Guide on How to Become a CNA in Nebraska — Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Guide on How to Become a CNA in Nebraska

So, we hear you want to work on your CNA certification in Nebraska. That’s an excellent choice!

CNAs are an integral part of the healthcare community and being one brings many benefits. All in all, it’s a pretty good deal. 

So, if you’re wondering how to become a CNA in Nebraska, you’ve come to the right place! Our guide helps you get your certification in Nebraska. 

Don’t worry — although you’ll need to decide on several things, the process isn’t complicated. We’ve even narrowed it to six steps:

  • Know Your Path to Certification
  • Build Experience Early
  • Check Your Eligibility
  • Explore Your Nursing Aide Program Options
  • Complete the Education Requirements
  • Take the Certification Exam

If you’re ready to go, so are we! Let’s begin!

How to Become a CNA in Nebraska in 6 Steps

Deciding to become a CNA is really the first step. Everything begins from there.

However, you may feel somewhat lost when figuring out what to do next. Don’t worry — let us take care of that.

Our guide walks you through all the possible steps you need to undergo to become a CNA in Nebraska.

Step 1: Know Your Path to Certification

There are many ways to become a nurse aide, and we’ll cover everything there is to know about becoming one in Nebraska. However, it’s crucial to understand that not everyone goes through the same process.

Let’s classify the CNA applicants into three groups. These are nursing students, foreign-trained nurses, and fresh aspirants (those starting from scratch).

Nursing Students

First, check if the nursing program you’re taking covers the contents of the CNA training. If it does, you must submit the following:

  • A cover letter requesting placement in the Nursing Aide Registry

NOTE: It must have your complete name, address, contact number, birth date, and Social Security Number.

  • A copy of your official transcript 

NOTE: If it isn’t available, your instructor can sign a letter detailing and confirming the courses you’ve finished.

If you score less than 70% in any CNA-required courses, you will need to take the state certification exam (go to Step #6) and show proof of completing the state-required program on abuse, neglect, or misappropriation.

And you’re done!

Foreign-Trained Nurses

Nurses who completed their education outside the U.S. can still become CNAs in Nebraska. Here are the documents you need to prepare:

  • A cover letter requesting your addition to the nurse registry with your personal details (your name, address, phone number, Social Security Number, and birthday)
  • A Credentials Evaluation Service Professional Report from the CGFNS: it will confirm whether your foreign education fulfills the requirements for CNAs in Nebraska.

You must complete the 1-hour training on abuse, neglect, or misappropriation and pass the state certification exam. If you have not worked as a nurse for the past 24 months, you must take and pass the competency evaluation exam in Nebraska. You can go straight to Step #5 from here.

Fresh Aspirants

Unfortunately, you’ll have to go through the entire process, from preparing yourself, completing the program, and passing the exam.

Fortunately, we’ll be with you all the way. Let’s start by proceeding to Step #2.

Step #2: Build Experience Early

Like any profession, the earlier you make your mind up, the better off you’ll be. After all, there’s no such thing as being overprepared.

If you’re lucky enough to have realized your calling while still in high school, this step is especially for you.

Did you know that there are many ways to set yourself up for success even if you’re still in secondary school? You can consider the following activities:

  • Attend the appropriate classes: Yes, your CNA program will teach you everything you need to know. However, a lot of the terms you’ll hear will sound foreign. Taking classes on human anatomy can give you an advantage. Biology and chemistry are helpful, too.
  • Get some experience: Seeing what CNAs do in an actual work setting can help you prepare for what’s to come. Why not see if there are any volunteer opportunities in your area? Whether you do it after school a couple of times a week, on weekends, or during your break, spending time in a health facility can give you the practical knowledge you won’t find in books.
  • Start networking: You’re never too young to make connections, and volunteering is an excellent way to build your network. Take the time to talk to actual CNAs and other people working there. You’ll never know — your paths may cross again after getting your certification. 

Step #3: Understand Requirements

The third step is ensuring that you meet the requirements for CNAs in Nebraska. These aren’t extensive, but some will require more effort than others.

