Each state has a State Board of Nursing that is responsible for overseeing nurses and nursing careers throughout the state. In most cases, anyone who wants to work as a registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, or certified nursing assistant must register and maintain their license through the State Board of Nursing. No one understands the shortage of certified nursing assistants better than the members of the State Board of Nursing, and they have begun offering free CNA classes to individuals who want to become certified nursing assistants.
In all states, you may want to begin your search for a certified nursing assistant training program by contacting the State Board of Nursing. The State Board of Nursing will have a comprehensive list of approved and accredited programs where you can complete your certified nursing assistant training. The State Board of Nursing is also a great resource for finding programs which can help you pay for your training. These programs include scholarships provided by private groups, universities, and colleges, grants given by the state and federal government, and training and employment programs offered by different agencies in your area. The State Board of Nursing may also be able to direct you to employers who are willing to pay for your training in exchange for your agreement to work for them for a certain amount of time. In other cases, hospitals (particularly those in large urban areas) will provide free certified nursing assistant training within the hospital itself. All of these options are great ways to help you become a certified nursing assistant without the worries of tuition and student loans to repay. We have some great state specific articles, particularly on free CNA classes in California and Free CNA training in Tennessee
The State Board of Nursing is generally funded by fees collected from nurses and facilities throughout the state. The State Board of Nursing can also offer other ways for you to receive your training for free. In some states, you can petition the State Board of Nursing regarding their scholarship or tuition fee waiver programs designed to help you get the training you need for free. The best way to find out as much as you can about these programs is to contact your State Board of Nursing and try to make an appointment with someone who can tell you more about the waiver program. Keep in mind that for most programs, you will need to be able to prove that you are not able to afford training to become a certified nursing assistant without financial assistance to pay for tuition. In some cases, the State Board of Nursing will also receive money from the federal government which is earmarked for training. Many State Boards of Nursing choose to use this money to create grants and scholarships that will pay for you to complete training as a certified nursing assistant.
Becoming a certified nursing assistant is a rewarding career that is seeing unprecedented job growth. Once you are able to complete your training as a certified nursing assistant, you will find that there are a large number of jobs available to you work nearly anywhere in the country. Certified nursing assistants work in nursing homes, skilled living facilities, assisted living facilities, schools, daycares, doctors offices, hospitals, correctional institutions, health departments, clinics, and a wide variety of other settings. Becoming a certified nursing assistant is the first step in a promising nursing career.