Certified Nursing Assistant Programs in Maryland: Training, Certification, and Licensing

Are you considering a rewarding and fulfilling career in healthcare? Becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in Maryland might be the perfect path for you. CNAs play a vital role in patient care, working closely with Registered Nurses and other healthcare professionals to provide essential support for patients. This blog post will guide you through the certified nursing assistant programs in Maryland, training, certification, and licensing process, paving the way to a successful future in this in-demand profession.

Read on to discover the various CNA program options, eligibility requirements, and financial assistance opportunities available to help you achieve your career goals. We will also explore the growing job market for CNAs in Maryland, as well as the potential for career advancement in this ever-evolving field.

Short Summary

  • Explore CNA programs in Maryland accredited by the state Board of Nursing to become a qualified nursing assistant.
  • Obtain GNA certification for specialized geriatric care training and scope of practice, providing employment opportunities in long-term care facilities.
  • CNAs have a promising job outlook with 11% growth expected by 2026 and advancement opportunities through bridge courses or furthering education/training.

Exploring CNA Programs in Maryland

Selecting the right CNA program is a crucial step in your journey to becoming a successful nursing assistant in Maryland. It’s essential to choose a program that is not only accredited by the Maryland Board of Nursing, but also aligns with your career goals and personal preferences. By investing in a high-quality CNA program, you will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in your profession.

In Maryland, there are an array of CNA programs to choose from, catering to a variety of learning styles and schedules. In the following sections, we will delve into the different types of CNA programs available in the state, as well as the accredited institutions that offer these programs.

Types of CNA Programs

In Maryland, aspiring CNAs can choose from three types of training programs: traditional classroom-based, online, and hybrid courses. Each type of program offers its own unique advantages, depending on your learning style and personal preferences.

Traditional classroom-based CNA programs provide an in-person learning experience, allowing students to work under the guidance of an experienced Registered Nurse while caring for patients using the knowledge they have acquired in the classroom.

Online CNA programs, on the other hand, offer a flexible, self-paced learning option for those who require more control over their schedules. Hybrid CNA programs combine the best of both worlds, featuring a mix of online and in-person instruction to cater to a diverse range of learning needs.

Accredited Institutions

Accredited institutions offering CNA programs in Maryland include community colleges, universities, and vocational schools. It is crucial to ensure that the CNA program you enroll in is approved by the Maryland Board of Nursing. This guarantees that the program meets the high standards required to provide a comprehensive education for aspiring nursing assistants.

To verify the accreditation status of a CNA program, you can consult the Maryland Board of Nursing’s official website. This authoritative source provides a comprehensive list of approved CNA training programs throughout the state. By selecting an accredited program, you can be confident that you will receive a quality education that prepares you for a successful career as a CNA in Maryland.

Maryland CNA Certification Process

Obtaining CNA certification in Maryland is a crucial step in your journey toward a rewarding career in healthcare. The certification process ensures that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to provide high-quality care to patients in various healthcare settings. By becoming certified, you will be recognized as a competent and qualified nursing assistant, opening up a wealth of job opportunities in the field.

In the following sections, we will outline eligibility requirements, training program, and certification exam that make up the Maryland CNA certification process. By understanding and completing each step, you will be well on your way to a successful and fulfilling career as a CNA in Maryland.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for CNA certification in Maryland, you must meet several requirements. Firstly, you must be at least 18 years of age. Additionally, you must possess a valid Social Security Number or Tax Identification Number. Lastly, you must be in good health, as demonstrated by a medical examination and the completion of necessary immunizations.

It is essential to meet these eligibility requirements before embarking on a CNA training program in Maryland. By ensuring that you meet the necessary criteria, you can be confident that you are well-prepared and eligible to pursue your CNA certification and ultimately, a rewarding career in healthcare.

Training Program

The CNA training program in Maryland must be approved by the Maryland Board of Nursing (MBON) and consists of 60 hours of classroom instruction and 40 hours of hands-on training at a nursing facility. During the program, students will learn the essential skills and knowledge required to excel as a nursing assistant, such as bedside manner, hygiene, nursing care, and patients’ rights.

Upon successful completion of the training program, students will be well-equipped to provide high-quality care to patients in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, and long-term care facilities. With their newfound skills and knowledge, graduates will be well-prepared to take on the challenges and rewards of a career as a CNA in Maryland.

Certification Exam

The CNA certification exam in Maryland consists of two parts: a written (or oral) examination, and a clinical skills evaluation. The written exam features 70 multiple-choice questions, while the clinical skills evaluation assesses your ability to perform five essential nursing assistant tasks. Both components of the exam are designed to test your knowledge and skills as a nursing assistant, ensuring that you are well-prepared to provide high-quality care to patients in a professional setting.

If you fail the certification exam, don’t worry. You are allowed to have two more attempts. Retaking the exam might be the best way to ensure success. Failing the exam three times requires that you must take approved CNA program training before further attempts. Otherwise, you will not be allowed to take the exam a fourth time.

By passing the certification exam, you will demonstrate your competence as a CNA and be one step closer to a rewarding career in healthcare.

Geriatric Nursing Assistant (GNA) Certification

In addition to obtaining your CNA certification, you may also choose to pursue a Geriatric Nursing Assistant (GNA) certification in Maryland. This specialized certification is designed for CNAs who wish to work with elderly patients, providing additional training and expertise in geriatric care. GNA certification can open up new employment opportunities in long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities, where the demand for skilled healthcare professionals is high.

