Tips for Choosing Cheap Online CNA Programs

Finding a cheap Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program online can help you start a rewarding career in healthcare without overspending.

Understanding Online CNA Programs

Certified Nursing Assistant programs provide the necessary training and education to become a CNA, a vital role in the healthcare industry. Online CNA programs offer flexibility and convenience, allowing students to complete coursework remotely while balancing other responsibilities. These programs typically include a combination of online coursework and in-person clinical training.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Online CNA Program

1. Accreditation: Ensure the program is accredited by a recognized accrediting body, such as the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Accreditation ensures the program meets high standards of quality and is recognized by employers and licensing boards.

2. State Approval: Verify that the program is approved by your state’s nursing board. Each state has specific requirements for CNA training programs, and completing an approved program is essential for eligibility to take the CNA certification exam.

3. Cost: Compare tuition fees and additional costs, such as textbooks, uniforms, and exam fees. Online CNA programs can range from $500 to $2,500, depending on the institution and program length. Look for programs that offer financial aid, scholarships, or payment plans to help manage costs.

4. Program Length: The duration of CNA programs can vary from 4 to 12 weeks. Consider how quickly you want to complete the program and start your career. Shorter programs may be more intensive, while longer programs may offer a more relaxed pace.

5. Clinical Training: Online CNA programs require in-person clinical training at a healthcare facility. Ensure the program provides adequate clinical hours and opportunities for hands-on experience. Confirm the availability of clinical placements in your area.

6. Curriculum and Resources: Review the program’s curriculum to ensure it covers essential topics, such as basic nursing skills, patient care, infection control, and emergency procedures. Check if the program offers additional resources, such as tutoring, career services, and exam preparation.

Tips for Finding Cheap Online CNA Programs

1. Research Multiple Programs: Start by researching various online CNA programs. Use search engines, online directories, and educational websites to find programs that match your criteria. Compare tuition fees, program length, and accreditation status.

2. Check Community Colleges: Community colleges often offer affordable online CNA programs. These institutions may have lower tuition fees compared to private institutions. Additionally, community colleges may offer financial aid, scholarships, and grants to eligible students.

3. Look for Financial Aid: Many online CNA programs offer financial aid options, including federal grants, scholarships, and payment plans. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine your eligibility for federal financial aid. Contact the program’s financial aid office for information on available scholarships and grants.

4. Consider Employer Sponsorship: Some employers, such as hospitals and long-term care facilities, offer sponsorship or reimbursement programs for CNA training. Check with local healthcare employers to see if they provide financial assistance in exchange for a work commitment.

5. Explore Online Reviews: Read reviews and testimonials from former students to gauge the quality and affordability of the program. Online forums, social media groups, and review websites can provide valuable insights into the experiences of other students.

6. Contact the Program: Reach out to the program’s admissions office to ask questions about tuition fees, financial aid options, accreditation, and state approval. Clarify any doubts and ensure you have a clear understanding of the program’s requirements and costs.

Examples of Cheap Online CNA Programs

1. Hutchinson Community College: Hutchinson Community College offers an affordable online CNA program with tuition fees around $700. The program includes online coursework and local clinical placements, providing a comprehensive and cost-effective training experience.

2. U.S. Career Institute: U.S. Career Institute provides an online CNA program with tuition fees starting at $1,239, which can be paid in monthly installments. The program is self-paced and includes all study materials, making it a flexible and affordable option.

3. Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College: This community college offers an online CNA program with tuition fees of approximately $500. The program is state-approved and includes a combination of online coursework and in-person clinical training.

4. Century College: Century College offers an affordable online CNA program with tuition fees around $1,200. The program is state-approved and provides financial aid options, making it accessible to a wide range of students.

Tips for Succeeding in an Online CNA Program

1. Stay Organized: Create a study schedule to manage your time effectively. Allocate specific times for coursework, assignments, and clinical training. Use digital tools, such as calendars and task managers, to stay on track.

2. Engage with Instructors and Peers: Participate in online discussions and communicate regularly with your instructors and classmates. Building a support network can enhance your learning experience and provide additional resources for success.

3. Practice Hands-On Skills: Take advantage of clinical training opportunities to practice and refine your hands-on skills. Seek feedback from clinical instructors and peers to improve your performance.

4. Utilize Available Resources: Access additional resources provided by the program, such as tutoring, career services, and exam preparation materials. These resources can help you succeed academically and professionally.

5. Prepare for the Certification Exam: Use study guides, practice tests, and review courses to prepare for the CNA certification exam. Familiarize yourself with the exam format and content to increase your chances of passing on the first attempt.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

1. Choosing Non-Accredited Programs: Ensure the program is accredited and state-approved to avoid wasting time and money on a non-recognized certification. Verify accreditation and state approval before enrolling.

2. Overlooking Additional Costs: Consider all associated costs, such as textbooks, uniforms, and exam fees, when budgeting for your CNA program. Plan for these expenses to avoid financial surprises.

3. Neglecting Clinical Training: Clinical training is a crucial component of CNA education. Ensure the program provides adequate clinical hours and opportunities for hands-on experience to meet certification requirements.

4. Failing to Research Financial Aid: Many students overlook financial aid options that can make CNA programs more affordable. Research and apply for grants, scholarships, and payment plans to reduce tuition costs.


Finding a cheap online CNA program requires careful research and consideration of factors such as accreditation, state approval, cost, and program length. By following the tips outlined in this guide and exploring the examples provided, you can find an affordable program that meets your needs and sets you on the path to a rewarding career in healthcare. Whether you’re looking to start a new career or advance in your current role, an affordable CNA program can provide the education and training you need.