So you’re thinking about becoming a CNA in Alabama?
But where do you begin?
Allow us to help you.
In this article, we’re going to walk you through the steps on how to become a CNA in Alabama. This way, you’ll know EXACTLY what to do from beginning to end.
We’ll even answer some of the most frequently asked questions.
We have all the information for you.
So let’s get started!
The 5 Steps to Become a CNA in Alabama
To become a CNA in Alabama, you need to go through these 5 steps:
- Research a program
- Meet the program requirements
- Complete your CNA training
- Pass the CNA examination
- Get certified
Now, let’s walk through these steps one by one.
Step 1: Research a Program
All nurses, whether RN, LPN, or CNA, need to undergo education and training before they start.
So your first step is to research what type of program you want to take.
In Alabama, colleges and nursing home settings offer at least 2 CNA training programs — one for a Certified Nurse Assistant and another for a Certified Nurse Assistant/Home Health Care Aide (HHCA).
To decide which path to take, you need to know where you want to work, your plans for your future career, etc. From there, it will be easier to select one program.
Also, when researching a program, make sure that it is provided by a state-approved college/nursing home setting. If not, then it won’t satisfy your CNA training requirements.
Step 2. Meet the Program Requirements
Okay, so you’ve already chosen your program from an approved college/nursing home setting.
To apply, there are certain requirements that you need to meet.
Now, each college/nursing home setting will have different requirements, but, in general, these schools will usually look for the following:
- High school diploma or GED certificate
- Be at least 16-18 years old (this can vary depending on the school)
- Pass a health physical test
- Have proof of health insurance
- Have proof of immunizations for hepatitis B, tuberculosis, and other diseases such as influenza and measles
- Have proof of Healthcare Provider level CPR
- Pass a criminal background check
- Pass a drug test
Step 3. Complete Your CNA Training
During your CNA program, you need to complete Alabama’s minimum training hours. This includes:
- 75 hours of training
- At least 16 hours of clinical training
- At least 16 hours of lab training
If you successfully complete your CNA training, you will be handed a Certificate of Completion.
Step 4. Pass the CNA Examination
Before you can get certified, you first need to pass a two-part competency evaluation — in other words, your CNA examination.
In Alabama, you can take the CNA exam with the following:
- Prometric – Nurse Aide Competency Examination
- Credentia – Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) Examination
To take part, you need to apply with your chosen exam provider. Make sure to provide any documents that they ask for, including your Certificate of Completion.
Don’t forget that there is also a $100 exam fee.
What can you expect from the Alabama CNA exam?
As we mentioned, there are 2 parts — a skills examination and a written or oral examination.
For the skills examination, you will have to perform nursing assistant duties at random. These can include proper hand washing technique, application of knee-high elastic stocking, assistance with the use of a bedpan, and much more.
As for the written/oral examination, you have to answer 70 questions.
NOTE: If you choose to take the oral examination, the fee will go up to $120.
Step 5. Get Certified
Once you pass the CNA exam, the test provider will notify the Alabama Nurse Aide Registry, and, in turn, they will add your name to the Registry.
You are now a certified nurse assistant.
Got some questions? Let’s go over a few of the most frequently asked ones about CNAs in Alabama.
How long does it take to become a CNA in Alabama?
It can take 1 to 3 months to become a CNA in Alabama. This varies depending on several things, including the length of your training program, your exam application, and scheduling, as well as if you pass the exam or not.
How long does my CNA certification stay active in Alabama?
In Alabama, CNA certifications stay active for 2 years. When your certification is about to expire, the Alabama Nursing Aide Registry will send you a paper notice weeks before the expiration date. This is to remind you that you will need to renew soon.
How can I renew my CNA certification in Alabama?
To keep your Alabama CNA certification active, you must show proof that you have worked at least 8 hours in the last 24 months. This includes working in a hospital, home health agency, nursing home, or community mental health center.
It’s important to note that working in private arrangements, such as assisted living facilities and physician offices, will NOT be counted as part of the 8 required hours.
What happens if I fail to fulfill CNA renewal requirements in Alabama?
If you fail to fulfill the CNA renewal requirements, then your certification will have an ‘inactive’ status. And to reactivate it, you have to go through the CNA exam again.
What is included in CNA training?
The topics discussed in your CNA training can vary depending on your provider. In general, though, the topics covered include knowledge of the human body, medical terminologies, effective patient care and safety, documentation, and ethics.
Students will also be asked to participate in different clinical settings designed to prepare them for the real world.
What does it take to be a CNA?
Apart from education, a CNA should possess the following qualities to effectively perform their tasks:
- Great communicator
- Willingness to perform physical tasks
If you don’t have these qualities — don’t fret. If you want to fulfill your dream of becoming a CNA, you can always focus on improving these areas in your life. Going through CNA training will help a lot, too.
And that was how to become a CNA in Alabama.
It wasn’t too complicated, was it?
If you just follow the steps one by one, you’ll soon be on your way to being a certified nurse assistant.
So what are you waiting for?
Go and get started today.