Tennessee has an increasingly booming population which is expected to rise above seven million in 2020. 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 Tennessee healthcare journey.
The state of Tennessee requires prospective CNAs to undergo a state-approved nurse aide training program unless they qualify for an exemption (nursing students and military medical aides). Completion of the training will allow the candidate to sit the exam and begin their career as a CNA.
Tennessee CNA Certification Requirements
Eligibility to take CNA classes and work in Tennessee varies depending on the location and the institution. There is no state requirement for a GED or high school diploma, though it is recommended. Some requirements that exist across all state-approved courses include:
- Being 18 years or over
- Passing a criminal background check.
- Having a valid state-issued ID
- Having a card for CPR for Healthcare Providers
- Passing drug and TB screening
- Being physically able to lift 40 pounds and stand for hours
- Up to date immunizations
- Having liability insurance
Tennessee CNA Training & Testing Costs
To sit the examination and become a qualified CNA in Tennessee, you must first complete a state-approved training program, unless you are exempt. The training is a minimum 75 hours with 16 clinical hours. This can be completed in as little as two to six weeks. Completion of this course qualifies you for the examination.
The cost of the examination is $90. The costs of the prerequisite training can vary greatly depending on the institution and where you are located, usually averaging $800 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.
|NHC HealthCare, Chattanooga||Chattanooga||(423) 624-1533|
|Signature HealthCARE of Erin||Erin||(931) 289-4141|
|NHC Place, Cool Springs||Franklin||(615) 778-6800|
|Centennial High School||Franklin||(615) 472-4270|
|Compassionate Care Technical Center||Knoxville||(865) 394-9960|
|Concorde Career College - Memphis||Memphis||(800) 249-7082|
|The Healthcare Institute Inc||Memphis||(901) 244-0844|
|Career Academy CNA Training||Memphis||(901) 761-4500|
|McGavock High School||Nashville||(615) 885-8850|
|Trevecca Nazarene University||Nashville||(615) 248-1200|
|Glencliff High School||Nashville||(615) 333-5070|
|Vanderbilt University||Nashville||(615) 322-7311|
|Nashville Center for Rehabilitation & Healing||Nashville||(615) 806-8800|
|American Red Cross||Nashville||(615) 250-4300|
|Tennessee Certified Nursing Assistant License||Nashville||(615) 532-5171|
|CNA Nashville Branch||Nashville||(615) 886-3300|
|Nats Inc||Nashville||(615) 333-8474|
CNA Classes & Nurse Aide Training Courses in Tennessee
If you are tempted by the sound of becoming a CNA in Tennessee, 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 Nashville, TN
NATS, Inc. This is a four-week course with 100 clock hours split between classroom/labs and clinical training. This can also be extended to six weeks for evening-only classes. Fees are $900, and the lab fee is $50 which is deposited along with your application. Classes restart every six weeks.
Nashville General Hospital – School of Health Sciences. This course is Saturday only and runs for 12 weeks. It aims to cover everything from patient rights to clinical work and provides experience within the hospital. A high school diploma or GED is required and there is an application fee of $50. Tuition is $750 plus around $250 for textbooks, checks, and materials. Courses run every three months and the next start date can be found by calling on 615-341-4659.
National HealthCare Corporation. This is a free program except for the cost of the uniform, and it is offered every month. It boasts a very flexible schedule which is particularly suited to high school and college students, but will also benefit those working around childcare etc.
CNA Training in Memphis, TN
Career Academy. This expert-led four-week daytime/six-week evening course is run by experts in the field and offers contacts within healthcare. The $1350 tuition covers CPR costs, examination fee (1 time), textbooks, and job-finding assistance. There may also be tuition reductions or exemptions for those on SNAP, VA, or other financial assistance programs.
Concorde. This is a more advanced medical assistant course which will help you take a step further in your medical career. They offer the CNA exam as well as the later MA test, and the full diploma course lasts around eight months. The course is around $15,000 for eight months plus fees for books and materials.
CNA Training in Knoxville, TN
Compassionate Care. This is a 96 hour course split between 78 classroom hours and 18 clinical hours. The cost, including registration, handbook, ID, and liability insurance, is around $700 but does not include equipment. You must either have a GED/high school diploma or sit and pass the Ability to Benefit Test.
Additional Tennessee 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.
Tennessee Nurse Aide Registry
To contact the Tennessee Nurse Aide Registry, use the information below:
Nurse Aide Registry
Cordell Hull Bldg., 1st Floor
425 5th Ave. North
Nashville, TN 37247-1010
PH: (615) 532-3202 or (800) 778-4505
Out of State CNAs
Active out-of-state CNAs can register to work in Tennessee by applying for reciprocity. The form and instructions can be found here. There is no fee for this, but your home state may charge at their discretion.
Note: This does not apply to candidates from North Dakota, Georgia, or Florida. Candidates from these states must re-sit the examination. Georgia residents may challenge the exam directly, while those from North Dakota and Florida only can after completing the full training within Tennessee.
CNA Renewal in Tennessee
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 at a state-approved facility. It must be renewed at least one month before expiration.
How much does a CNA make in Tennessee?
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 Tennessee, the average wage for a starting CNA is $12.69/hr, or $26,820 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, which typically sees a rise every few years.