For many people, the only barrier preventing them from achieving their career goals is their financial means. In healthcare, the least expensive position to train for is that of the Certified Nursing Assistant. But even the state-approved training programs can cost more than is available in your bank account. Without enough money to pay for your training as a CNA, it might seem impossible to move forward with your career, but there are some ways to reduce your costs and get financial assistance.
1. Training on the Job
If you can’t afford the cost of training, you can choose to train at a facility that has job openings for nurse aides. Some nursing homes and long-term care centers can provide state-approved training programs, but also need to staff their healthcare team with new members. Though not every nursing home can provide employment, some will be able to hire you before you have completed your training. If this happens, you are not required to pay for the cost of your training and all related expenses are covered by your employer. And of course, you earn can begin earning income much sooner.
2. State Funding
For the trainees that could not find a training program in need of staff, there are still other options to help with the cost of your instruction. Under federal regulations, if any individual completes their certification and finds employment within one year of becoming a CNA, they are allowed to apply for reimbursement from the state. States are allocated government funds for this reason, and will compensate employed CNAs for the cost of their training on a pro rata basis. It helps to remain in good standing with your employer, as they will be integral to the application process. Do not give the state any reason not to pay for your education and maintain a positive work record.
There are hundreds of state-approved nurse aide training programs. No matter where you live, there will be options for where you complete your certification. Doing thorough research on all your options will prove that there are many programs that are much more affordable than others. Find a program that does not tack on too many extraneous fees for lab equipment or textbooks. There may be some courses that allow you to provide your own equipment, which can shave off some expense. Your research may reveal other important facts as well. Some states do not even require CNA-candidates to enroll in a training program before challenging the certification exam. If you do enough research, you may find that there are options available that you never imagined. Start with your state board of nursing’s website.