South Carolina CNA Requirements and State Approved CNA Training Programs

In accordance with the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 (OBRA 1987), South Carolina developed and maintains nurse aide training guidelines, a competency evaluation program, and a nurse aide registry for nurse aides. The federal and state regulations help to improve the quality of care in long-term health care facilities. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control  in collaboration with the state’s nurse aide registry define the training and evaluation standards for nurse aides who work at the state’s licensed health care facilities. Part of the department’s responsibilities includes reviewing and approve training programs and certifying and monitoring all individuals who complete a state-approved program and competency evaluation. The state registry mains a list of certified individuals including nurse aides guilty of abuse or neglect of elderly or vulnerable persons.

CNA Classes in South Carolina:

Certification Requirements

South Carolina nurse aides must apply for certification before volunteering or working for compensation at the state’s licensed health care facilities. It is the administrators’ responsibility to verify a prospective employee’s status on the nurse aide registry before extending an offer of employment.

There are several routes for obtaining placement on the nurse aide registry. For new CNAs, the most common route involves completing a state-approved training program before challenging the state exam. Those who successfully complete the exam receive an automatic listing on the state registry. Student nurses can challenge the state competency exam as long they provide proof of completing the basic nursing skills module in their degree program. Out-of-state CNAs, foreign nurses, and military-trained CNAs can also apply for exemption from the mandatory training and proceed directly to the state competency exam.

Prerequisites to Training

Nurse aide students do not need a degree or high school diploma to apply for most training programs. The state and federal authorities don’t have specific education requirements for entry into the programs. However, if you plan to advance your career later on, you should study subjects such as science, biology and nursing principles in high school. Nurse aides with high school diplomas or GED are more likely to advance in the field and earn more for their efforts. Keep in mind that the course workload can be intense, so you should be able to read and comprehend at a minimum eighth-grade level if you plan to succeed.

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • High school diploma (recommended)
  • Criminal background check (fingerprint scan method)
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or legal residency
  • Clean bill of health as evidenced from a physical exam report
  • Negative TB test report
  • Immunization record

South Carolina Certified Nurse Aide Training Requirements

South Carolina requires nurse aide training programs to provide at least 100 hours of combined theoretical and clinical training. Registered Nurses with at least 2 years’ experience facilitate the programs and ensure students get the knowledge and skills they need for employment at long-term care facilities.

Training providers can use different methods to present course topics as long as they stay in line with the state-provided curriculum. Classes cover 80 hours of lecture and lab along with 20 hours for clinical, hands-on experience at an approved facility. Students should cover topics such as communication and interpersonal skills, infection control, residents’ rights, residents’ independence and safety and emergency procedures before direct contact with residents at the nursing facility. Other essential topics include geriatrics, patient transfers, medical terminology, basic nursing principles, anatomy, and physiology.

Due to the nature of training and clinical requirements, South Carolina does not recognize online CNA classes. Applying for and completing an online class as a substitute for traditional classes will result in denial of your application to challenge the state competency exam.

Cost of Training

CNA training costs in South Carolina can be as low as $300 or as expensive as $9,000 based on where you enroll. Training at the state’s colleges and universities will cost you a tidy sum if you don’t qualify for financial aid. While training at these institutions is costly, many students choose this route because the course credits may be applied to nursing programs or other degrees in the healthcare industry.

Adult education centers and high schools facilitate free to low-cost classes for unemployed adults and high school students. These programs meet the state’s requirements for training, but the credits may be not transferable. Private institutes represent an affordable and fast-track route to CNA training as they give students the flexibility of morning, evening and daytime classes, which they can complete in 3 to 4 weeks.

If you don’t mind waiting to begin classes, you can apply for free training at some nursing homes and hospitals. These healthcare providers sponsor training and paid externships to students as a lead-up to full-time employment.

Nurse Aide Testing

South Carolina’s nurse aide competency exam accomplishes two objectives: it tests nurse aides’ competency and qualifies them for placement on the registry. Pearson Vue administers the two-part evaluation at testing centers across the state. The evaluation comprises of a written (English or Spanish Oral) exam and a skills evaluation. Candidates have no more than three attempts to challenge the exam and they must pass both components within two years of graduating from an approved training program.

