Department of Public Health regulates the certification and registry of Connecticut nurse aides.

  • Find a list of approved CNA training programs here.
  • Nurse aide training programs in Colorado are a minimum of 100 hours. The theoretical and clinical components of a program must cover 25 competency skills. They must also provide 16 hours in each of the following categories: communication and interpersonal skills, residents’ rights, residents’ independence, safety and emergency procedures (including the Heimlich Maneuver), and infection control.

District of Columbia (Washington D.C.)

The Washington D.C. Board of Nursing maintains a list of approved nurse aide training programs. 

  • Find the list here
  • Approved programs must maintain a 75 percent pass rate on the competency evaluation per D.C. Municipal Regulations 9627.
  • Per the D.C. Board of Nursing, CNA training programs total 125 hours: 65 hours in the classroom, 20 hours of skills in the lab, and 40 hours of supervised clinical experience.
  • Applicants must be at least 18 years old.

Delaware

The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services regulates CNAs for the state.

  • The Department maintains a list of approved CNA programs, which can be found here.
  • By order of the Department of Health and Social Services, Delaware CNA training programs consist of a minimum of 91 hours: 75 hours of classroom and laboratory training and 16 hours of clinical skills training in a licensed facility.

Florida

The Florida Board of Nursing regulates CNAs in Florida.

  • The Board maintains a list of approved CNA training programs in Florida, which can be found here.
  • Per the Florida Administrative Code R. 64B9-15.006, the Florida CNA training program curriculum must include at least 80 hours of classroom and 40 hours of clinical instruction. At least 20 hours of clinical instruction should be long-term care clinical instruction in a licensed nursing home.
  • Applicants must be at least 18 years old or have a high school diploma or equivalent.

Georgia

The Georgia Department of Community Health regulates the state’s nurse aides.

  • The Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS) under the Georgia Department of Community Health and the nurse aide registry maintains a list of approved nurse aide programs in Georgia.
  • Nurse aid programs in Georgia are at least 85 hours, including lab, classroom instruction, and clinical rotation—with a minimum of 24 hours of nursing home clinical experience.

Hawaii

The Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs regulates Hawaii nurse aides. 

  • The Department directs inquiries to the Department of Human Services - MedQUEST Division for a list of Hawaii-approved nurse aide programs.
  • Hawaii nurse aide programs are at least 100 hours: 70 hours of classroom and laboratory instruction and 30 hours of clinical experience.

Iowa

The Iowa Direct Care Worker Registry is responsible for registering CNAs in Iowa.

  • The Iowa Department of Inspections, Appeals, and Licensing maintains a list of approved CNA courses by public and private entities in Iowa. 
  • Per the Iowa Administrative Code 441—81.16, Iowa nursing assistant programs are at least 75 hours, with a minimum of 30 hours in didactic theory instruction, 16 hours of laboratory experience, and 30 hours of supervised clinical training.

Idaho

The Department of Health and Welfare regulates CNAs in Idaho

  • For a list of approved CNA programs, refer to the FAQ section here, which provides a list of phone numbers to call based on your location.
  • Idaho CNA programs are a minimum of 120 hours. At least 80 hours must be classroom and laboratory work (a minimum of 40 hours of laboratory skills training), and at least 32 hours must be in a supervised clinical setting (16 hours in a nursing home and 16 hours in a hospital or nursing home). The remaining eight hours can be either in classroom, lab, or clinical settings at the instructor’s discretion.

Illinois

Regulation for Illinois CNAs is the responsibility of the Illinois Department of Public Health.

  • Find an approved CNA training program on the Department’s CNA Facts page (scroll to the bottom of the page under “resources”).
  • Per the Illinois Compiled Statutes 210 ILCS 45/3-206, Illinois CNA training programs are 120 hours in total.
  • Applicants must be at least 16 years old.

Indiana

The Indiana Department of Health regulates Indiana CNAs.

  • Find a list of approved CNA training programs here.
  • Per Indiana Administrative Code 410 IAC 16.2-3.1-14, Indiana CNA programs have a minimum of 105 hours: 30 hours of classroom instruction and 75 hours of supervised clinical instruction; 16 hours of clinical instruction must be directly supervised practical training, such as in a laboratory setting.
  • There is no age or education requirement for applicants.

