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Starting a CNA School – A Complete Guide

Do you want to start a CNA school? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting a CNA school business with NO money and no experience.

Okay, so we have provided you an in-depth sample CNA school business plan template. We also took it further by analyzing and drafting a sample CNA school marketing plan backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for CNA school businesses. In this article, we will be considering all the requirements for starting a CNA school business. So put on your entrepreneurial hat and let’s proceed.

Why Start a CNA School?

Nurses can’t handle all the demands of their industry, hence the need for trained professionals to assist nurses so that they can be effective while carrying out their duties. A Certified Nursing Assistant is a member of the health care industry and their responsibility is to carry out health care jobs as assigned by the trained nurse they are working with. Such jobs could be bathing a newborn baby, feeding, dressing, helping nurses to hold patients when the need arises, helping nurses and even doctors to obtain and organize all they would need to treat a patient et al.

Certified Nursing Assistant positions are basically occupied by people who want to work as Registered Nurses but haven’t been able to secure admission; but they want to gather all the necessary experience while trying to pass the required exams before they are granted admission to Nursing Schools and even Medical Colleges, hence the need for certified nursing assistant school.

Just like most business, the trade and technical school industry that certified nursing assistant school is part of is open to as many people that are interested in the industry as long as you have what it takes to run an accredited certified nursing assistant school.

If you have decided to start a certified nursing assistant school, then you must make sure that you carry out thorough feasibility studies and market survey. This will enable you to properly locate the school in a community or city with the right demography; a location that can readily accept your services.

So, if you are interested in this line of business, then with proper planning, you can easily establish your own CNA School and you can be rest assured to have enough students trooping in to enroll especially if the school is close to an educational hub or any place where health services thrive.

Starting a CNA School – A Complete Guide

  • Industry Overview

Certified nursing assistant schools fall under the trade and technical schools industry and the industry comprises of schools that offer vocational and technical training in a wide range of technical subjects and trades. The training offered by trade and technical schools often leads to job-specific certification.

CNA or a “Certified nursing assistant” commonly known as nurses’ aides or a patient care technician or a home health aide worker, works as a link between the doctor or a medical practitioner and a registered nurse. They work under a nurse or a licensed healthcare provider. They provide services to patients and are responsible for basic care services like bathing the patient, moving and lifting the patient and also taking readings of vital signs like temperature, blood pressure and pulse rate.

If you are a keen follower of the Trade and Technical Schools industry in the United States, you will agree that the industry has experienced fluctuations over the last five years due to the recession and stagnant growth in federal funding for such schools.

High unemployment has caused individuals to seek out further education, while employers are increasing their training requirements to remain competitive. Going forward, decreasing unemployment rates combined with the increasing tuition of four-year colleges, will both boost enrollment in vocational training.

The Trade and Technical Schools industry is indeed a large industry and pretty much active in countries such as United States of America, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Holland, Switzerland, Australia and Canada et al.

Statistics has it that in the United States of America alone, there are about 8,876 registered and licensed (accredited) trade and technical schools (certified nursing assistant school inclusive) scattered all across the United States responsible for employing about 127,260 people and the industry rakes in a whooping sum of $13 billion annually. The industry grew at -1.1 percent annual growth within 2011 and 2016. It is important to state that there are no establishments in this industry that has a lion market share.

A recent report released by IBISWorld shows that the Trade and Technical Schools industry operates in a countercyclical manner. The report shows that the industry revenue grew significantly as a result slow economic growth over the five years to 2016, but has suffered subsequently. Sluggish economic activity helped the industry to grow as the unemployed sought professional training to improve their job prospects.

As national unemployment has decreased in recent years, however, so has industry revenue. The report further stated that in recent years, the restructuring of the US economy has accelerated. Service industry professions are in higher demand than ever, while growth in manufacturing continues to fail to impress. As a result, individuals displaced by major economic change are still retooling their skill set.

Due to the fact that it can be stressful to get government accreditation for a standard certified nursing assistant school in the United States, it will be safe to say the industry is under saturated. As a matter of fact, in most countries of the world and even in the United States of America a host of colleges and schools have come up with training programs to get a CNA certification. In recent time in America, almost every state is having training facilities for nursing assistants.

