Is a GED mandatory for CNA Classes?

by Maria Pavel on April 14, 2011

Many people aspire to become Certified Nursing Assistants so they can enjoy a rewarding career in areas of helping others while also making a decent income. There are a few requirements that must be met in order to be allowed to enroll in a CNA class. Some of these are federally mandated while others are tacked onto the federal requirements by each individual state. Typically, a GED is not required to be able to enroll in a CNA course.

This is a bit different than most other training classes. A high school diploma or a GED is usually required before someone can enroll in a training class of some sort. However, a CNA does not have to have these. Down the road, if you decide to continue your education to become a Licensed Practical Nurse or a Registered Nurse, you’ll probably have to have at least a GED. In case you think that you may want either of those to be your ultimate goal, you may want to take care of that before you even enroll in your CNA class.

There are, however, some basic requirements before being accepted into a CNA training class, even though having a high school diploma or GED isn’t one of them. Potential CNA students must have basic math and English skills. Most CNA training classes require their students to be at least 18 years old. You must also be in good health and have physical stamina. That’s due to all of the standing, bending and lifting that you’re going to be doing as part of being a CNA caring for patients.

Some CNA training courses can last 2 years at a college or just a few weeks in a training class offered by the facility that you work in. The bare minimum is 75 hours split into class room study and hands on practice in a clinical setting. Even though you don’t have to have a high school diploma or a GED to get into a CNA class, all students must pass a competency test in order to gain certification.

While it’s actually a great idea to at least have a GED to ensure an easier career path, if your goal is to be a Certified Nursing Assistant, you don’t HAVE to have either one. Just keep in mind that if you plan to take that CNA career to another level in the medical field, you’ll need to have a GED to get as far as you want to go.

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