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Virginia CNA Certification Program Overview

There are a handful schools in Virginia that offer state-approved (CNA) programs. Read an overview of the ten largest schools offering these programs, requirements, and tuition info, and find out which school is the right one for you.

Essential Information

Individuals seeking training to become a CNA in Virginia have several options, which result in a certificate. To enroll in a CNA program, applicants must be high school graduates and 18 years old. In order to participate in clinical fieldwork, all students must complete a criminal background check and drug screen and have current immunizations. Students may also need to show proof that they can lift 50 lbs. These programs can be completed in about one semester. The ten schools profiled below offer programs that prepare graduates for nurse aide certification in Virginia.

Danville Community College

Situated in Danville, this community college offers two nurse aide training options. The Nurse Aide Career Studies program requires 9 credits and includes both lectures and lab work. Areas of study include nutrition, personal care, observation and charting, and communication.

The Advanced Nurse Aide Certificate program requires 24 credits and trains students to become nurse aides while also preparing them for a practical nursing program. Classes in this program cover anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, allied health math, and other subjects.

Germanna Community College

Based in Locust Grove, Germanna Community College also has campuses in Culpepper, Fredericksburg, and Stafford. Students in the college's Nurse Aide Education program earn 18 credits after completing 120 hours of instruction. Classes cover topics like health care technician skills and therapeutic communication.

J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College

Situated in Richmond, this college offers a Health Care Technician Career Studies Certificate program designed for aspiring nurse aides. Students earn a minimum of 18 credits to graduate. Topics covered include drug dosage calculations, phlebotomy, and medical terminology.

Lord Fairfax Community College

Lord Fairfax Community College enrolls over 7,000 students and is located in Middletown. The college offers a nursing assistant course that includes lecture and lab work and takes one semester to complete. Students earn four credits and a Certificate of Completion.

Mountain Empire Community College

Mountain Empire Community College is located in Big Stone Gap. The college, which enrolled approximately 3,000 students as of 2012, offers a career studies program in nurse assisting. Courses in this 28-credit-hour program focus on subjects such as first aid and CPR, health care technician skills, information systems, and drug use and abuse.

New River Community College

Located in Dublin, New River Community College enrolled about 5,000 students in Fall 2012. The school's 18-credit Nurse Aide Career Studies Certificate program covers topics like medical terminology, developmental psychology, and gerontology. Students also take courses in college composition and college success skills. Students must pass a criminal background check to enroll in the program.

Northern Virginia Community College

A CNA program is offered at Northern Virginia Community College's Medical Campus in Springfield. This program teaches students how to help patients regain as much independent functioning as possible and provide direct patient care. Students end the program by participating in 40 hours of clinical experience.

Southside Virginia Community College

Based in Alberta, Southside Virginia Community College offers a 16-credit Career Studies Certificate in Nurse Aide program. Students in the program learn nursing theory, first aid, and nursing skills. Courses in the program are available in both the daytime and evenings.

Thomas Nelson Community College

Thomas Nelson Community College, which is located in Hampton, enrolled approximately 11,000 students in 2012. The college offers a CNA program that takes roughly two months to complete. Students in the program learn about anatomy, physiology, vital signs, and patient care techniques.

Tidewater Community College

Located in Norfolk, Tidewater Community College offers a 120-hour nurse aide program. Students in the program learn how to bathe, feed, and turn patients. They also learn about record keeping and caring for wheelchair-bound individuals.

Career Requirements

The Virginia Department of Health Professions is responsible for overseeing the certification of CNAs (certified nurse aides) in the state. In Virginia, nurse aides must be listed on a registry. Eligibility for the registry requires completion of a state-approved training program and a competency exam.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Nurse Aide Training Programs Offered Tuition and Fees
Danville Community College 2-year, public; distant town Nurse Aide Career Studies Program,
Advanced Nurse Aide Certificate
$145 tuition per credit hour in-state, $339.60 per credit hour out-of-state (2016)*
Germanna Community College 2-year, public; fringe rural Nurse Aide Education Program $850 (2016)*
J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College 2-year, public; large suburb Career Studies Certificate - Health Care Technician $158.85 per credit hour in-state, $355.45 per credit hour out-of-state (tuition only, Fall 2016)*
Lord Fairfax Community College 2-year, public; fringe rural Certificate of Completion in Nursing Assistant $605.60 for the program in-state, $1,384 for the program out-of-state (2016)*
Mountain Empire Community College 2-year, public; distant town Nursing Assistant Career Studies Program $145.50 per credit in-state, $340.10 per credit out-of-state (Fall 2013)*
New River Community College 2-year, public; fringe town Career Studies Certificate - Nurse Aide $148.80 per credit hour in-state, $345.40 per credit hour out-of-state (Fall 2016)*
Northern Virginia Community College 2-year, public; large suburb Certified Nurse Aide Program $177.25 per credit hour in-state, $376.50 per credit hour out-of-state (Fall 2016)*
Southside Virginia Community College 2-year, public; distant rural Career Studies Certificate in Nurse Aide $2,216 program cost (2016)*
Thomas Nelson Community College 2-year, public; midsize city Certified Nurse Aide program $151.45 per credit hour in-state; $348.05 per credit hour out-of-state (2016-2017)*
Tidewater Community College 2-year, public; midsize city Nurse Aide Program $176.60 per credit hour in-state, $373.20 per credit hour out-of-state (2016-2017)*

Sources: *Schools' websites


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