Free Nursing Career Night this February RSVP

Are Online Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Classes Right for You?

What does an online/hybrid certified nursing assistant (CNA) program entail?

A hybrid program is a program that consists of both online instruction and in-class instruction. This is very exciting because this type of program gives the student more flexibility. Hybrid programs allow students the opportunity to plan their study time around the rest of their day, instead of the other way around. Also, hybrid programs are a good option for students who need to balance their work and family commitments.

What is involved in the hybrid CNA Training Program?

The hybrid CNA training program is broken down into three different sections of coursework that is required for graduation. The first is the theory component. The theory component of the hybrid CNA training program consists of 40 hours, with the majority being completed online.

The second portion of the hybrid CNA training program is the laboratory component. The laboratory component consists of 35 hours and this training will be completed face-to-face in class. The student will learn basic nursing skills that include hygiene, grooming, nutrition, toileting, principles of infection control, taking of vital signs, how to safely lift, position and move patients and more.

The third and final component of the hybrid CNA training program is the clinical component and is comprised of 40 hours worth of training. This section will be completed in a nursing home, like all CNA training programs. During this clinical experience students will gain hands-on practical experience. You will also be under the guidance and supervision of a registered nurse.

Requirements To Enroll in a Hybrid CNA Training Program

Students interested in enrolling in the hybrid CNA training program will have to meet the minimum requirements needed for our traditional CNA program plus more. One additional requirement is having basic computer skills. Students will need to complete an online placement test using a computer to show basic computer skills. Another requirement is having access to a computer with reliable internet access. These two requirements are very crucial in determining one success in a program such as this because most of your assignments will be submitted or completed online.

What Does a Certified Geriatric Nursing Assistant (GNA) do in a Nursing Home?

Residents living at a nursing home have a variety of needs. They require the right personnel with the proper training to deliver the highest quality care. A nursing home employs a wide range of professionals that complete a myriad of different tasks each and every day. Doctors, nurses, and certified geriatric nursing assistants are on hand each and every day to insure that each resident whether short term or long term (incomplete).


The Certified Geriatric Nursing Assistant’s Role at the Nursing Home

Though nurses and doctors are often seen as the highest up employees in this hierarchy, without a team of dedicated geriatric certified nursing assistants, patients would not get the one-on-one care they need to recover. Certified geriatric Nursing’s Assistants, or GNAs for short, complete a long list of varied tasks that differ from resident to resident. For the most part, a great deal of the time that a GNA spends with a patient is going to be attending to daily tasks that the resident cannot perform for themselves. General tasks include:

One great example of this is bathing and oral hygiene. The GNA might help the resident bathe either in the shower or in the bed depending on their physical limitations, which helps to both raise spirits and keep residents healthy.

GNAs might also help brush teeth, brush hair, dress the residents and more to help keep them clean and happy. A GNA might also be called on to help feed a resident if they are not able to feed themselves. This is a vital role that helps insure patients get the nutrients they need and that they still feel that they are cared for.

On top of hygiene, GNAs may also be called on to help residents use the toilet and to clean up afterwards. This is a vital role as well as some nursing home residents do not have the strength that it takes to get up and go to the toilet on their own. GNAs are also vital when it comes to things like cleaning beds and changing sheets to again make sure that the resident is comfortable and clean at all times. GNAs will not be required to administer medication as it is the duty of the nurse to do so but a GNA may also help the nurse watch for possible side effects of medications to help keep residents healthy.

Keeping Company
Overall a GNA is going to be called on to help residents with the daily tasks that they can no longer do on their own. In a nursing home where there is a large staff, GNAs may also be asked to sit with residents to keep them company or to monitor them for any changes in their health. It is crucial that GNAs be kind, compassionate, and patient as those that are living in nursing homes can generally do very little for themselves and helping someone with every task may become trivial or at times become trying.

GNAs are the backbone that helps keep nursing homes running smoothly and that helps residents remain healthy and happy despite the odds.

What to Know about Renewal of CNA Certification in Baltimore

If you’re working as a CNA or GNA in Baltimore, Maryland, making sure that your certification is up to date each year is critical. Working without valid credentials can lead to serious problems.

