List of Free Online CNA Courses and Classes
See our list of the top free online CNA courses. Learn about what courses are available and what topics they cover to find the course that's right for you.
Online CNA Courses for Credit
While free online courses offered through OpenCourseWare (OCW) systems aren't specifically geared toward students interested in becoming Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), they can provide aspiring and practicing CNAs with foundational knowledge relevant to nurses and other healthcare workers. However, they generally don't award academic credit.
Study.com's Nursing 101: Fundamentals of Nursing course, on the other hand, can be used to earn college credit applicable toward an entry-level nursing degree or certificate program. For much less than a college or university course, registered members can watch short video lessons and take multiple-choice quizzes to assess their grasp of the material. Lesson transcripts are also available at no charge. Chapters in this nursing course include:
- The Profession of Nursing - Find out what kinds of patient care nurses provide. Explore record-keeping and communication techniques as well as healthcare ethics.
- Nursing Safety - Learn about identifying ecological hazards, spotting physical and mental hazards, safety devices used in nursing, and more.
Free Online Non-Credited CNA Courses
Des Moines University
- Medical Terminology goes over anatomical terminology for areas such as the reproductive, digestive and circulatory systems, as well as terms related to cancer and non-prescription medications. Students can register and pay to receive a certificate of participation for completing this course.
Johns Hopkins University
- Ethical Issues in Public Health emphasizes ethical issues found in public health systems, including the right to health care, the right to make personal health choices and resource allocation. Students must have Adobe Reader to view the lecture materials.
- Health Issues for Aging Populations teaches students about the various health, societal and governmental issues involving the aging population. Students learn through the 15 lectures; however, the last lecture isn't offered through OCW.
- Patient Safety and Medical Errors tackles the implementation and practice of safety by healthcare workers. Topics include the science of safety, safety and medicine, teamwork, communication, medical errors and medication safety. These topics are offered through lectures and assignments.
- Principles of Human Nutrition looks at the ways in which nutrition can affect health, physiology and disease in humans. Students could learn about malnutrition, obesity, dietary supplements and amino acids. In addition to lecture notes and slide presentations, there's a recommended textbooks list.
- Aging Immune Systems Makes Older Adults More Vulnerable to Attack looks at various health risks associated with aging immune systems. Students learn why elderly patients are more susceptible to illness than young patients and the importance of immunization. The text-based course includes a reference list.
- Improving Critical Thinking and Clinical Reasoning examines both clinical reasoning and critical thinking as it relates to nursing careers. The 3-page course is text-only and can be printed.
University of Michigan
- Patient Communication Skills teaches communication techniques that can be used by healthcare workers. The course explores patient interviewing, cross-cultural communications and telephone skills, among other topics. The course notes (known as performance keys) are in PDF form, but there are also video demonstrations of patient communication.
- Perspectives in Global Health teaches aspiring CNAs about global health concepts and the various organizations networked to promote health care around the world. This course includes lecture notes, online references and the name of the textbook used.
University of Notre Dame
- Medical Ethics seeks to introduce students to the fundamental ethical theories behind modern medical practices and procedures. Topics include confidentiality, honesty, healthcare reform, euthanasia, experimentation and abortion. Audio lectures, slides and sample essay assignments allow students to explore various ethical biomedical issues. The textbook used for the course must be purchased separately.