How Foreigners Can Get A Cna License And Find A High-Paying Job In The United States Through Free Online Nursing Courses

How Foreigners Can Get A Cna License And Find A High-Paying Job In The United States Through Free Online Nursing Courses

Getting a CNA (nursing assistant) license is one of the important steps to enter the nursing field, especially for foreigners, it can be an efficient and affordable career path. This article will detail the steps for foreigners to get a CNA license in the United States, and recommend some free online nursing courses to help you improve your knowledge and skills, while understanding the high-paying jobs you can do after obtaining a license.

Steps for Foreigners to Get a CNA License

Meet Basic Requirements

Legal Status: Make sure you have legal status in the United States, holding a work visa, student visa, or permanent resident status (green card).

Education Background: Most states require at least a high school diploma or equivalent.

Language Proficiency: Have basic English communication skills, and some states may require passing an English language test.

Complete a state-approved CNA training course

Choose a training institution: You can choose a community college, technical school, vocational training center, or hospital, etc.

Training Length: Usually 75 to 150 hours of training, including classroom learning and clinical practice.

Pass the CNA Certification Exam

Exam Content: Includes a written test and a practical skills test.

Register for the exam: Register through your state board of nursing or a national certification body.

Apply for a CNA license

Submit your application: Submit an application through your state board of nursing, along with your exam scores and proof of training.

Obtain your license: Once approved, you will receive a CNA license and can work as a nursing assistant statewide.

Best Free Online Nursing Courses with Certificates

While there are few completely free CNA courses, here are some online platforms that offer free nursing courses and resources to help you improve your nursing knowledge and skills and get a certificate.


Recommended courses: Basic nursing courses (e.g., "Basic Nursing Skills").

Features: Courses offered by well-known universities and medical institutions, with comprehensive content and high academic standards.

Certificates: Some courses offer a free audit option, but you will need to pay to get a certificate.


Recommended courses: Health care-related courses (e.g., "Elderly Care").

Features: Offered by top universities, high-quality courses, and rich learning resources.

Certificates: Some courses are free to take, but you will need to pay to get a certificate.

Khan Academy

Recommended courses: Learning resources related to medicine and health care.

Features: Free content, covers basic medical knowledge, suitable for supplementary learning.

Certificate: No certificate is provided, but the course is of high quality and very helpful for learning.

OpenLearn by The Open University

Recommended courses: Free courses related to nursing and medical care.

Features: Free courses, rich content, covering a wide range of nursing topics.

Certificate: You can get a free digital certificate after completing the course.


Recommended courses: Basic nursing courses.

Features: Provided by well-known universities and medical institutions, the courses are of high quality and the content is practical.

Certificate: Some courses offer free learning options, but you need to pay to get the certificate.

How to make the most of free courses

Make a study plan

Schedule: Arrange your study time reasonably according to the course requirements and your own schedule.

Goal setting: Set clear learning goals and complete the course content step by step.

Participate in course interaction

Discussion area: Actively participate in the course discussion area, communicate with other students, and share learning experiences.

Practical exercises: Complete the exercises and tests in the course to consolidate your learning results.

Supplement practical experience

Volunteering: Participate in volunteer services in local hospitals, nursing homes or community centers to accumulate practical experience.

Internship opportunities: Look for internship opportunities as a nursing assistant to improve your practical skills.

Special considerations

Certified courses: Make sure the selected course and training institution are certified and recognized by the state or national nursing board.

Language support: Choose a training institution that provides language support to help non-English speakers better understand the course content.

Visa restrictions: Understand the restrictions on work and study for your visa type and make sure the selected course and career path are in line with visa regulations.

High-paying jobs that foreigners can look for after obtaining a CNA license

After obtaining a CNA (nursing assistant) license, you will be eligible for a variety of nursing-related jobs. These jobs not only provide stable employment opportunities, but also can earn higher salaries depending on the location and experience. Here are some high-paying jobs that CNA license holders can consider and their salary ranges.

Hospital Nursing Assistant (Hospital CNA)

Job responsibilities: Provide nursing care services to inpatients in a hospital setting, assisting nurses and doctors in their work.

Salary range: Hospital nursing assistants are generally paid more than other nursing assistants, with a median annual salary of approximately $35,000 to $40,000.

Private Duty CNA

Job Responsibilities: Provide one-on-one care services to a private employer, usually in the patient's home or long-term care facility.

Salary Range: Private nursing assistants may earn more, especially if the hours are longer or the care needs are higher. Annual salary may range from $35,000 to $50,000.

Nursing Home Aide

Job Responsibilities: Provide basic care services to residents in a nursing home or retirement home, assist with activities of daily living, and monitor residents' health.

Salary Range: Similar to general CNAs, the median annual salary is approximately $30,000 to $35,000.

Home Health Aide

Job Responsibilities: Provide basic care services in the patient's home, help patients with activities of daily living, provide companionship and emotional support, and sometimes perform light housework.

Salary Range: The median annual salary for home health aides is approximately $25,000 to $30,000. Experienced assistants or those working in high-demand areas may earn more.

Hospice Aide

Job Responsibilities: Provide nursing care and emotional support to dying patients to help them stay comfortable in their final days.

Salary Range: Hospice Aides are generally paid more, with a median annual salary of about $35,000 to $45,000.

Critical Care Assistant (ICU CNA)

Job Responsibilities: Work in the intensive care unit (ICU), provide advanced nursing services to critically ill patients, and assist the medical team.

Salary Range: ICU nursing assistants earn higher salaries, with a median annual salary of about $40,000 to $50,000.

By obtaining a CNA license, foreigners can find a variety of high-paying nursing assistant jobs in the United States. Choosing the right job position, accumulating experience, continuing education, choosing a high-demand area and the right employer are all effective ways to increase your salary. Whether working in a hospital, nursing home, private home or special care facility, the CNA career provides you with a wide range of development opportunities and considerable income.