CNA Certification and License in 2022 on States Basis

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    Hello everyone, and welcome again to this certified nursing assistant guide.

    After reading this guide to the end, you’ll have first-hand knowledge about CNA certification and licensing requirements and how they differ from one state to another.

    Here are some things we’ll talk about:

    General CNA requirements
    A quick look at CNA training programs
    CNA certification and license requirements in each state

    Without further ado, let’s begin!

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      General requirements for earning your CNA certification and license

      One true thing about CNA certifications and licenses is that various states have their peculiar regulations.

      However, there are general requirements that everyone, regardless of their state of residence, must meet up with.

      Each prospective CNA applicant must prove their competence and skill level by meeting the standards set by the governing bodies.

      Next, the applicant must get additional training to learn other things that need to be done to provide proper patient care.

      You will enroll in a certification program from a reputable institution to prepare for the certification exam.

      You must fulfill the state certification prerequisites to get your license to practice when that is done.

      One of which is that you will write the state’s licensing exam and pass it, if possible, on your first try.

      Passing this exam convinces the state that you are qualified to work as a nurse aide or a healthcare provider.

      CNA certification and license

      The state’s requirements include hours of clinical practice.

      Each state has a different minimum number of clinical hours that each applicant should have completed during their training.

      Next is the submission of the CNA application, payment of fees, and some background checks like criminal records and fingerprints.

      Take note that CNA applications can only be submitted within a specific window determined by the CNA board.

      CNA Certification Exam

      Wondering what the state CNA certification exam looks like?

      The exam is always in two parts:

      First, a group exam– the group exam is either written or oral.

      It is usually a test that evaluates your comprehension of the profession’s basic concepts, procedures, and regulations.

      It tests their knowledge of medical terms, responsibilities of a certified nursing assistant, anatomy & physiology, and other related topics.

      In many cases, this exam is a multiple-choice question format.

      A one-on-one exam: this part is usually with an experienced nurse or other medical practitioners.

      This drill is meant to test your clinical skills.

      Usually, the nurse asks the student to perform some clinical skills like measuring pulse, hand washing, getting a sample, checking blood pressure, etc.

      The nurse will decide which clinical skills to test.

      Take note that you can sit for this exam only after completing your CAN training and submitting the necessary documents.

      Certification Renewals & CNA License

      CNA certification is valid for two years, after which each nursing aide will have to apply for a renewal.

      To apply for a renewal, you will fill out the renewal form, pay the applicable fee, and make sure that you have worked as a nurse aide for the past two years.

      If an applicant does not meet the CNA renewal conditions, some states can allow the applicant to take a competency exam as long as their certification has not expired for longer than two years.

      In the worst case, if an applicant’s certification has expired for longer than two years, or in some way the state has determined that they are not eligible for renewal, they should re-enroll for a CNA program and re-apply for a new state-issued license.

      CNA certification and license requirements in each U.S state

      Certification requirements in Alabama

      • Applicant must have completed an approved CNA program
      • Applicants must have completed 75 hours of training, including 16 hours of clinicals and 16 hours of laboratory duties
      • Applicants must write and pass the state’s competency exam

      Certification requirements in Alaska

      • Applicant must have completed an approved CNA program
      • Applicants must have completed 140 hours of training, including 60 classroom hours and 80 hours of lab duties
      • Must apply to become a certified nurse aide certification examination
      • Sit for and pass the exam for the exam

      Certification requirements in Arizona

      • Applicant must have completed a CNA program that is approved by the board
      • Applicant must have completed a minimum of 120 hours of training
      • Sit for and pass the state’s exam and manual skills text
      • Show that you are a legal resident of the state

      Certification requirements in Arkansas

      • Applicant must have completed a CNA program that is approved by the board
      • Applicant must have completed 90 hours of training and education
      • Sit for and pass the Nursing Assistant Competency Exam

