South Carolina is home to Myrtle Beach, one of the top tourist destinations on the east coast. Between the tourist and the native population, this means there is a constant need for skilled medical professionals. Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) make up an essential part of this and working as a CNA is a great way to take the first step in your South Carolina healthcare journey.
The state of South Carolina requires prospective CNAs to undergo a state-approved nurse aide training program unless they qualify for the exemption. For example, nursing students may take the exam directly. Completion of the training will allow the candidate to sit the exam and begin their career as a CNA.
South Carolina CNA Certification Requirements
Eligibility to take CNA classes and work in South Carolina varies depending on the location and the institution. There is no state requirement for a GED or high school diploma, though they are often advantageous in applying to training and later job searches. Some requirements that exist across all state-approved courses include:
- Having proof of US citizenship or legal residency
- Having an eighth-grade reading/writing level in English
- Providing proof of clear health from a physician.
- Consenting to a fingerprint-type criminal background check
- Passing a physical exam
- Being 18 years or over
- Providing proof of immunization and a negative TB test
South Carolina CNA Training & Testing Costs
To sit the examination and become a qualified CNA in South Carolina, you must first complete the training program under the supervision of Registered Nurses, unless you are exempt. The training is a minimum 100 hours, 80 of which must be classroom time and 20 clinical externship hours. This can be completed in as little as four to six weeks. Completion of this course qualifies you for the examination. South Carolina does not accept online CNA credentials.
The cost of the examination is $101. The costs of the prerequisite training can vary greatly depending on the institution and where you are located, usually starting at $300 and going as high as $9000 for tuition, not including the costs of textbooks, uniforms, and other incremental costs. Contacting healthcare providers may allow you to arrange free training in exchange for the promise to work at the institution after you pass the exam. An incomplete list of places that may offer free training can be found here.
CNA Classes & Nurse Aide Training Courses in South Carolina
If you are tempted by the sound of becoming a CNA in South Carolina, the following links will help you get started. These are some institutes that offer either free or paid training programs. Please contact the institutions themselves for further information on the program, curriculum, or costs.
CNA Training in Charleston, SC
P.A.T.C.H Career Institute This course runs for six weeks and the institute offers both morning and evening classes as an option. The cost of tuition is $790. Registering for Nurse Aide training at present qualifies you for free med tech classes (usually $150), as well, though this may change. The CNA course also includes CPR. For more information, contact the institute on (843) 744-1249.
SC Works Trident The center is focused on rehabilitating people’s careers and helping the unemployed and disabled gain the skills they need for employment. SC Works offers a variety of educational programs at various prices in English and Spanish. Their North Charleston location can be contacted for further information at 843-574-1800 / 888-226-1606.
Trident Technical College (Continuing Education) This is a part-time course offered three days a week in either mornings or evenings. It lasts around six weeks and teaches all the skills required to undergo the certification exam after graduation. The tuition price for this course is $949.
CNA Training in Columbia, SC
Goodwill Industries This course runs in the day or evening and provides 60 hours of lab and classroom time, 40 hours of clinical training, and 25 hours of work readiness training. Textbooks, scrubs, CPR certification, and the cost of the state exam are included as well as the price of many background checks. They can be contacted for more information at 864.351.0100.
Carolina Nursing Assistant Program Academy The academy is focused exclusively on CNA training so can be counted on for dedicated programs. Costs start from $995 for tuition, including a loan textbook but not including CPR training ($40). Information on scholarships and grants, both external and internal, are detailed on the website.
Caroline Medical Training Institute This accelerated program offers day, evening, and Saturday classes, which means it can fit around a busy schedule. The institute prides itself on equal opportunities for all. More information can be found on the website or by calling at (803) 647-5599.
CNA Training in Mount Pleasant, SC
Sandpiper Premium Senior LivingThis well-rated nursing home offers on-site training for CNAs and allows new nursing assistants to gain experience in real-time with real patients. More information can be found by contacting the institution at (843) 284-7344.
Additional South Carolina CNA resources
After the above links help you get started, make sure to keep a note of the following links to help you with your further education and career.
South Carolina Nurse Aide Registry
To contact the South Carolina Nurse Aide Registry, use the information below:
|General Queries or License Renewal:||License Suspension or Revocation Questions:|
PO Box 13785
Philadelphia PA 19101-3785 Phone: (800) 475-8290
|South Carolina Nurse Aide Abuse Registry South Carolina Department of Health and Environment Control 2600 Bull Street, Columbia, SC 29201 Phone: (803) 545-4205|
Out of State CNAs
Active out-of-state CNAs can register to work in South Carolina by applying for reciprocity. The form and instructions can be found here.
CNA Renewal in South Carolina
Once registered, your license is valid for two years and may be renewed so long as you have worked eight full hours during this time. You and your employer should fill out and send the renewal form. If you have not worked during this time, you will have to re-take the examinations. You will either be mailed the form or be able to submit/download online, and there is a $28 renewal fee.
How much does a CNA make in South Carolina? Salary varies depending on where in the state and which institution you work with, with urban populations generally giving higher wages but having a higher cost of living in return. In South Carolina, the average wage for a starting CNA is $12.21/hr, or $25,390 per annum. Scientific research industries pay the most, while private and family care is generally the lowest paid. Experience and education add to your overall salary, and generally, it sees a rise every few years.