So You Want to Get a CNA License in Colorado!
The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 (OBRA) signed by Ronald Regan set minimum standards on how nursing homes and other nursing care facilities should attend to the welfare of its patients. The State of Colorado in its quest to protect the welfare of its people implemented rules and regulations for Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs). By regulating and ensuring that only nurse aides / assistants that have passed their certification criteria will be allowed to work in different nursing facilities.
Nurse Aide Certification
Colorado's Nurse Aide Practice Act requires all nurses including nursing aides to acquire certification before gaining employment in the field. Certification can be obtained in two ways; through examination and endorsement.
You are eligible to take the exam if:
- You have completed a State-approved nurse aide / assistant training program.
- You are a student in a Practical Nursing, Registered Nursing and Psychiatric Technician program with credits equivalent to five (5) semesters of Nursing Fundamentals.
- You completed a Practical Nursing, Registered Nursing and Psychiatric Technician program from any state.
- You are a nurse trained outside the United States. You must verify with the Board of Nursing for the various requirements.
- You completed a State-approved nurse aide / assistant training program from another state provided you show proof of such completion and you have not acquired any license or certification from that state. You may inquire with the testing center for the requirements.
- You are certified nurse aide with revoked or surrendered license. Check the waiting period before you can re-apply. You will be required to undergo retraining.
- You are a Registered Nurse, Licensed Practical Nurse and Licensed Psychiatric Technician.
- You are certified nurse aide that has not worked and paid for at least 8 hours as a nurse aide in the two years prior to applying for the exam
You can obtain application through endorsement by completing requirements listed in the endorsement application form.
Here are some of the State-approved Certification Programs:
- Aims Community College, Greeley
5401 W. 20th St., Greeley, CO 80634
- Arapahoe Community College
5900 S. Santa Fe Dr., Littleton, CO 80160
- Colorado Mountain College, Glenwood Springs
831 Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
- Colorado Northwestern Community College
500 Kennedy Drive, Rangely, CO 81648
- Community College of Denver
1111 W. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO 80204
- Emily Griffith Technical College
1250 Welton Street, Denver, CO 80210
- Front Range Community College
3645 W 112th Ave, Westminster, CO 80031
- Morgan Community College
920 Barlow Road, Fort Morgan, CO 80701
- Otero Junior College
1802 Colorado Ave, La Junta, CO 81050
- Pueblo Community College
900 West Orman Avenue, Pueblo, CO 81004
- Red Rocks Community College, Denver
13300 W Sixth Ave, Denver, CO 80228
- Trinidad State Junior College
600 Prospect St, Trinidad, CO 81082
- Trinidad State Junior College, Alamosa
1101 Main Street, Alamosa, CO 81101
The Certification Exam
There are two parts of the exam: written (or oral) exam and the skills evaluation. Oral exams are given to those who have reading difficulties. Oral exam can also be in Spanish. The skills evaluation is practical exam where you will evaluate in how you perform in five (5) random nursing skills tests. You will be given 25 minutes to perform all the 5 random skills.
Because looking after the welfare of its citizens is an important mandate of any state, Colorado has a set of guidelines to make sure nursing care in the state adheres to federal standards.