(found 14 schools, updated in May 2017)
The Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) is an important member of a healthcare team in Alabama. Under supervision of a registered nurse (RN), the CNA works directly with patients and various facility residents, providing care that enhances client safety, hygiene, health, recovery and comfort. CNA jobs are found in assisted living and long-term care facilities, hospitals, clinics, hospices and physician offices in Alabama. It is an excellent career choice for people who want to begin working as soon as possible.
- 6 Steps to Becoming a CNA in Alabama
- How to Keep CNA Certification Active in Alabama
- Salary and Job Outlook for CNAs in Alabama
- A List of Nearby or Bordering States
6 Steps to Becoming a CNA in Alabama in 2017
There are many schools and agencies offering state approved CNA classes in Alabama. A state approved Nurse Aide Training and Competency Evaluation Program meets federal law and the State of Alabama Nurse Aide Registry requirements. Facilities offering programs leading to CNA certification in Alabama include community colleges, technical colleges, nursing homes, private schools and nonprofit agencies.
Nursing Assistants are also called Nursing Aides, Nursing Care Attendants and Nursing Attendants. Following are the steps to become a CAN in Alabama.
Step 1: Research and Select a Program
Some Alabama colleges offer two tracks for CNA training. For example, Lawson State Community College in Bessemer offers one track to become a Certified Nursing Assistant, and a second track to become a Certified Nursing Assistant/Home Health Care Aide. CNAs who are also certified as a Home Health Care Aide (HHCA) can work wherever CNAs work and also offer services to clients in their homes. Many CNA/HHCAs work for home health agencies.
Local CNA Classes in Alabama
Faulkner State Community College – Center for Professional Development
Address: 1900 Highway 31 South, Bay Minette, Alabama 36507
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Phone: (251) 990-0445
Lawson State Community College
Address: 1100 Ninth Avenue SW, Bessemer, AL 35022
Contact Name: Dorothy Young
Contact Phone: (205) 929-3461
Program Length: 5 weeks (4 credit hours)
Program Period: twice per semester
Weekly Schedule: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday: 4PM-10PM
Estimated Tuition Fees and Costs: $607 (tuition and fees), $50 (books) and other costs
Jefferson State Community College
Address 1: (Jefferson Campus) George Wallace Hall, Room 202
2601 Carson Road, Birmingham, AL 35215
Address 2: (Shelby-Hoover Campus) Health Sciences Building, Room 321, 4600 Valleydale Road, Birmingham, AL 35242
Contact Email: email@example.com
Contact Phone: (205) 856-7710
Program Length: 110 hours including 20 hours of clinical experience at a long-term care facility
Estimated Tuition Fees and Costs: $899 (tuition), $150 (textbooks), $100 (CNA state examination), $25 (first aide CPR card and Malpractice insurance)
Snead State Community College
Address: 102 Elder Street, Boaz, AL 35957
Contact Name: Dr. Amy Langley
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Phone: (256) 840-4185
Calhoun Community College
Address: PO Box 2216, Decatur, AL 35609
Contact Name: Kenneth Kirkland
Contact Email: Kenneth.Kirkland@calhoun.edu
Contact Phone: (256) 306-2789
Program Period: a class each semester
Minimum Age Requirements: 17 years old
Estimated Costs: $135.90 (scrub top, bottom, patch), $52.75 (new textbooks), $71.50 (background check, drug screen), $60.25 (diagnostic kit including stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, pen light, CPR face shield and eye protection), $71.50 (background check and drug screen), etc.
