List of Free Online CNA Courses and Classes
See our list of the top free online CNA courses. Learn about what courses are available and what topics they cover to find the course that's right for you.
Online CNA Courses for Credit
While free online courses offered through OpenCourseWare (OCW) systems aren't specifically geared toward students interested in becoming Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), they can provide aspiring and practicing CNAs with foundational knowledge relevant to nurses and other healthcare workers. However, they generally don't award academic credit.
Education Portal's Nursing 101: Fundamentals of Nursing course, on the other hand, can be used to earn college credit applicable toward an entry-level nursing degree or certificate program. For much less than a college or university course, registered members can watch short video lessons and take multiple-choice quizzes to assess their grasp of the material. Lesson transcripts are also available at no charge. Chapters in this nursing course include:
- The Profession of Nursing - Find out what kinds of patient care nurses provide. Explore record-keeping and communication techniques as well as healthcare ethics.
- Legal Aspects of Nursing - Learn about nurses' legal liability and examine the legislation in place to protect the rights of patients.
Free Online Non-Credited CNA Courses
Medical Terminology at Des Moines University
Prospective or current CNAs can learn roughly 300 medical terms in this free class. Through quizzes and text-based content, students learn anatomical terminology for areas such as the reproductive, digestive and circulatory systems, as well as terms related to cancer and non-prescription medications. Students can register and pay to receive a certificate of participation for completing this course.
Ethical Issues in Public Health at Johns Hopkins University
This OCW course emphasizes ethical issues found in public health systems, including the right to health care, the right to make personal health choices and resource allocation. Students must have Adobe Reader to view the lecture materials.
Health Issues for Aging Populations at Johns Hopkins University
CNAs often work in nursing homes or long-term care facilities dealing with the elderly population. This course teaches students about the various health, societal and governmental issues involving the aging population. Students learn through the 15 lectures; however, the last lecture isn't offered through OCW.
Patient Safety and Medical Errors at Johns Hopkins University
This free course tackles the implementation and practice of safety by healthcare workers. Topics include the science of safety, safety and medicine, teamwork, communication, medical errors and medication safety. These topics are offered through lectures and assignments.
Principles of Human Nutrition at Johns Hopkins University
This OCW course from Johns Hopkins University looks at the ways in which nutrition can affect health, physiology and disease in humans. Students could learn about malnutrition, obesity, dietary supplements and amino acids. In addition to lecture notes and slide presentations, there's a recommended textbooks list.
Aimed at educating nursing and healthcare professionals, individuals learn the various health risks associated with aging immune systems. Students learn why elderly patients are more susceptible to illness than young patients and the importance of immunization. The text-based course includes a reference list.
Improving Critical Thinking and Clinical Reasoning at Nurse.com
This free online course can be beneficial to CNAs or any medical professionals. Students examine both clinical reasoning and critical thinking as it relates to nursing careers. The 3-page course is text-only and can be printed.
Patient Communication Skills at the University of Michigan
Originally designed for dental students, this free course teaches communication techniques that can be used by healthcare workers. The course explores patient interviewing, cross-cultural communications and telephone skills, among other topics. The course notes (known as performance keys) are in PDF form, but there are also video demonstrations of patient communication.
Perspectives in Global Health at the University of Michigan
Although not required for CNAs, this free OCW course teaches aspiring CNAs about global health concepts and the various organizations networked to promote health care around the world. This course includes lecture notes, online references and the name of the textbook used.
Medical Ethics at University of Notre Dame
The Medical Ethics OCW course from Notre Dame seeks to introduce students to the fundamental ethical theories behind modern medical practices and procedures. Topics include confidentiality, honesty, healthcare reform, euthanasia, experimentation and abortion. Audio lectures, slides and sample essay assignments allow students to explore various ethical biomedical issues. The textbook used for the course must be purchased separately.