CNA Certification Requirements

September 16th, 2011

The initial step to become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is to successfully complete a CNA Training program. All the prospective Certified Nursing Assistants who have graduated a state approved CNA Training program sit a state CNA exam for CNA Certification. The CNA certification exam tests the medical knowledge of the prospective Certified Nursing Assistants, gained during the course of the CNA training they have completed, as well as the practical abilities they have to perform the duties of a CNA. The CNA certification test aims to test the applicants proper training and knowledge and to certify their abilities to proper serve the needs of the patients they will take care of. Every prospective Certified Nursing Assistant considering to take the CNA Certification Test will be required to pay a state CNA exam fee which is determined by the US state in which the certification test is held. The CNA Certification Test consists of two parts that test the nursing knowledge of the applicants and their practical CNA abilities. On the date of the CNA Certification Test the applicants need to come to the CNA certification center very well prepared to complete the written part of the CNA Certification Test and properly dresses to take the clinical portion. In order to receive a passing grade, successful completion of both parts of the CNA certification exam is required. After successful completion of the CNA Certification Exam the name of the Certified Nursing Assistant is included in the state registry and the CNA gets the rights to work in medical institutions such as hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care facilities and other.

Almost all states of the USA require that health care professionals working as Certified Nursing Assistants to complete a CNA Certification Test. As mentioned above this certification test consists of both written and practical portions. The written part of the CNA Certification Test usually consists of multiple-choice questions, however the form of the test can vary by state, and tests the knowledge of a variety of nursing assistant skills. The prospective Certified Nursing Assistants are usually given a pre-determined range of time to complete this part of the CNA Certification Test. Following the finish of the written part of the test, prospective Nurse Aides will be required to take the practical portion of the CNA Certification Test. The skill test of the certification exam allows the prospective nursing assistants to show their mastery in performing all the nursing skills that are required when working as a CNA. As stated above it is extremely important that the prospective Certified Nursing Assistants come to the certification center dressed in the right manner, so that they can complete the technical portion of the certification test.

After the completion of the CNA Certification Test, both parts – written and practical, prospective Certified Nursing Assistants will be notified about their results through the Board of Nursing or by the certification center in which the CNA exam was held. In case of successful certification the name of the Certified Nursing Assistant is placed on the state registry. In some cases CNAs are provided with a Certified Nursing Assistant card.

In a number of states of the USA, there exist various types of certifications for nursing assistants. These types of supplemental accreditations provide the CNAs skill sets that make it possible for them to perform additional nursing responsibilities.These supplemental accreditations include, but are not limited to:

- Geriatric Nursing Assistant certification (GNA) – certification that allows the CNAs to work in long-term care facilities.

- Home Health Aide (HHA) certification – certification that allows the CNAs to work in home health care agencies.

- Certified Medicine Aide certification (CMA) – certification that allows the CNAs to manage medicine in medical institutions. In order to be CMA certified a CNA must have taken a 60 hour state approved medicine aide course and a Certified Nursing Assistant must also have at least one year of experience as a CNA.

Acquiring  CNA certification allows prospective Certified Nursing Assistants to work in a variety of medical institutions providing daily care for patients and grants a noble and morally and financially rewarding medical career. In addition, having the  CNA certification creates opportunities the certified health care professionals to expand their skill set by obtaining additional training and then taking those advanced certifications.

CNA Certification Test – Overview

September 15th, 2011

In order to be able to work as a Certified Nurse Assistant, every prospective patient care professional must undertake a CNA training course and be tested on the CNA certification test available from the State Board of Nursing. The CNA certification test includes two parts, a written exam and practical part testing the CNA skills gained during the CNA training program. CNA certification is state performed and the CNA licensing requirements are different in every state of the USA. It is highly advisable the prospective Certified Nurse Assistant to register for testing in the state where the patient care professional desires to work in.