      Certification requirements in California

      • Applicant must not be younger than 16 years
      • Applicant must have completed an approved CNA program
      • Applicant must get their criminal record clearance
      • Sit for and pass the Competency Competency Examination

      Certification requirements in Colorado

      • The applicant must have completed a CNA training program approved by the board.
      • Sit for and pass the NNAAP competency examination

      Certification requirements in Connecticut

      • You must complete an approved CNA training program Completion of a board-approved. The application must be within 24 months that you applied for the certification.
      • Sit for and pass the Connecticut Nurse Aide examination

      Certification requirements in Delaware

      • Applicant must have completed a CNA program that is approved by the board
      • Must pass the CNA competency exam

      Certification requirements in Florida

      • Applicants must have completed an approved CNA training program. The only exception is if the applicant is applying for certification by exams.
      • Sit for and have the state’s minimum score in the nursing assistant competency examination.

      Certification requirements in Georgia

      • The applicant must have completed a CNA training program approved by the board.
      • Sit for and pass the NNAAP competency examination

      Certification requirements in Hawaii

      • Applicant must have completed an approved CNA program
      • Must score above the pass mark in the Hawaii Nurse Aide Competency Exam

      Certification requirements in Idaho

      • Applicant must have completed an approved CNA program
      • Applicant must have completed 120 hours of training
      • Sit for and pass the Idaho Nurse Aide Exam

      Certification requirements in Illinois

      • Applicant must have completed an Illinois-approved CNA program
      • Write and pass the illinois competency exam

      Certification requirements in Indiana

      • Applicant must have completed Indiana’s nursing aide training program (about 105 hours)
      • Must pass both the written competency exam and the clinical skills evaluation

      Certification requirements in Iowa

      • Applicant must have completed Iowa’s CNA training program (about 75 hours)
      • Must pass both the written competency exam and the clinical skills evaluation
      US MAP

      Certification requirements in Kansas

      • Applicant must have completed Iowa’s CNA training program (about 90 hours)
      • Must sit for and pass the state’s CNA competency exam with at least 75%

      Certification requirements in Kentucky

      • Applicant must have successfully complete a CNA training program that comprises 75 hours of classroom and 16 hours of clinical training.
      • Must pass the state’s final exam which is either written or oral
      • Must undergo the state’s competency evaluation

      Certification requirements in Louisiana

      • Applicant must have completed an approved CNA program
      • Sit for and pass Louisiana’s certification exam

      Certification requirements in Maine

      • Applicant must complete a state-approved CNA training program (about 180 hours)
      • Sit for and pass the state’s CNA evaluation test
      • Must complete a criminal background check

      Certification requirements in Maryland

      • Applicant must complete a state-approved CNA training program (about 100 hours)
      • Sit for and pass Maryland’s CNA evaluation

      Certification requirements in Massachusetts

      • Applicants must apply for and complete an approved Nurse aide training program.
      • Sit for and pass the Nurse aide competency evaluation. You can retake the written section four times and retake the clinical section three times.

      Certification requirements in Michigan

      • Applicant must complete a Michigan-approved CNA training program
      • Sit for and pass the Michigan CNA evaluation

      Certification requirements in Minnesota

      • Applicant must complete an approved training program in Minnesota
      • Must sit for and pass the competency evaluation exam. An exemption is if the applicant is in good standing with the nursing assistant registry in another U.S state  

      Certification requirements in Mississippi

      • Applicant must complete an approved training program in Mississippi
      • Sit for and pass the NNAAP examination administered

      Certification requirements in Missouri

      • Applicant must have successfully complete Missouri CNA training program with 75 hours of classroom training and at least 100 hours of clinical training.
      • Must successfully pass the written or oral competency exam

      Certification requirements in Montana

      • Applicant must enroll in and complete a Montana-approved CNA program
      • Sit for and pass the CNA certification examination

      Certification requirements in Nebraska

      • Applicants must be at least 16 years old
      • Applicants must have completed at least 75 hours in a state-approved training program or spent at least 21 hours in a resident care course for the disabled.
      • Must have completed at least one hour of a Nebraska abuse, neglect, or misappropriation training program
      • Must successfully pass the state’s written or oral competency exam

