How To Become A CNA Instructor

The demand for certified nursing assistants is increasing rapidly in the United States. The Bureau of Labor reports that CNA job opportunities will increase faster than the national average through 2018.

This high demand for CNAs is also fueling the need for qualified CNA instructors. Before entering the workforce, certified nursing assistants receive hands-on training regarding procedures that will be later applied in medical settings, such as long-term facilities, hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and other health care facilities.

It’s up to the CNA instructor to arm CNA students with the necessary tools that will help them succeed in the healthcare environment. CNA instructors must have the proper experience, aptitude and knowledge in order to prepare future CNAs for the demands and requirements of the job.

CNA Instructor Qualifications

What does it take to become a CNA instructor? First and foremost, any qualified teacher needs to understand what characteristics are needed to educate and motivate students. Effective instructors utilize the following personal traits daily:

  • Patience
  • Knowledge
  • Experience
  • Compassion

In addition to these fundamental character traits, potential CNA instructors must be aware of the licensing requirements that are needed in the state where they want to teach. Contact your state’s nursing board to determine their specific licensing process.


Most states require two years of on-the-job experience working with elderly or chronically ill patients. Experience and familiarity in nursing homes and long-term care facilities will meet these requirements.

Prospective CNA instructors must not have any active administrative actions pending on their record at the time of application. Additionally, you must obtain your registered nursing (RN) license to become a CNA instructor. This will require you to take and pass the National Council License Examination (NCLEX – RN), and successfully graduate from an accredited nursing program. Most states also require two years of work experience as an RN before becoming an instructor.


Prospective CNA instructors must pass a state-approved instructor training course. This course is available through technical schools, community college and nursing facilities. Your states nursing board can provide you with the specific requirements of your particular state.

Most states require 15 to 20 hours of instruction that will provide you with the necessary duties as a CNA instructor. Here is an example of an actual current instructor training program. This class is offered through Lincoln Land Community College in the state of Illinois:

Course Description

This five-day course qualifies RNs to teach the basic nursing assistant training program. The class includes a four hour lecture on Alzheimer’s disease and a clinical workshop.

  • Date- August 8-12
  • Time- 8:30 AM- 5:00 PM
  • Cost- $480.00 per student

Obtaining Your License

Now that you have the necessary experience and have completed your education requirements, it’s time to obtain your CNA instructor license. To obtain your license, you will have to submit an application along with the required fee to your state’s nursing board. Some states will also require you to pass a background check.

After you have successfully navigated through the educational and licensing process, you can begin a rewarding career as a CNA instructor. Whether you choose to teach in a community college, technical school, or trade school, you can rest assured that your hard work has paid off.

Instructor Duties

As an instructor, you will be responsible for teaching courses in nursing theory and clinical practice. You will also train students to take patients vital signs as well as to observe and record patient health changes. In addition to the technical skills, you will also instruct CNA students to spot and clear safety hazards from the patient’s room.

On a daily basis you will supervise students as they practice clinical skills such as:

  • Mobility
  • Feeding
  • Toileting
  • Hygiene

Along with supervising these skills, you will review the student’s progress with the ultimate goal of preparing them to successfully pass the CNA exam.

10 Responses to How To Become A CNA Instructor

  1. Nancy Hyder August 25, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

    Can A LPN of 22 years practice and 23 years as a CNA ; teach CNA Classes in the State of Tennessee?

    • Admin August 25, 2011 at 2:53 pm #

      Hi Nancy, The regulations for most states require you to have been an RN first. I’d suggest checking with the nursing board in Tennessee for further clarification.

      • Becky Weaver October 6, 2014 at 9:24 pm #

        I would like to become a cna instructor in california. I would like to know whom I can contact for the requirements in california.

  2. Sharon January 18, 2012 at 5:02 pm #

    Can a CNA become a CNA instructor? I have 25 years experience and I’ve been certified for 16 years.

    • Admin January 18, 2012 at 6:13 pm #

      I’m afraid not. Being a Registered Nurse is one of the qualifications necessary for becoming an instructor.

  3. Ronda May 15, 2012 at 6:51 pm #

    I am a Registered Nurse in Georgia. I am interesting in becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant Instructor in the State of Georgia. Please advise me on what to do next. Thanks!

  4. Melissa Powell July 10, 2012 at 12:59 am #

    Where is ths August class located and how do we sign up?

  5. Audrey farley September 30, 2012 at 6:44 am #

    My daughter was taught to be a cna by an lpn.where would I find out how to become an instructor.please give me contact infomation bere in chicago.thanks

  6. chi August 9, 2013 at 2:37 am #

    Where can I earn nursing assistant instructor certification in MD/VA.

  7. Robin Palermo November 3, 2017 at 10:56 am #

    What does being an RN have anything to do with being a CNA instructor? Nothing against my nurses, I love them, but I feel that an experienced CNA has more to offer and will be better received then an RN. I am interested in educating fellow CNA’s but I have zero interest in becoming a nurse.

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