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CNA Classes in Florida with School Overviews

There are more than 50 schools in Florida that have CNA programs. Read an overview of ten of the largest schools' programs, requirements and tuition info and find out which school is the right one for you.

Essential Information

CNA training programs usually consist of only one or two classes, and some programs award students a certificate upon completion. Training includes didactic (lecture and lab) courses and clinical education, where students obtain hands-on training working under the supervision of registered nurses or other medical professionals. Some Florida schools offer nurse assistant/aide training as part of patient care assistant programs.

Applicants may need to undergo a criminal background check as well as a health and drug screening and will need to have up-to-date immunizations. They may also need to be certified in basic life support and/or CPR either before program admission or prior to their clinical experience. Outlined below are ten 2- and 4-year Florida schools that offer CNA classes or related programs that prepare students to work as CNAs in this state.

Career Requirements

To work as a CNA (certified nurse assistant or aide) in Florida, one must complete a state-approved training program and pass the nurse assistant competency exam, which consists of a written test and a practical skills demonstration. Once this is accomplished, the candidate's name is added to the Florida Nurse Aide Registry. To be eligible to take the CNA exam, candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent and be at least 18 years old.


Brevard Community College

Students who complete the patient care assistant program at Brevard Community College in Cocoa earn several certificates, included nursing assistant. The 11-credit hour program requires completion of 290 clock hours, which are divided as follows: 75 toward the patient care assistant course; 75 toward the articulated nurse assistant course; 50 toward the advanced home health aide course and 90 toward the basic healthcare worker course.

In addition to receiving a postsecondary adult vocational certificate in patient care assistant, graduates receive certificates in advanced home health aide, articulated nursing assistant, domestic violence, HIV/AIDS, first aid and BLS/CPR (basic life support/cardiopulmonary resuscitation). The curriculum includes classroom work, lab studies and clinical education. This program prepares the student to take the Florida nursing assistant certification exam.

  • Program Offered: Patient Care Assistant Postsecondary Adult Vocational Certificate
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $77/hour in-state; $308/hour out-of-state (2012-2013)*
  • School Type & Setting: Two-year, public; large suburb

Daytona State College

Daytona State College, which is located in Daytona Beach, offers a patient care assistant program that prepares students to take the Florida nurse aide competency exam and work in hospitals, nursing homes or long-term care facilities. Consisting of 290 contact hours, this program includes theory-based coursework and clinical experiences. Admission requirements include adequate scores on placement tests, a criminal background check, a drug screening clearance, BLS for Healthcare Provider certification and completed health screenings.

  • Program Offered: Patient Care Assistant Vocational Certificate
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $812 in-state; $3,246 out-of-state (2013-2014)*
  • School Type & Setting: Four-year, primarily associate degrees, public; small city

Florida State College at Jacksonville

Florida Coast Career Tech, a division of the Jacksonville campus of Florida State College, offers a nursing assistant program that prepares students to work as nursing assistants in hospitals, clinics or long-term care facilities. The 165-hour program includes 125 hours of classroom and simulated lab experiments, followed with 40 hours of hands-on clinical training in a medical facility. Upon completion of this workforce program, students are eligible to sit for the Florida nurse assistant competency exam.

  • Program Offered: Nursing Assistant Workforce Certificate
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $87/credit hour in-state; $346/credit hour out-of-state; $173/credit hour for eligible GA residents (2012-2013)*
  • School Type & Setting: Four-year, primarily associate degrees, public; large city

Indian River State College

Fort Pierce-based Indian River State College offers a nursing assistant course with classes held at the main campus, as well as at the Blackburn Education Building in Fort Pierce, the Mueller Campus in Vero Beach, the Chastain Campus in Stuart and the Dixon Henry Campus in Okeechobee. Consisting of 165 clock hours, this course teaches students to provide patient care such as feeding, bathing, grooming, taking vital signs and responding to patients' daily needs. In addition to having an adequate TABE (Test of Adult Basic Education) score, the applicant must show proof of a completed physical examination, current immunizations and a criminal background check. The courses are ten hours per week for 16 weeks at most locations; classes at Blackburn are 20 hours per week for eight weeks.

  • Program Offered: Nursing Assistant Program
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $1,155 total program cost (2012-2013)*
  • School Type & Setting: Four-year, primarily associate degrees, public; large suburb

Palm Beach State College

The patient care assistant program at Palm Beach State College in Long Worth is offered during the day and in the evenings. The curriculum includes lab/skills sessions and at least 40 hours of clinical practice. The entire patient care assistant program requires 290 hours; nursing assisting training makes up 120 of them. Students learn about infection control, blood borne diseases, responsibilities of the healthcare team, medical terminology, vital signs, safety procedures and residents' rights. When students complete all program components, they receive certificates in nursing assisting, patient care assisting and home health aide.

  • Program Offered: Patient Care Assistant Program
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $83/credit hour in-state (tuition only); $327/credit hour out-of-state (tuition only) (2012-2013)*
  • School Type & Setting: Four-year, primarily associate degrees, public; large suburb

Pasco-Hernando Community College

The nursing assistant training at Pasco-Hernando Community College in New Port Richey can be completed in one semester or less. Participants spend time in a classroom and complete 40-hour clinical rotations for hands-on experience dealing with patients in the field. Prior to the clinical rotation, students must complete an approved four-hour AIDS course and a CPR certification/Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers course. Students must also show proof of health examinations and submit to criminal background checks. Upon completion of this program, graduates receive a certificate and are eligible to take Florida's CNA exam. The program is also offered at the East Campus in Dade City and the North Campus in Brooksville.