      Certification requirements in Nevada

      • Applicant must complete a state-approved CNA training program
      • Sit for and pass Nevada’s CNA evaluation

      Certification requirements in New Hampshire

      • Applicant must complete a New Hampshire-approved CNA training program
      • Sit for and pass the state’s competency evaluation examination

      Certification requirements in New Jersey

      • Applicants must complete a state-approved training program with significant classroom and clinical training hours.
      • Sit for and pass the state’s competency evaluation examination

      Certification requirements in New Mexico

      • Applicant must complete a New Mexico-approved CNA training program
      • Sit for and pass the state’s competency evaluation examination

      Certification requirements in New York

      • Applicant must complete a New York-approved CNA training program
      • Sit for and pass the nurse aide competency exams

      Certification requirements in North Carolina

      • Applicant must have spent at least 75 hours in a  North Carolina-approved nurse aide training program.
      • Sit for and pass the nurse aide competency exams

      Certification requirements in North Dakota

      • Applicant must complete a state-approved CNA training program
      • Sit for and pass the nurse aide competency exams

      Certification requirements in Ohio

      • Applicant must complete an Ohio approved CNA training program
      • Sit for and pass Ohio’s nurse aide competency exams

      Certification requirements in Oklahoma

      • Applicant must complete an Oklahoma approved CNA training program
      • Sit for and pass the nurse aide competency exams

      Certification requirements in Oregon

      • Applicants must complete a state-based board of nursing approved CNA training program.
      • Applicant must pass a criminal background check.
      • Must sit for and pass the CNA exam through the Headmaster Testing Service

      Certification requirements in Pennsylvania

      • Applicant must complete a state-approved CNA training program
      • Sit for and pass the nurse aide competency exams within 2 years of completing the training program

      Certification requirements in Rhode Island

      • Must have completed any Rhode Island approved CNA training program and must have devoted at least 120 hours to the program
      • Applicant must apply for a nursing assistant license
      • Sit for and pass the CNA competency examination

      Certification requirements in South Carolina

      • Must have completed any South Carolina approved CNA training program
      • Must apply for, write, and pass the South Carolina Nurse Aide exam

      Certification requirements in South Dakota

      • Applicant must be at least 16 years
      • The applicant must complete a CNA training program that the South Dakota Board approves for Nursing.
      • Must apply for, write, and pass the South Dakota competency evaluation exam.

       Certification requirements in Tennessee

      • Applicant must complete a Tennessee-approved CNA training program.
      • Must apply for the state competency exam within 2 years of completing the training program and also pass the exam.

      Certification requirements in Texas

      • The applicant must have completed a CNA training program approved by the state.
      • Applicants must sit for and pass the competency evaluation exams.
      • Alternatively, the applicant can qualify for a place on the Texas Nurse Aide Registry either through waiver or reciprocity

      Certification requirements in Utah

      • Applicant must complete an Utah approved CNA training program
      • Sit for and pass the state-organized competency exams

      Certification requirements in Vermont

      • Applicant must verify that they have completed one of the state-approved CNA training programs.
      • Next, they must sit for and pass the NNAAP examination

      Certification requirements in Virginia

      • Applicant must complete a Virginia-approved nurse aide training program
      • Must apply for and pass the nurse aide evaluation program where they will do a written, oral, and skills test

      Certification requirements in Washington

      • Applicant in Washington must have completed at least 85 hours in a state-approved CNA training program.
      • Must have also sit for and passed the nurse aide competency exam

      Certification requirements in Washington DC

      • Training at an approved CNA program is a must, with at least 45 classroom hours, 30 clinic hours, and 45 nursing home hours.
      • Applicant must have also passed the nurse aide competency exam

      Certification requirements in West Virginia

      • Applicant must enroll in and complete a West Virginia approved CNA program
      • Sit for and pass the CNA certification examination

