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The Tennessee Department of Health maintains a listing of approved nurse aide training programs within the state, which must provide a minimum of 75 hours of training and instruction. While this kind of training may be offered through high schools or healthcare facilities, this article profiles the seven largest public options at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology, all of which offer approved nurse aide training programs that prepare students to take the state exam and seek certification. Programs combine classroom studies with hands-on labs and clinical experiences. Some nurse aide programs culminate in an undergraduate certificate; patient care technician diploma programs are also available. Below are descriptive overviews of the available programs followed by a comparison table that includes program costs.
Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Elizabethton
The Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Elizabethton is a 2-year, public school that offers a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) training program that prepares graduates to work directly with patients in a nursing home or general healthcare facility. The program exceeds standards set by the Tennessee Department of Health with its 120-hour training curriculum that includes 80 hours of lab work and classroom training, along 40 hours of practical clinical experience. Courses offer training in the development of communication and interpersonal skills, patient rights, basic skills in nursing, safety, emergency care, personal care skills, and caring for patients with cognitive impairments. Classroom instruction is held at the school's Herman Robinson Campus located in Elizabethton.
Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Hartsville
More than 600 students attend Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Hartsville on an annual basis. This 2-year public school offers a 432-hour Nursing Assistant Certificate, the coursework of which is administered as part of the practical nursing program. The program content for the certificate includes a combination of classroom lecture and clinical practice experience sessions.
Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Knoxville
This 2-year, public school offers a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) training program through either day or nighttime classes which require 108 or 126 training hours, respectively. The program prepares students to provide direct, hands-on care to patients in home health facilities, nursing homes, long-term care centers and hospitals. Prospective applicants must obtain an official background check from their county sheriff's office prior to the commencement of classes. Students who successfully complete the program are qualified to take the Tennessee Certified Nurse Aide exam and earn state certification.
Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Oneida-Huntsville
The Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Oneida-Huntsville is a 2-year, public school with an annual enrollment of almost 400 students. The school offers a Certified Nurse Assistant training program that consists of 100 hours of instruction and training. Components of this program include approximately 40 hours of classroom lecture and theory, 20 hours of lab work, and 40 hours of clinical practice sessions to gain experience. The Certified Nurse Assistant program lasts about six weeks with courses generally administered on a part-time basis.
Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Paris
The Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Paris is a 2-year public school that offers a Nursing Assistant Certificate that can be earned as part of two administered programs. One option for students to explore is to complete the first trimester of the Patient Care Technician Diploma program, which consists of two trimesters and 864 hours of coursework and instruction. Students that wish to earn the Nursing Assistant Certificate will focus on completing the first trimester of the program. Program content includes a combination of classroom lecture and learning in addition to clinical practice experience sessions.
The second option available for students to earn the Nursing Assistant Certificate program is to complete the first trimester portion of the Practical Nursing Diploma training program. The practical nursing program consists of three trimesters and 1,296 hours of instruction and training. The components are similar to the patient care program.
Prospective students who already work as a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) can acquire additional skills and knowledge through the Patient Care Technician Diploma program. The curriculum consists of 536 hours of classroom-based instruction and 328 hours of clinical practice session training. Students learn about advanced methods and practices for patient care.
Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Shelbyville
The Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Shelbyville is a 2-year public school that offers prospective students interested in health care the choice of pursing a Nurse Aide Certificate or a Patient Care Technician Diploma. Students decide which program they are interested in and then complete the required hours of classroom and guided clinical work practice sessions. Students seeking the Nurse Aide Certificate will complete 132 hours of training and instruction. Students interested in the Patient Care Diploma will complete 864 hours of combined classroom instruction and training.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Nurse Aide Training Programs Offered||Program Costs|
|Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Elizabethton||2-year, public, college; fringe rural||Certified Nurse Aide||$625 cost for 120-hour program (2016)*|
|Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Hartsville||2-year, public, college; distant rural||Certified Nurse Technician||Not available|
|Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Knoxville||2-year, public, college; midsize city||Certified Nursing Assistant||$720 program cost for 108-126 hours of training (2016)*|
|Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Oneida-Huntsville||2-year, public, college; distant rural||Certified Nurse Assistant||$734 approximate cost for 120-hour program (2011-2012)*|
|Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Paris||2-year, public, college; remote town||Patient Care Technician Diploma||$2,370 cost for Patient Care Technician program (2016)*|
|Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Shelbyville||2-year, public, college; fringe rural||Certified Nurse Aide; Patient Care Technician Diploma||$3,555 cost for Patient Care program; $381 for CNA program (2016)*|
Source: *School Websites