CNAs, or certified nurse assistants, are health care professionals who perform basic bedside care duties, from changing bed pans to feeding and dressing patients. To become a CNA, you need to take and pass a nurse assistant program.

Function

Nurse assistant programs teach students nursing skills by lectures and hands-on learning. Students learn to take vital signs, communicate with patients, perform CPR and move or transport patients, among other subjects.

Geography

CNA programs are typically found in technical schools, community colleges and nursing homes. Programs offered at technical schools and community colleges may cost between $300 to $600, according to cnatips.com, however nursing homes may train you for free in return for you signing a contract to work for them.

Time Frame

Programs generally last a few weeks to a little more than a month, depending on whether the program is day or night or full or part-time.

Considerations

Some programs offer online lectures and hands-on classes at hospitals so you can learn partially from home. This may save you a lot in commuting gas and allow you to work while attending school.

Potential

You may find yourself paying more if you attend a program in a major city, but as an employed CNA in a large city you'll make more hourly than someone working in a rural area.