CNA certification is the basic level of certification in Maryland, and any other certifications are in addition to CNA certification. In order to work in any facility or in-home care setup, workers MUST be CNA certified. Once certified, these workers will need to pay attention to when they need to renew their certification. The Board of Nursing in Maryland is responsible for processing CNA certification and renewals, not the testing service or the institution where a person attended CNA training courses.

What to Know About CNA License Renewal

Renewal guidelines are different in each state, but when you receive your CNA license, there should be an expiration date on it. If there isn’t, you’ll need to contact your state’s nursing board website, or contact them to look up your license and find out when you need to renew. In order to get your license renewed, you will need to have worked as a CNA for the required number of hours per week as required by the state, and your record must be clear of complaints of abuse or neglect. Some states also require continued education.

How Often Do You Need to Renew Your CNA Certification

CNA certification is generally for a two-year period, following the date of the first renewal. Thereafter, the CNA certification typically expires on the 28th day of the individual’s birth month in an even or odd year. That is, if the individual is born in an odd year, the certificate will expire in an odd year, and if the individual is born in an even year, the certification will expire in an even year.

Renewal is typically $40 per renewal.

What Happens If You Let Your CNA Certification Lapse

If you don’t renew your certification on time, or your license has changed from active to inactive, you will need to reinstate your license instead of renewing it. The reinstatement process is a bit more in-depth than simple renewal.

For reinstating your license after recent expiration, you will likely need to pay an additional late fee. However, if you are reinstating it because you haven’t been continually employed as a CNA and your license was marked null and void, you will need to follow reinstatement instructions that are similar to the requirements for initially getting a new CNA license. In other words, you will need to apply for a new license, pass a background check, and pass the CNA certification exam. In some states, you may be required to retake training courses.

Because the reinstatement process can take several weeks, you may need to apply for a temporary CNA license for the interim. Your eligibility for one—you cannot work without a license—will depend on the reason for reinstatement.

Learn More About CNA Certification

Top Knowledge Healthcare Institute in Baltimore, MD is proud to offer a comprehensive training program to prepare students for a CNA career. To learn more about our course offerings, contact us today or visit

New GNA Certification Program!

GNA certification classes

Top Knowledge Healthcare Institute is proud to announce the launch of its Geriatric Nursing Assistant (GNA) program. It’s an 85-hour course approved by the Maryland Higher Education Commission and the Maryland Board of Nursing. It’s designed for current CNAs who want to earn their GNA certification.

This course is comprised of a theory, laboratory, and clinical components, ad is a shorter program than the CNA/GNA program. It’s ideal for current CNAs who want to increase their earning potential and job opportunities and save some money while doing so.

What You’ll Learn

In this course, you’ll learn basic nursing skills that include hygiene, nutrition, grooming, toileting, principles of infection control, taking of vital sighs, communication techniques, and how to safely lift and move patients.

The theory portion of the course is 22 hours, the laboratory portion is 23, and the clinical portion is 40 hours. It’s a shorter program than the CNA program, and is ideal for those who have an active CNA license in good standing.

Why You Need It

If you’ve already taken the CNA/GNA course, and didn’t pass the exam the first time around, and the timeframe to retake the exam has passed, you may need a refresher on the coursework and topics that are covered on the exam. However, with the time and money commitment that a CNA course requires, many people consider abandoning that path. With this specialized course, you’ll be able to relearn the information you’ll need to pass the test, without going through the intensive CNA course all over again.

Our GNA certification program will prepare you for the exam, and in turn, prepare you for increased earning potential and more job opportunities.

Why Top Knowledge Healthcare Institute?

Top Knowledge Healthcare Institute has a proven level of success—our GNA exam pass rate is over 95 percent. We also offer job placement help. When you choose this program, you’ll save an average of $400 over taking the standard CNA/GNA course. Not to mention, the time you’ll save is significant, and you’ll be able to earn more money in your field with the GNA certification.

We’re one of just two schools in Maryland offering this course, which can be greatly beneficial to you and your career. Top Knowledge Healthcare Institute is conveniently located a one minute walk away from Charles Center Station, and many bus routes stop in front of the school as well, making it a great option for those who need public transportation.