Kansas

The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services regulates CNA certification and registry in Kansas

  • For a list of approved CNA training courses, click here.
  • According to the Kansas Administrative Regulations § 26-50-20, Kansas CNA training courses provide didactic and clinical instruction; they are 90 hours, divided into Part 1 and Part 2. Each part consists of at least 50 percent clinical instruction.

Kentucky

The Cabinet for Health and Family Service certifies and regulates nurse aides in Kentucky.

Louisiana

The Louisiana Department of Health regulates and certifies nurse aides in Louisiana.

  • Find a list of approved nurse aide training programs here.
  • According to Louisiana Administrative Code tit. 48, § I-10015, Louisiana nurse aide training programs are a minimum of 80 hours, with 40 hours of classroom instruction and 40 hours of clinical instruction in a nursing home or a hospital-based skilled nursing facility unit.
  • Applicants must be at least 16 years old.

Maine

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services handles the CNA registry and certification. 

  • Per Maine Code of Rule 02-380 C.M.R. ch. 5, § 2, CNA training courses are 130 hours in total: 70 hours of classroom instruction, 20 hours of laboratory, and 40 hours of supervised clinical practice.
  • The state maintains a list of approved healthcare training programs (including CNA programs), which can be found here. Even a few CNA trainings are available for free—with eligibility restrictions.
  • Applicants must be at least 16 years old and have documentation of, at minimum, a ninth-grade education.

Maryland

The Maryland Board of Nursing approves training programs and regulates CNAs.

  • The Board maintains a list of approved CNA training programs here.
  • Per the Board, CNA training programs must be at least 100 hours: 60 hours of didactic classroom instruction and 40 hours of clinical experience.

Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health handles CNA registration and certification. 

  • For a list of approved CNA programs throughout the state, click here.
  • Per Massachusetts Regulation 105 CMR 156.300, approved nurse aide training courses must be at least 75 hours.
  • Applicants must be at least 18 years old.

Michigan

The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs manages the Nurse Aide Registry in Michigan

  • Find an interactive map with approved nurse aide training programs here.
  • Approved nurse aide training programs in Michigan are a minimum of 75 hours; how students meet the curriculum requirements is up to the discretion of each program.
  • Applicants for Michigan CNA certification must be at least 16 years old, although employment restrictions for minors (16–17 year olds) apply due to the Youth Employment Standards Act, 1978 Public Act 90.

Minnesota

The Department of Health regulates the certification of nurse aides in Minnesota

  • Search for state-approved nursing assistant training programs here.
  • Per the Minnesota Nursing Assistant Registry, Minnesota nursing assistant training programs require a minimum of 75 hours, 16 of which must be practical supervised training.

Mississippi

Under the Mississippi State Department of Health, a third party—Credentia—administers nurse aide certification and registry. 

  • Click here to request a list of approved nurse aide training courses in Mississippi
  • Nurse aide training courses are at least 75 hours with a minimum of 16 hours of practical supervised training.

Missouri

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services maintains the CNA registry.

  • Find a list of approved CNA courses here.
  • Per Missouri Code of Rules 19 CSR 30-84.010, approved CNA courses are at least 75 hours of instructional training and 100 hours of supervised clinical practice.
  • Minor applicants no younger than 16 years old are eligible (with stipulations).

Montana

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services maintains the nurse aide registry.

  • Find a list of approved training courses here.
  • Montana nurse aide training courses must be at least 75 hours with a minimum of 16 hours of supervised clinical training.

Nebraska

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services manages the state’s nurse aide registry. 

  • Find approved nurse aide programs here.
  • Per the Nebraska Administrative Code, ch. 108, § 004, nurse aide training programs are at least 75 hours, with 16 hours of supervised clinical training and one hour on abuse/neglect reporting responsibilities.
  • For nurse aides working only in intermediate care facilities for patients with intellectual disabilities, a different training program is available comprised of 15 hours of basic personal care training, five hours of basic therapeutic and emergency procedures, and one hour on abuse/neglect reporting responsibilities.
  • Applicants must be at least 16 years old.

Nevada

Nevada CNAs are certified and regulated by the State Board of Nursing. 

  • Find a list of approved CNA training programs by clicking here.
  • According to Nevada Revised Statute 632.2856, nursing assistant programs must be at least 75 hours, with a minimum of 60 hours of theory and skills learning in a laboratory.
  • Applicants must be at least 16 years old.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire licensed nursing assistants (LNAs) are licensed and regulated by the New Hampshire Board of Nursing.

