How to Become a CNA: the Ultimate Guide

Getting sick is not something anyone can control, right? Lots of people fall ill daily and have to be cared for by medical professionals. Who are these people? These are Certified Nursing Assistants. ⚕️

Certified Nursing Assistants are trained professionals who take care of the patients they are assigned along with a few other jobs. They can earn up to $42,163 per year. ?

If you have always been interested in this side of the medical field, then feel free to go ahead and read this article until the end. I have tried to answer every question one might have about becoming a CNA. ?

Who is a CNA?

There is this term that defines these jobs in a broader and better sense. The term is ‘Unlicensed assistive personnel (UAP).’ People who are UAPs are workers who take care of a lot of people, such as people with disabilities, mental impairments, and more issues. ?

When they get assigned, they have to work under the guidance of registered nurses and other healthcare professionals to provide help. They progress further into their career when they prove that they have learned more than before and become able to care for their patients. ?

UAPs have multiple titles they are referred to as. These include Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Personal support worker (PSW), Birth Assistant, Home health aide (HHA), and Surgical technologist.

All of these are people that are collectively working under the titles of UAP. ?‍⚕️

How much can a CNA earn?

Being a CNA guarantees well-off pay. This is to be expected as it is a medical career, and so the pay makes up for the chunk of hard work you put into your job. The salary money will be enough to take care of yourself and even save some for the future. ?

The base pay for CNAs ranges from $30,745 to $64,029 per year. This is the money you’ll get directly, and is an average of $42,163 per year. You also get additional pay, which adds up to $4,500 per year, which comes from things like tips, bonuses, and commissions.

Altogether, the average pay for CNAs in the United States as of June 2023 is a whopping $46,663 per year. ?

Now, if on an hourly basis, you can expect to earn $19.46 per hour as of July 2023. I have made sure all of this information remains up to date. The numbers are statistically proven as well. ?

How to Become a CNA? (More Tips)

Below are all the steps you need to become a CNA. They have been explained in detail by me. If you want, you can write them down so that you can refer to them whenever you want in the future. ✅

Get your high school diploma

We have seen how a lot of programs require a proper foundation set up by studying suitable subjects, and this is a necessary factor so that you get into a bachelor’s or master’s program. This is more or less the same in the case of getting into CNA programs. 

If you want to get into a CNA training program, the most basic requirement is going to be for you to complete a high school diploma or its GED equivalent. If you have this, you become eligible to register for training and certification programs as a CNA.

If you don’t, then quickly start studying to attempt the exam and get your diploma. ?

Finish some training programs

The next step would be to get into state-approved training programs. Keep in mind that different states are going to have different durations for their respective CNA training programs. The average duration for most of these courses has been found to be seventy hours minimum. 

You are placed under an experienced professional for training. The one thing that is going to be constant amidst all of this is your tests, which will happen on a regular basis. This is to make sure you are learning without a hitch. 

These training programs aim to teach about topics from all parts of healthcare with a special focus on nursing care. This can include topics such as helping patients with bathing, getting dressed, and eating.

You would also get to learn how to communicate and interact with other people in the field. ?️

Do some more training

Once the second step is done and you are done with training, it would be time to do some hands-on training. This simply means that you will be working at a hospital or healthcare place, and this will be before you can take the exam and become certified. 

The least amount of time you have to put into this training is sixteen hours (as dictated by the state), but you would most probably end up doing more (as dictated by the state).

Hands-on training will help you utilize your skills and understand how things are done in real-life healthcare scenarios.

You will get to work with other professionals and might just get some useful advice as well. ?

Time to get certified

The last step to finish after completing your hands-on training is to take a test that’s approved by the state. Some states have the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP), and this program helps them decide if they should be made a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). 

Other states have exams of their own. What remains the same is the purpose of these exams, i.e., making sure you have the right skills to take care of people after becoming a nurse. 

In the exam, you can be asked about how to take care of someone’s body, how to help them with their feelings, and more things like the human body, how it works, medicines, and what to do in emergencies.

Study properly, as this is the last time, and you will become a CNA as soon as you pass this exam. ✍️

Skills for Becoming a CNA 

According to recent data trends for the CNA job market, some skills have proven to help you earn more as a CNA.

