A Certified Nursing Assistant or CNA provides basic medical care to patients and clients in any healthcare facility. They are counted among the 55% of employed health care professionals working in the industry today.
Because of the rise in demand for more healthcare workers as reported by the US Department of Labor, aspiring CNAs would be appeased to know that there would be more job opportunities and career development in years to come. However, to practice their profession legally, CNAs are required to secure licenses in the state or area where they wished to work in. Here are steps and information you’ll need to know to get you up to speed.
Licensure Exam Information
Upon completion of the CNA training course, which takes about 2-4 months, aspiring CNAs are urged to submit an application for the licensing examination, which is administered by the state’s Department of Health.
The examination itself is divided into two parts. They are:
- Theoretical Portion – this involves a written exam that included all textbook knowledge gained from the training. Sample tests are available to download or to take directly from many online resources to gauge a candidate’s competency and readiness.
- Clinical Portion – this is administered by the state examiner. Candidates are asked to demonstrate skills learned from clinical training. Examinees are placed under the keen scrutiny of the examiner and therefore must practice privacy and safety procedures at all times. Candidates may be asked to bring someone to be a model patient during this portion of the exam.
To be eligible to become a licensed CNA, there are mandatory requirements stated by the law. All aspiring CNAs must:
- Be 18 years old and above
- Have at least a high school diploma
- Complete and pass a state-approved CNA training program from any of the accredited schools.
- Be a model citizen without any criminal records.
- Be physically and mentally fit.
- Be proficient in English
Make sure that all paperwork and requirements are in order so there won’t be any problems at the very last minute.
The following are steps in applying for a CNA license in the chosen state you want to work in.
- Fill out and notarize the application form from the Nurse Aide Registry or the State Health Department’s website
- Attach the verification of training form to prove you’ve completed CNA training from an accredited school before mailing it to the specified address.
- Send a medical clearance and fingerprint card along with a copy of the verification of training form to the State Public Safety Department
- Prepare for the license fee that may vary from state to state
- Patiently wait for a follow-up from the Nurse Aide Registry to issue your license. This may take four to six weeks. Some state departments post it on their official websites.
Getting a license is a final step in becoming a full-fledged CNA. And just like in any other licensure application involving government agencies, getting a CNA license require patience.