The written exam contains 70 multiple-choice questions, which you must complete in 90 minutes. There are is an oral option (administered in Spanish or English) for those who have difficulty reading English. The oral exam contains 60 multiple choice questions along with 10 reading comprehension questions. You must request the oral option when you submit the application for testing.

The second segment of the evaluation tests candidates’ skills readiness. Evaluators assign five random skills which nurse aides must complete within 30 minutes. A listing of the skills and sample questions from the written exam is available in Pearson Vue’s student handbook. You must pass both components of the evaluation to qualify for placement on the registry.

Certification Costs

  • Written and skills exam – $ 101
  • English oral and skills evaluation – $101
  • Spanish oral and skills evaluation – $101
  • Written retest – $30
  • English oral retest – $30
  • Spanish oral retest – $30
  • Skills retest – $71

Walk with the following items on exam day:

  • Two forms of identification
  • Three no. 2 pencils
  • Eraser
  • Social security card
  • Non-skid footwear
  • Watch with second hand

Out-of-State CNAs

South Carolina practices reciprocity with other states, which means, you can transfer your certification if you move to SC.

  • The registry will not process your application without proof of employment – include a pay stub or W2 form with the application
  • Documentation of your CNA training – at least 100 hours
  • Download and fill out the application
  • Indicate the state where you received CNA certification and your certificate number
  • Criminal background check 


Certified Nurse Aides must re-certify every two years. The renewal application contains a segment which you must complete on your own and another segment for your employer. Following are some requirements for renewal:

  • Download the application for renewal online if you did not receive a form in the mail
  • Fill out the form with accurate information
  • Provide copies of supporting documents if your name or address changes
  • Provide proof of employment of at least one 8-hour shift within the two-year period. Acceptable proof of employment documentation includes a pay stub, payroll printout, or notarized attestation form.
  • Your most recent employer should complete section III of the application
  • Include the $28 renewal fee

Contact the Registry:

South Carolina Nurse Aide Registry

South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control
2600 Bull Street, Columbia, SC 29201
Phone: (803) 545-4205

Contact Pearson Vue for general information or license renewal:

PO Box 13785, Philadelphia PA 19101-3785
Phone: (800) 475-8290

State Approved CNA Training Programs in South Carolina:

Abbeville, SC CNA programs:
Abbeville Career Center (HST)
100 Old Calhoun Falls Road, Abbeville, SC 29620

Aiken, SC CNA programs:
Aiken Technical College, Continuing Education
PO Box 696, Aiken, SC 29802

Allendale, SC CNA programs:
Denmark Technical College
301 Main Street, Allendale, SC 29810

Anderson, SC CNA programs:
PO Box 1327 1501 East Greenville, Anderson, SC 29622

Richard M. Campbell Veterans Nursing Home
4605 Belton Hwy, Anderson, SC 29621

Forest College
601 East River St. Anderson, SC 29624

Barnwell, SC CNA Programs:
Denmark Technical College
664 Joey Zorn Blvd, Barnwell, SC 29042

Batesburg, SC CNA programs:
Lexington County School District Three /Life Long Learning Center
101 West Columbia Avenue, Batesburg-Leesville, SC 29006

Beaufort, SC CNA programs:
Technical College of the Low Country
PO Box 1288, Beaufort, SC 29902

Bennettsville, SC CNA programs:
Marlboro County High School
951 Fayetteville Ave, Bennettsville, SC 29512

Bishopville, SC CNA programs:
Lee County Career Center
1800 Wisacky Highway, Bishopville, SC 29010

Blackville, SC CNA programs:
Barnwell County Career Center, Health Occupations
5214 Reynolds Road, Blackville, SC 29817

Bluffton, SC CNA programs:
Home Health Academy
14 Westburry Parkway, Bluffton, SC 29910

Blythewood, SC CNA programs:
Westwood High School
180 Turkey Farm Road, Blythewood, SC 29016

Camden, SC CNA programs:
Professional Development and Training Services
1000 York Street, Camden, SC 29020

Chaplin, SC CNA programs:
Chaplin High School
300 Columbia Ave, Chaplin, SC 29036

