Certified Nursing Assistants, or CNAs, are licensed to care for patients in a variety of ways under the supervision of a nurse. They monitor vital signs, assist patients with personal hygiene and even assist with range of motion exercises for patients who are bedridden. CNAs can work in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and even in patients’ homes. They typically have great interpersonal skills, and they are required to pass licensure exams that require a serious course of study. Today, many of these licensure study courses are available online.
CNA Training Online & Traditional CNA Training
As technology has increased, so has its application in education. Today, there are many online education programs available for anyone hoping to become a CNA. In fact, the proliferation of such programs can make it difficult to determine which offer the highest quality programming. Potential students should be aware that the best online programs, and those most likely to help future CNAs find employment after they become licensed, are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. While online courses will mostly prepare students to pass the written licensure exam, programs with a clinical or internship component may be particularly useful in preparing CNA students for the realities of the job.
There are two major types of online CNA training, synchronous and asynchronous. Synchronous training programs are created in the traditional classroom model, in which students are interacting with the professor and with one another at scheduled times. This is usually accomplished with live video and chat technology. Synchronous programs are useful for students who learn best by interacting with other students and by asking questions as the professor lectures. Conversely, asynchronous programs will feature more independent study, in which each student moves at their own pace to complete the required assignments. These programs are best for students with busy schedules who may need to complete their work at odd or inconsistent hours, as asynchronous online programs provide the most flexibility for students.
While some online CNA programs will be less expensive than their traditional counterparts, this is not always the case. However, there are several sources of financial aid available for students interested in CNA training online, including federal student loans, government grants like the Pell Grant, scholarships from the school itself and even grants from health care organizations who may partner with the school in providing clinical opportunities for students. Potential applicants should be sure to speak with program representatives to make sure they understand any financial aid resources available to them.
Although online CNA students may take on loan debt while they are completing their coursework, employment opportunities in all health care fields, including those for CNAs, are expected to grow much faster than average over the next decade. This makes CNA licensure a good career investment for the future. As the baby boomer generation continues to age and new medical technologies continue to prolong life, the elderly population will grow larger and more CNAs will be needed nationwide. For the interested applicant, online and accredited CNA training programs offer a flexible and affordable way to become a Certified Nursing Assistant and achieve a rewarding career in a growing field.