Our GNA program is an evening program that spans a course of four weeks—it’s a minimal time commitment for something that can significantly improve your career options.

Want to learn more about the GNA or CNA/GNA programs at Top Knowledge Healthcare Institute? We want to hear from you—call us or contact us online today to get more information about our certification programs.

Understanding the Breakdown of CNA Training Programs

cna training schoolWhen you’re learning about the various requirements for CNA certification, you probably see the same things over and over – theory, laboratory, and clinical components. If you’re considering enrolling in a CNA training program, becoming more informed about the various aspects of the program can be beneficial so that you know at least a little about what to expect. At Top Knowledge Healthcare Institute, our program will ensure all students are prepared to take their exam to become certified nursing assistants.

How Long Are CNA /GNA Certification Programs?

The CNA/GNA certification program is 135 hours in length. The program is divided into three separate components—the aforementioned theory, laboratory, and clinical components. The theory component is 60 hours, the laboratory component is 35 hours, and the clinical component is 40 hours. After the completion of the program, you will be prepared to take the certification exam.

What Does the Theory Component Teach?

During the theory component of the certification program, you’ll learn the necessary knowledge for performing basic patient care services for patients and residents alike. This care must be provided under the supervision of a licensed nurse. In the theory portion of the course, students are taught principles of hygiene and grooming, as well as measuring of vital signs, communication techniques, medical terminology, and more.

Other areas of study include:

  • Basic anatomy and physiology
  • Nutrition
  • Principles of toileting
  • Principles of infection control

Teaching methods during this portion of the training program include demonstration, gaming, group discussions, and more.

What to Expect from the Laboratory Portion of CNA Training

Alongside theory training in lectures, students in CNA training programs at Top Knowledge Healthcare Institute will learn everything they need for CNA certification requirements—including practical, hands-on skills including things like bed-making, feeding, hand washing, measuring vital signs and weight, transferring, moving, and positioning patients, and more. To ensure students are prepared for their careers, TKCHI has increased the minimum required hours for laboratory work from 16 to 35 hours, which has helped our students’ confidence levels, and has empowered them to become the best CNA/GNAs they can.

Clinical Training in Our Program

Finally, our students will receive clinical training. This is completed in the form of a 40-hour externship. With our program, student externships take place in a long-term care facility in the Baltimore area that is affiliated with the school. Before the externship, students are given an orientation to the facility as well as its policies and procedures.

Preparing for the GNA/CNA Exam with Top Knowledge Healthcare Institute

The goal of any CNA certification program is to prepare graduates for working in any healthcare setting. The program at Top Knowledge Healthcare Institute will ensure that students are prepared not only for the CNA exam, but also the GNA (geriatric nursing assistant) exam, which is not required to become a CNA , but is required if you want to work in a long-term care setting or on rehabilitation floors in some hospitals.

To learn more about the CNA/GNA program at Top Knowledge Healthcare Institute, contact us today.

Free CNA/GNA Career Night at Top Knowledge Healthcare Institute

Pursuing a career as a certified nursing assistant or geriatric nursing assistant (CNA or GNA, respectively) is an exciting step to take in your life. If you’re considering taking the leap, but aren’t quite sure, Top Knowledge Healthcare Institute’s free career night is perfect for you. You’ll get all of the information you need to make your decision, and you’ll also have a head start when it comes to finding a great school to do your training with.

The event will take place on Wednesday, February 3, 2016, from 6 p.m, at Top Knowledge Healthcare Institute, located at 19 E Fayette St., Suite 401 in Baltimore, MD.

RSVP to Attend!

What’s Involved in CNA and GNA Work?

At this career night, you can expect to learn all about what a CNA/GNA does, which includes:

  • Bathing and dressing patients
  • Serving meals, helping patients eat
  • Taking and monitoring vital signs
  • Turning/repositioning bedridden patients
  • Answering patient calls
  • Examining bruises and other injuries or wounds
  • Acting as a go-between for patients and doctors/nurses, recording and communicating all issues to medical staff.