Wallace Community College’s Center for Economic and Workforce Development
Address: 5565 Montgomery Highway, Dothan, AL 36303-1552
Contact Phone: (334) 556-2203
Program Length: 25 days
Classroom and Lab Instruction: Monday-Friday 5pm-9pm
Clinical Training: in last week of the program
Estimated Tuition Fees and Costs: $725
Gadsden State Community College
Address: 1001 George Wallace Drive, Gadsden, AL 35903
Contact Phone: (256) 549-8200
Program Length: 2 semesters (14 credit hours of nurse aide course in the 1st semester, 14 credit hours of crossover training in the 2nd semester)
Main Courses: Fundamentals of Long Term Care, Medical Terminology, CPR, First Aid, Infection Prevention/Safety, Phlebotomy, Personal & Professional Development, Clinical
H. Councill Trenholm State Community College
Address: 1225 Air Base Boulevard, Montgomery, AL 36108
Contact Name: Shelia Massey
Contact Phone: (334) 420-4424
Program Length: 2 terms (23 credit hours and 656 contact hours)
Minimum Age Requirements: 17 years old
Main Courses: Fundamentals of Long Term Care and Home Health Care, CPR and First Aid, Introductory Mathematics, Vocational Tech Education, Clinical
Estimated Tuition Fees and Costs: $3,289 (tuition fees), $350 (books), $250 (supplies)
Northwest-Shoals Community College
Address: 800 George Wallace Boulevard, Muscle Shoals, AL 35661
Contact Name: Cindy Tidwell
Contact Email: email@example.com
Contact Phone: (256) 331-5305
Program Length: 80 hours (classroom and lab instruction, and clinical rotation)
Estimated Tuition Fees and Costs: $544 (tuition), $81.75 (books), $53 (background check), $100 (CNA certification exam), $25 – $27.50 (liability insurance, student insurance), and other costs
J.F. Drake State Community and Technical College
Address: 3421 Meridian Street, North Huntsville, AL 35811
Contact Name: Jan Hyman
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Phone: (256) 551-3156
Application Deadline: 2 weeks before a class starts
Program Length: 10 days (80 hours)
Weekly Schedule: Monday to Friday 8AM-5PM
Clinical Training: on the 2nd week of the program
Financial Aid: No
Estimated Tuition Fees and Costs: $690 (tuition and fees), $74 (textbooks), $100 (state CNA exam), additional costs like Hepatitis B shot and TB skin test
Chattahoochee Valley Community College
Address: 2602 College Drive, Phenix City, AL 36869
Contact Phone: (334) 291-4900
Program Length: 1 semester with 75 hours Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA)
Credit Hours: 4
Southern Union State Community College
Address: 1701 Lafayette Parkway, Opelika, AL 36801
Contact Phone: (334) 745-6437
Program Length: 10 to 15 weeks in each semester
Credit Hours: 4
Accepted Students: 24 students
Estimated Tuition Fees and Costs: $544 (tuition), $126 (textbooks), $57 (drug screen and criminal background check), $20 (tuberculin skin test), $225 (Hepatitis B Injections), $90 (varicella vaccine), $20 (flu shot), $45 (cardiopulmonary resuscitation training), $100 (state CNA certification exam), $160 (uniforms, shoes, watch and stethoscope), other costs
Northeast Alabama Community College
Address: 138 AL-35, Rainsville, AL 35986
Contact Name: Julie George
Contact Email: email@example.com
Shelton State Community College
Address: 9500 Old Greensboro Road, Tuscaloosa, AL 35405
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Phone: (205) 391-2204
Credit Hours: 25
Program Period: each semester
Estimated Tuition Fees and Costs: $557.50 (tuition and fees), $100 (books), $150 (uniforms/supplies), $100 (exam fee), $30 (pre-clinical screening fee), $13 (liability insurance), $18 (background check)
Step 2: Evaluate Training Costs
CNA training program costs can vary, depending on where the student chooses to complete training. For example, Easter Seals Central Alabama offers a 5-week CNA program that costs $1,400 and includes training, uniforms, shoes, textbook, supplies, CNA examination, drug screening, health exam and background check. In another example, Lawson State Community College charges $1,500 for tuition, fees and supplies for the CNA/Home Health Care Aide program, and $657 for tuition, fees and books for the CNA (only) program. Be sure to take all training costs into consideration.
Financial Aid and Reimbursement
Financial aid is often available, either through the school or a local career center offering workforce training funds. Also, it should be noted that CNAs who are employed by a Medicare or Medicaid funded skilled nursing facility within 12 months of passing the competency evaluation examination can be reimbursed for training and examination costs by the employer.
Step 3: Meet Prerequisites
Each CNA program has prerequisites. The specific prerequisites depend on the school or agency offering the classes. However, they generally will require:
- Meeting college or technical school general admission requirements
- Showing proof of a high school diploma or GED certificate
- Being at least 16-18 years old (varies by school)
- Submitting to a health physical
- Showing proof of health insurance
- Providing proof of immunizations for tuberculosis, hepatitis-B and possibly others like measles and influenza as required by the school or program
- Showing proof of Healthcare Provider level CPR
- Passing a criminal background check
- Passing a drug test
Step 4: Complete CNA Training
The most important thing to keep in mind is that students should only take and pass an approved Certified Nurse Aide Training program in Alabama because it is assured of meeting federal and state CNA training requirements.
Minimum Training Hours
Nursing assistant students must successfully complete a minimum of 75 training hours with a minimum of 16 hours of supervised clinical training and a minimum of 16 hours of lab training included. State approved training is provided by an instructor with a current Alabama nursing license. Upon successfully completing the training, the program gives the graduate a Certificate of Completion.
What to Learn During Training?
