Become a certified nursing assistant with the help of the best online certified nursing assistant (CNA) programs. A reputable online degree program can offer you a certificate and prepares you to pass the CNA exam. Review the salary expectations, career options, and benefits of an online program with this Campus Explorer guide.
What Is an Online Certified Nursing Assistant Degree Program?
There are many online degree programs in the healthcare industry. If you wish to take the exam to become a CNA, then you typically don’t need to receive an associate’s degree or further education. A certificate program is typically more affordable and convenient to complete than an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.
Once you complete the certified nursing assistant examination, you’re ready to apply for positions in the healthcare industry. Most CNA positions work closely with registered nurses to provide care. Here are just a few tasks you may take on as part of a typical day:
- Assisting patient movement
- Taking and recording vital signs
- Service meals to patients
- Helping patients perform activities of daily living
- Using medical technology for billing, recording, and communicating
You can work as a CNA in state, local, and private medical settings. Some jobs may focus on a particular age group or type of patient, while others are involved in general practice and assist a wide range of patients throughout the day.
As part of your online program, your training will include personal hygiene, infection control, medical safety, and first aid skills. Expect to take courses on human anatomy, patient caregiving, and other medical-related topics. Depending on your state CNA exam, you may have to complete hands-on training in a hospital or other healthcare organization before you qualify to take the exam.
This career path may be right for you if you’re looking for a rewarding way to give back to your community. Provide comfort and assistance to patients who need it most as an active and vital member of the medical profession. Training to become a CNA is a good first step in becoming a registered nurse or earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
Why Choose an Online CNA Degree?
Launch your career as a certified nursing assistant to enjoy a stable position in a growing industry. Working as a CNA offers you many opportunities for advancement in your career. With industry experience, you may be eligible for a flexible schedule working part-time or full-time.
An online CNA certificate program is typically more affordable than an associate’s degree or other nursing program. Depending on your employer and career goals, you may be able to receive further education for free or discounted rates while you work as a CNA.
Consider an online program if you need to study while working or caring for children. A busy work schedule needs a flexible training program, so a highly rated online CNA course offers the convenience you need to advance your career at your own pace.
This career path is rewarding for individuals who seek to help and comfort those around them. If you want a job where you can see tangible results of your hard work, but one that comes with many challenges of its own, then consider a career in nursing. Starting with a CNA degree is a great option before moving on to other programs, and becoming a CNA can be a fulfilling career on its own.
How Much Does a Certified Nursing Assistant Degree Cost?
The cost of your chosen program can vary. Certificate programs are typically far more affordable than degree programs, so expect to pay less for a CNA certificate than an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree.
On average, a CNA program costs between a few hundred dollars and $3,000. If you wish to take an online program, you can expect to pay less than an in-person one. Online classes are typically a more flexible choice, which is particularly helpful if you’re working or are a parent.
Healthcare employers may pay for CNA training or offer scholarships. Compare other features as you look at the cost of programs, such as the classes offered and opportunities for hands-on training.
Be sure to review your program and state requirements. Some states require more than others, so make sure any online program based in another state still prepares you for your local CNA exam.
An online CNA program can be completed at your own pace and usually only takes between four and 12 weeks. They can be taken part-time to allow you to continue to work as you study.
How Much Do Certified Nursing Assistant Majors Make?
Certified nursing assistant certificate holders have a strong application to make a competitive salary in a growing industry. A strong job outlook and many opportunities for advancement help make a CNA a great step in a nursing career.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, CNA’s median annual pay in 2020 was around $30,800. The top 10% of CNAs earn a median salary of about $46,000, according to PayScale in July 2021. These base salaries are for full-time workers and frequently come with benefits as well.
An entry-level position as a certified nursing assistant can be a rewarding career. It can also be the first step in a career as a licensed practical nurse or registered nurse. Licensed practical nurses had a median pay of approximately $48,800 in 2020, according to BLS. Registered nurses received a median annual pay of $75,300.
Your expected salary as a CNA depends on a number of factors. Some medical facilities may offer higher salaries than others, particularly dependent on your years of experience. Wages also vary between states, so you may not be able to reach the top 10% of CNA salaries in your state or local area.
What Is the Job Outlook for CNA Degree Holders?
Between 2019 and 2029, BLS estimates the number of CNA positions will grow by 8%. This is considerably higher than the average estimated job growth of 4% during the same 10-year period.
Individuals looking to quickly enter the workforce may be interested in a new organization, WorkFirst Health, that is reimagining the healthcare workforce. With Workforce Health, instead of first attending school, future nurses would first find employment. Then after that they could earn their CNA credentials debt free.
Scholarships for Certified Nursing Assistant
If you need assistance for tuition and other fees associated with a CNA program, then consider applying for one or more scholarships. Scholarships are offered by private individuals, non-profit organizations, schools, and employers to help more students receive training.
In many cases, you’ll need to fill out an application and describe your needs as a student. Some scholarships ask for an essay demonstrating how you’ll use your CNA certification in the future to help particular communities.
The cost of an online certified nursing assistant program is typically far more affordable than the cost of other degrees. Scholarships make this program even more affordable than associate’s degrees or bachelor’s degrees in the industry.
Here are a few examples of scholarships you may be eligible for. Review these and others to apply for partial or full payment of tuition and related expenses:
- Cerner Nursing Assistant of the Year Scholarship: This scholarship provides nursing assistants $3,000 toward CNA program tuition or further education opportunities.
- Mercer Foundation for Health Certified Nursing Assistant Scholarship: High school students from select schools near this foundation can receive up to $500 toward a CNA program.
- TALSN Scholarship for Certified Nursing Assistants: Provided through funding by TALSN Professional Services, qualifying high school and undergraduate students may receive $800.
FAQs About Certified Nursing Assistant Degrees
- Programs typically take four to 12 weeks to complete
- On-campus and online programs available
- Programs can be part-time or full-time
- Prepares graduates to sit for board exams for CNA certification
- Provides students with the first step toward a Bachelor of Science in Nursing
- Offers opportunities in the high-growth medical industry
- Programs can cost as little as a few hundred dollars
- Many programs cost less than $3,000
- A high number of scholarships and employer tuition reimbursements are associated with these programs