Course Duration

How Long Will It Take To Complete A CNA Course?

Course Duration of a CNA Program

Are you an aspiring Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and want to know how long will it take to complete a nurse aide program? The answer to the second question varies, as it depends on the school that you choose to study at and whether or not you need to complete a general education curriculum. However, the following information can give you a basic idea of how long your program will last.

The General Education Curriculum

If you have decided to take your CNA program in a local community college, you will most likely need to complete a general education curriculum before beginning your training. The general education courses you will be required to complete will vary depending on your placement exam scores and whether or not you have any prior college credits relative to your program.

However, some common general education courses include behavioral sciences, college-level mathematics, communications, English, foreign languages, and humanities, or fine arts. The length of time it will take you to complete all of your required general education coursework largely depends on whether you attend school full or part time.

Nevertheless, most college students are able to complete their general education courses within two or three semesters, which equates to about eight to twelve months. Keep in mind that you may be able to complete your general education curriculum in less time if you have earned transferable college credits in a different facility.

The CNA Program

Full-time CNA students are typically able to complete their certified nursing aide program in as little as one or two semesters, or just four to eight months. This is true for almost any community college, technical school, or Red Cross chapter. Of course, as mentioned above, you will need to train a bit longer if you need to complete a general education curriculum.

After you complete any required general education courses and your CNA program, you will receive a CNA certificate or diploma. At this point, you will also be eligible to sit for your state's CNA Nurse Aide Certification Exam, also referred to as the CNA Nurse Aide Registry Exam.

CNA Exam Prep Courses

You must receive acceptable scores on the CNA exam to gain placement on your state's Nurse Aide Registry. As such, it is never recommended to plunge right into the test without studying first. Take some time to study and complete a few online practice exams before scheduling an appointment for the real thing.

Some nursing aide graduates find it highly beneficial to enroll in a CNA exam preparatory course before taking their certification exam. A CNA exam prep course will give you an idea of the types of questions you will encounter on your test as well as the exam's typical structure.

You can find these courses offered through various trade schools, Red Cross chapters, and community colleges. However, if you cannot find one in your area, you can search for an online course. While these courses vary in length depending on the facility you choose, a typical CNA exam prep course lasts about four to eight weeks.

Choosing to train for a career as a certified nursing aide is a perfect choice if you want to begin working in the medical field right away. Depending on whether or not you need to complete a general education curriculum before your CNA program, you can train for a career in this lucrative field in as little as one to five semesters.

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