Over and above, starting a certified nursing assistant school requires professionalism and a good grasp of the nursing trade and the overall trade and technical school industry. Besides, you would need to get the required certifications and license (accreditation) and also meet the standard for such business before you can be allowed to start a standard certified nursing assistant school in the United States.

One good thing about certified nursing assistant school is that there is an available market for their services simply because there are loads of people out there who want to work as Registered Nurses and haven’t been able to secure admission but want to gather all the necessary experience while trying to pass the required exams before they are granted admission to Nursing Schools and even Medical Colleges.

Starting a CNA School – Market Research and Feasibility Studies

  • Demographics and Psychographics

The demographic and psychographics composition of those who require the services of a certified nursing assistant school are people who want to work as Registered Nurses and haven’t been able to secure admission but want to gather all the necessary experience while trying to pass the required exams before they are granted admission to Nursing Schools and even Medical Colleges.

So, if you are looking towards defining the demographics for your certified nursing school, then you should target high school leavers.

List of Niche ideas Within the CNA School That You Can Specialize in

There is no niche area as it relates to certified nursing assistant school. Every player in this industry are involved in training and preparing students whose aim are to become certified nursing assistants and to work in the health sector (hospitals and nursing homes et al).

On the other hand, some certified nursing assistant schools may decide to major in online training, while some can successfully combine both online training and class training. It is important to state that the certified nursing assistant school is a niche area under the trade and technical schools industry.

The Level of Competition in the Certified Nursing Assistant School Line of Business

No matter the line of business you decide to pitch your tent, you are still going to compete with others who are into same area of business and certified nursing assistant school is not an exemption. The level of competition in the certified nursing assistant school line of business depends largely on the location of the school and how big and organized your certified nursing assistant school is.

The truth is that no matter the level of competition in an industry, if you have done your due diligence and you brand and promote your products or services properly, you will always make headway in the industry. Just ensure you have what it takes to properly train certified nursing assistants that will go ahead to excel in their profession and you know how to reach out to your target market.

List of Well – Known Brands in the CNA School Industry

In every industry, there are always brands that perform better or are better regarded by customers and the general public than others. Some of these brands are those that have been in the industry for a long while and so are known for that, while others are best known for how they conduct their businesses and the results they have achieved over the years.

These are some of the leading certified nursing assistant schools and universities that offer CNA courses in the United States of America and also in the globe;

  • University of Washington
  • University of California
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • John Hopkins University
  • University of Michigan
  • University of North Carolina
  • Oregon Health and Science University
  • University of Illinois
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • Southwestern College Certified Nursing Assistant School
  • MiraCosta College Certified Nursing Assistant School
  • San Diego Continuing Education Certified Nursing Assistant School
  • Akron School of Practical Nursing
  • Arapahoe Community College
  • Fort Myers Institute of Technology
  • New Mexico State University–Dona Ana
  • South Texas College
  • Eastern Florida State College
  • American Red Cross

Economic Analysis

When it comes to starting a certified nursing assistant school, you just have to get your feasibility studies and market research right before venturing into the business. It is good to mention that starting a standard certified nursing assistant school is not for rookies; it is for professionals who have successfully gathered the required nursing and public health experience and expertise to train aspiring certified nursing aid workers.

Starting this kind of business definitely entails that you acquire the required degree and profession certifications, government approval/accreditation and also build good working relationship with stakeholders in the industry. If you are already a major player in the trade and technical schools cum education industry before venturing out to start your own certified nursing assistant school, this might not be an issue.

Depending on the scale at which you want to start from, you might require as much as multiple thousands of dollars to strike this off and at the same time you might need far less than that if you choose to start the school on a small scale.

You will be expected to hire the services of experts that will help you with comprehensive economic and cost analysis and the profitability of businesses within the location that you intend launching the business. If you get your economic and cost analysis right before launching the business, you may not have to stay the long before you break even.

Starting Your Certified Nursing Assistant School from the Scratch versus Buying a Franchise

When it comes to starting a business of this nature, it will pay you to buy the franchise of a successful and well – established certified nursing assistant school as against starting from the scratch. Even though it is relatively expensive buying the franchise of an established and accredited certified nursing assistant school, but it will definitely pay you in the long run.

But if you truly want to build your own brand after you must have proved your worth in the trade and technical schools industry and the health industry, then you might just want to start your own certified nursing assistant school from the scratch.

