I’m not sure what it is with college students these days, but for some reason it seems like people don’t really enjoy school anymore. I remember actually enjoying my time in college, rather than just trying to get it over with, but oh well! Lots of students who are thinking about going to school to become a CNA have a number of different questions on their minds. Among those questions, one of the most popular ones is—how long do CNA classes and programs typically last? The good news is that compared to other medical certification and degrees, getting a CNA license is probably one of the quickest, and in general it only takes a matter of months (not years).
The classroom portion of the course is typically taught at a community college, private school, or nursing home, and this usually takes a couple months to complete. Some schools may offer accelerated programs, but students in those programs may also be required to attend classes more frequently. So, if you’re someone who can only attend on the weekends, it obviously may take you a lot longer to complete than someone who can attend class every day.
Once you finish the classroom portion of your training, you’ll typically have to complete the hands-on portion, also known as the clinical section, or simply “clinicals.” This is where you learn the skills you’ll need to actually work as a CNA. These skills include anything and everything that you’ll use to take care of your patients. You’ll learn how to transport a patient, how to take medical measurements, what to do in an emergency, and things like that.
After you complete the skills/clinical portion of your class, you may be ready to take the state CNA test (provided that you pass both the classroom and skills portion of your course). It may take a little time to apply for a test date, and once you have that you may be able to show up to a testing facility on your specified date and take the test. Assuming you pass the test, you may have a short delay in between getting your results, and actually being listed in the Nurse Aide Registry for your state (for more information on this, check out CNAclassescentral, one of the best resources on the web for this kind of info). All in all, you may be able to complete this in as short of a time as a few months, or as long as 9-12 months or more. The length of time it takes to finish is dependent upon a number of factors like local regulations, the specific program at a school, individual factors, and other various things. If you want to find out how long it would take you, one of the best things you can do is to get in touch with local schools in your area that offer training, as well as the department of health in your state or whatever agency regulates CNA certifications where you live. That way, you’ll have the best idea of how much time it may take.