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CNA Certification | Health Science Textbooks | Technology Curriculum

4 Best CNA Curriculum Options for CTE Health Science

March 31st, 2022 | 8 min. read

Mike Cescon

Mike Cescon

With past experience in teaching, a couple of degrees in writing, and an upbringing immersed in medical jargon, Mike is positioned well to hear out the most common questions teachers ask about the AES curriculum. His goal is to write content that quickly and effectively answers these questions so you can back to what matters - teaching your students.

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Whether you’re new to teaching a CNA program or not, you probably know that the course material you choose can either make or break your class. Choose the right curriculum, and your students will be well on their way to earning their certifications. However, choose the wrong one, and they may find themselves unprepared for their exams. 

So what CNA curriculum options are out there? What do these materials look like, and which ones will work well in your classroom?

As a health science curriculum developer, CNA instructors often approach us with questions like these. To answer them, we’ve developed a list of some solid options to help you choose the right material for your students. 

In this article, you’ll discover 4 of the best CNA curriculum options you can use to build your course:

  1. iCEV’s CNA Curriculum
  2. Mosby’s Textbook for Nursing Assistants
  3. Nursing Assisting: A Foundation in Caregiving
  4. North Carolina’s Nurse Aide Curriculum

By the end of this article, you’ll have greater insight into each of these resources so you can choose the best fit for your classroom.

1. iCEV’s CNA Curriculum

Content Areas :: iCEV | Online CTE Curriculum & Certification Testing

iCEV is a curriculum provider specializing in Career and Technical Education (CTE). They offer a robust curriculum designed to teach students the essential hands-on skills they’ll need to succeed as Certified Nurse Assistants.

iCEV’s CNA curriculum consists of 26 lessons, each long enough to cover one or more class periods. Some of these lessons include:

  • Cleaning Upper or Lower Denture
  • Counting and Recording Respirations
  • Dressing an Individual with a Weak Arm
  • Measuring and Recording Weight
  • Positioning an Individual On Side
  • Cleaning and Covering Wounds
  • Feeding an Individual Who Cannot Feed Themselves
  • Measuring and Recording Blood Pressure

iCEV typically focuses their lessons on video presentations and demonstrations that students can watch to understand the procedures they’ll perform as CNAs. In addition, iCEV includes lesson plans, student handouts, assessments, and class projects students can complete to showcase their understanding of the material. 

How Much Does This CNA Curriculum Cost?

iCEV doesn’t include their pricing information on their website, so you’ll have to reach out to them directly if you want an idea of how much their curriculum will cost.

Who Is This CNA Curriculum Intended For?

iCEV’s curriculum is specifically designed to prepare students for the demonstration portion of the CNA exam. They have a very hands-on, practical bent to their materials, which may make them a good fit if you want to teach students the functional skills they’ll be using day-to-day.

If you need a CNA curriculum that goes in in-depth and focuses on clinical skills work, then iCEV might be the right choice for you.

2. Mosby’s Textbook for Nursing Assistants

Authors: Sheila A. Sorrentino and Leighann Remmert

Copyright: Elsevier 2022

Mosby’s Textbook for Nursing Assistants, 10th Edition is a comprehensive textbook designed to prepare students for assisting work in long-term, acute, and subacute care. It includes specific instructions on performing dozens of procedures, while maintaining an easy-to-grasp reading level to ensure students don’t get lost. 

Mosby’s Textbook divides its content across 60 chapters, meant to cover most circumstances a nurse assistant will encounter. Some of these chapters include:

  • The Nursing Assistant
  • Health Team Communicationscover image - Mosby's Textbook for Nursing Assistants - Hard Cover Version,10th Edition
  • Preventing Falls
  • Nutritional Support and IV Therapy
  • Vital Signs
  • Collecting and Testing Specimens
  • Wound Care
  • Confusion and Dementia
  • Emergency Care
  • Getting a Job

Included among these chapters are important guides to help future CNAs manage their time, care for patients with special needs, thrive as a member of a team, develop the soft skills necessary to get their first job, and more. 

The sheer amount of content in this textbook should also completely cover the topics your students need to learn to pass certification exams like the NNAAP. 

How Much Does This CNA Curriculum Cost?

Mosby’s Textbook for Nursing Assistants has hardcover and softcover versions available on Elsevier’s website. The hardcover version has a list price of $80.95, while the softcover version has a list price of $79.95. 

Despite this price difference, both versions have the same page count and content.

Who Is This CNA Curriculum Intended For?

Mosby’s Textbook would work well for traditional teachers who want the tried-and-true reliability that a textbook provides. It focuses on being as detailed as possible while maintaining readability, which makes it a strong option when it comes to choosing your CNA curriculum. 

If you’re seeking an all-inclusive curriculum to teach your CNA course and prefer using a textbook, then Mosby’s Textbook for Nursing Assistants would likely be a solid choice for you.

