CNA Online Courses: Overview of CNA Course Curriculum

Certified nursing assistant (CNA) courses are available online through vocational colleges, community colleges and non-profit health care trade associations. Online CNA courses usually mix Web-based classroom instruction with on-site clinical work experiences in order to best prepare students for the state-administered certification exam.

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Courses for CNA's Available Online

Below are some of the courses commonly encountered in an online CNA course or degree program:

  • Medical Terminology: An online course in medical terminology allows students to learn the language of the healthcare field, which is often technical or specialized. Students will also study parts of the body in order to learn relevant vocabulary regarding the body.
  • Healthcare Systems: This online course familiarizes students with medical office procedures. such as filing systems, documentation and forms of record keeping. Healthcare delivery systems and healthcare employment will also be discussed.
  • Ethics: Ethics can be a broad field, and an ethics course found in an online CNA program will be catered toward ethical issues in the healthcare field. Subjects will include patient confidentiality, regulations in the field, and legal and ethical guidelines for healthcare providers.

Program Information

Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) care for bedridden patients under the supervision and direction of registered nurses and others on the nursing staff. CNAs normally work in a home health, hospice care, assisted living or long-term care facility, providing debilitated patients with help performing basic personal care functions like bathing, grooming and eating.

Prospective CNA students interested in online training programs can find detailed information on the websites of not-for-profit health care trade associations, vocational education centers and community colleges. Online CNA courses use Internet-based communication devices, such as interactive discussion boards, video conferencing and e-mail, to provide virtual classroom instruction. These courses use a hybrid online and in-person format to provide clinical training. The clinical portion of CNA training tends to include a few long shifts per week (such as an 8-hour shift) in which students work alongside a licensed nurse at a local health care agency.

After completing the required coursework and clinical experience, CNA candidates are eligible for final certification, which requires them to pass a state-administered nursing assistant competency evaluation. These exams are likely to include both a multiple-choice written test and a manual skills test in a clinical setting.

While many CNA courses may require clinical work in a student's area, some may be completed entirely online. These courses will focus on the fundamental workings of the medical office as well as the philosophy of healthcare professionals.

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