The focus of CNA training is on ensuring CNAs contribute to the health and well-being of clients under their care. The training includes the following topics:
- Infection control
- Respecting resident rights
- Emergency procedures
- Taking and recording vital signs
- Caring for the resident’s living area
- Resident personal care skills
- Responding to resident special needs
- Caring for cognitively impaired residents
- Assisting with basic restorative rights like range of motion maintenance
Step 5: Take and Pass the Certified Nurse Aide Examination in Alabama
The State of Alabama CNA exam is provided by the following testing organizations:
- Pearson VUE – National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) Examination
- Prometric – Nurse Aide Competency Examination
There are multiple approved testing sites located around the state. Examinations are given at nursing homes, training centers, regional test sites, technical and vocational schools, and community colleges. The approved testing sites depend on the testing organization delivering the exam. Testing sites and schedules are posted online.
What to Test
No matter which test provider is used, the testing process includes a Written or Oral Test and a Clinical Skills test. The Written or Knowledge Test consists of multiple-choice questions, usually delivered via computer. The Clinical Skills test is a timed test that test five skills like hand washing, and measuring and recording client weight.
Test-takers must pass the exam within 24 months of completing training and within three attempts. If failing to pass the examination within three attempts, or if the person does not pass the exam within 24 months, Alabama requires the person to be retrained before re-taking the examination.
Step 6: Get Certified in Alabama
Once the CNA candidate successfully completes the Nurse Aide Competency Examination, the testing organization notifies the Alabama Nurse Aide Registry. At that point, state certification requirements have been met.
How to Keep CNA Certification Active in Alabama?
To keep CNA certification active, the CNA must be currently working in or have worked at least 8 hours within the past 24 months in a nursing home, home health agency, hospital, community mental health center and/or hospice. For purposes of maintaining CNA certification, work in assisted living facilities, private sitting arrangements and physician offices does not count. Active status in the Alabama Nurse Aide Registry is good for 24 months beyond the last date worked in a healthcare facility. If the CNA does not work the minimum number of hours within the 24 months at an appropriate facility, it is necessary to retrain and pass the exam again to renew CNA certification.
Is Renewal Process Required?
There is no certification renewal process required on the part of the CNA, unless the CNA has not worked during the 24 months. The employer is responsible for reporting employment status to the Alabama Nurse Aide Registry. However, skilled nursing facilities are required to provide CNAs 12 hours of mandatory continuing education per year. The year period is determined by the date of hire.
CNAs from Other States
Out of state CNAs can work in Alabama, as long as the person is active and in good standing in the other state’s registry. Good standing in Alabama and other states means there are no validated allegations of abuse, and all requirements for maintaining active status are met. To get on the Alabama registry when on another state’s registry, first find employment at a nursing home, home health agency, hospital, community mental health center and/or hospice.
The employer will verify the certification status and notify the Nurse Aide Registry to get the CNA’s name entered in the registry. This process does not apply to home health aides. If the person is not active in the out-of-state registry, he or she can complete an Alabama state-approved CNA program, pass the competency and evaluation examination and find employment. The employer then notifies the registry.
Salary and Job Outlook for CNAs in Alabama
Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual Alabama CNA salary as of May 2016 was $22,690 or $10.91 per hour. The long-term employment projection for the period 2014-2024 for Alabama indicates a 15.9 percent growth rate. Certified Nursing Assistants who chose one of the CNA educational tracks that also include training to become a Health Home Aide will find an even greater demand for their services. The projected growth rate for Home Health Aides for the same period for Alabama is 31.8 percent. | See Job Openings
CNA Salaries in Alabama
|AL CNA Salary||Empl.||Hourly mean wage||Annual mean wage||Wage percent relative std. error||Hourly 10th % wage||Hourly median wage||Hourly 90th % wage||Annual 10th % wage||Annual median wage||Annual 90th % wage|
|Florence-Muscle Shoals, AL||590||10.67||22190||4.4||8.02||10.35||14.46||16670||21520||30080|
|Northeast Alabama nonmetropolitan area||2300||10.07||20940||1.5||7.97||9.93||12.57||16580||20650||26140|
|Northwest Alabama nonmetropolitan area||1080||10.58||22010||3.1||8.14||10.53||13.77||16920||21900||28640|
|Southeast Alabama nonmetropolitan area||1430||11.92||24780||6.5||7.98||10.72||18.45||16610||22300||38380|
|Southwest Alabama nonmetropolitan area||1120||10.15||21110||1.9||8.01||10.08||12.49||16650||20960||25980|
A List of Nearby or Bordering States
You can find state-approved CNA programs in the following states bordering Alabama:
Certified Nursing Assistants enjoy a satisfying healthcare career helping some of the nation’s most vulnerable people, like the elderly, enjoy a higher quality of life. Many Nursing Aides discover they wish to complete additional nursing training to become a Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse. Becoming a CNA does not require lengthy or expensive training, offers excellent employment opportunities and leads to a career focused on helping others.