North Carolina is the 9th most populous of the 50 United States, and the largest banking center in the nation after New York City. That means that healthcare providers are constantly in high demand, and Certified Nursing Assistants, or CNAs, are an essential part of a successful healthcare system. As a state that has one of the highest CNA employment rates per metropolitan area and a total of 15 metropolitan centers, the time is right to be a part of the community that helps the population remain healthy.
Before CNAs can be employed in North Carolina state-licensed facilities, they need to obtain certification. Luckily, this is a process that is relatively quick and painless, getting you ready to work as quickly as possible.
North Carolina CNA Certification Requirements
There is no minimum education requirement but a high school diploma or a GED is recommended. Trainees with specific criminal convictions (found here) will not be allowed to practice as a CNA. Other state requirements include:
- Being 17 years or older
- High school diploma or GED (recommended)
- Passing a drug test
- Negative TB test
- FBI criminal background check
- Doctor’s clearance that you have no communicable diseases and are physically fit to handle the rigors of the job
- Immunization records, including varicella, Hepatitis B, TDaP, and two-step PPD
North Carolina CNA Training & Testing Costs
North Carolina is one of the few states that still do not demand nurse aides to undergo a training program before their competency evaluation. Training is recommended, however, as it will provide the chance to grow the knowledge and skills the exam will require from you.
State-approved programs offer a minimum of 75 hours of instruction, which will include 16 hours of hands-on training. If you fail the competency exam three times, you must enroll in a training program before you can sit the test again.
In North Carolina, the cost of CNA training is significantly lower than in other states at an average cost of $400. There might not be an abundant option for upfront financial aid, however, if you are employed within a year of certification, you may apply for reimbursement of your expenses. Sites that offer free training can be found here.
Free CNA Classes & Nurse Aide Training Courses in North Carolina
If becoming a CNA in North Carolina is starting to sound like a good opportunity, we encourage you to check out the following training centers to see if they’re a good fit for your current situation and schedule. Some of these locations may offer free CNA classes, while others may be tuition-based. Please contact them directly if you have questions on their curriculum or costs.
CNA Training in Charlotte, NC
Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC). This program offers new classes every semester. The students will train with experienced instructors and are allowed to register for the CNA exam upon successful completion of the course. After obtaining a listing on the state’s Nurse Aide I registry, graduates can apply for Nurse Aide II training available at CPCC.
American Academy of Healthcare. This program costs around $575 and offers both day and evening classes. Upon completion, the individual receives a Certificate of Completion. The classes are small in number to ensure trainees get the attention they need to grow and develop.
College of Health Sciences. They have classrooms and laboratories for the students’ use, as well as clinical facilities which include Carolina’s Medical Center, Carolina’s Rehabilitation and Sardis Nursing Home among others. Nurse Aide 1 and Nurse Aide 2 training programs are provided. Registration will be confirmed only if there is available space. Tuition is $595 and includes Basic Life Support, study packet, and clearance of clinical training. Students are responsible for state testing fee, scrubs and other supplies.
CNA Training in Raleigh, NC
Wake Tech Community College. This program teaches applicants basic nursing skills over a four-week state-approved course which follows all the guidelines set by the North Carolina Division of Health. Included in the list of subjects are communication, patient’s rights, personal care, mental health, nutrition, safety, vital signs, first aid, rehabilitation, and emergency. All graduates are eligible to take the two-part state competency exam which can be taken at the institution in either English or Spanish.
Care One Health Training Institute. The CNA 1 tuition fee at this institution is around $650 including registration and textbooks fees and around $925 for CNA 2. The CNA1 program provides trainees with expert training at taking patient’s vital signs, responding to emergencies using approved procedures, providing personal and rehabilitative care, meeting patient’s social needs and mental health, etc. The CNA2 program teaches skills that build on the knowledge obtained in CNA1 training.
CNA Training in Durham, NC
Durham Technical Community College. This comprehensive course is around 170 hours and goes beyond what is the state-required minimums. It lasts for 16 weeks but they also offer a 9-week option. Both include classroom and hands-on training. Tuition is approximately $540 which includes registration fees, textbooks, criminal background checks, TB skin tests, NA exam fees, insurance fees, equipment, and uniform. The program qualifies for financial assistance. The grant deadline is 10 days prior to the class start date.
Harris Training Institute Inc This is a 9-week long program but there is also a fast-track option completed in 4 weeks. Training consists of theoretical knowledge and hands-on learning. Tuition is around $550 and does not include the cost of textbooks, uniform, criminal background check, immunization, or state exam fee.
Additional North Carolina CNA Resources
The above information can likely get you started on your path to becoming a CNA in the state of North Carolina, however, the links below may also be helpful in your educational path or in the future after you’ve gained your CNA certification in North Carolina.
North Carolina Nurse Aide Registry
To contact the North Carolina Nurse Aide Registry, use the information below:
NC Department of Health & Human Services
Division of Health Service Regulation
2709 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699Phone: (919) 855-3969
License Verification: (919) 715-0562
Fax: (919) 733-9764
North Carolina does not practice exchange or transfer of CNA licenses between states. The procedure of transferring your license is a little more complicated than other states. To gain placement on the nurse aide registry to be permitted for work, you will need to pass the state-approved nurse aide training and competency exam and pass the state evaluation administered by Pearson Vue.
CNA Renewals in North Carolina
Once you pass the competency exam your license is valid for 24 months, which can be renewed for another 24 months if you report your qualifying employment to the registry. This needs to be paid-for work, under the supervision of a registered nurse, and a minimum of eight hours within the two-year period.
A renewal application will be mailed to you by the registry three months prior to expiration. If your license expires, you will need to retest and/or retrain in order to renew.
How much does a CNA make in North Carolina? Like in any job, your salary will vary depending on where you work as well as the institution or organization that will employ you. Metro areas offer higher salaries than rural as there is more demand for workers, but there is generally a higher cost of living. On average the hourly mean wage in North Carolina is $12.29, or a yearly salary of $25,570.