Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Training

We are offering a CNA course in Dickinson. Based on recent job postings on ZipRecruiter, the CNA job market in both Dickinson, ND, and the surrounding area is very active. People working as a CNA in our area are making on average $20 per hour.*

* https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/Cna-Salary--in-North-Dakota

Session Dates and Deadlines 

Upcoming Sessions

  • May 2024 (Maymester)

Options for pursuing CNA training at DSU

  1. For credit: The didactic course will be 3 credit hours for 60 hours of instruction, skills, and testing. The clinical course will be 1 credit for 16 hours of hands-on, site-based, clinical experience. This would be charged at the current fee per credit rate and would include 1 attempt of testing for the CNA certification upon completion of the course. This course would also include the use of a textbook which is provided, or the student may purchase a textbook. Retest fees of $100 per attempt for written exam, $110 for oral exam, and $125 per attempt for skills.
  2. DSU Department of Nursing would offer the opportunity to “challenge” the state CNA exam. This would be done for a fee of $225 (for written exam and skills) and retest fees of $100 per attempt for the written exam, $110 for oral exam, and $125 per attempt for skills.

When and how the DSU CNA course will be offered?

  1. A two-week didactic course offered during Maymester with an additional week for clinical skills experience. The CNA course will be offered by a full-time faculty member (at this time), in a hybrid modality. State testing will occur following successful completion of both classroom and clinical experiences.
  2. An eight-week course that includes both didactic and clinical experiences offered in both fall and spring semesters. The CNA course will be offered either hybrid or traditional face-to-face and will be determined by the faculty teaching the course. State testing will occur following the successful completion of the classroom and clinical experiences.
  3. Students may sign up to take the course for-credit. A minimum of 6 students is required to offer the CNA course and a minimum of three (3) students to offer the clinical course.

Prerequisites and Registration 

  • You must be at least 16 years of age.
  • You must be able to lift 50 lbs. and be proficient at reading, writing, and speaking English.
  • Required criminal background check, TB, and drug screening (required for clinical practice)
  • Textbook and testing (knowledge and skills exams) fees
  • You must provide a copy of your official vaccination record, including the following immunizations (received or at least, in progress): 
    1. Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccines (2 shot series),
    2. Diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTaP),
    3. Tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis (Tdap),
    4. Varicella zoster – chicken pox (2 shots), and
    5. Hepatitis B vaccination series (3 shots).
    6. The influenza vaccination is highly recommended, although not required, and a copy of the immunization should be included.

Please contact your local public health office and/or your healthcare provider for your records and/or further information. If you need any vaccinations, please note that these are NOT included as part of your CNA course fee.

One-step Tuberculosis (TB) Mantoux skin test and drug screening are available via DSU Student Health on the designated date and time for participants to be screened. Please find content details in the below section. 

Failure to provide these health documents will delay the registration process, and your registration will be transferred to the next available training session. Participants will be allowed two (2) transfers before their registration is dropped and will need to complete the application process again. 

Class size is limited, and enrollment is based on a first-come, first-serve basis. Waiting lists are established once classes have met maximum enrollment.

Classes will be held on the DSU campus in Klinefelter Hall, with lab-based practice in the Nursing Learning Lab (NLL); clinical training will be provided (TBA) in Dickinson, ND.

After you register, you will be required to complete the criminal background check process. Please contact the School of Applied Sciences Coordinator to begin the application process. You will receive copies of your criminal background check and drug screen results.

Class Schedule 

Housing is available as needed in an assigned DSU residence hall. Contact dsu.housing@dickinsonstate.edu or 701-502-4356 for accommodation details.


Attendance is mandatory for each scheduled class and clinical session.

You must

  • purchase the textbook, which you will receive when the class starts,
  • wear scrub uniforms,
  • have a watch with a second hand,
  • wear clean, closed-toe and heel shoes with a soft sole (tennis shoes are recommended). 

During the course, DSU will supply stethoscopes, gait belts, and blood pressure cuffs for you to use. 

Certificate of Completion and Testing 

Once you have successfully completed the course, you will be able to take the hands-on skills and web-based knowledge exams on the DSU campus to earn your Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) certificate. 

When you earn the CNA certificate, it is yours to use for employment, and you will be responsible to the ND Department of Health for subsequent renewal. 

Cancellation Policy 

DSU reserves the right to cancel the course if there are less than six (6) students. Should the class need to be cancelled or rescheduled, participants will be notified one week in advance. 

Registered students may be transferred to the next scheduled class; costs associated with the criminal background check, TB, and drug screening are non-refundable.

If you wish to transfer or cancel registration, you must provide notification no less than one (1) week before the class start date. After this time, you will be charged a processing fee equal to 10% of the class cost in addition to the costs of the CBC, TB, and drug screening. 


Please contact Lynette Silbernagel, MSN, RN for more information.