Usually the prospective Certified Nursing Assistant is tested along with a group. The written part of the CNA exam is given before the CNA skills test, and everybody attending take the test simultaneously. During the first, written part of the CNA certification test, the prospective Certified Nurse Assistant have to answer close to one hundred multiple-choice questions. The first part of the CNA certification test is up to 2 hours in duration. The written portion of the certification test addresses patient care, monitoring and keeping track of records, care protocols, laboratory and testing procedures.

After the written part of the CNA certification exam is completed, the CNA instructor collects all the finished tests, and then the prospective CNAs are called on to take on their assistant skills test one by one. Usually the prospective patient care professionals are asked to bring along a helper with them to assist in the skills testing and sometimes the certification institution provides a model for this purpose. The model acts as patient for the prospective Nurse Aide to demonstrate all the skills gained during the CNA training. The elements of the CNA skills test vary, and could not be the same for every person. The prospective CNAs doesn’t know upfront which skills they will be tested to perform until the actual CNA certification testing.

The practical portion of the CNA certification exam addresses the most typical skills that the prospective Certified Nurse Assistant will expertise. This usually include:

- performing measurements of patients vital signs such as pulse, blood pressure and respiration

- demonstrating the correct standard way to make a bed, both with and without a patient in it

- ambulating or moving patients, helping them with routine daily activities such as bathing, dressing, moving in to and out of a wheel chair

- reacting to emergencies such as choking, sudden faints, etc.

For most of the states of the USA the results of the CNA certification test are mailed to the prospective Nurse Aide. The certification results are not provided immediately after the CNA certification test completion. Once the prospective patient care professional have earned CNA certification, the professional is licensed to work as a Certified Nursing Assistant, Home Health Aide, Nurse’s Aide, or other similar position at any hospital, assisted living facility, adult day health center, nursing home, or other facility.

CNA Certification Exam

December 4th, 2010

After successful completion of a CNA Training program, the next step to be completed by prospective Certified Nursing Assistants who want to be certified and gain practice rights, is to successfully pass the state CNA certification test. Many of the prospective Certified Nursing Assistants are extremely worried during the state certification exam, since this is the point of the CNA certification process, where all the knowledge and medical skills gained during the CNA Training programs they have attend are tested and their future as CNA professionals is decided. Remaining calm during the state certification test is one of the key factors for a prospective Certified Nursing Assistant to successfully pass the CNA certification test. One of the most granted ways to achieve this is to attend and carefully study all the lessons taught during the training program and make a number of practice tests before the state certification exam.

The content of the state CNA certification exam can differ in the different states of the USA, but the certification test always consists of two parts – theoretical and practical (clinical) part. The results from the CNA certification exam are announced immediately after the end of the certification exam. Upon completion of CNA Training program, prospective Certified Nurse assistants can sit for certification exam unlimited number of times. Information about the time and place of examination are sent to the prospective CNAs before the state certification test, to their contact address provided during the enrollment process. The theoretical part of the state certification exam consists of selected questions testing medical knowledge taught during the CNA training program. The practical part of the certification exam, test the practical skills of the prospective CNAs and their abilities to apply the knowledge gained during the CNA training in their day-to-day practice.

On the day of the CNA certification exam it is very important the prospective Certified Nursing Assistant to be calm and smiling to the patient. This attitude (calm in emergency situations a cheerful attitude to patients) despite the fact that it will benefit the prospective Certified Nurse Assistant in their day-to-day duties, is a skill required from the CNA professionals and the CNA certification committee will score it.
It can be concluded that when all the CNA skills gained during the training program are well-trained and the prospective Certified Nursing Assistant is well skilled, there is no reason for concern.

