What You Need to Know About a Certified Nursing Assistant License
A Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is a significant member of the medical profession, because they are the front liner in caring ill patients. As the name implies, a CNA assists the nurse and at the same time performs duties lower than those performed by nurses. Their duties are not only contained on caring ill patients but also they ensure that patients are comfortable all the time. A Certified Nursing Assistant performs patient repositioning and taking vital signs. However, before you can work as CNA and perform the duties you should first study and pass the licensure exam for nursing assistants.
Studying nursing assistant requires you to attend three-month courses that include practical and theoretical training. After completing the training you are also required to pass the theoretical and practical licensing exam. The exam will determine where you can apply for job either in a hospital or nursing homes. Here how the CNA licensure exam is given:
- Clinical exam - During the clinical exam the applicant is required to demonstrate everything learnt in the course. The state examiner will test and determine all the things taught in practical training and you will be asked to demonstrate five practical training skills that you have learned during the training. While doing the clinical exam you should keep in mind that examiner is watching every action you take.
- Theoretical exam – Before taking the theoretical exam you should search online for free sample questions. This is recommended so that you can take trial test that can help you determine the areas that you are weak. You should never attempt to take the actual theoretical exam unless you are confident that you will pass it. In the same manner, CNA clinical exam will also prepare you prior of the theoretical exam.
Requirements for Certified Nursing Assistant License
After completing the few months of training course you are required to pass the theoretical and practical exams. Just like taking any other licensure exams there are some requirements to complete.
- Age – The applicant should be 18 years of age or above.
- Competency – This is determined if the applicant has passed the written competency course. It includes 40 hours clinical training under the supervision of a trained nurse.
- High school education – Applicant should complete high school education before enrolling in the CNA course. You will also need to submit transcript in case you have entered college curriculum.
- English proficiency – Since you will be conversing with the patients it is necessary that you are fluent in speaking English.
While you are on your way of getting certified nursing assistant license you need to consider some steps:
- Fill out the application form provided by the licensing authority and have it notarized. Then, you should send the application form to the State Licensing Office.
- Accomplish the Verification of Training form required by the state in order to determine if the school you have attended is accredited.
- Submit medical and background check as well as the fingerprint card to the Department of Public Safety.
- Wait for the approval of your application form.
- Prepare the licensing fee that varies from one state to another.
- Notification will be sent regarding the status of the application. Never call the state Nursing Board to follow up your application.
You can get your Certified Nursing Assistant License in the different states of the U.S. like Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
How to Renew Your License
Once you have passed the exam, the licensing authority will give you license that has limited time. That is why, once the license reaches the expiration date, you need to renew it annually. Renewal fee is charged as well as for the initial license registration. Aside from the renewal fee, some states are also requiring continuing education as part of the requirements for license renewal. In this sense, before your license expires you should check with the local licensing authority for the requirements needed. On the other hand, other states sending mails to those license holders about the renewal notice. This is useful especially for those certified nursing assistants that are not attentive about the expiration of their license.
How to Verify Your License
Having your certified nursing assistant license is not enough because it is your responsibility to verify its validity. The same process just like in renewing the license is applied. However, you should ensure getting the hard copy of the license as it carries the original seal given by the licensing authority. It is important to have valid license as you will need it for job application.
How to Transfer Your License to Another State
Looking for job opportunities from one state to another will require transfer of license. Obviously, if there is no job opportunities in the state where you finished your course most likely you will transfer to other states. In this case, you will not be able to apply for job unless you transfer your license. The process of transferring seems to be tedious that is why you need to follow some pointers to make the process easier.
- Check if the state you had moved to practices reciprocity. This will hasten the process and all you have to do is submit your employment proofs, social security number, educational proofs as well as background check. You are lucky enough if you transferred to a state that will allow you to work while the transfer of license is on the process.
- On the other hand, if the state does not practice reciprocity then you will take the theoretical and practical exam given by the state. There is an instance that additional courses are required to avail transfer of license. In this sense, you should first inquire from the licensing authority of the state you want to move to so that you will not waste time.
Therefore, knowing all the information pertaining to Certified Nursing Assistant license will give an idea whether you will pursue taking the course for certified nursing assistants. After all, all your efforts paid off as soon as you landed a job.