CNA Classes Across the United States

CNA Classes Across the United States

If you live outside of the state of Florida, you still have many options for obtaining your CNA license. In this article we discuss whether you can a become a CNA online in any state other than Florida, and if not, then what are your options. We also discuss what happens to your license when you move to another state.

In person CNA courses

These are the traditional courses that will be available across the US. Many technical colleges or universities will have a variety of these programs, and in general these programs tend to be quite similar in structure wherever you get them. Many times these programs can cost upwards of a few thousand dollars, but thankfully many qualify for a variety of financial aid packages. In addition, these schools also usually have a dedicated career office which can work directly with students to help place them in jobs after graduation. For students in Texas, we have some specific information on CNA classes in Texas here. If you are interested in finding programs like this in your area or state, we encourage you to use our free tool below:

Online CNA courses

The first thing you need to know when researching online CNA courses outside of Florida is that every state other than Florida WILL require a minimum number of clinical or instruction hours before the state will grant you a license. This means that while many courses will have online instruction, the experience won’t be a fully online one since you still need to meet the hours requirement. Becoming a CNA Online is really only an option in Florida, and even then you still have to take the state test in person.

Cost of CNA courses

As you may have already seen during your research, online CNA courses in Florida are generally the only ones that cost less than a thousand dollars; while in most other states classes will cost a few thousand dollars. Not only that, but Florida also has several in person “intensive” courses which also cost a few hundred dollars. Unfortunately, because of the hours requirement which every other state imposes, CNA class providers in other states cannot offer the low cost course options that are available in Florida.

Transferring a CNA license from one state to another

Every state has their own process for licensing CNAs, but in general all states will grant you their state license once they verify you have an active license in another state. Keyword here is “active”, that is, if your license expired then you are better off renewing it in your state before you try to transfer it to another state because in the new state’s eyes, you would be starting from zero. Sometimes states will have some specific requirements, such as completing a local background check, but generally these will be minor procedural requirements and you should not have to go through special training to transfer your license. Consult your local state’s board of nursing for your specific requirements.

In Florida, this process is called becoming a CNA by Endorsement. You can view the details of the process on the Florida Board of Nursing’s official website, but in general the only requirements are to have a valid license in another state or the District of Columbia, and to obtain and pass a background check in Florida once you submit your application.

States that use Prometric as the CNA testing administrator

Most states use either Prometric or Pearson Vue as the testing provider for CNA certification and licensure. Florida uses Prometric, and as such, our online course is geared towards the Prometric skills; though both are quite similar. In general, you will find that Prometric states are very similar from state to state, but each state's Nursing Board will determine the criteria to be tested, so no two states may be exactly the same. The list of states that use Prometric as a testing provider can be found here.

I worked as a caregiver in another country, can my experience count towards a CNA license in my state?

Unfortunately, even if you have extensive caregiving experience in another country, it will typically not be recognized by the state boards granting you your license. Due to this, you will have to fulfill clinical hour requirements the same as any other new student. The reasoning behind this is that it is difficult for state boards to qualify caregiving experience in another country, particularly since the type of duties CNAs perform in the US generally do not require a license in other countries. 

Do not despair; though, while the board of nursing may not recognize this experience for licensing purposes, you can rest assured that many employers will take your ample experience into consideration. You can use this to negotiate a higher starting position or have more opportunities as you head out into the job market.

I am moving to Florida from another state, can I get my Florida license prior to moving?

If you are in the process of moving, we suggest you checkout our guide on Moving to Florida to Beome a CNA, but in general, you have two options:

  • You can obtain a CNA license in the state you are currently residing in, and then apply to become a CNA by Endorsement (see above) once you move to Florida.
  • You can take our online course to prepare for your Florida CNA state license exam, but you won’t be able to take the test until you move to Florida.

Sometimes applicants ask if they can take the course in their state, fly to Florida to take the state test, and then fly back. This presents a number of complications, and generally we do not recommend this, unless you have a home base in Florida and will be staying in Florida for a while during your trip. You need to have a Florida address when you get your background check done which will be a requirement of applying for the state exam. This makes it difficult to schedule the test from outside of Florida and then time your flight or travel accordingly. Additionally, when Prometric contacts you regarding a date for your CNA exam, there is usually only about a week head’s up on the date.