  • Find a list of approved LNA education programs here.
  • Per the New Hampshire Administrative Code Nur 704.09, nursing assistant programs must have at least 100 hours, 40 hours of theory and 60 hours of concurrent clinical experience.

New Jersey

The New Jersey Department of Health regulates the certification of nurse aides.

  • Find a list of approved nurse aide training programs here.
  • New Jersey nurse aide training programs must use the department-approved curriculum. Per New Jersey Administrative Code § 8:39-43.10, the programs must be a minimum of 90 hours total, 50 hours of classroom instruction, and 40 hours of clinical experience in a licensed long-term care facility. 

New Mexico

The state’s Department of Health regulates New Mexico nurse aides.

  • For assistance locating an approved nurse aide program near you, contact the Nurse Aide Registry (NAR) program coordinator. Click here to find contact details (provided under “Training Programs”).
  • New Mexico-approved programs must provide at least 75 hours of training, with at least 16 hours of supervised practical training.

New York

The New York State Department of Health contracts a third party (Prometric) for the registry, certification, renewal, and examination of New York nurse aides.

North Carolina

The state’s Division of Health Service Regulation manages the North Carolina nurse aide registry. 

  • Find state-approved nurse aide training programs here.
  • North Carolina nurse aide training programs must be at least 75 hours, 16 of which must be supervised practical training.
  • Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent.

North Dakota

The North Dakota Division of Health Facilities certifies, registers, and regulates the state’s nurse aides.

  • Find a list of state-approved nurse aide programs here.
  • Per North Dakota Administrative Rule 33-43-01-04, nurse aide training programs must be at least 75 hours, including a minimum of 16 hours of supervised practical training.

Ohio

The Ohio Department of Health oversees nurse aide registration. In Ohio, most CNAs actually hold the title of state-approved nursing assistant or STNA for short.

  • Find a list of approved nurse aide programs here.
  • Per the Department, Ohio nurse aide programs must be a minimum of 75 hours, including no less than 59 hours of classroom experience and skills training and 16 hours of supervised clinical experience. 
  • Applicants must be at least 16 years old.

Oklahoma

The Oklahoma State Department of Health regulates Oklahoma nurse aides.

  • Find a list of approved nurse aide training programs here.
  • According to the Oklahoma Administrative Code § 310:677-3-4, Oklahoma nurse aide programs must include at least 75 hours of training, of which a minimum of 16 hours should be supervised practical training.

Oregon

The Oregon Board of Nursing regulates nursing assistants for the state.

  • The Board does not maintain an active list of approved programs; however, it tracks nursing assistant program pass/fail rates, which you can access here.
  • Per Oregon Administrative Rule 851-061-0090, nursing assistant Level 1 programs must be at least 155 hours, with 80 hours of classroom and lab instruction (24 hours of which should include student demonstration of comprehension/competency) and 75 hours of supervised clinical experience in a hospital or other licensed facility (assisted living, residential care, or nursing care). 
  • Nursing Assistant Level 1 online programs must be 53 hours, following the national standard for content-to-credit ratio, followed by a minimum of 27 hours of supervised lab instruction (with student demonstration of comprehension/competency) within two weeks of the online curriculum portion and a minimum of 75 hours of supervised clinical experience.
  • Nursing Assistant Level 2 programs must be at least 88 hours total: 60 hours of classroom and lab instruction and 24 hours of supervised one-on-one clinical experience.

Pennsylvania

Under the Pennsylvania Department of Health, a third party (Credentia) maintains the nurse aide registry and administers certification testing.

  • Find a list of approved Pennsylvania nurse aide programs here.
  • Pennsylvania nurse aide programs must be at least 75 hours with at least 16 hours of supervised practical training.

Rhode Island

The Rhode Island Department of Health maintains the state’s nursing assistant registry.

  • Find a list of approved Rhode Island nursing assistant programs here.
  • Per the Rhode Island Rule § 216-RICR-40-05-22.7, nurse aide programs must be at least 120 hours, with no less than 40 hours of practical training. Any online nurse aide program may provide 80 hours of didactic classroom instruction online, but the program must provide 40 hours of practical training.

South Carolina

The South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services uses a third-party (Credentia) for nurse aide regulation.

  • Find a list of approved South Carolina programs here (scroll down to “Resources”).
  • According to the Department, nurse aide programs must have at least 100 hours of training, including 40 hours of classroom instruction, 20 hours of skills practice, and 40 hours of supervised clinical experience in a nursing home.

