CNA Course Description

Certified nursing assistant course aims at developing the skills of the students who want to pursue their career in the health care industry. Several modes of learning such as online and classroom are opted to ensure that the candidates learn all the essential concepts of nursing. Students enrolling for this program have the desire and eagerness to know about the CNA course description.

The course module consists of three components: theoretical, skills and practical sessions. Given below is the description of each of these components.

Theoretical Sessions

These are the classroom sessions where the students are introduced to various medical aspects. Some of the things that are taught are:

  • Physiology and Anatomy of the Human Body: In most of the classes, this section is taught in the beginning of the classes to create a strong foundation, as the rest of the things are directly or indirectly dependent on this aspect. This section teaches the students about the functions of different parts of the body, co-ordination between the different parts to perform a specific task and their structure.
  • Diseases and Their Prevention Methods: Though, it is the physician who identifies the disease or illness that has attacked the patient and treats them, it is also necessary for the CNA's to know about the diseases to act accordingly in case of emergencies. It is also useful from their career point of view. They are also taught about infection control under this section.
  • Maintenance and Importance of Hygiene: Apart from medicines and treatment, hygiene is one such thing that helps the residents to recover soon and make them fit and healthy. That is why students are taught about all the necessary things that should be practiced on a regular basis to help in maintaining it. Apart form this, the nursing aides themselves have to maintain personal hygiene.
  • Residential Rights: They should be aware about the rights of the patients for proper co-ordination and understanding.
  • Safety Measures: The nursing aides must be aware about their responsibilities in case of emergencies declared and the necessary safety measures to be taken.

The theoretical knowledge is imparted through lectures by trained professionals or instructors. They are usually Registered Nurses (RN) who possess good years of experience in the nursing field.

Skills Classes

Skill classes primarily focuses in enhancing the skills that are required for better communication and record work. The skills that are taught are:

  • Interpersonal
  • Communication
  • Listening
  • Computer Basics (taught in few of the training institutes)

A CNA is an intermediate between a doctor and a patient and that is why they need to possess excellent communicational and interpersonal skills to avoid disruption in the work. Computer basics are also important to help in maintaining the vital records of the patients.

Clinical Sessions: This is the session where the candidates are introduced to clinical settings and they get an opportunity to perform several nursing assistant tasks under the supervision of an instructor. Some of the tasks that they perform include:

  • Ambulating the patients
  • Changing the bed linens
  • Repositioning the bed ridden patients at regular intervals so as to prevent from bed sores
  • Maintaining their hygiene
  • Feeding the residents to ensure their nutrition
  • Conducting vital tests such as measuring the blood pressure, temperature of the body and the pulse rate and preparing health charts describing the same

CNA Course Length

Apart from the CNA course description, another aspect that many learners would like to know before enrollment is the duration. The standard and the mandatory duration of the course is 75 hours in all the states of the USA. But it also extends to around 120 or 130 hours as per the norms of the training institutes. Though some of the nursing schools conduct classes throughout the day, there are some that conduct both morning and evening classes.

CNA Course Requirements

  • The age criteria should be met. Candidates of 18 years or more are eligible to seek admission. However, this age criteria can differ from one state to another.
  • High school diploma or the General Educational Development (GED) is compulsory
  • Background verification and medical check ups are also mandatory

Other Types of Courses

Apart from the regular classroom courses, there are two more ways to pursue the course:

  • Online Classes:- Students can study at any place and at any time with the help of internet. Interactive sessions would be conducted through video conferencing and the trainings would be made available through e-books that could be downloaded. While opting for this mode of learning, it is advisable to choose a college which is accredited.
  • Crash Courses:- These are fast track programs of shorter duration but are expensive than the regular classes. The option of CNA crash course is the best for candidates who do not have time to spend for full time classes.


Finally, it is the state competency CNA examinations that you would have to face in order to attain the title of a certified nursing assistant. On clearing both: the written test and the skills test you would obtain your certificate and the license. After this you may be employed in hospitals, nursing homes, mental wards, rehabilitation centers, care centers and private home nursing located in your state.

The CNA course description, thus gives you a clear picture of what the training program would consist of and how to pursue a career in the health care sector.

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