During the course of a CNA training program, prospective CNAs are trained all the skills and gain all the knowledge to take care of patients and perform their duties and the CNA certification committee will not compromise even single Certified Nursing Assistant lack them. Hygiene is extremely important for the CNA professionals and paying exclusive attention to it will benefit the prospective Certified Nurse Assistants during the state certification test and in their CNA career afterwards. Another important skill that is not directly related to the medical knowledge a Certified Nursing Assistant has, but is extremely important for the CNA professional and will be scored on the certification exam is the ability of a Certified Nurse Assistant to explain to their patients calmly and in details what procedure and how they are going to perform it, in order to allow patients understand what happens and what to expect next and gain confidence of the experience of the Certified Nursing Assistant in charge.
It is highly recommended if a prospective Certified Nursing Assistant misses a step of a procedure performed during the state CNA certification exam, to go back and perform the missed part, and inform the CNA certification committee about the mistake and what was it.

The CNA Instructor who leads the CNA training program will provide preliminary instructions to the prospective Certified Nursing Assistants what to carry on the day of the state CNA certification exam, for example, valid state ID, second watch (required if there is a task a Certified Nursing Assistant to measure patient’s pulse), pencils, etc.

CNA Certification training program – Sample schedule and requirements

July 25th, 2010

In order to be certified every prospective Certified Nursing Assistant must graduate a CNA training program and successfully pass the state CNA Certification exam.

State approved CNA certification training programs consist of two parts – theoretical knowledge and hands-on training.

Every CNA certification training program starts with theoretical course that provides the prospective Certified Nursing Assistant solid knowledge and nursing skills that their patients will expect from them as an important health care providers.

After 40 hours gaining CNA knowledge and hands-on CNA skills in the training classroom prospective Certified Nursing Assistants experience the practice of full care of patients in a long-term care facility. This hands on CNA training helps the prospective Certified Nursing Assistants to gain the confidence and the competence needed to enter the healthcare field and to have successful CNA career.

CNA certification training requirements:

1. An applicant must be at least 16 years of age.

2. An applicant must speak English

3. An enrollment application, a personal admission interview and a physical examination with a Tuberculosis test must be completed prior to admission.

CNA certification training termination (prospective Certified Nursing Assistants will be dismissed on the following grounds):

1. Failure to maintain standards of attendance

2. Unsatisfactory academic training progress

3. Intentional disruption of the CNA certification center activities

4. Deliberate dishonesty

5. Violation of the law

6. Non conformity to the CNA certification center’s rules and policies regarding the use and possession of alcohol or controlled drugs.

Services included in a CNA certification training program:

Usually the CNA certification training center will provide prospective Certified Nursing Assistants services such as scheduling, CNA training, monitoring academic progress and arranging for state CNA certification test. Upon successful completing of the CNA certification training program, prospective Certified Nursing Assistants will receive a list of prospective employers.

Special thanks to www.med-caretraining.com for providing complete information about their exact training program and details about the medical knowledge and skills the prospective Certified Nursing Assistants gain during the training that prepares them for the CNA certification test:

101 Orientation

Learning about  the Certified Nursing Assistant’s role on the health care team. Introduction to health care facilities and their patients.

102 Relating to patients

Prospective Certified Nursing Assistants learn how to understand patient’s basic needs. Building relationships. Using good communication skills. Communicating with the sensory impaired.

103 Infection control

Prospective Certified nursing Assistants get all the knowledge needed to take precautions. Controlling Hepatitis B virus. Preventing AIDS and other infections. Washing of hands. Using protective barriers.

104 Body machanics

CNAs learn all the correct techniques for lifting and transporting patients. Learning how to position, move and transfer patients.

105 Vital Signs

Prospective Certified Nursing Assistants learn to take accurate measurements of temperature, pulse, respiration and blood pressure. CNAs learn their normal values.

106 Basic patient care

Observing, reporting and charting. Promoting independence. Bed making. Personal hygiene. Serving food. Weighing and measuring. Range of motion. Giving a back rub.

107 Elimination

Prospective Certified Assistants get knowledge and skills in using bed pans. Documenting fluid intake and output. Treating bowel and bladder problems.

