What You Need to Know about Online CNA Programs

Certified nursing assistants are entry-level professionals who have undergone a short training program, about 6 to 12 weeks in duration. CNAs are tasked to do day-to-day nursing care to patients, aiming to provide for their basic needs. The term can be used interchangeably with nurse aide, nursing technician, nursing assistant, and other equivalent coinages. Such profession offers a promising job outlook in light of the increasing need for health care workers in the society.

Some areas in the United States do not necessitate nurse aides to have undergone formal training to qualify for the certification exam. However, formal training is highly encouraged since this gives you a better foundation on the basic skills and knowledge required for CNAs. CNA training programs can be taken either full-time or part-time, the latter further leads to an online program. Online CNA programs basically work by utilizing the Internet as an access point for course activities instead of an on-campus class.

What is Accreditation?

Accreditation, in its simplest definition, is a verification process of a certain program to determine if it meets the set standards by the academe. In the case of nursing education, the embodying agencies that look over the accreditation of nursing programs are the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Accreditation is deemed necessary in choosing an online CNA program since this ensures you that the education you have gained is of good quality. Accredited programs are also preferred by most employers in determining your approval for employment.

Top 5 Schools Offering Online CNA Programs

In the United States, there are many schools offering an online CNA program. Choosing a good school is detrimental to your career since the training can undermine your future skills and performance during live work. To help you get started, we have listed below the top 5 schools offering an online program for CNAs:

  1. A.T. Still University ATSU is the leading private online school for medical students. They offer flexible and quality online programs on every degree, mostly covering graduate and doctorate programs.
  2. Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences The school offers a unique online program, infused with Christian teachings as it is affiliated with the Seventh-Day Adventist church. Their online programs guarantee convenience and affordability.
  3. Graceland University The university offers convenient online programs that are designed with the right mixture of online theoretical studies and on-campus support classes to enforce learning.
  4. Quinnipiac University Quinnipiac offers online graduate programs that are of excellent quality and are nationally recognized. The programs are convenient and customizable to fit the needs of the students.
  5. St. Joseph's College This catholic-school offers a wide range of associate, bachelor, and graduate online programs. The program ensures that students are properly guided throughout the distance-learning program.

Pros and Cons of an Online CNA Program

The major advantage of an online program is convenience. Students are given 24/7 access to the online domain, and be able to comply with the course requirements at their most convenient time. This enables you to gain more control over your time, as well as not being able to compromise your employment.

However, since nursing is a highly practical course, not everything can be done online. There will be activities that should be done on-campus, especially for the practical training on nursing skills. Moreover, not enrolling to an accredited online program can narrow your chances of being employed. The idea of distance learning is rather premature in its time, thus traditional employers raise their standards for applicants who have gained their degree from such educational background.


A certified nursing assistant (CNA) are entry-level professionals who have undergone a 6 to 12 week training program. The program can be taken online, which are offered in many schools. In selecting a school, accreditation is a major criteria to ensure you of the standard quality of the curriculum. An online CNA program is a convenient choice for employed students, but has its own limitations.

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