Do not let a lack of funds prevent you from becoming a CNA. There are many opportunities to receive free CNA training.
There are frequently nursing homes that will provide no cost training for you to become a certified nursing assistant. They do this so they can obtain skilled nursing assistants, and by providing their own training they can be more assured that the CNAs will be successful when working with patients. If you do receive free training from a nursing home, they will require you to sign a contract that you will work at their care facility for a predetermined amount of time, otherwise, you will need to pay them for the fees associated with training you.
Options by State
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Job Training Centers
Throughout the US, there are various types of job training centers that can provide free CNA training. One of the most well known examples is the Job Corps. The job corps provides career training opportunities along with housing and other benefits to youth from 16-24 who face difficult circumstances. The purpose is to provide good employment opportunities for at risk youth. Other job training centers might serve individuals of any age who are at risk of poverty and other challenges if they are unable to pay for training for a career with good earning potential.
Most colleges have grant opportunities for students including local, state and federal funds. Grants can sometimes be used to receive free CNA training. Some grants are merit based while others are for individuals with a low income or individuals with other barriers to education. The grants you can apply for will depend on the college you are attending, whether any of the available grants cover career training programs (if the CNA course is not worth credit) or the number of credit hours for your CNA course. Visit the financial aid website or office of your intended college to learn more.
Scholarships can cover the cost of CNA training courses if your college or training center allows you to apply scholarships to a CNA program of study. Most colleges have institutional scholarships as well as private opportunities. You can also use scholarship searches to find funds you apply for depending on your individual circumstances. Some are need and merit based. Others have requirements like being a particular minority, being a single parent, having a particular disability. There are scholarships out there for nearly any circumstance. You can apply for multiple scholarships if one would not be enough to cover costs.
Financial Aid Packages
Depending on the college you are going to attend, you might be able to apply for a financial aid package to provide you with free CNA training. Financial aid packages can include various types of funds including: scholarships, grants and even work study on campus. These funds can be provided from both state and federal programs. If applying for regular financial aid, you will need to complete what is called a FAFSA and provide any required documentation to the University’s financial aid office. This documentation will include proof of household income since financial aid depends a lot on your income resources.
Workforce Investment Act
The Workforce Investment Act might very well help you to become a CNA for free. Many colleges partner with the government to be able to provide free career training to eligible individuals. To be eligible, you will likely to be unemployed or to have a very low income. This program is intended to help people gain independence from government programs such as cash assistance and family financial assistance programs. You can contact a local workforce agency to begin the processing of determining if you might qualify and what CNA programs in your area are WIA approved.
Armed Service Benefits
There are a few types of military education benefits that might be available to you if you have served or are serving in a branch of the military or reserves. You will need to contact the benefits number for your miliatry benefits to determine what benefits are available to you and if you can use those benefits for any CNA programs in your local area. If you are a Veteran, most colleges have a Veteran’s Affairs office that can assist you with applying educational benefits to your program of study and obtaining any other related benefits while finishing your training.
Free CNA training might be provided through a charitable or community service organization in your area. For example, some Catholic Charities provide CNA training to individuals who would otherwise have a poor standard of living if they could not train for a new career. Some Goodwill Locations offer CNA and other career training opportunities for people with low incomes or disabilities. There might be local organizations specific to your town or city that provide training or tuition assistance. Priority is usually given to individuals who are out of work or to families with a parent or parents who are making a very low income.
Workforce Fulfillment Grants
There are times when a state or city is experiencing a shortage in qualified workers. This happens with CNAs since the need is high. There are times when local or state government agencies will set up grants to respond to the shortages. They will find participating schools and training centers to provide the training, In some cases an individual can only apply for the free training if they have a poor economic outlook. Other times, anyone with a passion for a healthcare career and a knack of hard work can apply. Of course, spaces are usually limited since the funds cannot cover everyone.