The state of Arkansas is an excellent place to begin your career in the healthcare industry as a certified nursing assistant. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were almost 12,000 nursing assistants in Arkansas and they had a mean wage of over $35,000. You will have excellent job prospects it you get your CNA certification Arkansas, so lets figure out what you need to do to get certified!
Prerequisites for CNA Certification in Arkansas
While there are technically no pre-certification requirements you must meet in Arkansas, there are some things you should be aware of before you begin your process of becoming a CNA in Arkansas. First, there is no minimum age that you must be in order to able to become CNA certified but the minimum age for employment in Arkansas is 14. Additionally, while to high school degree or GED is a prerequisite for Arkansas certification, it may be a prerequisite for the training program you would like to use. However, you should contact the state-approved training program in order to see what requirements they have before trying to enroll.
Perhaps the most important pre-certification requirement in Arkansas though is a clean criminal background. A background check that includes fingerprinting will be conducted when you apply for CNA certification in Arkansas. If you have a serious offence on your criminal record, you may be precluded from having your name added to the state aide registry in Arkansas.
CNA Certification Requirements in Arkansas
The first step to becoming CNA certified in Arkansas is to enroll in a state-approved CNA training programs. There are a number of programs available in the state and you can find a list of them on our Arkansas Training page. The minimum number of hours you must complete in your training program is 90 hours, but your training program should provide you with a good breakdown of the number of hours for classroom and clinicals when you enroll. While this may seem like a lot of work, these hours you spend training are very important to not only preparing you to pass the state exam, but also for preparing you to provide first-rate healthcare after you are CNA certified. Once you have completed your state-approved CNA training program, you are now ready to take the state exam.
Testing Procedure in Arkansas
The state of Arkansas uses the company Prometric to both administer the state nursing exam and maintain the state nurse aide registry. Many CNA programs will help you register for your state exam, but if not here are the following steps. First, complete the application form through Prometric. You can complete the application online or mail in an application. You must also send in a copy of your training completion document to Prometric. This document must include both the training programs name as well as the date that you completed the training. Some Arkansas CNA training programs will have testing sites available but if not you will have to take your state exam at a regional testing site. The last part of the application that you must send to Prometric to setup your exam is the fee. First-time test takers must send in a non-refundable $10 “Eligibility Screening Fee” as well as a $79 test-taking fee. Any candidate that is retaking the test only needs to pay the $79 testing fee.
The Arkansas CNA Exam
There are two components to the CNA exam in Arkansas: 1) the written or oral exam and 2) the skills exam.
The written exam has 60 multiple-choice questions that will test what you learned throughout your training program. Examples of some of the topics covered in this part of the exam include role of the nurse aide, promotion of safety, basic nursing care and providing specialized care. Candidates have 90 minutes to complete the written exam. Practice exams are available online through Prometric for $10 each. While you should be well prepared for the exam through your training program, it does help to take a practice exam or two so that you know what the test looks like and there will be no surprises. Additionally, an oral exam is available if your reading comprehension is not strong enough for the written exam or you prefer the oral exam.
After you have completed the oral exam, you will then take the clinical skills portion of the exam. This clinicals test is a timed test and the amount of time you are given depends on the skills you are asked to perform and it ranges between 30 and 40 minutes. During this time, you will be given 5 skills to perform and you must pass all 5 skills in order to pass the exam. However, this does not mean you have to perform the skills perfectly. In fact, you are allowed to correct a mistake you have made if you verbally tell the administrator about the mistake and correct it before moving on to the next skill. However, you cannot correct a safety error mistake and this would cause you to fail the skills exam.
Your test results will be mailed to you within 10 business days of the date you took the exam. Additionally, your results are also mailed to the OLTC, sponsoring long-term care facilities and training programs in mandatory reports. If you did not pass the exam, your score report will indicate what parts of the exam you failed and the areas you need to work on. CNA certification candidates have three opportunities to test in Arkansas during their eligibility. If you fail the exam three times during this period, you will have to complete another CNA training program before you can re-test.
Arkansas State Nurse Aide Registry
If you passed the state exam, congratulations you are CNA certified! You will now be mailed both your Arkansas Nursing Assistant Certificate as well as a wallet card so make sure and give an accurate and up to date address when filling out your application for the Prometric exam. In addition to being mailed your certificate, you will also be placed on the Arkansas Nursing Assistant Registry.
Renewing Your CNA Certification in Arkansas
Renewing your CNA certification in Arkansas is a straightforward process. First of all, you should always make sure that you have an up to date address on file with the Arkansas Nursing Assistant Registry. Your initial CNA certification is valid for 24 months, and you will be mailed a renewal about 60 days prior to its expiration. The only requirement to renew your CNA certification in Arkansas is that you must have worked for pay for at least 8 hours as a nursing assistant providing nursing-related care. After you mail in your renewal form confirming this requirement, you will be mailed a new certificate. You will have to renew your certificate every 24 months if you want to keep an active CNA certification in Arkansas.
Unfortunately, if your certificate has been expired for most than 24 months, you must begin the entire process over again. However, if your certificate has been expired for less than 24 months, you may be eligible for renewal without having to retest. You should contact the Prometric for more information regarding your individual situation.
How to Transfer Certification from Another State to Arkansas
If you have completed CNA training in another state but did not test and were not added to the states nurse aide registry, you should first contact the OLTC. They will be able to give you more information about whether or not you will have to take additional classes or training before being able to test in Arkansas.
However, if you were previously certified as a CNA in another state, Arkansas may add you to the registry without any further requirements. There is also a chance that you will have to take the Competency Exam. Again, you should contact the OLTC to see if there are any other requirements you must meet before being added to the Arkansas State Aide Registry. Once you have sent in your certificate to the OLTC, they will contact your previous state to confirm your CNA certification and whether or not you now have certification in Arkansas through reciprocity.
Arkansas CNA Contact Information: Verifying Your Certification
Arkansas Office of Long Term Care
Nursing Assistant Training Program
Mail Slot S405
PO Box 8059
Little Rock, AR 72203
Prometric Contact Information