108 Safety and emergency procedures

CNAs are trained in preventing accidents. Responding to emergencies. Fire safety. Using protective devices.

109 Specific disorders

Prospective Certified Nursing Assistants are trained to understand and care for patients with different diseases such as cancer, heart disease,  Alzheimer’s diseases, diabetes,seizure, confusion and stroke. Dealing with death and dying.

110 Assistive devices

Prospective Certified Nursing Assistants learn all the basics of proper care for patients with: hearing aids, vision aids, canes, walkers, crutches and prosthesis

111 Terminology and abbreviations

Prospective Certified Nursing Assistants learn frequently used medical terminology and abbreviations.

112 Clinical Laboratory

Laboratory time allows for demonstrations of techniques and actual hands on care of patient in a nursing home under the supervision of a clinical instructor.

113 Review and CNA Certification Test

CNA Certification Training duration:

Total classroom training hours – 40 clock hours

Total clinical training hours – 60 clock hours

Total training program – 100 clock hours + 5 clock hours review

CNA Certification grading policy:

A = 90% – 100% Excellent

B = 80% -89% Very good

C = 75% – 79% Good

F = 74% or below Failing

CNA Certification training program graduation requirements:

Upon successful completion (75% and more) of both theoretical and clinical components of the CNA certification training program certificate of completion is issued. If all financial obligations are met the prospective certified nursing assistant has the opportunity to take the State CNA Certification Exam.

Photo copyright: http://www.flickr.com/photos/christianacare

Photo copyright: http://www.flickr.com/photos/christianacare

At the discretion of the Director of the CNA training center, prospective Certified Nursing Assistants who achieve below 75% level will have the opportunity to have 5 clock hours of remedial assistance. CNAs must have 75% to successfully complete the CNA Certification training program.

Training for CNA Certification

July 11th, 2010

Training for CNA certification is a major element of the education program for every prospective Certified Nurse Assistant who wants to start a CNA career in one of the many health institutions across the USA, such as hospitals, assisted living facilities, adult day health centers and nursing homes. Because the Certified Nursing Assistants have very significant role in the national health care system, the quality of their education and qualification are extremely important. A proof for this importance is the fact that both together the Federal Government and all states of the USA on state level have passed very specific policies and rules regulating the qualification and certification of Certified Nursing Assistants. CNA training and certification requirements differ determined by which state of the USA is taken into consideration, but a greater part of the training for CNA certification is equivalent across the USA.

In the course of their training for CNA certification, prospective Certified Nurse Assistants are required to obtain nursing knowledge and practical experience with a number of caregiving practices and medical equipment that are of great importance for those for whom the CNAs will provide health care. The training for CNA Certification is complex and covers considerable amount of numerous health related topics, because of the significant role of the CNAs in the health care system, which includes a broad spectrum of nursing tasks involving basic hygienic necessities along with more complex patient care practices.

Training for CNA CertificationFor instance, prospective CNAs are educated about the required procedures to provide basic hygienic and patient care tasks. This tasks include but are not limited to taking care of patient’s basic dental care, aiding patients shower, grooming their hair, and helping male patients with their shaving. Assisting patients dress and undress as well as aiding them move from a bed to a chair – including the utilization use of mechanized lifts is also taught during the training for CNA Certification. The training for CNA certification also involves theoretical knowledge and practical classes that educate the prospective Certified Nursing Assistants how to correctly move patients in their bed, including the required way to turn a patient over and assisting a patient into every position from supine to lateral. The prospective Certified Nursing Assistants must gain knowledge of the applicable way to aid patients walk preventing  falls, and assist them performing basic exercises intended to maintain or improve patients range of motion. Additionally Certified Nursing Assistants aid patients in utilizing bathroom and bedpan when needed, they empty filled urinary bags, place and change catheters (generally special additional training about catheters insertion is needed). Certified Nursing Assistants are also responsible to assist in getting stool and urine specimens, providing enemas and many other basic medical procedures.

