CNA certification is a valid document that an individual is eligible to receive after successful completion of CNA training program and CNA test. It reflects that an individual possesses all the predetermined requirements and standards, necessary to work as a certified nurse in U.S.
Benefits of CNA Certification
When you earn a CNA certificate, you actually earn the trust of your supervisor, doctors, patients and co-workers. The certificate proves your knowledge, talent and skills of nursing. CNA Certification has many positive impacts on your nursing career. It boosts your confidence. It enhances your knowledge and so the self confidence also increases. You become eligible to practice nursing in community healthcare centers and patients’ homes. It makes you competitive and helps in earning better.
To become a certified nurse aide, different states have different requirements, whether it is in terms of age or education, number of hours in clinical or classroom training or the level of understanding a state expects from its CNAs.
To earn a CNA certification, you are required to successfully undergo an approved training program (includes both, clinical and classroom training hours) and a written exam conducted by the state. There are many CNA training programs governed by the federal government, which require a state approved training of 75 hours. These programs help the aspirants get jobs in nursing facilities. The details of CNA training program and exam, required for getting certification are given below. Read on:
CNA Training program
Several vocational schools and community colleges offer CNA training programs. These programs are designed to prepare aspirants for the certification examination. CNA Class coursework is a blend of laboratory studies and clinical experience. Clinical rotations and laboratory studies allow you to use the learnt skills into practice. The training program takes about 2 - 4 months to complete and requires 200 - 250 of coursework hours. CNA certification coursework includes- nutrition, body mechanics, client rights, dementia, medical terminology, blood testing, infection control, anatomy and physiology.
There are free CNA training programs available as well, running in every state of U.S. Under these programs, employers themselves pay for the fees related to CNA tests, training, certification and training related expenses.
CNA Certification Examination
Across United States, the certification exam is almost same. The CNA test guidelines were formulated by the federal government. Final assessment takes place in the classroom. The exam contains two sections- clinical (practical) and written.
To move to the clinical portion, you must pass the written portion first. In the clinical section, you need to complete five different clinical skills. The test giver himself chooses those five manual CNA skills. The skills may range from dressing the ‘resident’ to checking vital signs. Before or after taking the exam, students may be required to provide a criminal background check file or fingerprints.
On passing the final examination successfully, you receive a CNA license or certification via mail. The certificate is valid for at least 1 year from the date of issue. When the validity of the certificate is about to expire, you and your employer receive a CNA certification renewal notice from the governing board.
CNA Certification Renewal
CNA certification is necessary to practice as a certified nursing assistant in any health setting of US. The certification is guided either by the health department or the state nursing board. To obtain a CNA license, you need to register with the Nursing Aide Registry. The license has an expiry period. In every two years, license has to be renewed. State nursing board sends the license-holders a notification for renewing license, as to when it is going to expire.
Sometimes, the license holder may encounter a problem to keep the status of license activated. If a CNA license stays expired for more than five years, you need to complete CNA training and pass the state CNA exam again. Given below are a few questions you may have in your mind regarding CNA licensing. We have tried our best to answer the following questions.
Transferring CNA Certification to Other State
Yes, you can. To transfer your CNA license to any other state of America, you are required to go through the reciprocity process. The first step of the process is to contact your current state Nurse Aide Registry and request an enrollment application by reciprocity.
Fill and send the application to the Nurse Aide Registry of other state (the state you are heading to). In some cases, home registry itself retains the reciprocity application. It is recommended to keep copies of the documents you send to the registry.
How to Renew Expired CNA Certification
CNA licenses remain valid for two years. Hence, the license is to be renewed every two years. 60 days prior to expiration of CNA license, nursing aide state registry sends the license renewal notice.
State nursing aide registry expects the CNAs to meet the specified CNA continuing education requirements, in order to accept their license renewal application. Each state has its own requirements and they notify you for the same accordingly. Keep your updated address information with the state registry, to receive daily notifications related to CNA license renewal. Each state charges a different fee for the renewal of CNA licenses. License renewal can be done online as well.
CNA Certification Eligibility with a Criminal Record
Yes, you are. CNA registry allows you to write a CNA certification exam. But you may face difficulty in getting a CNA job. Understanding the circumstances of doing a crime, employers may consider you. Severity of the crime and your conviction duration will decide your employment opportunities. It is better to check with your state’s licensing authority about possible issues that may come up, if you have a criminal record before taking CNA training.
How to Check the Status of CNA Certificate
The status of CNA license can be checked online. Access CNA registry of your states online and then move to the CNA certification verification page. Fill the asked information and then click the submit button. Your license number, name and certificate status will be displayed after that. If you are able to locate the state license verification page, you can make a search by the certificate number, person’s name or social security number; for obtaining the information. In many states, there is a toll free number as well, to know CNA license status.
Employment Outlook of CNAs after Achieving CNA Certification
Job prospects of this field are very good. This field is growing phenomenally, due to increasing elderly population. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities are expected to grow by 19 percent between the years, 2008 and 2018. Job openings occur on a regular basis, in all 50 states of United States for nursing aides. It is one of the best fields for those, who wish to join the healthcare industry and make use of career opportunities available in abundance here.
CNA Certification by States
- New Jersey
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Washington DC
- West Virginia