Certified nursing assistants, or CNAs, must complete state-approved certified nursing education programs that teach nursing principles, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). CNAs must also complete supervised clinical work within the program. Most nursing education programs require that the candidate has a high school diploma or equivalent in order to be accepted.
There are CNA programs available in some high schools, community colleges, technical schools and vocational schools, states the BLS. Some hospitals and nursing homes also operate their own CNA training programs. Moreover, most employers offer some on-the-job training to allow the CNA to acclimate to the employer's particular procedures and policies.
CNAs who pass the CNA exams in their states are placed on a state registry, notes the BLS. This registry is used by employers to verify licensing and training and to ensure that the credentials earned by the CNA are up to date and in force without any restrictions. Registration may also show any limitations on the CNA's license. Some CNAs receive additional training beyond their certified nurse aid training. For example, in some states CNAs may earn the certified medication assistant designation, which allows them to pass medications to patients in the facilities in which they work.