The truth is that it will pay you in the long run to start your certified nursing assistant school from the scratch. Starting from the scratch will afford you the opportunity to conduct thorough market survey and feasibility studies before choosing a location to launch the business.

Please note that most of the big and successful certified nursing assistant schools around started from the scratch and they were able to build a solid business brand.

Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face When Starting a Certified Nursing Assistant School

If you decide to start your own certified nursing assistant school today, one of the major challenges you are likely going to face is the presence of well-established certified nursing assistant schools and also well-established universities who are offering same certified nursing assistant program. The only way to avoid this challenge is to create your own market.

Some other threats that you are likely going to face as a certified nursing assistant school operating in the United States are unfavorable government policies, the arrival of a competitor within your location of operations and global economic downturn which may affect the business. There is hardly anything you can do as regards these threats other than to be optimistic that things will continue to work for your good.

Starting a CNA School – Legal Matters

  • Best legal entity to use for this type of business

When considering starting a certified nursing assistant school, the legal entity you choose will go a long way to determine how big the business can grow; some certified nursing assistant schools design their school for regional/community market, some for national market, while others for international market via franchising and online tutorial.

Generally, you have the option of either choosing a general partnership, or limited liability Company which is commonly called an LLC for a business such as a certified nursing assistant school. If your intention is to grow the business and have students both corporate and individual from all across the United States of America and other countries of the world, then choosing general partnership is not an option for you. Limited Liability Company, LLC will cut it for you.

Setting up an LLC protects you from personal liability. If anything goes wrong in the business, it is only the money that you invested into the limited liability company that will be at risk. It is not so for general partnerships. Limited liability companies are simpler and more flexible to operate and you don’t need a board of directors, shareholders meetings and other managerial formalities.

These are some of the factors you should consider before choosing a legal entity for your certified nursing assistant school; limitation of personal liability, ease of transferability, admission of new owners, investors’ expectation and of course taxes. You can start this type of business as limited liability company (LLC) and in future convert it to a ‘C’ corporation or an ‘S’ corporation especially when you have the plans of going public.

Catchy Business Name Ideas Suitable for a Certified Nursing Assistant School

Generally, when it comes to choosing a name for your business, it is expected that you should be creative because whatever name you choose for the business will go a long way to create a perception of what the business represents. Usually it is the norm for people to follow the trend in the industry they intend operating from when naming their business.

If you are considering starting your own certified nursing assistant school, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;

  • Salem Certified Nursing Assistant College
  • Northwest Certified Nursing Assistant School
  • Kingston Certified Nursing Assistant College
  • Eastern Regional Certified Nursing Assistant School
  • Grace Ville Certified Nursing Assistant School
  • Temple Certified Nursing Assistant School
  • Cross-County Certified Nursing Assistant School
  • Theme Valley Certified Nursing Assistant School
  • Sarah Moore Certified Nursing Assistant School
  • Maria Winston Certified Nursing Assistant School

Insurance Policies

In the United States of America and in most countries of the world, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policy covers that are required by the industry you want to operate from. So, it is imperative to create a budget for insurance policy covers and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your certified nursing assistant school.

Here are some of the basic insurance policy covers that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own certified nursing assistant school in the United States of America;

  • General insurance
  • Risk Insurance
  • Financial reinsurance
  • Health insurance
  • Liability insurance
  • Workers compensation
  • Overhead expense disability insurance
  • Business owner’s policy group insurance
  • Payment protection insurance

Intellectual Property Protection/Trademark

If you are considering starting your own certified nursing assistant school, usually you are required to file for intellectual property protection/trademark. This is so because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to challenge organizations and individuals in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.

So also, if you want to protect your company’s logo and other documents or software that are unique to you or even jingles and media production concepts, then you can go ahead to file for intellectual property protection. If you want to register your trademark, you are expected to begin the process by filing an application with the USPTO. The final approval of your trademark is subjected to the review of attorneys as required by USPTO.

Is Professional Certification Needed to Run a CNA School?

Aside from the results you produce as it relates to training your students to become certified nursing assistants, professional certification is one of the main reasons why most certified nursing assistant schools stand out. If you want to make an impact in the trade and technical schools industry, you should work towards acquiring all the needed certifications in your area of specialization.

