While the amount of training needed varies from state to state, most Certified Nurse Assistant programs can be completed within a few months of enrollment. Certification can help you get a job and increase your earning potential. CNA training programs can be expensive; for many prospective students, the initial enrollment cost is prohibitive. However, you can find government grant money to help you pay for CNA training, depending on your personal situation and financial needs.
Visit the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Vocational and Adult Education website to look for grants and federal funding programs exclusively for vocation and continued adult education. The website also offers information about student loans and how to get educational assistance in rural and underfunded areas.
Explore the Grants.gov website to help you find federal education grants for health care education. You can also apply for grants online on the Grants.gov website, which is paired with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Check the Job Corps website for CNA training opportunities and grant programs in your area. Job Corps is a federally funded program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor designed to help people build careers in many areas, including health care.
Talk to potential employers in your area, including hospitals and private care facilities. Many employers know of government grants that can help you pay for CNA training. However, some employers might want you to work for them for a period of time after you get your CNA certification if they help you find and secure an educational grant. If this option seems right for you, do your homework and approach a facility where you wouldn’t mind working as a CNA. In some cases, potential employers might help you pay for CNA training if you can’t get a grant or the grant doesn’t cover all of your education expenses.
Make an appointment with the financial aid department of a school that you are considering attending. Financial aid advisers might know of special or temporary federally funded programs that have been set up exclusively for health care training.
If you’re still in high school or attending college to get your AA or BA, talk with your academic adviser and financial aid adviser about ways you can pay for CNA training. They may be aware of local or state programs that could help you.
Christopher Godwin is a freelance writer from Los Angeles. He spent his formative years as a chef and bartender crafting signature dishes and cocktails as the head of an upscale catering firm. He has since ventured into sharing original creations and expertise with the public. Godwin has published poetry, fiction and nonfiction in publications like "Spork Magazine," "Cold Mountain Review" and "From Abalone To Zest."