Certified nursing assistants continue to be an in-demand profession.
So if you’re thinking of becoming one in Georgia – that’s AWESOME!
However, you might not know where to begin.
To make it even more confusing, different states have different requirements.
We’re here to help.
In this article, we’re going to give you a complete guide on how to become a CNA in Georgia. We’ll walk you through all the steps.
Plus, we’ll even tell you the eligibility routes if you’re an RN or a CNA from a different state. We’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions, too.
So welcome to your complete guide!
The 3 Steps to Becoming a CNA in Georgia
What’s great about becoming a CNA is that the process isn’t complicated.
In Georgia, you only need to complete 3 steps, including:
Let’s go through the steps in detail.
Step 1: Choose an Approved CNA Program
Nursing homes, vocational schools, technical colleges, high schools, and home care agencies all provide state-approved CNA programs. You can find a complete list of approved providers here.
Tuition can cost anywhere from $500 to $800, sometimes even $1,000+. If budget is a concern, hospitals and care facilities offer in-house training programs, but there’s usually a waitlist.
The Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) also has a partnership with a select few community colleges and technical schools to give underprivileged trainees equal access to becoming CNAs.
There are so many great CNA programs to choose from. Just make sure that it is Board-approved so that it will satisfy your CNA education requirements.
Usually, getting into a program is easy. Some providers don’t even ask for a high school diploma; you just have to be at least 16 years old to be eligible.
Step 2: Complete Your CNA Training
In Georgia, CNA trainees are required to complete a minimum of 85 hours of training.
Now, the program consists of two parts — classroom instruction and hands-on clinical training.
Classes typically include topics such as:
- Recording vital signs
- Measuring and recording height and weight
- Reporting abnormal changes in bodily function to a supervisor
- Patient safety and cleanliness
- Basic nutrition
- Mental health and social service needs
- Care of cognitively-impaired residents
What’s more, you will need at least 16 hours of training in the following areas:
- Infection control
- Respecting patient rights
- Patient independence
- Safety/FBAO/Body Mechanics
- Legal/ethical behavior and scope of practice
- Communication and interpersonal skills
From there, you will then need to complete at least 24 hours of clinical experience in a nursing home.
The whole program can take anywhere between 2 months to a year. If you’re in a rush, you can join accelerated programs that can take as fast as 4 weeks to finish.
Step 3: Pass the CNA Certification Exam
Before you can get certified, you first need to pass the CNA exam, called the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP). This will evaluate if you are ready to be a certified nursing assistant.
Now, the exam has 2 parts — a written (or oral) test and a skills evaluation. You have to pass both to be certified.
Where do you take the exam?
Credentia is the new credentialing provider for Georgia nurse aide candidates.
Here are the steps you need to take:
- Go to the Credentia website.
- Create a CNA365 account.
- Go to your dashboard page and click ‘Start New Application’.
- Select your eligibility route (more on this below), then click ‘Start’.
- Fill up the application form and upload any required documents.
- Wait for your confirmation email, after which you can schedule your exam on the dashboard page.
- Pay the exam fee of $112 through a credit or debit card.
NOTE: CNAs working as Medicaids/Medicares in nursing homes are exempt from paying the exam fee. Instead, employers should be the ones to settle the payment.
- On your scheduled date, arrive 30 minutes early. Your appointment will be canceled if you’re late, and you won’t be refunded.
- Bring the following items:
- 2 forms of identification with signature (CANNOT be a photocopy)
- 2 pencils with erasers
- A watch with a second hand
- Pass the NNAAP exam.
Great news! You can now take the written exam online through a live proctor. Just make sure to select that option when scheduling.
Once you pass the NNAAP, your name will be listed in the Georgia Nurse Aide Registry, and you will receive your certification card.
Congrats! You can now work as a CNA in Georgia.
CNA Eligibility Routes in Georgia
There are different ways to become a CNA in Georgia, and the steps will vary depending on your eligibility routes.
Let’s take a look at all the eligibility routes in the state, from E1 to E6.
E1 – New candidates without any nursing experience must complete a state-approved CNA program before applying for the certification exam. (This is what we’ve been talking about in this article).
E2 – LPN or RN candidates currently licensed in Georgia or a different state will need to submit documents before scheduling for the CNA exam. Note that an online reservation must be made 12 days before the exam date.
E3 – Out-of-state trained nurse aides are candidates who have passed their CNA program but have not yet taken the NNAAP certification exam. Before taking the examination, the candidate must submit a non-deficient reciprocity form to Alliant Health Solutions. They must pass both portions of the NNAAP within one year of graduating from the out-of-state program to be included in the GA Nurse Aide Registry.
E4 – Lapsed out-of-state nurse aides are candidates who trained and graduated out-of-state but whose registration has expired. Candidates must submit a non-deficient reciprocity form before scheduling for the NNAAP.
Candidates must do this within three years from the certificate expiration date. If more than three years have passed, candidates must retake a CNA program and pass the NNAAP.
E5 – Candidates with an expired Georgia certification can still take the NNAAP within three years from the expiration date. Otherwise, they will have to reapply as a new candidate (E1).
E6 – Reciprocity candidates are CNAs with active certification in a different state and have maintained good standing. A reciprocity candidate must submit an Application for Nurse Aide Registry by Reciprocity form, which they will then present to the Georgia Nurse Aide Registry along with other supporting documents.
Before we go, let’s answer some of the most frequently asked questions about CNA certifications in Georgia.
When will my CNA certification expire in Georgia?
Your name is listed in the Nurse Aide Registry for 2 years. You have to renew your certification before the expiration date.
Do I have to pay a CNA renewal fee in Georgia?
No, CNAs in Georgia don’t have to pay a renewal fee.
How much does the NNAAP exam cost in Georgia?
Here is a breakdown of the NNAAP exam costs:
- Written Examination – $27
- Oral Examination (English) – $27
- Oral Examination (Spanish) – $27
- Skills Evaluation – $85
- Total – $112
And that was how to become a CNA in Georgia.
As we saw, you only need to complete 3 steps. However, that doesn’t mean that it won’t take time, dedication, and even investment.
So make sure to do it one step at a time.
Very soon, you will be a certified nursing assistant in Georgia.