How Much Does It Cost to Become A CNA?


The cheaper cost of CNA training programmes compared to programmes for becoming a licenced practical nurse or a registered nurse is one advantage of joining the nursing field as a CNA. For many students, paying for a CNA training programme might still be difficult. We have listed all the “hidden” costs related to becoming a nursing assistant and the numerous alternatives for mitigating some of those fees if you’re ready to make your career ambitions a reality but are concerned about the cost.

Costs of CNA Certification & Training That Are “Hidden”

Vocational schools, community colleges, the American Red Cross, and some medical facilities offer CNA training programmes. Tuition may be billed by the credit hour or as a fixed programme price. Tuition is typically not the only expense associated with CNA training, even though it varies from school to school depending on the geographic location and other aspects. When creating a budget for their education, students must account for additional costs and tuition costs. These expenses could include:

Program Materials

Most nursing assistant training programmes contain a list of materials that students must buy before the programme can begin. A textbook and educational DVDs related to the program’s curriculum, uniform scrubs and non-slip tennis shoes, a watch with a second hand, a stethoscope, and note-taking tools, including notebooks, pens, pencils, highlighters, etc. are some examples of these materials.

The Medical Exam

Students are frequently needed to pass a physical test that verifies they are physically capable of carrying out the tasks of a nursing assistant before they can start working as CNAs. Before interacting with patients, students must also pass a TB test and provide documentation of their most recent vaccinations. Each people and state’s medical examination and testing costs are unique.

Criminal History Check

Before starting employment, the majority of states demand that nursing assistants submit to a criminal history check. For students, fingerprinting and background checks can range from $20 to $40. In certain situations, schools or states will cover these costs on their behalf.

Fees for Certification Exams

To start working, nursing assistants must pass a certification exam in each state. In some circumstances, the cost of your training programme could include the certification test price. The cost of the exam varies by state; however, as an example, the NNAAP exam in California costs $90 for the written version and $105 for the audio version.

Fees for Unrelated Programs

Some colleges may tack on extra programme expenses like technology, lab, or application fees on top of the regular tuition. These costs will vary from school to school, so ask your top-choice institution for a breakdown of costs for the CNA training course.

Transportation charges involve going to and from your CNA sessions, even if they are not a requirement levied by your school. When do you plan on getting to school? If you want to use public transportation, be aware of its cost and consider it while calculating your budget. Calculate the cost of petrol, parking, and car maintenance for the duration of your programme if you want to drive.

Care for children if you have kids; you’ll also need to make arrangements for good care for them while you’re in class and taking the certification exam. . A backup plan will prevent you from missing any lessons if your primary childcare arrangements fall through.

Finance Options for CNA Training

Even while paying for CNA training may seem overwhelming, there are numerous ways you may pay that will reduce your stress and open the door to a job as a nursing assistant. Students can use the following methods to pay for their CNA training:


If a student has the means, paying cash for education is undoubtedly a terrific alternative. With this choice, a student can start their first employment without having any student loan burden.

Pay for Your Training

Certain hospitals and healthcare institutions provide paid training programmes for those who want to become nursing assistants. Students enrolled in these programmes get on-the-job training for the CNA certification test and an employment offer for full-time work after certification. This can be a fantastic method for free education and long-term land employment. One drawback to these programmes is that, in most cases, participants must consent to work at that student for a set period after completing their training or risk paying steep fines to cover the expense of their education.

Grants from the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

A government training and employment programme called the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (formerly known as the Workforce Investment Act) provides funding for eligible students and job training programmes. The WIA offers financing for several CNA programmes.

Reimbursement for tuition under Medicare or Medicaid

The expense of CNA training for staff is mandated by law for facilities that accept Medicare or Medicaid money. The Medicare/Medicaid facility will pay your tuition fees if you get a job at one of these facilities before your training programme. Additionally, you will get reimbursement for all or a portion of your tuition expenses if hired by a Medicare/Medicaid institution within 12 months of programme completion.

Scholarships & Grants

Grants and scholarships are examples of financial students that students are not required to pay back. The financial aid office at your institution is where you should begin your search for grants and scholarships. According to criteria like financial need and demographic details like gender, race, and socioeconomic background, they will have a list of grants and scholarships for which they could qualify.

You may also use several “scholarship finder” websites and mobile applications to help with scholarships for nursing programmes. Applying for different scholarships might take a lot of time because many demand extensive applications and personal statements.

Student loans

The federal government and commercial, financial institutions also provide a variety of student loan choices. While taking on debt of any kind may be unsettling to some, student loans sometimes come with fixed, lower interest rates than other loans, making them simpler and quicker to repay. The financial aid personnel at your school can help you look for student loans, just like they can with grants and scholarships.

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