4 Free Online CNA Courses With Certificates Of Completion (2024)

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Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) provide basic care to patients and help them perform the necessary tasks of daily life, like bathing and eating. CNAs who work in residential care facilities often serve as patients’ main caregivers and develop close relationships with them. Working as a CNA requires compassion, patience, good communication skills and physical stamina.

If you want to work in healthcare, becoming a CNA can help you get your foot in the door. This path requires much less time and money than pursuing registered nurse (RN) licensure. The rules and requirements for becoming a CNA vary by state, but you typically need to complete a state-approved training program.

Below, learn what it takes to become a CNA and explore our list of free and affordable online CNA courses with certificates.

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Key Takeaways

  • CNAs help patients with basic care required for daily life, like bathing and eating.
  • CNA requirements vary by state.
  • To become a CNA, you typically must complete a state-approved CNA training program and pass an exam.
  • You can find various free and low-cost CNA courses with certificates online.
  • Online CNA courses cover nursing assistant fundamentals and feature in-person clinical experiences at nearby facilities. These courses can prepare you for state exams and licensure.

What Is a CNA?

A certified nursing assistant, or CNA, is a nursing professional who helps patients with their most basic personal needs. CNAs work under the supervision of licensed practical or licensed vocational nurses and RNs. Their workplaces include:

  • Skilled nursing facilities
  • Hospitals
  • Assisted living and residential care facilities
  • Home healthcare services

Typical tasks include helping patients bathe, get dressed, use the bathroom and eat meals. CNAs also take patients’ vital signs and listen to their health concerns. Depending on a CNA’s location and level of training, they may also dispense medication to patients.

Requirements vary, so research how to become a CNA in your state. However, not all states recognize the CNA title. In general, you must complete a state-approved CNA training program, pass your state exam, and receive a license or certification. In most cases, you’ll also complete on-the-job training.

Some states also require a criminal background check and continuing education. In certain states, you can earn additional credentials as a CNA, such as a certified medication aide credential that allows you to dispense medication to patients.

If you’re ready to pursue a career as a CNA, get started with our list of free and low-cost online CNA courses below.

Degree Finder

Consider These Free Online CNA Courses With Certificates

Start your CNA career for free with one of these no-cost certificate courses.

Ballad Health

Certificate Title: Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) Program – Online Hybrid Course
Program Length: 60 hours of classes and 40 hours of supervised clinical experience
Certificate Overview: Ballad Health’s program, which meets state and federal requirements, focuses on bedside patient care with an emphasis on long-term care and geriatrics. Classes take place online, but learners complete in-person labs and clinical experiences in Tennessee. Students must purchase scrubs, but otherwise, the program is free.

To qualify for the program, you must be at least 17 years old, complete a background check and meet Ballard Health vaccination policies. You also must hold a high school diploma or GED certificate or be within six months of graduating high school.

Job Corps

Certificate Title: Certified Nurse Assistant
Program Length: Varies
Certificate Overview: You can pursue this free CNA training program at 62 Job Corps centers around the U.S. Through this program, you can earn your CNA license, as well as Heartsaver® Bloodborne Pathogens and BLS for Healthcare Providers credentials.

You need a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for the program. You also must complete introductory and career prep courses, earn a passing score on all tests, and meet math and reading requirements. Additional state requirements may include a criminal background check or state content requirements.

Procareer Academy

Certificate Title: Certified Nursing Assistant
Program Length: Six weeks
Certificate Overview: Procareer Academy‘s online CNA program offers live classes on weekday evenings and in-person clinical hours on the weekends in Whittier and Escondido, California.

This course, approved by California’s Department of Public Health, prepares students to take the California CNA exam. The content covers patients’ rights, patient care skills, emergency procedures, and death and dying.

California grants allow some learners to take this course at no charge. To qualify, applicants must agree to work as a CNA for one employer for at least a year after graduating.

CAL ACE Nursing Academy

Certificate Title: Online NATP (CNA Program)
Program Length: Seven weeks
Certificate Overview: CAL ACE Nursing Academy offers an online CNA training program that prepares you for CNA certification in California. The course includes 62 synchronous online theory hours and 102 in-person clinical skill hours in San Jose and Santa Cruz.

The curriculum includes 18 modules covering rehabilitative nursing, vital signs, communication and interpersonal skills, and patient/resident abuse.

The program offers paid and free options through partnerships with potential employers. In this scenario, a facility would pay 100% of your tuition fees or offer to reimburse you. To enter the program, you must be at least 16 and a California resident, or willing to become one. You also need BLS certification, COVID-19 immunizations, a negative tuberculosis test result, a physical exam and a background check.

Low-Cost CNA Courses With Certificates

While free CNA courses with certificates might be hard to come by, you can still find plenty of low-cost options. Check out these cost-effective courses.


Certificate Title: Home Health Aide, Nurse Aide, Caregiver Certification Course
Cost: $89.99, typically discounted
Program Length: Self-paced
Certificate Overview: Udemy’s course can help you learn the basics of home healthcare and caring for children and elderly, mentally ill and disabled patients. Other topics include CPR, basic anatomy, nutrition and meal preparation. You get lifetime access to 68 articles, a one-hour video and 19 downloadable resources.

The 10-module program leads to a certificate of completion and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. There are no prerequisites.

American River College

Certificate Title: Certified Nurse Assistant
Cost: $552 (in-state)
Program Length: About three-and-a-half months
Certificate Overview: American River College’s CNA certificate course can help you gain the basic nursing skills to work as a certified nurse assistant. The curriculum includes 86 hours of classroom theory, nine hours of skills lab practice and more than 100 clinical hours. American River College is based in Sacramento, California.

To participate in the program, you must meet California Department of Public Health regulatory requirements, including passing a criminal background check and providing proof of vaccinations. You also must pass a medical terminology course with at least a C, which you can complete before or during the program.

Lehman College

Certificate Title: Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Online
Cost: Varies by course
Program Length: 125 hours
Certificate Overview: Lehman College’s hybrid CNA program is approved by the New York State Education Department and prepares learners to take the state exam for CNA certification. The program includes a two-course series on anatomy, physiology and fundamentals of patient care courses. In total, students complete 95 classroom hours and 30 clinical rotation hours.

The ASSET scholarship covers 50% of tuition. The program is also eligible for Workforce1 Individual Training Grant vouchers.

Applicants must hold a high school diploma or equivalent, complete required medical forms, submit Covid-19 vaccination documentation and complete a CPR course before they start clinical rotations.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Free Online CNA Courses With Certificates of Completion

What’s the fastest you can become a CNA?

Federal law requires that CNAs complete 75 instruction hours, including at least 16 clinical hours. However, some states require as many as 175 training hours and 100 clinical hours.

How do I become a CNA?

CNAs must earn a high school diploma or GED® certificate and complete a state-approved CNA training program. In most cases, graduates also complete on-the-job training. Depending on the state, CNAs may have to obtain a CNA license or certification.

How much does a CNA make?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that nursing assistants earned a median annual salary of $35,760 in May 2022. The highest-earning 10% of nursing assistants made more than $45,940.

How do I get my CNA license?

The requirements for getting your CNA license vary by state. Usually, you must complete a training program and pass your state’s competency exam. Some states also require you to pass a criminal background check and complete continuing education.

4 Free Online CNA Courses With Certificates Of Completion (2024)


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