  • Age requirement: You must be at least 16 to be a CNA in Nebraska. 
  • Language proficiency: You must speak and understand English or another language most nursing home residents understand.
  • Criminal record: You have not committed a crime violating the accepted moral standards of being a nurse aide.

However, some requirements take time. These are:

  • Completing the educational requirements for CNAs — besides the nurse aide program, you also need to go through a course specifically for Nebraska nurse aides.
  • Passing the CNA state exam

Step #4: Explore Your Nursing Aide Program Options

Next, you must find a nursing program that best suits you. 

Don’t worry! You have more than enough options for approved training providers. The list of the Nebraska DHHS contains almost 50 entities.

Ensuring that your chosen provider is part of Nebraska’s approved list is only one of the things you need to consider. Other factors such as curriculum, cost, and learning options help determine which program suits your preferences best.  

Consider these:

  • Program lengths vary between program providers. At the very least, you must choose a program that meets Nebraska’s requirements. Most programs require a full-time commitment — and it’s workable if completing the program is your only objective. However, if you have other obligations or activities, you might want to check on schools with flexible learning options.
  • Some schools deliver programs using a hybrid approach. This may be a better option if you’re working while studying. You can usually complete the classroom portion online, allowing you to go through the material at your own pace. You’ll still have to do the hands-on section in person, but that’s more flexible than being in school for the entire duration.
  • CNA programs average around $400 to $500, inclusive of books and supplies. However, rates vary between providers. Comparing tuition costs can help you find more affordable options.

Step #5: Complete the Required Education Requirements

Your preferred work setting may affect your schooling requirements. Generally, aspiring CNAs must complete the prescribed training program, which runs for 75 hours.

However, the required number of hours is less if you’re planning to work in an intermediate care facility for the developmentally disabled. You only need to complete a 21-hour course on basic resident care.

Whichever path you take, you must submit the Nurse Aide Notification Form to the Nurse Aide Registry at least five days before your program begins. Their address is as follows:

Nebraska Nurse Aide Registry

P.O. Box 94986

Lincoln, NE 68509-4986

Nebraska also has a state-specific education requirement. You must undergo a 1-hour course on abuse, neglect, or misappropriation. Remember, this is on top of the 75 or 21-hour program.

Once you’ve completed these, you’re ready to take the state exam.

Step #6: Take the Certification Exam

Nebraska’s state certification exam has two portions. 

The written (or oral) part costs $20 and consists of 50 multiple-choice questions. You have three attempts to get a score of 70% or higher. If you don’t, you must retake the 75-hour CNA program.

The skills exam costs $32 and requires you to demonstrate six skills. These may have one or more mandatory steps, so be sure you don’t skip any.

You fail the entire portion if you score below 70% for any of the six skills. Like the written exam, you have three chances to demonstrate all the required skills correctly. Otherwise, you will need to retake the nursing aide program.

Once you pass, your name will appear in the nurse aide registry. You can generate a Wallet Card online and print it. Nebraska does not issue licenses to CNAs.

Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a CNA in Nebraska

How often do I need to renew my certification?

Your certification is valid for 24 months, which means you need to renew it biennially. You can remain active in Nebraska’s Nurse Aide Registry by complying with the following requirements:

  • You worked in a paid position within the last two years. 
  • You worked in an approved facility (view the complete list). 

How much do CNAs in Nebraska typically earn?

As of May 2021, the Bureau of Labor Statistics placed the annual mean pay for CNAs at $33,250. Those who work in Nebraska can expect a slightly lower rate. The BLS puts the median salary per year at $32,380.

Which industries pay CNAs the most?

You may earn more if you work in government agencies or hospitals. These have a median yearly salary of $37,310 and $35,870 for CNAs. Both of these are above the national median wage.

The Wrap Up

And there you have it — everything you need to know to get your CNA license. Although you might through a long process, when you see your name in the registry, you’ll feel that it’s worth all the effort.

Now that you have the steps, you can begin your journey. Good luck!

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