Certification validates your competency and shows that you are highly skilled, committed to your career and up-to-date in this competitive market. These are some of the certifications you can work towards achieving if you want to run your own certified nursing assistant school;

  • Registered Nurse (RN)
  • Certified Education / Trade Instructor
  • Degree in Public Health and Nursing Related Courses

Please note that you cannot successfully run a certified nursing assistant school in the United States and in most countries of the world without acquiring professional certifications and business license (accreditation from regulating bodies) even if you have adequate experience cum background in the trade and technical schools industry cum health sector.

List of Legal Documents You Need to Run a Certified Nursing Assistant School

The essence of having the necessary documentation in place before launching a business in the United States of America cannot be overemphasized especially a business such as certified nursing assistant school. It is a fact that you cannot run any business in the United States without the proper documentations.

These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own certified nursing assistant school in the United States of America;

  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Federal Tax Payer’s ID
  • State Permit
  • Accreditation Letter
  • Business License and Certification
  • Business Plan
  • Education/Training Curriculum
  • Non – disclosure Agreement
  • Employment Agreement (offer letters)
  • Operating Agreement for LLCs
  • Insurance Policy
  • Consulting contract documents
  • Online Terms of Use
  • Online Privacy Policy Document
  • Apostille (for those who intend operating beyond the United States of America)
  • Company Bylaws
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)

Financing Your Certified Nursing Assistant School

Starting a certified nursing assistant school is indeed an expensive venture and it is not a business for entrepreneurs who are just starting out with little startup capital. Securing a standard school facility in a good business district, equipping the school with the needed medical training instruments, equipment and tools, and paying your employees are part of what will consume a large chunk of your startup capital.

When it comes to financing a business, one of the major factors that you should consider is to write a good business plan. If you have a good and workable business plan document in place, you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business or to partner with you.

Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for startup capital for your certified nursing assistant school;

  • Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
  • Raising money from investors and business partners
  • Sell of shares to interested investors
  • Applying for loan from your bank/banks
  • Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from donor organizations and angel investors
  • Source for soft loans from your family members and friends

Choosing a Suitable Location for your CNA School

Certified nursing assistant school and most training and educational based type of businesses require that you see physically with your clients (students) hence it must be located in good location; a location that is prone to both human and vehicular traffic and a location that is at the epicenter of an educational or health environment if indeed you want to enroll loads of students in your certified nursing assistant school and maximize profits from the business.

The fact that you can operate your certified nursing assistant school from any part of the world does not mean that location has little influence on the success of a certified nursing assistant school. If you have taken your time to study the trade and technical schools industry, you will realize that certified nursing assistant school and related skill acquisition centers are willing to pay expensive rents in order to stay in a busy educational district; a place where there are loads of students.

These are some of the key factors that you should consider before choosing a location for your certified nursing assistant school;

  • The demography of the location
  • The demand for certified nursing assistant training in the location
  • The purchasing power of the residents of the location
  • Accessibility of the location
  • The number of certified nursing assistant school and universities that offer certified nursing assistant training in the location
  • The local laws and regulations in the community/state
  • Traffic, parking and security et al

Starting a CNA School – Technical & Manpower Details

On the average, there are no special technologies or equipment needed to run a certified nursing assistant school except for the needed equipment and technology the students will need for practical sessions. In essence a certified nursing assistant school needs medical equipment, machine, tools and instrument.

You will definitely need computers/laptops, internet facility, telephone, fax machine and office furniture (chairs, tables, and shelves). These medical machines, equipment, tools and instrument can be purchased as fairly used especially if you have limited finance to meet your budget.

When it comes to choosing between renting and leasing a facility for a certified nursing assistant school, the size of the certified nursing assistant school you want to build, and your entire budget for the certified nursing assistant school should influence your choice. If you have enough capital to run a standard certified nursing assistant school that can accommodate a large number of students per time, then you should consider the option of leasing a facility for your certified nursing assistant school.

As regards the number of employees that you are expected to kick start the business with, you would need to consider your finance before making the decision. Averagely, you would need a Chief Executive Officer/Principal Partner, School Administrator, Registered Nurses and Health Workers (Teachers / Instructors), Business Developer, Accountant (Bursar), Customer Service Executive/Front Desk Officer.

