Education Requirements to Become Licensed as a Certified Nursing Assistant

A Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) has to take on a role of care and trust in their work. This means they have to be able to spot any negative signs in their patients and have to be able to know what to do under intense pressure. That's why there are some minimum educational requirements required to become a licensed CNA.

Post Secondary Training Program

According to both federal and state laws, everybody who wants to become a CNA must have completed an approved post secondary training program, and this is just the start of it. This post secondary training program generally consists of many hours of both classroom work and work in a clinical setting.

Post secondary training programs are generally taken within various vocational schools and community colleges all across the nation. Although, it's important to remember that not all vocational schools and colleges will offer these courses. There will also be a big gap in quality between the lowest schools and the highest schools, so that's why it's important to choose carefully.

There are alternatives to the post secondary training program though.


  • Coursework taken as part of a Registered Nurse (RN) program could satisfy the training requirements of the CNA.
  • Any coursework completed within a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) program may also be enough to fulfill requirements for CNA training.

Prior Education and Requirements

Just like many programs of this nature, candidates are generally expected to have achieved a certain level of education. This may depend on the state and/or specific training institution in question, but the most common requirements include:

  • A high school diploma.
  • Certain levels of attainment in math and reading tests.

On a side note, a CPR certification is usually required, but if this hasn't been obtained prior to the start of the program then it can be obtained during the program. This is not a prerequisite to signing up for a CNA course.

Health requirements are also demanded by those who run CNA courses; however, these are usually standardized all across the country so it's imperative that proof of good health is submitted. The following health requirements are usually demanded:

  • Evidence that the candidate has undergone a tuberculosis screening.
  • All the necessary vaccinations against the most common and the most deadly illness; a list of the required vaccinations can usually be discovered either on the state's board of nursing website or through the chosen educational institution.

Coursework within the Program

Once the potential CNA has been accepted on to an approved training program they will then be obliged to complete the course, which lasts for eight weeks. There will be a number of areas that must be completed. They include:

  1. Anatomy
  2. Patient rights
  3. Medical terminology
  4. Patient hygiene
  5. Administrative duties
  6. Patient communication
  7. Medical ethics
  8. Infection guidelines
  9. Knowledge of diseases
  10. Pre-/Post-operative care procedures
Categories : CNA Certification
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