Arizona is a great place to live if you think you would like to start a career in the healthcare industry as a certified nursing assistant. There are approximately 30,000 nursing assistants in Arizona and that number is only expected to increase because of the number of retirees and nursing homes located in the state. There are many available CNA training programs in the state to meet a variety of budgets and time limitations. But before you start looking for a training program, lets take a look at what it takes to get your CNA certification in Arizona!
Prerequisites for CNA Certification in Arizona
Technically, there is no minimum age that you must be to become CNA certified in Arizona, but you must be at least 16 years old to be able to work and provide care in what is deemed a long-term facility. Additionally, you cannot have any felony convictions within the past 5 years on your record if you want to become certified as a nursing assistant in Arizona. If you have a felony conviction that is more than 5 years old, the Arizona Board of Nursing will have to hear your case in order to see if you will be permitted the opportunity to get CNA certified.
CNA Certification Requirements in Arizona
The state of Arizona has a straightforward process for getting CNA certified, assuming you already meet the pre-certification requirements. The first step to become certified is to complete a state-approved training program. In Arizona, the minimum amount of training required at your program will be 120 hours. During your time in the training program, you must pass all of your tests with a score of at least 75%. Once you have completed/graduated from your training program, you should now be effectively prepared for the next certification requirement: passing the state exam. We will cover the state exam more thoroughly next, but just remember that it is requirement number 2 for getting certified as a CNA in Arizona. The last step before becoming certified is to complete an application and submit for a background check which includes being fingerprinted. While filling out the application you will have to show proof of completing your training program, passing the state exam and provide other person information as well.
CNA Testing Procedure in Arizona
Since 2005, D&S Diversified Technologies has been administering the CNA state exam in Arizona. In order to schedule your CNA exam, you must have already completed a state-approved nursing assistant program. Many training programs will go ahead and schedule an exam for your when you are enrolled, so you should check with an instructor at your program about whether or not you will have to schedule it on your own after you graduate.
Your test day can be a stressful time, but you should be well prepared for the exam if you paid attention during your training program, studied the material and practiced during proper technique during your clinicals. The CNA exam is about 5 hours long in Arizona and consists of two parts. The first part of the exam will be the written exam, which is actually a 75 multiple-choice question test. You will have 90 minutes to complete this part of the exam. A few of the subjects you will be tested on in the written exam are safety, disease process, resident rights, personal care and many others. There are great resources available for you to prepare for the written exam and if you study, there should be no excuses for not being able to pass.
After the written exam, you will then have to take a skills portion exam. During the skills portion of the exam, you will be given four different skills that you must perform. In order to pass this part of the exam, you will have to successfully perform all tasks without forgetting or incorrectly following any of the key steps. Outside of that requirement, you must score an 80% or better on each skill to pass this part of the exam. Fortunately, if you make a mistake during this part of the exam but catch yourself making the mistake before proceeding, you can tell the tester and correct it right then and there without being penalized.
Exams are not fun, but this exam is necessary to make sure you are prepared to work as an effective nursing assistant. You will be performing important work in the healthcare industry and it is important that you are capable of doing it in a safe and effective manner. If you work hard and listen to your instructors during your training program, the state exam should not be overly complicated. The pass rates for first-time testers are very positive. In 2013, 89% of first-time testers passed the written part of the exam and 80% of first-time testers passed the skills part. These are very encouraging numbers so do not stress about the state exam! Yes, it is a test but you should be ready and prepared for it when the time comes.
Renewing and Verifying Your CNA Certification in Arizona
Once you have achieved CNA certification status in Arizona, you will have to renew your certification every 2 years if you want to keep your status active. Renewal notices will be mailed to you so it is important that you keep your address up to date with the Arizona State Board of Nursing. The state of Arizona does not require any continuing education to renew your certification, but the federal government does require 12 hours of continuing education per year if you are working in a hospice care, long-term care facility or home health facility. Arizona does have employment requirements though for renewal. In order to renew your CNA certification, you must have worked at least 160 hours in the previous 2 years as a nursing assistant.
How to Transfer CNA Certification from Another State to Arizona
The state of Arizona is very accommodating to nursing assistants that were certified outside of Arizona but would now like to work as a CNA inside the state. The only requirement for transferring your certification into Arizona is that you are on the nursing assistant register in another US state and have no active complaints filed against you.
Arizona State Board of Nursing Contact Information
4747 North 7th Street, Suite 200
Phoeniz, AZ 85014-3653