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For those who wish to enter the field of healthcare, becoming a CNA is the first step toward achieving that goal since it offers valuable experience and can help further education to those who aspire to move onto becoming an LPN or an RN.
Admittedly being a CNA is a demanding role, it also offers flexible hours along with good benefits. And for individuals who enjoy caring for other people, it can be a very rewarding job.
Free nursing assistant programs are offered to individuals who lack financial resources including single parents. There are a number of places that offer free CNA training. Various local hospitals in different states and cities give out scholarship grants to deserving students.
These can even include licensure examinations in case you come to an understanding with the institution that decides to subsidize your schooling. It is a win-win situation for both parties since the hospital gets an employee while you benefit from sponsored education.
Here are the main six ways to seek out if there is free CNA training available in your state.
- Hospitals, Nursing Homes and Rehab Centers
- US Job Corps
- State Department of Health
- Department of Labor
- Displaced Homemakers Program
Hospitals, Nursing Homes and Rehabilitation Centers
Long term care facilities including hospitals may offer free CNA training which can last from 3 months to a year in exchange for individuals working for them for free during the training period.
The only expense these nursing aide students will encounter is the cost of taking the certification examination. Capable students will undergo 120 hours of free classroom instruction and clinical setting. You can also expect homework and hands-on training with patients.
Alternatively, these facilities may agree to offer free training if you sign a contract to work for them for a stipulated period of time. In this instance the certified nursing assistant is obligated to work for a specific period equivalent to one calendar year as a contract prerequisite for not paying any tuition fees. The employee may be required to repay part or the full cost of the course for failure to honor this obligation. So take your time and carefully think your decision.
Research online by getting a list of hospital and nursing homes in your area using SIC Codes 8051, 8052, 8059, and NAIC Codes 62311 and 623312 to search for nursing homes and continued care residences and call or email them inquiring if they offer free CNA training or CNA training in exchange for possible future employment opportunities.
In addition you may also find these facilities may sometimes advertise these courses on the Internet via their website, online resources such as Indeed.com or Monster.com and print publications. Applicants must be at least 18 years old, without any criminal record, possess a high school diploma or have passed the GED successfully, and have fundamental skills in English and mathematics.
Below is a quick script to help you get started, it would help if you can locate the name of the person in charge of the hiring process either in HR or the head nurse. Basically you want to have the name and email/telephone of the those responsible for making the hiring decision.
Dear Ms./Mr. (Surname) / To Whom It May Concern:
My name is (First Name, Second Name) and I would like to inquire about any current or future free CNA training opportunities in your medical facility. Alternatively, I would be equally happy to work for your establishment in exchange for attaining the CNA training required to sit the CNA licensure examination.
I am very passionate about progressing into the medical field and becoming a CNA is my top priority. I am available for an immediate start. I would be happy to meet at your very earliest and discuss how I can be a valued member of your team while I undergo the required CNA training.
(You may choose to tell one or two sentences about yourself – Your most recent employment, any educational achievements and training skills.)
I look forward to your feedback and the opportunity to further enhance my education.
US Job Corps
CNA training is offered at no charge at the U.S. Job Corps to eligible students. Individuals commit for 8-12 months required to complete the Nurse Assistant training. Cadets receive free room, meals and basic medical care in addition to a bi-weekly living allowance. Contact them and sign up for their next available intake.
Locate Your Quality Improvement Organizations (QIO)
Each state has a QIO and are responsible for working with health care providers including nursing homes in each assigned state. Ask to speak with program manager or senior leader to seek out which nursing homes in your state offer free training for aspiring CNAs. Start your research by contacting the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid to learn about your state’s QIO.
State Department of Health
Another useful resource of locating nursing homes that offer free training to CNAs is through your states’ Department of Health. Each state has a CNA licensing office run by the Department of Public Health. Simply contact the head of the CNA License Office to see if they have a list of available nursing homes that offer free training your area. In addition enquire about any available scholarships for funding free CNA classes online or at a private training facility for low income individuals.
Department of Labor Trading Center
Check with your state’s Department of Labor about nursing facilities that offer paid CNA training. Their mission is to provide services enabling employers and job seekers to make informed decisions. Contact the manager of the office closest to you and ask what resources they have for training and employment for you to explore as an aspiring CNA including nursing homes that offer to train CNA’s for free.
Displaced Homemakers Program
Many states offer the Displaced Homemakers Program which helps stay-at-home parents and homemakers receive training and become employable. There are certain eligibility requirements which varies from each state and not all states offer the Displaced Homemaker program. A quick search online will help locate the Displaced Homemaker program in your state and enquire about your eligility to receive assistance to pay for your certified nursing assistant training. They can also help with childcare, work clothing, transportation and other job-incurred costs.
While there is no shortage for low-cost or free training for nursing assistants you really do have to research sift through various sources until you locate a free program that will help you realize your goal to becoming a nursing assistant. Don’t give up!
CNA jobs are among the ideal entry-level positions in the medical industry since the barriers to entry are so low and the training period is less than a year. The Department of Health and Human Services forecasts that demand for the position is projected to go up by over 40% within the next decade. New certified nursing assistants can hope to earn between $10 and $16 per hour. These healthcare experts are not registered nurses.
Nonetheless, these individuals are on the medical frontline carrying out fundamental medical care. These include personal hygiene and monitoring body functions such as temperature and heart beats. Many nurse aides begin careers at this point with the intention of becoming an LPN or RN in the future, and certified nursing assistant classes are the starting point. The certified nursing assistant can pursue advanced studies that will lead to a degree in nursing.
We will continue to update this page as new information becomes available.
What has been your experience with finding free training nursing assistant programs in your state? If you would like to share your tips or experiences with our readers we welcome your opinion.
- Centers for Medicare and Medicaid: QIO
- QualityNet: QIO Listings
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: HHS
- U.S. Department of Labor: U.S. Department of Labor
- World Business Directory: NAIC code
- Job Corps