Typical Duration of a CNA Program

The duration of a nurse aide program depends on the school you choose to study at and whether or not you need to complete a general education curriculum.
Typical 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 training 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

Before you can begin your certified nurse aide training, you will need to complete a general education curriculum if you fail any part or all of your CNA program admittance exam. You will need to sit for the admittance exam if you aren't a high school graduate/haven't passed the GED exams and cannot provide ACT/SAT scores.

The general education subjects you will be required to study will vary depending on your placement exam scores and whether or not you have any prior school credits relative to your program. The subjects that you will need to study will just teach you basic academic skills, such as mathematics, reading, and writing.

The length of time it will take you to study and pass all of your required general education subjects depends solely on you. If you dedicate your full time, you can successfully complete the courses sooner than if you attend classes part time.

Nevertheless, most of the students that need to study the general education curriculum are able to complete their education within two or three semesters, which equates to eight to twelve months. Keep in mind that you may be able to complete your general education curriculum in lesser time if you don't have to work too much to learn the basic academic skills.

The CNA Training Program

Full-time CNA students are typically able to complete their certified nurse aide training in as little as four weeks, depending on their schools. Of course, as mentioned above, you will need to spend more time in training if you need to complete a general education curriculum.

After completing any required general education courses and a CNA training program, you will apply for a CNA license by examination in your state (in states where completing a CNA program is required). Then, you will sit for your state's CNA exam.

CNA Exam Prep Test

You must receive acceptable scores on the CNA exam to gain placement on your state's Nurse Aide Registry. Therefore, it is never recommended to plunge right into the test without studying first.

Some nurse aide program graduates find it highly beneficial to take a CNA exam preparatory test before sitting for their actual certification exam. A CNA exam prep test gives you an idea of the types of questions you will encounter on your exam as well as the exam's typical structure.

You can find these tests offered through various websites.


Choosing to train for a career as a certified nurse aide is a perfect choice if you want to begin working in the medical field right away. If you don't need to complete a general education curriculum before your CNA training, you can train for a career as a CNA in just four to 12 weeks.

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