      Certification requirements in Wisconsin

      • Must have completed a training program that is approved by the state
      • Must enroll in and pass the state-organized CNA competency program

      Wyoming CNA Certification Requirements

      • Training in an approved CNA program is compulsory
      • Applicant must send his applications, contact information, and fingerprint to the state’s Board of Nursing.
      • Finally, applicant must sit for and pass the skills competency exam

      Top CNA training programs

      Attendance at an approved CAN training program is compulsory for anyone hoping to earn a CAN certification and license and work as a registered nurse.

      That is why we think it makes perfect sense to discuss top CAN training programs with you.

      Note that these programs are listed not in any particular order but based on public ratings, tuition, and reputation with the state authorities.

      The American Red Cross

      This program is respected for the education and certification it gives to CNA applicants.

      It operates a hybrid program (offline and online) and is considered one of the most flexible training programs in America. 

      They are present in several U.S stateAmerica’snd cities, meaning anyone whose eligibility status can apply from anywhere in the country. 

      The program takes a maximum of 2 months to complete.  

      The tuition is generally $1250, although some locations can charge a little more or less.

      Red Cross

      Cochise College

      This Cochise college is based in Cochise County in Arizona and it offers several health certificates including the CNA certification. 

      The college offers two courses as part of the programs: the basics of CPR & first aid and clinical skills. 

      The program is not available online and residents of Arizona get a discount.

      The entire program is 12 weeks long, and it costs up to $2,000. Senior citizens also get a discounted price.

      Hutchinson Community College

      This program was created to help train nurses to work with and care for older patients in the long term. 

      The college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and it is strictly a study on site format. 

      It is one of the shortest programs for CNA certifications in the U.S, with the entire program being 12 weeks. 

      In-state tuition is $927, while out-of-state tuition for the program stands at $1,066.

      Elizabethtown Community and Technical College

      This next CNA program is the best in Kentucky and the regions surrounding it. 

      It is the best for those on a tight budget, with the tuition pegged at just $732. 

      Although the entire program is 12 weeks long, you just require just 96 hours of training, which includes 16 hours of supervised clinical instructions, to get your CNA certification. 

      And if you want more, you can complete the entire program to earn the Medicaid Nurse Aide certificate to boost your relevance in the job market. 

      Classroom time is flexible, with students allowed to attend classes in the evenings and on weekends.

      Century College

      This final program on this list offers training programs for CNAs in two formats: full-time and part-time. 

      Students can complete their program either for credit or no credit. 

      Relax, both formats can get you the CNA certification, but the ‘for credit’ option allows the certificate to be converted to a degree.

      It is one of the most affordable CNA programs with its tuition being just $800. 

      Additional information

      We also feel like enlightening you about some certification and licensing terminologies you should know.

      This is because you may be coming across these terms as you work around your CNA certification and license.

      Let’s look at just a few:

      Active: If this is seen on a status, the registration is active. It also means the nurse is licensed and employed.

      Expired: As the name suggests, it means the nurse’s registration has expired, and as such should apply for a renewal.

      It also shows that the nurse is currently not employed to work with a licensed health care center.

      Revoked: This tag on a nurse aide’s entry shows that their registration has been revoked for some reason. As such, they are not employed in any licensed nursing facility.

      Suspended: It means the nursing aide’s registration has been suspended because of some unprofessional conduct.

      Conclusion

      Getting your CNA certification and license is not difficult, as long as you meet the eligibility requirements.

      As seen in this article, even though there are some general guidelines as regards the eligibility criteria, some states have their peculiar conditions that must be met.

      We hope you can find the conditions for the state where you reside on the list.

      The truth is, without meeting these conditions, there is no other way to either get your CNA certification or license.

      You won’t even have the resources to start the application process.

      Wishing you all the best in your chosen career!

      FAQs

      References

      Nurse.org

      Board of nursing

      Registered nursing

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