The Certified Nurse’s Aide is a person who has gone through the proper training to help patients with all aspects of daily living. These aspects can include the little things that we often take for granted like eating, dressing and bathing as well as bigger things like ambulation. Many people choose to start their healthcare career and training with their CNA certification since it is fairly simple to earn and makes a great stepping stone should you want to eventually enter into a nursing program. The problem lies when prospective students do not have the cash on hand to pay for the program. There are many different programs to choose from, something for virtually everyone that will pay for all of the prospective students training to become a CNA. From community college classes and federal funding to free on the job training through nursing homes, there is a course and a financial option for anyone who has the desire to become a CNA. The following are a couple of options you can pursue to get free CNA Training:
- Grants and Scholarships for CNA Classes
- Free On the Job Training
- Job Corps Constraining
- Workforce Investment Act and CNA Training
Grants and Scholarships for CNA Classes
Federal funding is available for those who qualify for CNA certification. The Pell grant can be used when the classes are taken through a participating community college. Should the student choose to go through another program such as a training program offered at a convalescent home, they are often not eligible for federal funding. The Pell grant is easy to apply for either online or through the college’s financial aid office. There are some cases where there are left over funds which can go directly to the student.
Should a student not qualify for the Pell grant they can also apply for the opportunity grant. This grant has different stipulations depending on the state; the best practice is to ask the financial aid office for the college where the classes are offered to see who qualifies. Some community colleges are also given funds from the USDA for scholarships to deserving students. These scholarships tend to have eligibility requirements that are set by the college, not the government. There are also specialized scholarships and grants for students who have disabilities or are considered a minority.
Free On the Job Training
If a traditional college CNA training course is not an option due to finances or location, there are more options. One of the more popular ways to go through free CNA certification training is to get a job at a nursing home or convalescent center. Since the demand for qualified CNA’s is so high all of the time, these facilities often offer free CNA training to those who come to work for them. One of the attractive things about these free programs is that students are not just getting their CNA training for free but they are usually getting paid for the time they spend in the training program as well. The nursing home will also make sure that the student is ready for the state certification exam and will guide them through the entire process. The only downside to this type of CNA training is that there is generally some form of contract to sign, stating that the CNA will not terminate employment for a given time to make it worthwhile for the facility to pay for the training, but this also ensures that the CNA will have steady work as the nursing home will not want to terminate employment either.
Job Corps Constraining
Job Corps is a great program with campuses’ nationwide. They are geared towards those who are between the ages of 16 and 23 who have not yet completed high school. In Job Corps, the student will earn their diploma or GED while they are getting the training for the job they want, including CNA training. Like the on the job training, the student in Job Corps will enjoy free on the job type training while earning a monthly salary as well. There is no cost to the student or their parents when they are in Job Corps, only the training needed to begin a successful career. Once graduated from the Job Corps, they will also help the graduate to find a job as a CNA in the area of their choice.
Workforce Investment Act and CNA Training
The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) helps people to get the professional training they need to be able to further their careers. This program is available for just about anyone who is low income, both youth and adults. While most states require that students are 18 to enroll in a CNA program, teens, ages 14-21 who are, or have been pregnant or those who do not have a permanent residence due to being in the system, can get the training they want for a career they can be proud of. Adults who have been laid off and cannot find work in the field they are trained in can also take advantage of this program and earn their Nurse’s Aide Certification. Presently, only select colleges and vocational schools are equipped to provide this type of financial aid. Anyone who needs information as to which colleges participate in WIA programs and what the qualification requirements are should contact the local job service office as these are generally the governing body for the local WIA disbursements.
Federal Student Aid: http://studentaid.ed.gov/about
Pinnacle Healthcare Careers; CNA Training: http://www.pinnacle-healthcare.com/careers/cna.html
Joliet Job Corps; Career Training: http://joliet.jobcorps.gov/vocations.aspx
State of California Employment Development Department; Workforce Investment Act: http://www.edd.ca.gov/Jobs_and_Training/Workforce_Investment_Act.htm