Charleston, SC CNA programs:
Trident Technical College-Continuing Education
PO Box 118067, Charleston, SC 29423

Cheraw, SC CNA programs:
Cheraw High School
649 Highway #9, Cheraw, SC 29520

Chesterfield, SC CNA programs:
Chesterfield High School
401 North Page Street, Chesterfield, SC 29709

Northeastern Technical College
1201 Chesterfield Highway, Chesterfield, SC 29520

Clinton, SC CNA programs:
Clinton High School
800 N. Adair Street, Clinton, SC 29325

PO Box 727, Clinton, SC 29325

Clover, SC CNA programs:
Clover High School (HST)
1625 E. Hwy 55, Clover, SC 29710

Columbia, SC CNA programs:
C.M. Tucker, Jr. Nurse Aide Training Program
2200 Harden Street, Columbia, SC 29201

Carolina Medical Training Institute
2430 Atlas Road, Columbia, SC 29209

Carolina Nursing Assistant Program Academy
2712 Middleburg Drive, Columbia, SC 29204

Heyward Career-Technology Center
3560 Lynhaven Drive, Columbia, SC 29204

Columbia Hands of Hope
1812 Washington Street., Columbia, SC 29201

C.A. Johnson Health Science
2219 Barhamville Road, Columbia SC 29204

Columbia High School-HST
HST 1701 Westchester Drive, Columbia, SC 29202

Ridge View High School
4801 Hard Scrabble Road, Columbia, SC 29229

Midlands Technical College, Continuing Education
PO Box 2408, Columbia, SC 29202

Conway, SC CNA programs:
Academy for Technology-Academics
5639 Highway 701 North, Conway, SC 29526

Horry-Georgetown Technical College at Conway
PO Box 261966, 2050 Hwy 501 E., Conway, SC 29526

Professional Medical Training Center, LLC
1610 N Church Street, Conway, SC 29526

Darlington, SC CNA programs:
Medford Nursing Center
105 Medford Drive, Darlington, SC 29532

The Darlington County Institute of Technology
160 Pinedale Drive, Darlington, SC 29532

Denmark, SC CNA programs:
Denmark Technical College- Nursing Division
1126 Solomon Blatt Blvd., Denmark, SC 29042

Dillon, SC CNA programs:
Dillon County Technology Center
PO Box 1130 Highway 9 East Dillon, SC 29535

Northeastern Technical College – Dillon Site
1630 Main Street, Dillon SC

Dorchester, SC CNA programs:
Dorchester County Career School, Dorchester Site
507 Schoolhouse Road, Dorchester, SC 29437

Duncan, SC CNA programs:
Spartanburg Community College- Tyger River Campus
1875 E. Main Hwy 290, Duncan, SC 29334

Easley, SC CNA programs:
Orianna Nurse Aide Training Center
101 Grace Drive, Easely SC 29640

Estill, SC CNA programs:
Pruitt Health – Estill
252 Liberty Street, Estill SC 29918

Fairfax, SC CNA programs:
Allendale-Fairfax High School
3581 Allendale-Fairfax Hwy, Fairfax, SC 29827

Florence, SC CNA programs:
Florence Career Center
126 East Howe Springs Rd., Florence, SC 29505

Wilson High School
1411 Old Marion Highway, Florence, SC 29506

Professional Medical Training Center
2204 Second Loop Road, Florence, SC 29501

Florence-Darlington Technical College-Main
2715 W. Lucas Street, Florence, SC 29501

Gaffney, SC CNA programs:
Cherokee Technology Center
3206 Cherokee Avenue, Gaffney SC 29340

Spartanburg Community College
523 Chesnee Hwy Gaffney, SC 29341

Georgetown, SC CNA programs:
Georgetown High School (H/O)
PO Box 1778 2500 Anthuan Maybank Dr., Georgetown, SC 29440

Horry-Goergetown Technical College
4003 South Fraser St, Georgetown, SC 29440

Gilbert, SC CNA programs:
Gilbert High School-HST
Main Street, Gilbert, SC 29054

Goose Creek, SC CNA programs:
Goose Creek High School
1137 Red Bank Road, Goose Creek, SC 29445

