To become a Certified Nursing Assistant, there are several different ways to train. Certification is achieved by passing the certification test provided by each state. Depending on the state you live in, it may be required that you train before taking the test, but state policies on the required amount instruction will vary. Some states have long lists of state-approved nurse aide training programs. Other states do not require that any training be completed at all. Online CNA training is more convenient, accessible, and affordable than other types of physical programs, but it may not qualify for credit to challenge the certification exam.
There are two states that do not require any state-approved courses before challenging the certification test: Florida and North Carolina. Using online CNA courses in these states is a great option for aspiring nurse aides. Preparing independently with practice tests and study courses is one way to pass the certification test, but only the most confident and disciplined students should consider this method of training. There are many programs available online, but not all of them are legitimate. Some students become frustrated with phony, dead-end programs. In other cases, students arrive to the test, totally unprepared for the material despite mastering their online course. Students that seek certification through this route should be especially careful when choosing a website to study.
Some states include online programs in their state-approved course listings. There are many schools and community service centers that can provide online CNA training in states where training policies are more flexible. For example, Virginia’s Board of Nursing lists the American Red Cross as an approved training provider. There are online programs available through the American Red Cross that make it possible to cover a large majority of your instruction from the comfort of home. But even these programs will eventually require students to physically interact with patients and nursing equipment.
There are many reasons to use the Internet for CNA training, but online courses are usually not enough to pass the certification test. Every nurse aide must be trained to handle technical procedures with real patients, so a strictly-online learning experience will not provide adequate coverage of the skills needed to pass the clinical portion of the certification test. Every student will have to enter a nursing home, hospital, or medical laboratory in order to practice nursing procedures. Online instruction will not teach you to properly address a real person’s needs, so avoid taking short-cuts in your training to improve the quality of your work and your chances for success in the long run.