I’m including this below. You will have to learn this if you want to earn more in your career. ?

Surgical skills 

I think surgical skills are easily understandable from the heading itself. Still, to elaborate, a CNA with surgical skills is someone who can work in surgical settings. This work can look like taking care of patients who have undergone surgery, helping them relieve stress, etc. ?

Intensive Care Unit skills 

Working in the ICU means having to deal with the stress that comes along with it. This stress accumulates due to the fact that processes in the ICU are done very urgently and carefully. The fast-paced work environment can be very stressful, and CNAs who work in these conditions are obviously paid more. ?

Telemetry skills

Telemetry refers to monitoring a patient’s health conditions. This is done with the help of some specific medical pieces of equipment. A lot of patients might require such help. For example – someone with certain heart conditions or someone with breathing problems. This is the third skill that helps you earn more in this career path. ✂️. 

Top CNA Courses in the United States

There are tons of online content that you can use now. In these, you don’t have to stress about applying or where to go. These resources can be accessed if you have a laptop/PC and a stable net connection. ?️

CNA Online

The source for this course offers both hybrid programs as well as completely online test prep courses. In the hybrid courses, students get to access all of the online educational content. This includes teachers who teach via recordings and meetings on online sources like Zoom.

You will also get the option to ask questions from the teachers wherever you want. ❓ The offline part consists of hands-on training programs, which are going to be available on offline sites in coordination with the online teacher. 

The test prep course provides content that is going to help people who are TNAs attempt the exam to become CNAs. This is a 30-hour course and covers all of the topics we talked about above as well.

Help for solving doubts related to the course is available twenty-four/seven. ⌚

Free CNA Course

I have attached yet another source here because a lot of courses are available on this platform. These have been explained thoroughly on the site and are all about nursing and taking care of the patient. All of them are divided into lessons for ease of learning. 

Some topics include an introduction to healthcare, patient transport and movement, providing bedside medical help, and more about learning basics.

All of these have 2-6 courses under them which teach you all about such topics. ?‍⚕️

Nursing Assistant Program Module 1

Lastly, we talk about this course on Udemy, which is a very good option for beginners to take up. It has nine sections. These sections have been divided into 39 lectures, and if you suddenly decide to finish this course in one go – it will take you 2 hours. 

It’s a short watch but guarantees that you get introduced to the basics of nursing. You would learn about the role of a Nursing Assistant, the care team and the chain of command in the workspace, Legal and ethical behavior, resident’s rights, and more. Your teacher would be Dr.

Simi Massey, who is an educational consultant working at the Mission of Hope International School. ?‍?

Top CNA Schools in the World

CNA aspirants don’t need to have a college degree to make it as a CNA. Getting a high school diploma is sufficient. What you need is a training program, which you will find at technical schools or maybe some community colleges.

I have put together a list of the few viable options below. ?

Hutchinson Community College 

Hutchinson Community College is at the top of the list and is situated in Hutchinson, Kansas. The program offered by this college is to be done completely via online methods. It is a good program as it provides a lot of help through its state-of-the-art classwork planning. 

The total duration of the course is 3 hours, and the total tuition fee for students is $2,688. They just need the students to have completed some general education classes as a prerequisite for admission.

The passing rate for the students is thirty-three percent. ?

Pratt Community College

Located in Pratt, Kansas, the college gets its name from the area it is based in. You will get the option to do either an online or an offline program from this college. The passing rate here is twenty-nine percent.

The duration of these courses is not the same and depends on the number of credits your course of choice has. You will have to pay $1,888 as the tuition fee. As prerequisites for admission, the students are required to get a negative on a TB test and must be at least 16 years old.

There can be some additional requirements, which you can find on their website. ?

Cochise College 

Cochise College is in Douglas, Arizona. It offers a certification program for nursing assistants in training. The college has a pass rate of twenty-one percent.

The tuition fee for this certification program is $1,896. The duration of this program is the same as the one in Pratt Community College – depending on the credits of the chosen course.

There might be some admission requirements for which you would have to contact the college faculty. ?