Greenville, SC CNA programs:
Donaldson Career Center
100 Vocational Drive, Greenville, SC 29605

Berea High School
201 Burdine Drive, Greenville, SC 29617

Golden Strip Career Center
1120 E Butler Road, Greenville, SC 29607

Greenville Technical College, Continuing Education
PO Box 5616, Greenville, SC 29606

622-C Easely Hwy, Greenville, SC 29611

Ignite Healthcare Institute
1326 Miller Road, Greenville, SC 29607

Greenwood, SC Nursing Homes offering CNA programs:
115 N. Hampton Place Shopping Center, Greenwood, SC 29646

Greenwood, SC CNA programs:
G.Frank Russell Career-Technology Center
601 East Northside Drive, Greenwood, SC 29649

Piedmont Technical College, Cont. Ed.
P.O. Box 1467, Emerald Rd Greenwood, SC 29646

Greer, SC CNA programs:
NHC Healthcare Greenville
1305 Boiling Springs Road, Greer, SC 29650
Training for Long-Term Care
110 W. Church Street, Greer SC 29650

J. Harley Bonds Career Center
505 N. Main Street, Greer SC 29650

Hanahan, SC CNA programs:
Hanahan High School
6015 Murray Drive, Hanahan, SC 29406

Hilton Head, SC CNA programs:
Health Services 2000, Inc.
11 Palmetto Parkway Suite 203, Hilton Head, SC 29926

Hopkins, SC CNA programs:
Lower Richland High School
2615 Lower Richland Blvd., Hopkins, SC 29061

Inman, SC CNA programs:
Caring Hands
4 Blackstock Road, Suite A, Inman, SC 29349

Swofford Career Center
5620 Highway 11, Inman, SC 29349

Irmo, SC CNA programs:
Midlands Technical College
7300 College St., Irmo, SC 29063

Johnston, SC CNA programs:
Strom Thurmond Career Center
17 Par Drive, Johnston, SC 29832

Kingstree, SC CNA programs:
Kingstree Senior High School
615 Martin Luther King Avenue, Kingstree, SC 29556

Williamsburg Technical College
601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Kingstree, SC 29556

Lake City, SC CNA programs:
Florence-Darlington Technical College-Lake City Site
278 West Cole Street, Lake City, SC 29560

Pee Dee Medical Training Center
115 North Matthews Road, Lake City, SC 29560

Lake Wylie, SC CNA programs:
TLC Your Caregivers Academy
14 Executive Court, Lake Wylie, SC 29710

Lancaster, SC CNA programs:
Lancaster HS Career Center
625 Normandy Road, Lancaster, SC 29720

Buford High School
4290 Tabernacle Road, Lancaster SC 29720

Laurens, SC CNA programs:
Laurens District 55- HST
5058 Hwy. 76 West, Laurens, SC 29360

301 Pinehaven St. Ext. PO Box 1259, Laurens, SC 29360

Lexington, SC CNA programs:
River Bluff High School
320 Corley Mill Road, Lexington, SC 29072

Lexington Technology Center-HST
2421 Augusta Hwy., Lexington, SC 29072

White Knoll HS
5643 Platt Springs Rd, Lexington SC 29073

Liberty, SC CNA programs:
Pickens County Career & Technology Center
990 Chastain Road, Liberty, SC 29657

Manning, SC CNA programs:
F.E. Dubose Career Center
3351 Sumter Hwy., Manning, SC 29102

McBee, SC CNA programs:
McBee High School
264 E. Pine Ave., P.O. Box 218, McBee, SC 29101

McCormick, SC CNA programs:
McCormick High School
516 Mims Drive, McCormick, SC 29835

Moncks Corner, SC CNA programs:
Pruitt Health
505 S Live Oak Drive, Moncks Corner, SC 26461

Moore, SC CNA programs:
R.D. Anderson Applied Technology Center
1151 Moore-Duncan Hwy, PO Box 248, Moore, SC 29369

Myrtle Beach, SC CNA programs:
Grand Strand Medical Center
809 82nd Center Pkw, Myrtle Beach SC 29572

