The market for certified nursing assistants is strong and growing, as the impending retirement of the Baby Boomer generation is already producing an increased demand for these important spokes in the health care wheel. The surge in popularity for a career in the CNA field has resulted in a sharp rise in the number of young people pursuing certification as their first career choice, as well as a growing number of adults who are choosing to leave their old careers behind and embark on a new life in the health care industry. The present and future demand for nursing assistants has resulted in a rise in the number of low cost and free CNA training options available for would-be students.
Free CNA training programs are offered in a variety of ways and from a variety of sources. The principal means of providing this training is through hospitals, online courses of study, and job training groups and programs in various localities across the country. CNA training involves both courses and classes – with courses consisting of the standard written study material and classes being devoted to a more laboratory based approach to learning that enables students to experience first-hand the requirements of the job.
Hospitals provide the bulk of these free CNA training opportunities, and often do so in concert with community colleges in their area. Nursing homes in some areas also offer these courses. In both cases, the advantages of taking a lead role in the training of the next generation of nursing assistants is only too clear: these hospitals and nursing homes are helping to ensure that their future need for CNAs will be met by a sufficient number of qualified nursing assistants. In many cases, this free CNA training is provided in exchange for working for the institution for a period of time after certification is complete.
Local job training agencies and groups also provide free CNA training, sometimes in cooperation with various state agencies charged with ensuring the public’s health. Many of these programs coincide with CNA and home health aide scholarship opportunities that are publicly funded. In addition, the Armed Forces of the United States offer a number of educational options for both active duty personnel and – in some cases – their spouses.
Finally, free CNA training can also be found online from any number of schools that offer nursing assistant education. The online experience, however, comes without the clinical experience that students derive from training in a hospital or even community college environment. In most cases, it is advisable for an online student to coordinate his or her study program with the local hospital, clinic, or community college so that access to hands-on training can be obtained.
It is worth noting that most free CNA training programs cover only the classroom and clinical activities required to complete the basic educational requirements for the profession. Aspiring CNAs will still need to pass their state’s respective exams for certification. In most cases, the cost of the certification exam will need to be paid by the graduating student.
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