Seven Things You Can Learn in a Nurse Aide Training Program

To be a certified nurse aide (or CNA for short) you don’t have to go through years of training. Usually, you don’t even have to spend a year training! Most CNA programs run for about a month.

You of course, still have to attend training and pass an exam to become certified.

You might be wondering: what could I learn in a matter of weeks that would allow me prepare for my new career? What things are taught in CNA training?  Here’s seven of the things you can learn in a Nurse Aide training program.

1. Taking and Recording Vital Signs

An important task for a CNA is taking and recording a patient’s vital signs. Here are some of the recordings a CNA usually takes:

  • Temperature
  • Blood Pressure
  • Pulse
  • Respirations

CNA’s also measure height and weight.

Taking and recording vital signs might seem like common knowledge. But this is actually a crucial part of any patient’s care. Abnormalities in vital signs may be serious, so recording vital signs is vital itself.

A CNA program should have clinical training where you learn and practice how to take vital signs in a real-world setting.

2. Infection Control

When working in a medical setting, preventing infection is important. That’s why you’ll learn about infection control in your CNA training. You can expect to cover these topics while training:

  • Ways to prevent infection
  • Discuss universal precautions (standard precautions)
  • The use of PPE and proper techniques for applying/removing gloves, etc.
  • The importance of sterilizing and disinfecting

You will likely be expected to know infection control tactics and standards on your exam.

3. Interpersonal Skills

Effective communication and interpersonal skills are key to a career as a nurse aide. Especially since patients might not always be able to communicate in typical ways.

Being patient, understanding, and empathetic are all necessary to be a good CNA. Your training program should encourage this and explain how you can use these skills.

You will most likely have to use these interpersonal skills to communicate with impaired residents or patients. It is your job to help make patients feel comfortable, esteemed, and understood.

4. Patient Care Procedures

It is crucial any CNA training program includes clinical experience as a part of training. So much of what a nurse aide does is patient care procedures. These procedures may vary from institution and are best learned in person.

Patient care procedures include helping patients with:

  • Bathing
  • Grooming
  • Dressing
  • Toileting
  • Eating and drinking
  • Skincare
  • Transferring a patient to/from bed
  • Positioning, and turning patients

5. Caring for The Cognitively Impaired

Often CNA’s work in long-term care facilities. This means it’s common for CNAs to care for patients who are cognitively impaired, such as patients with dementia.

A good CNA program will teach you skills and tactics to help cognitively impaired patients. You might even get some experience helping cognitively impaired patients during your clinicals.

6. Safety and Emergency Procedures

CNA’s are often in environments where emergencies could arise or come through the door at any given moment. Because CNAs see patients regularly, if a patient is having a medical emergency it’s likely a CNA is the first one to notice and respond.

This is why it’s important that as a CNA you know both CPR and the Heimlich maneuver. You should also know or learn first aid. That way if ever you’re the first person on a scene, you can instantly help.

Knowing how to evacuate patients in event of a fire or other disaster is also important. Specific policies and guidelines should be explained at your workplace.

7. Patient Privacy and HIPPA

While not as dramatic as some of these skills, as a nurse aide you’ll need to know HIPPA laws and abide by them. Patient privacy is important, if you violate it your career could be jeopardized.

HIPPA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. This act generally means that a healthcare facility cannot disclose any private information about a patient without either the patient or their authorized representative’s permission.²

To make sure you never violate HIPPA, make sure your CNA training program includes education on HIPPA.

The Nurse Aide program at Training Direct

With the Nurse Aide program at Training Direct, you can learn all the skills mentioned in this blog and more. The Training Direct Nurse Aide program combines classroom instruction with clinical training to expose students to a variety of topics including…

  • Introduction to the human body
  • Effective communication and interpersonal skills
  • Infection control
  • Taking and recording vital signs
  • Patient care procedures
  • Safety and emergency procedures
  • Preserving privacy and confidentiality under HIPAA
  • …And more!

To learn more about the Nurse Aide program at Training Direct, click here

NOTE: The Nurse Aide program is offered at Training Direct in Bridgeport and Danbury, CT. 

Training Direct has determined that its Nurse Aide program curriculum is sufficient to fulfill educational requirements for certification in the State of Connecticut only. No educational determinations have been made for any other state, district, or US territory in regards to certification requirements.


  1. “Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 11 Oct. 2021,