It doesn’t take a large investment of time or money to become a certified nursing assistant (CNA). Here are the steps you’ll need to take:

  1. Graduate high school or get a GED.
  2. Be at least 18 years old.
  3. Enroll in a state-approved nursing assistant program through a community college or trade school.
  4. It takes about 6 to 12 weeks with at least 160 hours of classwork and clinical training.
  5. After your program is complete, you will need to pass the CNA certification exam, which consists of two parts—written and practical.
  6. Get placed on your state’s registry. This will allow you to work as a NA, especially if you want to work in a nursing home.
  7. You may have to complete a background check.
  8. Depending on your state, you may have continuing education requirements to fulfill to keep your license current. Check with your state licensing board to get more details.

An ideal candidate for a career as a certified nursing assistant would be patient and empathetic, compassionate, and have excellent physical stamina. These are important qualities for certified nursing assistants to possess; the nature of the job calls for it.


edited: 3/31/21