3. Nursing Assisting: A Foundation in Caregiving

Author: Diana L. Dugan

Copyright: Hartman 2019

Nursing Assisting: A Foundation in Caregiving, 5th Edition is another foundational textbook to consider for your CNA course. It provides an in-depth exploration of the knowledge and skills nursing assistants need, focusing much of its content around anatomy and physiology and specific clinical procedures students can learn and practice. 

This textbook has 28 chapters of material organized largely by body system. Some of these chapters include: 

  • The Nursing Assistant in Long Term
  • Diversity and Human Needs and DevelopmentCNA curriculum - nursing assistant textbook
  • Safety and Body Mechanics
  • Vital Signs
  • Nutrition and Fluid Balance
  • The Gastrointestinal System
  • The Respiratory System
  • The Endocrine System
  • Subacute Care
  • Your New Position

Accompanying each of these chapters are exams meant to test student knowledge and challenge their critical thinking skills. 

Other features include a table of medical procedures, a list of medical abbreviations, and an appendix with a math review meant to help students.

How Much Does This CNA Curriculum Cost?

Nursing Assisting: A Foundation in Caregiving has both hardcover and softcover versions available on Hartman’s website, as well as bonus materials like student workbooks and an instructor’s guide. 

The listed prices for each of these products are:

  • A softcover version costs $60.00.
  • A hardcover version costs $65.00.
  • A student workbook costs $18.60. 
  • The instructor’s guide costs $39.90.

What’s more, depending on the number of textbooks you buy, you’ll get significant discounts on each of these products.

Who Is This CNA Curriculum Intended For?

Nursing Assisting: A Foundation in Caregiving would be an excellent fit for teachers looking to introduce students to the knowledge they need to pass their exams and become CNAs. Its specific focus on bodily systems ensures that students have a foundational understanding of their patients and how their care will affect them.

If you’re seeking a well-rounded textbook structured around anatomy and physiology, then Nursing Assisting: A Foundation in Caregiving could be the right choice for your CNA course.

4. North Carolina’s Nurse Aide Curriculum

Division of Health Service Regulation

North Carolina’s Division of Health Service Regulation (DHSR) is a government organization that oversees medical facilities throughout the state to ensure patients receive proper, effective care. 

One of the duties of the DHSR is to regulate registry, training, and competency programs for specific medical professionals like Nurse Aides. To that end, they offer a free CNA curriculum to help train future Nurse Aides in essential skills. 

This curriculum is divided into 25 modules, each covering a different Nurse Aide topic. Some of these modules include:

  • The Nurse Aide I
  • Infection Prevention
  • Communication
  • Law and Ethics
  • Basic Restorative Care
  • Body Systems
  • Nutrition and Fluids
  • Restraint Elimination, Reduction, Appropriate Use
  • Mental Health and Mental Illness
  • End of Life Care

Each of these modules comes with a teaching guide, vocab list, PowerPoint presentation, and student handout to help them take notes and answer questions. 

These documents are available to download individually or as zip files, which makes this resource versatile enough to serve as either a core CNA curriculum or a supplemental resource. 

How Much Does This CNA Curriculum Cost?

One of the largest benefits of this curriculum is that it’s completely free. You can simply go on the DHSR’s website and download the materials directly, with no strings attached. That makes this option a solid choice for teachers with a small budget who still want a core curriculum for their courses.

Who Is This CNA Curriculum Intended For?

North Carolina’s Nurse Aide Curriculum is structured around the NNAAP exam, which means by using this material, you’ll be directly preparing your students for one of the most prominent nursing assistant certification exams in the country. 

However, there are a few drawbacks to this resource. For one, because it was created for North Carolina, you might have to tweak it here and there to better adapt it to your state. Since the materials are composed primarily of hard-to-customize PDFs, however, that could be difficult. 

In any case, if you have a smaller budget and need a free, comprehensive curriculum for your CNA course, then North Carolina’s Nurse Aide curriculum would likely be an excellent fit. 

Need a More Engaging CNA Curriculum?

Choosing the right curriculum is essential to ensuring your students learn the skills necessary to become CNAs. In this article, you’ve learned about some of the best CNA curriculum options out there to form the core of your course. By picking one of these four, your students will gain the information they need to pass their exams and get certified. 

However, comprehensiveness isn’t the only marker of a great curriculum. Though the options here are well-rounded and in-depth, what really makes a course stick with students is making sure they’re engaged along the way. 

To that end, consider HealthCenter21 as another option for your CNA curriculum. It’s comprehensive, aligned with popular certifications like the NNAAP, and more importantly, engaging enough to ensure your class is one your students remember. 

For more information on HealthCenter21, check out this article on how to use it as a curriculum for your CNA course:

How to Use HealthCenter21 in a CNA Course >