Mentioned experiences are part of the Certified Nursing Assistants duties, but the training for CNA certification requires a lot of nursing knowledge too. The Certified Nursing Assistants aid with many of the duties practiced by Registered Nurses (RN) or Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN). These duties include checking patient vital signs such as blood pressure, pulse, body temperature, respiration.

The training for CNA Certification provides the prospective Certified Nursing Assistants the complete set of knowledge and nursing skills that will be expected from them as health care providers of great importance to the national health care system and helping them start meaningful career dedicated to help others.

CNA Certification Overiew

April 27th, 2010

CNA Certification requires that the prospective Certified Nursing Assistants either enroll in a class that gives the proper CNA training to perform all the Certified Nursing Assistant duties, or the prospective health care professionals can work in medical institutions, such as hospitals and nursing homes where they will be granted practical CNA training that provides them all the nursing knowledge and medical skills needed to successfully pass the CNA Certification test. The requirements for CNA Certification are different for the different states of the USA, but all do require that the prospective Certified Nursing Assistants need to pass a state CNA Certification test that is usually given by a RN (Registered Nurse) who specializes in testing prospective CNA’s medical and nursing knowledge of every single aspect of working as a Certified Nurse Assistant.

There are CNA Classes available, that take only two weeks to be completed, but these types of classes only provide basic knowledge of the Certified Nurse Assistant job. Because of the nature of this career, the skills level improve when the nursing assistant starts to provide actual caregiving and gain more confidence and expertise, so practical classes are very important part of the CNA training that grant excellent results on the state CNA Certification exam.

It is advisable for the prospective Certified Nursing Assistants to attend CNA training classes that lasts at least a month. These types of CNA training programs provide the minimum skills and knowledge to successfully pass the state CNA Certification test. There are a lot of CNA Training programs online but it is better to attend local offline CNA classes.

CNA training classes provided by local colleges or institutions such as hospitals and nursing homes provide complete CNA training programs that consists of two parts, written and clinical. These types of training programs prepare the prospective Certified Nursing Assistants perfectly for the CNA Certification test because they provide complete set of knowledge and skills needed to perform the duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant.

In the classroom courses, prospective Certified Nursing Assistants are trained how to manage all personal care for the patient, including taking vital signs, give bed baths and transfer patient in a safe manner, along with the policies and regulations a Certified Nursing Assistant must adhere to after certification. The first part of the CNA Training in extremely helpful to pass the CNA Certification test and the prospective certified nursing assistants are taught by an instructor who is usually a registered nurse (RN). Certified Nurse Assistants are taught medical abbreviations, the standard values for some tests, how to watch for patient’s signs of serious illness and how to prepare reports.

In the second part of the CNA Training, the prospective Certified Nursing Assistants perform clinical work in medical institutions. This gives them the mandatory expertise needed to take care of patients in a personal and professional way after certification. These practical classes will educate the prospective Certified Nurse Assistants how to prepare reports to the nurses and doctors in charge, do planning, study to bath, take part in feeding patients that are temporary or permanently disabled, and learn to take those that are not to the dining area. During these CNA classes the prospective Certified Nurse Assistants work on different floors of the medical facility, which also prepares them for their CNA Certification test. Prospective Certified Nurse Assistants are introduced to patients that are suffering from Dementia and having many problems that being older in age lead to, and these type of CNA training prepares them not only to successfully complete the state CNA Certification test but also to be great professionals in their field.

Successful CNA Certification leads to a morally and financially rewarding CNA career, career that is for many health care professionals a life mission rather than just a job. CNA certification is also a great way to start a medical career and good starting point to become a LPNs (Licensed Practical Nurses) or RNs (Registered Nurses).

Photo copyright: http://www.flickr.com/photos/christianacare

Photo copyright: http://www.flickr.com/photos/christianacare