  • Program Offered: Nursing Assistant Technical Certificate
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $352 in-state (tuition only); $1,409 out-of-state (tuition only) (no date given)*
  • School Type & Setting: Two-year, public; large suburb

Pensacola State College

Located in Pensacola, this school has a one-semester nursing assistant program that consists of three courses: medical terminology (with anatomy and physiology), orientation to health sciences and nursing assistant practices. Taught by registered nurses, the nursing assistant program helps students develop technical, problem-solving and communication skills. Students wishing to enter this limited-access program must complete the TABE exam at a tenth-grade level and a have high school diploma. Each applicant must have a criminal background check and drug screening clearance, a physical examination and current immunizations prior to starting the clinical experiences. Once students complete all three courses, they can take the nursing assistant certification exam.

  • Program Offered: Nursing Assisting Program
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $86/credit hour in-state; $87/credit hour for Alabama residents; $344/credit hour out-of-state (2012-2013)*
  • School Type & Setting: Four-year, primarily associate degrees, public; small city

Santa Fe College

Located in Gainesville, Santa Fe College has a nursing assistant course that requires completion of 165 contact hours. Students attend classroom lectures and complete clinical education at local nursing homes. Once the student completes this course with a grade of 75% or better, he or she is eligible to take the state nursing assistant certification exam.

  • Program Offered: Nursing Assistant Course
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $68/semester hour in-state (tuition only); $272/semester hour out-of-state (tuition only) (2012-2013)*
  • School Type & Setting: Four-year, primarily associate degrees, public; midsize suburb

Seminole State College of Florida

Seminole State College of Florida, which is located in Sanford, offers a 165-hour articulated nursing assistant program that prepares the student to work as a CNA, home health aide or patient care technician. This program is offered in the spring, summer and fall semesters. Students learn through a combination of classroom instruction, lab sessions and clinical experiences in long-term care facilities. To be eligible for this program, applicants must take the TABE exam.

  • Program Offered: Nursing Assistant/HHA Vocational Certificate
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $70/credit in-state (tuition only); $280/credit out-of-state (tuition only) (2012-2013)*
  • School Type & Setting: Four-year, primarily associate degrees, public; large suburb

Tallahassee Community College

Located in Tallahassee, this public school offers a 120-hour nurse assistant training program. The program provides students with basic nursing skills and teaches them to provide daily care to patients in hospitals or long-term care facilities. Students spend 80 hours on classroom/lab courses and 40 hours at area healthcare facilities completing clinical internships.

To meet admission requirements, applicants must provide proof of the following: high school diploma, background check, drug screening, current immunizations, negative TB test, required vaccines and BLS/CPR certification. Once the student has successfully completed the nurse assistant training, he or she can take the state certification exam to earn the CNA credential.

  • Program Offered: Nurse Assistant PSAV Certificate
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $330 total cost (2013)*
  • School Type & Setting: Two-year, public; midsize city

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type and Setting CNA Classes/Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition and Fees
Brevard Community College Two-year, public; large suburb Patient Care Assistant Postsecondary Adult Vocational Certificate $77/hour in-state; $308/hour out-of-state (2012-2013)*
Daytona State College Four-year, primarily associate degrees, public; small city Patient Care Assistant Vocational Certificate $812 in-state; $3,246 out-of-state (2013-2014)*
Florida State College at Jacksonville Four-year, primarily associate degrees, public; large city Nursing Assistant Workforce Certificate $87/credit hour in-state; $346/credit hour out-of-state; $173/credit hour for eligible GA residents (2012-2013)*
Indian River State College Four-year, primarily associate degrees, public; large suburb Nursing Assistant Program $1,155 total program cost (2012-2013)*
Palm Beach State College Four-year, primarily associate degrees, public; large suburb Patient Care Assistant Program $83/credit hour in-state (tuition only); $327/credit hour out-of-state (tuition only) (2012-2013)*
Pasco-Hernando Community College Two-year, public; large suburb Nursing Assistant Technical Certificate $352 in-state (tuition only); $1,409 out-of-state (tuition only) (no date given)*
Pensacola State College Four-year, primarily associate degrees, public; small city Nursing Assisting Program $86/credit hour in-state; $87/credit hour for Alabama residents; $344/credit hour out-of-state (2012-2013)*
Santa Fe College Four-year, primarily associate degrees, public; midsize suburb Nursing Assistant Course $68/semester hour in-state (tuition only); $272/semester hour out-of-state (tuition only) (2012-2013)*
Seminole State College of Florida Four-year, primarily associate degrees, public; large suburb Nursing Assistant/HHA Vocational Certificate $70/credit in-state (tuition only); $280/credit out-of-state (tuition only) (2012-2013)*
Tallahassee Community College Two-year, public; midsize city Nurse Assistant PSAV Certificate $330 total cost (2013)*

Source: *Schools' websites.


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