Getting Certified as a Nursing Assistant


Nursing assistants play an important role in taking care of patients, and states have set up certification processes to allow new nursing assistants to prove their competence. Hospitals and clinics use the certification as a way of determining that workers are well qualified.

The road to certification begins with an accredited school for nursing assistants. Private schools exist, although many adult education programs are free or relatively inexpensive. State requirements for certified nursing assistant (CNA) programs vary, but in Texas schools are required to provide at least 51 hours of classroom instruction and 24 hours of practical work with patients. Upon completion of the program, students are evaluated. Once graduates are found competent, schools usually arrange for them to take their state certification exams. Provider schools can administer the test, or it may be taken at a facility approved by the Department of Health. The test consists of two parts, 60 multiple-choice written questions, and a demonstration of five randomly chosen nursing skills. The test must be passed within two years of graduation.

After passing the test and receiving a certificate, the nursing assistant is ready to work in a health-care facility. To keep certification active, the holder of the certificate needs to inform the Texas Nurse Aide Registry of his or her employment status every two years.

For residents of Texas, more information is available at the Texas Nurse Aide Registry at 512-438-2040. The registry’s website address is www.dads.state.tx.us/providers/NF/credentialing/nar/index.html, and its postal address is post office box 149030, mail code E-414, Austin, TX 78714-9030.

Residents of other states can find contact information at www.dads.state.tx.us/providers/NF/credentialing/nar/form_2_states_lst.pdf.

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4 Responses to “Getting Certified as a Nursing Assistant”

  1. MARGARET says:

    I would like to learn more about CNA profession as i would like to change careers in the near future.

  2. Evelyn Henderson says:

    I want to learn more

  3. Kris Cain says:

    I am looking for a facility that offers free cna training in /around the Pittston Pa area Luzerne County. I am interested in working in a assisted living facillty
    I am currenty a Home Health Aide.

  4. Jeanea Larranaga says:

    In July 2007 completed CNA training in A&H Nurse Training in Temple Texas. I did excellent in the course but when it came to the state texas I completely bombed it… I was very shy and very nerves.
    Now I want to complete the practice and Retake the state test…what must I do?

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