Ways to fund a CNA class? - Mothering Forums
Frugality & Finances > Ways to fund a CNA class?
Pariah's Avatar Pariah 02:26 PM 04-15-2010
Aside from a Pell grant or a loan, are there any other options out there to pay tuition for a CNA class? This is a class at a vo-tech school...it is the least expensive class while still being good that I can find. They don't offer any financial aid. Community colleges are out because I can't get a Pell grant, which is a real let down because it would cover all of the tuition plus supplies. I've heard of a lot of people getting various grants and assistance for nursing, is there anything out there that I'm overlooking? I've called around to numerous hospitals, nursing homes, etc for programs where they hire you and train you to get the certification while you're working there, and then you're obligated to work for them for a year, or whatever their terms are. I found a big list of these supposedly in my area, but only one has such a program and there is a huge wait list with little hope of being called anytime in the near future. A lot of places will pay for employees to become an RN, but you have to have the CNA to get employed to start with.

The program really isn't THAT expensive, $1k, but I don't exactly have a thousand sitting around...I really need a better paying job (a career with the possibility to advance and become financially stable, fix my credit, buy a house eventually, not just a job) ASAP. I've been applying to all sorts of things in the meantime, but nothing's come of that.


TwinMomPlus's Avatar TwinMomPlus 03:08 PM 04-15-2010
I haven't really heard of any places that train you on the job to be a CNA (not saying they don't exist, though). What I have heard of is they will hire already trained/certified CNAs and train them to be RNs.

Around here, all nursing programs are full with looonnggg wait lists. There aren't enough teachers to teach the classes. And there are so many nurses, that places aren't even hiring.

I'm not trying to discourage you, but I do think you should look into your job market a little, if you haven't already. Look for job postings to see if places are hiring or go talk to the community college (even if you don't plan to attend) to find out what they have to say on the matter.

Now, if all of this is untrue for your area- then $1,000 really isn't that much. Sell everything you can from around the house (yard sale, craigslist, ebay) and make as many cuts in bills as you can (cancel cable, cell phone, etc). Can you get a part-time job to help you raise money?
Pariah's Avatar Pariah 03:32 PM 04-15-2010
Yes, I've been applying for part time jobs, and there are items on craigslist, Amazon, and a smaller sales forum that I've been going to for years right now.

The job market seems good around here...jobs sites have tons of nursing and nursing-related ads up constantly, and I have a few friends in the field already who say I won't have any problems getting a job...I feel like I can trust their opinion since they've gone through all of this already.
TwinMomPlus's Avatar TwinMomPlus 04:19 PM 04-15-2010
Well that is really good news. I hope you can raise the funds! Can you get a loan from a bank or even a family member?

How long do you have to go to school to be a CNA? I have considered it for myself as a PT job but only if I knew I would get a job in L&D, lol
Pariah's Avatar Pariah 05:07 PM 04-15-2010
I think it may vary from state to state, but classes here are six weeks.

L&D would be a first choice for me, and there's a hospital near by that has a women's center that sounds interesting. If I didn't end up going the CNM route eventually, working in some sort of female-empowering environment would be my goal. I'm not sure what sort of place that would be exactly, but I'd love to work somewhere that not only provides medical services to women but educates and helps women to take control of their health... Working in a doctor's office where clients wait two hours for a 5 minute cursory exam and then are sent on their way is not at all what I am into.
greenmom4's Avatar greenmom4 05:37 PM 04-15-2010
Will the school work with you on payment plans? I would think if the course is 1k then a payment plan could be pretty reasonable...

Good luck to you!
kittywitty's Avatar kittywitty 06:08 PM 04-15-2010
Does their financial aid department not have any advice? Usually they're aware of options out there. Are you a single mom/displaced homemaker? That would get you free classes here. You can always go to one of those American General Finance places or something for a loan or Sallie Mae.

I don't know where you're at, but here CNAs would need extra training and education to work L&D or in a doc office. Mostly it's just nursing homes or sometimes in the hospital as techs on the floor. Not to rain on your parade there. But a 6 week program is going to be the start, not the end to get to those places. There will be a lot of competition for those jobs unless you reach out for additional training such as with phlebotomy or EMT. Some states have more options or pay really well. Good luck!
Pariah's Avatar Pariah 01:45 PM 04-16-2010
Not to rain on your parade there. But a 6 week program is going to be the start, not the end to get to those places. There will be a lot of competition for those jobs unless you reach out for additional training such as with phlebotomy or EMT.
No, that isn't raining on my parade at all...I know there's a lot of education to come after the CNA. I just need the CNA certificate to start the whole process and it is frustrating because I'm stuck on this first step much longer than I wanted to be.

Are you a single mom/displaced homemaker? That would get you free classes here.
Yes, single mom, receiving no child support or any financial help at all from my son's dad. How do you find out about free classes? Is there a particular place in your area to contact about that? Maybe where I live has a similar place.

Will the school work with you on payment plans? I would think if the course is 1k then a payment plan could be pretty reasonable...
You know, I want to say that they said they don't offer payment plans, but I'm going to call back and double check. I don't have an answer either way in my notes.
TwinMomPlus's Avatar TwinMomPlus 02:53 PM 04-16-2010
When you call back, ask about any programs you would qualify for (like the free classes for single moms or whatever else). If anyone knows, they do. If they often have students that use those, they will know how you can access it, too. After all, they want students! Or you may find out they don't accept anything other than cold-hard cash from the students. But definitely ask! GL!
kittywitty's Avatar kittywitty 03:56 PM 04-16-2010
The community college my dh works at has the program through the college. Sometimes if you contact the Department of Human Services (or whatever it is in your state) or an employment/unemployment office, they can give you resources for the training. We live in a pretty economically depressed area and so there are quite a few of these...for now. The state hasn't paid their bills for a long time.

I used to be a CNA and then I had phlebotomy and EMT training. After some university classes, I became an andrologist working in RE in a lab setting. It was awesome. A CNA can really get your toe in the door and the other training is often paid for you if you work at a decent hospital system. I know you said it's the least expensive in your area, but you may want to check local hospital programs and community college classes which may cost more but financial aid is usually more readily available. I had my training free in high school as part of a community education program to get high schoolers interested in health occupations, so I was lucky. But my EMT class WIC actually paid for (my job was supposed to pay, but they filled the position after offering it to me when the training was done leaving me with the bill!).
Alyantavid's Avatar Alyantavid 04:34 PM 04-16-2010
I'd check further into the community colleges. They have to have some kind of financial aid and even if it isn't a Pell Grant, it may be enough to help you. And the CNA course at our college isn't $1000 so it may be less there as well.

Most nursing homes around here will pay or reimburse the cost of the class for employees. The community colleges might be able to help you find one of those as well. My dh recently (today) got his certification to help him get into another program.

Even if you can't get into a CNA program right away, I'd take some kind of medical classes. My dh took A&P, Medical Terminology and Allied Health before even starting the CNA program. Which helped him out a ton and each class he does take makes the next one that much easier, if nothing else than for being familiar with the terms and body parts.
jenners26's Avatar jenners26 04:38 PM 04-16-2010
You could look into your state's WIA program. It's run through the unemployment office, but is available for lots of people. I've heard they help pay for everything from tuition to gas to scrubs!