Students interested in CNA training can look to several technical colleges in Georgia, which offer nurse aide, healthcare assistant, geriatric care assisting and general patient care technician training. Studies are offered through undergraduate certificate programs that require students to complete 13-39 credit hours of coursework, depending on the program. Applicants typically need to meet minimum age requirements and may need to pass an exam demonstrating proficiency in reading, writing and math. In addition, some programs may require students to possess a high school diploma or GED, while others may not.
Albany Technical College
At Albany Technical College in Albany, nurse aide students can earn patient care assistant certificates with 23 credits of coursework. They must be at least 17 years old, have a high school diploma or the equivalent and pass a basic skills assessment test that covers reading, writing and algebra. Courses include anatomy/physiology, medical terminology and nutrition as well as basic skills for nurse aides, such as taking vital signs and assisting with personal care.
Athens Technical College
At Athens Technical College in Athens, four courses totaling 13 credits are required in the nurse aide certificate program. Students complete an introductory class in healthcare as well as courses in nutrition and basic medical terminology. They learn the fundamental skills for a nurse aide through a hands-on course. Applicants must be at least 18 and have a high school diploma or GED certificate.
Atlanta Technical College
Atlanta Technical College in Atlanta prepares students for placement on the nurse aide registry through a patient care assistant certificate program. Students must be at least 16, have a high school diploma or GED certificate and meet basic skills requirements. The program consists of 23 credit hours of courses that include anatomy/physiology, medical terminology, introduction to healthcare and interpersonal communication. A course in the fundamentals of nurse aide work gives the student hands-on training in many aspects of their duties such as monitoring vital signs, safety standards and personal care.
Central Georgia Technical College
Central Georgia Technical College offers two technical certificate programs that can lead to CNA status: nurse aide, taught at the Macon and Milledgeville campuses as well as at the Crawford County and Putnam County centers, and patient care assisting, offered on the Macon campus. The nurse aide program consists of four courses totaling 13 credits. Students study nutrition, the basics of the healthcare profession and medical terminology as well as the fundamental skills required for a nurse aide. Students must be at least 16; a high school diploma or GED certificate is not required. The patient care assisting certificate program requires 23 course credits and 450 contact hours. The program includes all the courses required for the nurse aide certificate, plus courses in anatomy/physiology, computer skills and interpersonal communication.
Georgia Northwestern Technical College
Students can prepare to become CNAs at Georgia Northwestern Technical College through certificate programs in health care assisting, offered at the Whitfield Murray Campus in Dalton, at the Walker County Campus in Rock Springs, at the Polk County Campus in Rockmart, at the Gordon County Campus in Calhoun and the Floyd County Campus in Rome, or in patient care assisting, taught at the Walker, Gordon and Floyd campuses. The health care assistant program with a CNA specialty totals 39 credit hours and consists of pre-occupational courses that include anatomy/physiology, medical terminology, psychology and a math or algebra course as well as courses in nutrition and basic nurse aide skills. Students must be at least 17 to begin the pre-occupational courses and 18 to take the health technology courses. The patient care assisting program does not require a high school diploma or GED certificate. This 23-credit hour program includes courses in nutrition, diet, medical terminology, computer use and anatomy/physiology. Students also take a course that gives them practice in the basic skills for a CNA, such as recording vital signs and assisting with personal care.
Gwinnett Technical College
The healthcare assistant certificate program at Gwinnett Technical College in Lawrenceville calls for 23 credit hours taken over a minimum of two semesters. Students complete a general core course in professional development and interpersonal relations as well as technical courses including computer use, medical terminology and anatomy/physiology. In a nurse aide fundamentals course, they get hands-on experience in caring for patients and utilizing critical thinking skills.
Savannah Technical College
Located in Savannah, Savannah Technical College offers several certificate programs that can lead to CNA certification. The nurse aide technical certificate program requires 13 credit hours earned during one term of full-time study. Courses include diet, medical terminology and the fundamentals of nurse aide work. In the certificate program for healthcare assistant, students take courses in basic math, English and psychology as well as courses in introduction to healthcare, anatomy/physiology, medical terminology and computer use. Students in both the nurse aide and patient care technician specializations study nutrition and take a clinical course in the fundamentals for a nurse aide; patient care technician students also complete a course in skills including blood drawing and wound care. The patient care technician program requires 36 credit hours, while the nurse aide specialization calls for 30. The nurse aide specialization can lead into the practical nursing diploma program.