GNAs perform many of the same functions, but specialize in working with geriatric patients. Other duties for CNAs and GNAs may include transporting patients, setting up equipment, and preparing facility rooms with necessary supplies.

Certification Requirements

At TKHCI’s career night, you’ll also get important information about how to obtain CNA/GNA certification. In order to become certified, you’ll need to complete a CNA training program, which includes both classwork and hands-on training. Once you’ve completed the training program, you’ll have to pass an exam proving your competency.

During this January open house, you’ll glean helpful information about how to go about completing these requirements. GNA certification requires passing the GNA state exam, in addition to acquiring CAN certification, but this is only required for those who wish to work in nursing homes or rehabilitation units.

Job and Career Information

This career night will also feature information about what you can expect with regards to job and career placement after you’re certified. You’ll learn about employment rates, where you can expect to work (one-on-one with patients, facilities, etc.) and other opportunities in healthcare, as well as salary information.

The information presented at this free career night will help decide whether CNA/GNA certification is for you. You’ll also have the opportunity to learn about Top Knowledge Healthcare Institute’s CNA/GNA training programs, which will prepare you for your certification exams.

For more information about becoming a CNA/GNA or if you have any questions about this free career night, contact Top Knowledge Healthcare Institute today.

Why Choose Hands-On CNA Training Instead of Online Classes?

If you’re considering pursuing your CNA or GNA certification, you’ve no doubt come across a variety of online courses promising quick certification and a convenient way to learn all that you need to know to pass your required exams. While those online courses are indeed flexible, they don’t offer you the same experience as a classroom or hands-on course. 

Taking an in-person CNA certification course not only helps ensure that you learn everything you need to know, but it also gives you the opportunity to connect more closely with your instructors and ask for special attention or help with certain concepts you may have trouble with. This is something that states and certification bodies take very seriously. In many states, like Maryland, online CNA and GNA certification courses are not recognized. 

If your state allows online courses and you’re weighing an online course against a hands-on course, it’s helpful to learn the benefits of why a classroom-based course is the ideal choice.

Classroom Courses Foster More Interaction

There’s no denying that learning in a room of other like-minded individuals can foster a rich learning environment—you’ll be privy to other people’s questions, concerns, and struggles, and you’ll gain experience by answering what you know, and helping people with things you’re good at. In the same vein, those same people may have strengths where you have weaknesses, and can be great allies in the classroom.

There’s Less Chance of Falling Behind

If you’re taking an online course, and aren’t quite grasping a certain concept or block of the class, it can be very easy to fall behind in coursework and what you have a working knowledge of. Falling behind can mean the difference between passing your exams at the end of the class, so it’s essential that you have the ability and option to address any parts of the course that you’re stuck on before they become problematic. If you’re taking an online course, the workload is most likely very fast-paced, leaving you little wiggle room to find help.

Getting the Hands-On Training You Need

Online courses are convenient for not needing to go to a physical location for classwork, but the truth is, you need the hands-on training for nursing that you can only get from real-world instructors. Being able to demonstrate knowledge and ability is a key part to obtaining your CNA certification, and unless you have had guidance and mentorship in person from teachers who know the coursework inside and out, you may be heading into your exams at a disadvantage.

Of course, online courses can be the right choice for some people, but from a big-picture standpoint, onsite classes provide many benefits that online courses simply cannot offer. Participating in classroom CNA certification courses helps ensure you get the proper education and experience you need in order to pursue the career of your dreams. For more information about taking the steps to get your CNA certification, contact Top Knowledge Healthcare Institute today.

Requirements for Obtaining a Nursing Assistant Certification in Maryland

If you’re considering becoming a nursing assistant, you’ve likely been doing some research about what is required to achieve that goal.

You also probably know that the state of Maryland requires a nursing assistant certification before becoming a nursing assistant. If you’re pursuing that goal, it’s helpful to have a list of the requirements for obtaining a certification in the state of Maryland.

Here’s what you should know about Maryland’s nursing assistant certification requirements:

Who is Required to Be Certified?

In the state of Maryland, all geriatric nursing assistants (GNA), certified medicine aids, and home health aides are required to have nursing assistant certification.

Additionally, any individual working in a licensed home health agency, or an individual who performs delegated nursing work in a client’s home must also have certification.

If you are unsure if the work you ultimately want to do will require you to be a certified nursing assistant (CNA), contacting the Maryland Board of Nursing may be a good place to find out what will be required of you in a given role.

What You Need for Certification

If you do require certification, there are a few things that are required in order to obtain it. First and foremost, you will need to enroll and complete a nursing assistant training program in the state you wish to work.

To do this, you will need to find a board-approved nursing assistant training program, then apply for it. Then, you’ll need to participate and pass the program.

To qualify for a nursing assistant training program, students are required to be 18 years of age or older, have a high school diploma or GED, take an admission test if you don’t possess a diploma or GED, and submit to a complete physical screening and background check.

Training Programs

Nursing assistant training programs are required to be at least 100 hours in length. The hours are divided between classroom, laboratory and hands-on clinical training.

There, you’ll learn the essentials of nursing, including infection control, performing personal hygiene and grooming, measuring vital signs, changing linens, and understanding medical terminology, among other things.

After you complete the program, you will be eligible to take the geriatric nursing assistant (GNA) certification exam. This exam can be taken at an approved regional testing center.

Some schools serve as authorized testing centers, however not all do, in which case you will need to preregister with a nearby regional testing center The cost of the exam in Maryland is $105.00.

The exam given will take roughly two hours and 25 minutes, and consists of multiple-choice questions and a second part of the test, which tests the student on clinical skills. In this section, you’ll be required to complete five basic nurse assistant tasks chosen at random in 25 minutes.

If you pass both portions of the test, you are now a certified GNA!

Becoming a CNA is a complex process, one that is not for everyone. But if you choose to pursue this path in life, it can be a very rewarding career.

Contact Top Knowledge Healthcare Institute for more information about becoming a CNA or to learn more about CNA/GNA training programs.

Becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant in Baltimore, MD: What You Need to Know

Becoming a certified nursing assistant (CNA) can lead to a very rewarding career, and with the increasing demand for healthcare workers, it can be a very secure source of employment for many people.

If you are interested in becoming a certified nursing assistant, or CNA, in Baltimore, MD, there are a few things you’ll need to understand before starting on your journey.

Certification is a requirement of working in the healthcare field as a nursing assistant, and in order to become certified, it’s important to find a great CNA training program.

Finding a program in Baltimore, MD that is known for a high success rate can help increase your likelihood of passing the required certification exam.

Finding an Approved Training Program

Certified Nursing Assistant training programs must be approved by the Maryland Board of Nursing (MBON) and Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) prior to accepting students.

Therefore, it’s absolutely essential to check before applying or sending tuition money to a program that it has been approved by the MBON and MHEC. In order to become certified, you will need to complete an approved training program; for a list of approved programs, click here.

Look for a program with small enough class sizes that you will be given adequate attention in the program, and try to find one that has a high exam pass rate—this can contribute to your success as a CNA.

In order to apply for a CNA program, you must be 18 years of age and have either a high school diploma, GED, or a college diploma. If you do not have any of those prerequisites, a school may require that you take an entrance test.

The entrance test consists of basic math and English questions. Check with the program to find out if there are any health requirements that need to be met prior to enrolling in their CNA program.

You’ll also need to provide identification such as a photo ID as well as your Social Security card. Some programs may also require a background check.

Understanding the Training Program Components

Certified Nursing Assistant training in Baltimore is comprised of three parts:

• Theory
• Laboratory
• and Clinical

Theory is usually the bulk, at 44-60 hours, followed by clinical (40 hours), and finally laboratory (16-35 hours).

The breakdown of the program hours will vary depending on which CNA school you attend. In the program, you will learn: basic nursing skills including hygiene, grooming, nutrition, toileting, principles of infection control, communication techniques, taking of vitals signs, and more.

After program completion, you are now eligible to become certified as a nursing assistant by MBON. After you’re certified and after your first renewal, you’ll need to renew your certification every two years.

Start your journey today! Contact an admissions counselor at TKHCI or request an informational packet to learn more about CNA training in the state of Maryland.