Certified Nursing Assistant

What do I need to buy for class?

Venice Nuyda
Feb 21, 2023
Photo credit: NineLife, Apprhs.org, and Cure18.store

If you’re about to start your CNA class, one of the questions you may ask yourself is, “What are the things I need to buy for my class?” This blog post will answer your question and ensure you get what you need for your classes.

There are two sections to the CNA programs: the clinical and classroom portions. Each part will require its own set of school supplies. Each program is different and may require you to purchase unique items, so check with your school leader to see what things are needed.

It is important to note that CNA supplies are state-specific. This is because states have different skills they require. You may view your state’s equipment list on your state's official Nurse Aide website or your skills checklist. 

Is There a Dress Code?

A CNA class will require you to wear a special medical uniform called a scrub. Scrubs will be mandatory to wear during your clinical training. The traditional CNA scrub includes a short-sleeved top and long pants. You may wear a tank top or short-sleeved shirt under your scrub top. 

The color may vary depending on your school’s color theme, and you may need to include your school's name. Most programs will tell you where to buy your scrubs locally and include the embroidery in the tuition fee. Your scrubs may be included in your tuition fee as well, depending on your training program.

What Additional Accessories Should I Bring?

Each state and CNA program has a unique list of what is necessary to bring to school. However, a few general items are mandatory for all programs.

These items include:

  • Blood pressure cuff
    Your training program may provide blood pressure cuffs, but it is necessary to learn how to assess blood pressure in patients. 
  • Stethoscope
    When taking blood pressure and listening to heart rates, you need to use a stethoscope to hear and assess the patient appropriately. 
  • Gait belt
    Gait belts are a must for patient safety and yours. It prevents you as a CNA from getting a back injury when transporting and lifting patients. 
  • Wristwatch
    A wristwatch is also necessary to perform vitals such as monitoring heart and respiratory rates.
  • Face mask
    Face coverings such as masks must be worn during clinical and when required by your state and other governing regulatory bodies and facilities. 

What Text Books Should I Use?

Your school program will give you a list of the required textbooks needed for the program, or they may provide them to you as a part of the tuition fees.

Most medical textbooks, including ones on CNA training, update with newer editions regularly. To save money, you may be able to get away with buying an older edition or even a used textbook. 

One popular book for CNA courses is Nurse Assistant Training by the American Red Cross. It offers information on basic-level skills, infection control, safety and emergency responses, and much more. 

Final Notes

This is a general guide of what is usually needed to buy for a CNA class, and what is required still varies based on the school you enrolled in and your state. These items are the bare necessities of what CNAs use for course and clinical training. Regardless of how much you might spend on your training, remember that an investment in knowledge pays the best interest for your future. Good Luck!

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Written by
Venice Nuyda

Venice Nuyda is a student-support representative at Dreambound. She is responsible for helping students through their training journey in the allied health space. She is passionate about helping others and writing informative articles to aid candidates in advancing their vocational careers.

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