Ridgewater College

Online as well as in-person programs are available at Ridgewater College and are taught in on-site programs in a variety of ways. The college is located in Willmar, Minnesota, and has a pass rate of forty-one percent 

The tuition fee for the program here is $4,791. The program would go as long as the credits for your chosen course dictate. The only admission prerequisites they want are that the applying students must be at least 18 years of age and must have all the relevant admission documents. ?

Wallace State Community College

Wallace State Community College has a pass rate of thirty-five percent. It is situated in Hanceville, Alabama, and promises that its certification program is the best for those who want to start working as soon as they can. The program goes on for 25 days. 

The tuition fee for this program is $3,510. They want the students to pass a background check and also pass a TB test. The student must also have a high school diploma or GED equivalent and CNA uniforms. ?

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College

This program promises all-inclusive learning and is good for those who wish for such a feature in their course. Located in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, Elizabethtown Community and Technical College has a pass rate of thirty percent. The program they offer goes on for 80 hours in total. 

The tuition fee for this course is $747, and applying students must be 18 or older in order to get enrolled. Other than this, the students have to pass a TB test, have the necessary documents ready, and have a high school diploma or a GED equivalent. ?

North Central Kansas Technical College

Located in Beloit, Kansas, this college has a pass rate of seventy-nine percent, which is the highest on the list. It offers a course that is completely in-person and offers an excellent hands-on training program. The duration of this course depends on the number of credits the chosen course might have. 

You will have to pay $3,996 as a tuition fee for this course. Prerequisites for the course include flu vaccination proof, an age limit of 16 years or above, computer literacy, and internet access. ?

Where to find CNA job opportunities online?

Searching for your dream job is a task made easy by online job platforms such as Indeed, Jooble, etc. The only requirement all of these sites demand is an account (most often for free), after which you just need to sit back and apply for jobs. 

Just a heads up, you won’t find any online or remote jobs. This is entirely because nursing is an offline gig.

You might be asked to stay as a live-in nurse at someone’s home, but even that is offline. ?


Almost two or three decades ago, when we didn’t have access to the internet, it was a troubling task to find an apt job for oneself. You had to contact each company to get the chance to show your job profile. We had no idea if the company would align with our preferences about the salary or any other thing.

So, job-hunting became a tiring and bothersome task. But in today’s globalized world, you can use a much faster way to apply for several jobs in seconds, which is by using job platforms like Indeed.

The website and job-hunting platform, Indeed is the most trusted among all the job finders and has a success rate of ninety-five percent. You can look for any type of job according to your comfort. It can be a part-time job or a full-time job.

Even remote job openings are put up on Indeed. ✅


You can also go with Jooble as it has the same features. Not to mention, it has tools such as enhanced job filters, which only show the jobs you are looking for. Other resources include a Resumé / CV customization tool with which you can perfect your CV and personalized job recommendations, which will be given to you as a daily notification via mail.

 It has a user interface similar to bigger sites such as Indeed or SimplyHired, which is understandable to people who are not that experienced in tech.

Since it is so easily understandable, a large audience of job hunters find such websites very useful. ?


If you are still not satisfied with the job opportunities you might find from these two sites or you can’t find jobs that fulfill your criteria, you can always go for freelancing. Freelancing is not something that you can do without any proof of your credibility.

So, remember to keep all certifications with yourself when you are asked about your education and experience. ?

Fiverr is the website where you can register yourself, which will ask you to create an account and then input all of your information on it. Make sure you put in genuine information and no lies. 

Working as a freelancer makes your work more flexible. You have the autonomy to schedule the work hours. It can be B2B(Business to Business) or even B2C (Business to Consumer). ?


Nurses have to do a lot in their jobs. People make it out as a job that exists just for assisting doctors, but that is not true. This job is oversimplified to the extent that people don’t give enough credit to nurses. 

Nurses have to take care of the patients and also assist everyone in the workforce. A lot of mentally or physically disabled patients need help all the time. Nurses are the ones who offer them help. 

The good part in all of this is it’s a quick process – you will be able to become a nurse quickly. So, take note of all the steps and work hard towards your goal. ?

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