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Although most CNA training programs require a fee, you have a couple of choices if you want to get your CNA training for no cost. As of 2011, the average cost of a CNA training program ranges between about $300 to $600 and lasts around six weeks, although some may be as long as 12 weeks in length. Finding a free CNA training course can save you a significant sum of money.
Many high schools offer CNA training to students. Students who pass their state’s certification exam upon completion of the course will be licensed to practice as a CNA right after graduation. You can check with your local high school to see if it offers such a course.
Health Care Facilities
Many health care facilities such as nursing homes, long-term care facilities and hospitals offer free training to those who want to become CNAs. You should contact as many health care facilities in your area as possible to find out which ones offer free training and about their admissions processes.
If you find a free CNA training program willing to accept you, typically you must agree to work for the health care facility providing the training for a certain period of time after the completion of the program. You can ask around on health care provider forums about the employment reputations of free training providers in your area. It's also a good idea to visit the facility before you enroll. Look around when you visit to see if you would like to be a part of its team. Note its general level of cleanliness and organization as well as how patients and residents are treated by staff members. Consider contacting your state’s nurse aide registry for information on particular training providers as well.
Technical schools, community colleges and career colleges typically offer low-cost training programs. They are more easily accessible to students as they are more plentiful than free programs. If you cannot find a free program in your area, you can look into these low-cost alternatives to get your CNA training.
Leyla Norman has been a writer since 2008 and is a certified English as a second language teacher. She also has a master's degree in development studies and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology.