Taking the step toward earning a your General Educational Development, or GED, certificate takes commitment, but through study, students may find that they enjoy learning and may explore career opportunities that require additional education. One profession with a positive employment outlook, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is certified nursing assistant, also known as CNA. Pursuing a GED certificate and CNA classes at the same time may prove challenging, but by knowing the requirements and making a few adjustments, students can achieve their goals.

CNA Requirements

Each state has slightly different requirements for CNAs and GED recipients, but general requirements have many similarities. Receiving a CNA license requires 40 to 80 hours of classroom time covering topics such as human anatomy, vital signs and medical terminology. Students then spend at least two weeks in a clinical rotation that provides hands-on experience with patients. Once the course is completed, students take a state certification test that includes written questions and a practical exam.

GED Requirements

Students do not need to take GED preparation classes before taking the tests. However, tests cover language arts, science, social studies and math, so taking classes to refresh these subjects may help improve scores. There is a separate test for each subject, except language arts, which is a two-part test. The first test has a reading comprehension portion, which measures the ability to understand information in a written passage. In the second part, students write an essay. Most states will not allow a student to take all of the test subjects at the same time.

Class Times

CNA programs will have set class times, but students may have the option of taking a part-time course. This can free up time in the day and allow students to fit both GED classes and the CNA classes into their schedules. Students should research local CNA programs, often offered through community colleges, as well as the available times for GED preparation classes to make the best choices for their schedules.

Students can also consider alternative GED studies. Some public television stations televise GED preparation courses as part of their lineup, according to Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nev. These televised classes may be aired in the early morning hours prior to CNA classes. The televised courses can also be recorded and watched at a student's convenience.

Study Time

When pursuing a GED certificate and CNA at the same time, studying may be difficult. To help with this, make a schedule that breaks down when to focus on each course. The schedule can be adjusted when section tests or projects arise.

Since most states have students take each subject test separately, taking a GED preparation course that covers one subject at a time makes sense. This may help a student focus on particular areas, reducing the amount of study time needed for each course.