Over and above, you would need a minimum of 10 to 15 key staff to effectively run a medium scale but standard certified nursing assistant school. Please note that there will be times when you are expected to go out of your way to hire experts to help you handle some practical sessions. If you are just starting out, you may not have the financial capacity or required business structure to retain all the professionals that are expected to work with you.

The Service Delivery Process of a Certified Nursing Assistant School

Certified nursing assistant and vocational schools are established with the aim of training students to become certified nursing assistants. In essence, a student is expected to enroll in a certified nursing assistant school if they meet his or her expected standard and if it is affordable.

It is important to state that a certified nursing assistant school will work with an established curriculum for certified nursing assistant schools.

Starting a CNA School – The Marketing Plan

  • Marketing ideas and strategies

As a certified nursing assistant school, you would have to prove your worth over and over again before attracting students to enroll in your certified nursing assistant school. So, if you have plans to start your own certified nursing assistant school, it will pay you to first build a successful career in the health, and trade and technical schools industry.

People and organizations will only enroll in your school or hire your services if they know that they are going to get the required skills and certifications they want to get.

So, when you are drafting your marketing plans and strategies for your certified nursing assistant school, make sure that you create a compelling personal and school profile. Aside from your qualifications and experience, it is important to clearly state in practical terms what you have been able to achieve in time past as it relates to health industry and the trade and technical schools industry and the organizations you have trained with. This will help boost your chances in the market place when sourcing for students and corporate clients.

Here are some of the platforms you can utilize to market your certified nursing assistant school;

  • Introduce your certified nursing assistant school by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to all the high schools, high school leavers, churches and other religious centers, youth organization, and households within and outside the city where your certified nursing assistant school is located in
  • Advertise your certified nursing assistant school in relevant magazines, radio and TV stations (make yourself available for nursing assistant related talk shows and interactive sessions on TV and Radio)
  • List your certified nursing assistant school on local directories/yellow pages
  • Attend international nursing and public health education expos, seminars, and business fairs
  • Create different packages for different category of students and clients in order to work with their budget
  • Leverage on the internet to promote your certified nursing assistant school
  • Join local chambers of commerce and industries around you with the main aim of networking and marketing your certified nursing assistant school; you are likely going to get referrals from such networks.
  • Engage the services of marketing executives and business developers to carry out direct marketing

Factors That Will Help You Get the Right Service Pricing

One key factor that will help you offer your certified nursing assistant school services at a price that is highly attractive is to ensure that you source your startup capital from sources that won’t put pressure on you. So also, it is important that you purchase your medical training equipment, tools, instruments and materials directly from the manufacturers or from wholesale distributors. If need be, you can purchase these medical equipment, tools, machines and instruments from the fairly used market. It will still save you some bucks.

Another strategy that will help you offer your certified nursing assistant school training at the right price is to ensure that you cut operational cost to the barest minimum, and channel your efforts towards marketing and promoting your brand name. Asides from the fact that this strategy will help you save cost, it will also help you get the right pricing for your products and services.

Strategies to Boost Your CNA School Brand Awareness and Create Your Corporate Identity

If your intention of starting a certified nursing assistant school is to grow the school beyond the city where you are going to be operating from to become a national and international brand, then you must be ready to spend money on promotion and advertisement of your brand.

In promoting your brand and corporate identity, you should leverage on both the print and electronic media and also social media (the internet). As a matter of fact, it is cost effective to use social media platforms to promote your brand, besides it is pretty much effective and wide reaching.

Below are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand and to promote and advertise your certified nursing assistant school;

  • Place adverts on educational and health related magazines and newspapers, radio and TV stations
  • Encourage the use of word of mouth publicity from your loyal customers
  • Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Badoo, Google+ and other platforms to promote your certified nursing assistant school
  • Ensure that we position your banners and billboards in strategic positions all around your city
  • Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas in and around our neighborhood
  • Contact corporate organizations, high school leavers, churches and other religious centers, youth clubs, schools, and households within and outside the city you are operating in who have the capacity to pay for your services by calling them up and informing them of your certified nursing assistant school
  • Advertise your certified nursing assistant school in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site
  • Brand all your official cars and ensure that all your staff members and management staff wears your branded shirt or cap at regular intervals.
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