Horry-Georgetown Technical College
743 Hemlock Avenue, Mrytle Beach 29577

Mt. Pleasant, SC CNA programs:
Wando High School
1000 Warrior Way., Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464

Newberry, SC CNA programs:
Newberry County Career Center
3413 Main Street P.O. Box 799, Newberry, SC 29108

North Charleston, SC CNA programs:
P.A.T.C.H. (People Advocating To Change Humanity)
2931 Spruill Avenue Suite D, North Charleston, SC 29405

Orangeburg, SC CNA programs:
Orangeburg District-(Five) Technology Center
3720 Magnolia Street, Orangeburg, SC 29115

Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College-Cont. Ed. St. Matthews
3250 St. Matthews Road, Orangeburg, SC 29118

Pageland, SC CNA programs:
Central High School
200 Zion Church Road, Pageland, SC 29728

Pelion, SC CNA programs:
Pelion High School Health Science Technology
600 Lydia Drive, Pelion, SC 29123

Pendleton, SC CNA programs:
Tri-County Technical College
PO Box 587, Pendleton, SC 29670

Pendleton High School
7324 Hwy 187, Pendleton, SC 29670

Ridgeland, SC CNA programs:
Antioch Educational Center
456 Gray’s Hwy., Ridgeland SC 29936

Rock Hill, SC CNA programs:
Allied Technology Center
2399 Main Street, Rock Hill, SC 29732

York Technical College, Continuing Education
452 South Anderson Rd., Rock Hill, SC 29730

Nurse Aide Institute of Excellence
410 S Herlong Avenue, Rock Hill, SC

Saluda, SC CNA programs:
Saluda High School Health Science Technology
160 Ivory Keys Road, Saluda, SC 29138

Santee, SC CNA programs:
Lake Marion High School & Technology Center
3656 Tee Vee Rd Santee, SC 29142

Seneca, SC CNA programs:
Fred Hamilton Career Center-HST
100 Vocational Drive, Seneca, SC 29672

Spartanburg, SC CNA programs:
Daniel Morgan Technology Center
201 Zion Hill Road, Spartanburg SC 29307

Spartanburg Community College
220 East Kennedy St. Spartanburg SC 29302

Spartanburg Community College- Cherokee Campus
P.O. Box 4386, Spartanburg, SC 29305

Summerville, SC CNA programs:
Dorchester County Career School- HST Summerville Site
449 Old Trolley Road, Summerville, SC 29485

Sumter, SC CNA programs:
Allheart Allied Health Education Center
188 South Pike East, Sumter, SC 29151

Central Carolina Technical College, Continuing Education
506 N. Guignard Dr., Sumter, SC 29150

Pathway Medical Training Services
1150 Broad Street, Sumter, SC 29150

Sumter County Career Center
2612 McCrays Mill Road, Sumter, SC 29150

Swansea, SC CNA programs:
Swansea High School
500 East First Street, Swansea, SC 29160

Union, SC CNA programs:
Spartanburg Community College
322 W South Street., Union, SC 29379

Union County Career-Technology Center
1165 Lakeside Drive, Union, SC 29379

Varnville, SC CNA program:
Wade Hampton High School
115 Airport Road, Varnville, SC 29944

Walterboro, SC CNA programs:
Colleton County High School
150 Cougar Nation Drive, Walterboro, SC 29488

Veterans Victory House Nursing Home of Walterboro
2461 Sidneys Road, Walterboro, SC 29488

LaTrice D. Ferguson School of Nursing Assistants
254 Greem Pond Hwy Walterboro, SC 29488

West Columbia, SC CNA programs:
Airport High School
1315 Boston Avenue, West Columbia, SC 29170

Williamston, SC CNA programs:
Anderson Districts-& II Career and Technology Center
702 Belton Hwy, Williamston, SC 29569

Winnsboro, SC CNA programs:
Fairfield Career & Technology Center
1451 US Hwy 321 N Winnsboro, SC 29180

York, SC CNA programs:
Floyd D. Johnson Technology Center
275 E. Alexander Love Hwy, York, SC 29745

White Oak Manor York
PO Box 629, York, SC 29745

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