Southern Crescent Technical College
At Southern Crescent Technical College offers a patient care assistant certificate program at its main campus in Griffin and at the Flint River Campus in Thomaston. The program consists of 23 credit hours of courses that include anatomy/physiology, interpersonal relations and medical terminology. A course in fundamental skills for a nurse aide includes supervised clinical practices. Students must be at least 16 years old; a high school diploma or GED certificate is not required.
West Georgia Technical College
In Waco, West Georgia Technical College has two certificate programs that can qualify graduates for the CNA exam. The 15-credit geriatric care assistant program focuses on the needs of the elderly, with courses in gerontologic nutrition, understanding the elderly client and how aging affects behavior. The four-course nurse aide program totals 13 credit hours. Both programs include courses in diet and medical terminology and a nursing aide fundamentals course that includes clinical practice.
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College offers a patient care assistant certificate program at its main campus in Valdosta, at the Ben Hill-Irwin Campus in Fitzgerald, at the Cook County Workforce Development Center in Sparks and at the Coffee County Campus in Douglas. Students must be at least 16 and have a high school diploma or GED certificate. The 23-credit program includes courses in interpersonal relations, medical terminology, anatomy/physiology, nutrition and computer use. Students get clinical experience in the fundamentals of nurse aide work such as personal care and safety regulations.
In Georgia, nurse aide programs and the nurse aide registry are regulated by the Georgia Department of Community Health, which contracts with a private company to oversee adherence to standards. Nurse aides who have completed approved training programs can apply for placement on the state's nurse aide registry. They must have completed a state-approved training program of at least 85 clock hours with 24 of those hours in a supervised clinical rotation in a nursing home. After training, the nurse aide must pass a competency examination with written/oral and skills components. The individual is then allowed to work in licensed facilities in Georgia.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||CNA Certificates Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-19)|
|Albany Technical College||Two-year; public; small city||Patient Care Assistant Technical Certificate of Credit||$2,712, in-state; $4,848, out-of-state*|
|Athens Technical College||Two-year; public; midsize city||Nurse Aide Technical Certificate of Credit||$2,798, in-state; $4,934, out-of-state*|
|Atlanta Technical College||Two-year; public; large city||Patient Care Assistant Technical Certificate of Credit||$2,820, in-state; $4,956, out-of-state*|
|Central Georgia Technical College||Two-year; public; small city|| Nurse Aide Technical Certificate of Credit,
Patient Care Assisting Technical Certificate of Credit
|$2,778, in-state; $4,914, out-of-state*|
|Georgia Northwestern Technical College||Two-year; public; small city|| Health Care Assistant Certificate of Credit,
Patient Care Assistant Technical Certificate of Credit
|$2,798, in-state; $4,934, out-of-state*|
|Gwinnett Technical College||Two-year; public; large suburb||Healthcare Assistant Technical Certificate of Credit||$2,972, in-state; $5,108, out-of-state*|
|Savannah Technical College||Two-year; public; midsize city|| Nurse Aide Technical Certificate of Credit,
Health Care Assistant Certificate of Credit, Nurse Aide or Patient Care Technician specialization
|$2,744, in-state; $4,880, out-of-state*|
|Southern Crescent Technical College||Two-year; public; large suburb||Patient Care Assistant Technical Certificate of Credit||$2,842, in-state; $4,982, out-of-state*|
|West Georgia Technical College||Two-year; public; rural fringe|| Geriatric Care Assistant Technical Certificate of Credit,
Nurse Aide Technical Certificate of Credit
|$2,838, in-state; $4,974, out-of-state*|
|Wiregrass Georgia Technical College||Two-year; public; small suburb||Patient Care Assistant Technical Certificate of Credit||$2,794, in-state; $4,930, out-of-state*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.