South Dakota

South Dakota nurse aide regulation is a shared responsibility of the South Dakota Department of Health, the Board of Nursing, and the Health Care Association. 

  • Find a list of state-approved nurse aide training programs here.
  • Per South Dakota Administrative Rule 44:74:02:15, nurse aide training programs are at least 75 hours of classroom and clinical instruction, including at least 16 hours of supervised practical training.

Tennessee

The Tennessee Department of Health regulates nurse aides.

  • Find a list of Tennessee-approved nurse aide training programs here.
  • Per Tennesee Rule 0720-18-.15 and 0720-18-.07, nurse aide training programs should be 75 hours with supervised clinical training hours. Nurse aides assigned to an Alzheimer’s Unit must have an additional 40 hours of classroom instruction.

Texas

The Texas Health and Human Services regulates nurse aides for the state.

  • Find a list of approved nurse aide training programs here.
  • Texas Health and Human Services states that each nurse aide training program must provide at least 100 hours total, with 60 hours as classroom instruction and 40 hours of direct care in a nursing facility.

Utah

The Utah Nursing Assistant Registry, through a contract with the Utah Department of Health, regulates the certification of all Utah CNAs.

  • For a list of approved CNA programs, click here.
  • Per Utah Administrative Code R432-45-5, Utah-approved CNA programs must be at least 100 hours with at least 24 hours of supervised practical training in long-term care facilities.
  • Applicants must be at least 16 years old.

Vermont

The Vermont Office of Professional Regulation manages the licensing and verification of the state’s licensed nursing assistants. 

  • Find a list of approved nursing assistant education programs in Vermont here (under “First Time Applicants” and then “Licensed Nursing Assistants”).
  • Vermont nursing assistant programs must be at least 75 hours, with 59 hours of classroom instruction and 16 hours of supervised practical training.
  • Applicants must be at least 16 years old.

Virginia

The Virginia Board of Nursing regulates certified nurse aides for the state.

  • For a list of Virginia-approved nurse aide programs, click here.
  • Per Virginia Regulations 18VAC90-26-40, nurse aide programs must be a minimum of 140 hours comprised of the following: 20 hours of skills acquisition in a lab setting, 24 hours of instruction (prior to direct contact), and 40 hours of clinical training in direct client care (hours of observation are not part of this 40); facility orientation time does not count towards program hours.

Washington

The Washington State Department of Health manages the certification and renewals for the state’s nursing assistants.

  • The Washington State Board of Nursing maintains a list of approved programs, which can be found here.
  • Per Washington Administrative Code 246-841A-440, nursing assistant training programs must be a minimum of 138 hours in total, with at least 66 hours of classroom theory (16 hours devoted to developmental disabilities, eight hours to mental health, and eight hours to dementia), at least 32 hours of skills lab, and at least 40 hours of clinical training.

West Virginia

The Office of Health Facility Licensure and Certification Nurse Aide Program within the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources regulates West Virginia CNAs.

  • Find a list of approved nurse aide educational programs here.
  • Per the Office of Health Facility Licensure and Certification’s Nurse Aide Program Policy Manual, West Virginia nurse aide training programs must be at least 120 hours, of which at least 55 hours must be supervised clinical practice, and the remainder must be skill development and classroom instruction. Classes must be at least four weeks long.

Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services regulates the state’s nurse aides.

  • Find a link to a map of approved nurse aide training programs here.
  • Wisconsin nurse aide training programs are a minimum of 75 hours, which includes no less than 16 hours of clinical work.

Wyoming

The Wyoming State Board of Nursing regulates the certification of the state’s CNAs.

  • Find a list of approved Wyoming CNA programs here (under “Student CNA/CNAII /MA-C Information”).
  • Wyoming CNA programs must be at least 75 hours with at least 16 hours of supervised practical training.
Find a CNA class near you and help make a difference in the lives of residents.

Is a CNA Career Right for Me?

Ultimately, the decision is yours. Yes, CNAs face challenges in their line of work, as do most healthcare professionals. Nevertheless, it is a career with a relatively short start-up process and high demand, which means opportunities are all around you. Hopefully, with this guide, you will be better prepared to make that decision and take the steps needed to become a CNA.

Curious about those challenges before you make a decision? Discover 7 Challenges CNAs Face on the Job.

Sources:

Blog published on:
January 30, 2024

Lori is a contributing copywriter at Nursa who creates compelling content focusing on location highlights, nurse licensing, compliance, community, and social care.

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