Free CNA Training: Hospitals, Nursing Homes & More

To become a CNA, you must enroll in college courses and take a certification exam. If you do not have the money for college, you may be wondering how you can take courses for free. Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can obtain free CNA training (or paid CNA training), including the following.

Healthcare Facilities

Healthcare facilities such as nursing homes and hospitals often have a shortage of CNAs. Knowing this, there are a number of nursing homes and hospitals that offer free CNA training or reimbursement for CNA training. In many instances, the nursing homes that offer free CNA training, as well as the hospitals, will offer you “free” training if you agree to work for them for a specified period of time afterward. It’s not unusual in these instances to find that the hospitals and nursing homes will pay for your CNA training in addition to covering the cost of certification. So, while hospitals and nursing homes might be offering what amounts to free training, it’s important to realize that it may be contingent on a time-specific work agreement.

Some facilities may offer on-the-job training to help you earn the skills you need to become a CNA. These institutions will pay you for hours worked, but may not necessarily cover the cost of certification. When undergoing on-the-job training at a hospital or nursing home, you will work under the direction of a licensed CNA, and will typically need to obtain certification within a certain timeframe in order to continue working. Places where you might find free on-the-job CNA training include retirement homes, home health care agencies, physicians’ offices, urgent care clinics, and surgical centers.

American Red Cross

The American Red Cross offers free nursing assistant programs in certain parts of the country. If you are lucky enough to live in an area where this training is provided, you can take advantage of it for at no charge. Some locations do charge for CNA training but make grants available to those with little or no income. You could still be responsible for the cost of uniforms and related items such as a wristwatch with a second hand. You can visit their website to learn more.

Job Training Centers

Many job training centers will also make free CNA training available to certain individuals. To see if classes are available, check with your local unemployment office or job placement center. If there are no free classes being offered, you could be eligible for discounted tuition or a scholarship to help you cover the costs.

Job Corps

Job Corps is a program for individuals age 16 to 24 who are interested in learning a trade. They offer no-cost tuition in addition to room and board at a Job Corps training facility. Some centers will even help you obtain certification once you have completed your program. Assistance with job placement is provided all graduates as well.

All of these are good options; however, not everyone is able to take advantage of them. In the event that none of these fit your needs, your best bet would be to look for classes at a local community college or through an accredited online school.