To obtain GNA certification, you must have completed an approved nursing assistant program, passed the Geriatric Nursing Assistant examination, and fulfilled federal requirements. In the following sections, we will explore the GNA training and exam requirements, as well as the scope of practice and employment opportunities for GNAs in Maryland.

GNA Training and Exam

The GNA training and exam in Maryland builds upon the foundation established during your CNA training program, with a focus on the unique needs of elderly patients. The training covers topics such as nutrition, infection control, and communication, ensuring that you are well-prepared to provide compassionate and competent care to geriatric patients.

Upon successful completion of the GNA training program, you will be eligible to sit for the Geriatric Nursing Assistant examination. This exam, like the CNA certification exam, consists of both a written (or oral) component and a clinical skills evaluation. By passing the GNA exam, you will demonstrate your specialized knowledge and skills in geriatric care, enhancing your employability and career prospects.

Scope of Practice and Employment Opportunities

As a Geriatric Nursing Assistant, your scope of practice will encompass the collection and documentation of routine health data identified by the nurse on assigned clients, the oral communication of the collected data to the nurse, and the assistance of clients with activities of daily living. This specialized skill set makes you a valuable asset in long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities, where the demand for skilled healthcare professionals is high.

With your GNA certification, you will be well-equipped to provide high-quality care to elderly patients in a variety of healthcare settings. The growing demand for GNAs in Maryland means that you can expect a wealth of employment opportunities and a fulfilling career in this in-demand field.

Financial Assistance for CNA Training

The cost of CNA training can be a significant barrier for many aspiring nursing assistants. Fortunately, there are several financial assistance options available to help you fund your CNA training in Maryland. These include scholarships, grants, and loan repayment programs, which can make the cost of your education more manageable.

Some of the financial assistance options available for CNA training in Maryland include the Part-Time Grant, employment and training programs, Pell Grants, Federal Student Loans, scholarships, Trustee Awards, and bank loans. By exploring these financial aid opportunities, you can alleviate the financial burden of your CNA training and focus on achieving your career goals.

CNA Licensing and Renewal in Maryland

Maintaining an active CNA license in Maryland is essential for your continued employment and career growth in the field. In Maryland, CNA licensing and renewal is overseen by the Maryland Board of Nursing. The process involves both initial licensing and license renewal every two years, ensuring that you are up-to-date with the latest skills and knowledge necessary to provide high-quality care to patients.

In the following sections, we will explore the specific requirements and procedures for both initial licensing and license renewal in Maryland. By staying informed and adhering to these guidelines, you can maintain your CNA license and continue to build a successful career in healthcare.

Initial Licensing

The initial licensing process for CNAs in Maryland involves several key steps. First, you must attend an orientation, pass math and reading tests, possess Basic Life Support (BLS) certification, present proof of immunity, and undergo background checks.

Upon successful completion of these requirements, you can apply for the NCLEX examination. After passing the NCLEX, you must wait a minimum of 10 business days for your license number to be posted to the license verification site. Once your license number is available, you will be officially recognized as a Certified Nursing Assistant in Maryland, ready to embark on a fulfilling career in healthcare.

License Renewal

To renew your CNA license in Maryland, you must complete a Criminal History Records Check (CHRC) and initiate the renewal process three months before your license expiration date. The renewal process involves completing an online application and paying a fee of $40. Payment options include credit or debit cards, as well as electronic checks.

It is important to note that if your license has expired and is past the 30-day renewal grace period, it cannot be renewed online. In this case, you will need to contact the Maryland Board of Nursing for further assistance.

By staying vigilant about your license renewal and adhering to the renewal requirements, you can continue to practice as a CNA in Maryland without any interruptions.

Job Outlook and Salary Expectations for CNAs in Maryland

The job outlook and salary expectations for CNAs in Maryland are promising. With a projected 11% increase in jobs by 2026 and 88,000 registered nurse aids, the demand for skilled nursing assistants is on the rise. This growth can be attributed to the aging population and the increasing need for healthcare services in the state.

The average wage for CNAs in Maryland is approximately $15 an hour, with the top 10% of nurse aids earning $50,000. With ample job opportunities, competitive wages, and the potential for career advancement, pursuing a career as a CNA in Maryland is a wise decision for those looking to make a difference in the lives of patients while enjoying a stable and rewarding profession.

Advancement Opportunities for CNAs

As a Certified Nursing Assistant in Maryland, there are several opportunities for career advancement. One such opportunity is to take a bridge course for Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), which allows you to transition from a CNA to an LPN role. This program includes additional training and certification in specific areas of healthcare, opening up new career possibilities and potentially higher wages.

Another option for advancement is to leverage your CNA experience to become a Registered Nurse (RN). This can be accomplished by enrolling in additional courses and passing the NCLEX-RN exam. By pursuing further education and training, you can expand your career opportunities and continue to grow as a healthcare professional in Maryland.


In conclusion, becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant in Maryland offers a rewarding and fulfilling career path for those passionate about healthcare and helping others. By selecting an accredited CNA program, meeting eligibility requirements, and successfully completing the certification process, you will be well on your way to a successful career as a CNA.

With promising job growth, competitive wages, and various advancement opportunities, there has never been a better time to join the ranks of CNAs in Maryland. Embark on this exciting journey today and make a lasting impact on the lives of patients in need.