Becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant in Arizona
The Arizona State Board of Nursing issues certificates to qualified nurses’ aides, approves programs in certified nursing assistant training, and investigates alleged misconduct. A basic curriculum for certified nursing assistant training was approved in 2006. It includes material on understanding the various kinds of healthcare facilities, knowing the roles of different members of the healthcare team, ethical, legal, and professional behavior, needs of patients throughout life, and more. Skills to be learned include communication with patients and family, using safety equipment, preventing infection, providing food and hydration to patients, cleaning and grooming patients, measuring vital signs, reporting abnormalities to the nurses, handling emergencies, and general care.
All aspirants to become certified nursing assistants must graduate from programs approved by the Board. A high school diploma or GED is not required. At the end of the program, a test of written and manual skills approved by the Board is given for certification. The test must be passed within two years of completion of the educational program
The State Board keeps a list of programs offering certified nursing assistant programs throughout Arizona. Included are nursing facility and rehabilitation programs, acute care hospital programs, independent programs, community college programs, and high school programs. Programs vary in length but all teach the same basic skills. C N A Arizona in Mesa offers 80 hours of classroom instruction and 40 hours of lab time. Star Canyon in Phoenix offers two programs, one consisting of two full-time weeks of classroom instruction with one week of lab, and the other lasting four weeks with part-time evening classes and one week of lab. Tucson College’s program is about 8 weeks long. Central Arizona College has a program lasting 16 to 18 weeks full-time and also offers weekend and evening classes. For a full list of accredited programs in Arizona, with telephone numbers, see HERE. For a list of accredited programs with their graduates’ certification test pass rates, see HERE.