Certified Nursing Assistant Programs in Tennessee

Are you looking to start a rewarding career as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in Tennessee? You’ve come to the right place! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into everything you need to know about certified nursing assistant programs in Tennessee, from certification requirements and costs to top training institutions and job prospects. So let’s dive in and explore the world of CNAs in Tennessee!

Understanding CNA Certification in Tennessee

Becoming a CNA in Tennessee is more than just a job; it’s an opportunity to make a meaningful impact on the lives of patients in need. To work as a nursing assistant in Tennessee, you must complete a state-approved training program and pass the CNA exam. The regulatory body responsible for overseeing CNAs in the state is the Tennessee Department of Health.

Top CNA Programs in Major Tennessee Cities

To help you find the best CNA program for your needs, we’ve compiled a list of top CNA programs in major Tennessee cities like Nashville, Memphis, and Knoxville. These institutions offer various durations, costs, and schedules to cater to different learning needs and preferences.

In the following sections, we will discuss the specifics of CNA programs in each of these cities.

CNA Programs in Nashville, TN

In Nashville, you can choose from several reputable institutions offering CNA programs, such as NGH Health Sciences, National HealthCare Corporation, Nashville General Hospital – School of Health Sciences, and NATS, Inc. These programs typically have a duration of 12 weeks and emphasize the care of older adults, assistance with activities of daily living, and basic nursing skills.

CNA Programs in Memphis, TN

Memphis is another city with excellent CNA program options, such as Career Academy and Concorde. At Career Academy, the CNA program costs $1,350, while the full diploma course at Concorde is estimated to be approximately $15,000, plus fees for books and materials.

The CNA program at Concorde in Memphis takes approximately eight months to complete. 

CNA Programs in Knoxville, TN

Knoxville offers a CNA program through compassionate care. To be eligible for this program, you must either possess a GED/high school diploma or complete the Ability to Benefit Test. The program lasts for 96 hours and costs approximately $700, not including equipment.

This affordable and accessible CNA program in Knoxville is an excellent option for aspiring nursing assistants who want to jumpstart their careers in healthcare. 

Free CNA Courses in Tennessee

While the costs of CNA training can be a barrier for some aspiring nursing assistants, there are free CNA courses available in Tennessee. One such option is the Nursing Assistant course at TCAT Knoxville. To enrol, applicants must submit a background check, physical exam form, negative Tb skin test, ten-panel drug screen, and proof of COVID vaccination for clinical facilities. They must also be at least 18 years old and not have any theft convictions or be listed on the abuse registry.

Registration for the 2023 class schedule at TCAT Knoxville is open now, so don’t miss this opportunity to start your CNA training at no cost. 

Tennessee CNA Examination Process

After completing your CNA training in Tennessee, you will need to pass the Tennessee CNA Exam to become certified. This exam consists of two components: a written test and a skills test. The written test is a 90-minute knowledge/oral exam, while the skills test requires you to complete five randomly assigned skills.

Reciprocity and Out-of-State CNAs

If you’re a CNA from another state looking to work in Tennessee, you may be eligible for reciprocity. This process allows out-of-state CNAs to become certified in Tennessee, with some exceptions. Candidates from Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina cannot apply for reciprocity and must either retrain at a state-approved CNA program and complete the test or provide verification of their status and apply to take the test to challenge it.

The reciprocity process ensures that out-of-state CNAs can continue their careers in Tennessee without having to start from scratch. If you’re an experienced CNA from another state, exploring reciprocity options can help you transition into the Tennessee healthcare workforce smoothly.

Renewing Your CNA License in Tennessee

In Tennessee, your CNA license is valid for 2 years. To renew your license, you must complete at least 8 hours of work in a state-approved facility during the 24-month certification period. The renewal process must be done a month before the license’s expiration date to avoid any lapses in certification.

Staying up-to-date with your CNA license renewal is crucial to maintaining your ability to work as a nursing assistant in Tennessee. 

CNA Salary and Job Outlook in Tennessee

As a CNA in Tennessee, you can expect to earn an average salary of $27,940 per year or $13.43 per hour. This income can vary depending on factors such as your experience, location, and the type of healthcare facility you work in. The average salary for Certified Nursing Assistants in Tennessee is $32,231 per year, with a range typically falling between $29,531 and $35,492.

Tennessee offers a variety of job opportunities for CNAs in diverse healthcare settings, such as hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centres, and home health agencies. With a growing demand for healthcare professionals, CNAs in Tennessee can look forward to a stable and rewarding career in the industry.


In conclusion, becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant in Tennessee is an excellent opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients while enjoying a stable and rewarding career. By understanding the certification process, costs, and available training programs, you can take the first steps toward a fulfilling career as a CNA. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to become a CNA in Tennessee?

Becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in Tennessee typically takes four months to complete the necessary training and exams. After completing 40 hours of classroom learning and either 35 or 60 hours of clinical instruction, you will be prepared to take the necessary exams and start working as a CNA.

How much do CNAs make in tn?

Certified Nursing Assistants in Tennessee can expect to earn an average salary of $32,078 per year, ranging from $29,237 to $35,420 depending on years of experience.

How long is a CNA license good for in Tennessee?

In Tennessee, a CNA license is valid for two years and must be renewed every two years by providing proof of at least 8 hours of work during the 24 months.

This means that CNAs must be able to demonstrate that they have been actively working in the field for the past two years to maintain their license.

What state pays the most for certified nursing assistants?

Alaska is the highest-paying state for certified nursing assistants, offering an average annual salary of $43,080. This is likely due to the higher cost of living in Alaska as well as the fact that it employs a relatively low number of nursing assistants (around 1,800).

The cost of living in Alaska is higher than in other states, which may explain why the average salary for nursing assistants is higher. Furthermore, the number of nursing assistants employed in Alaska is relatively low.