How to Become a CNA in Kentucky

How to Become a CNA in Kentucky

Do you want to be a certified nurse aide (CNA) in Kentucky? 

The state is known for affordable healthcare, and with the current high demand for nurses and nurse aides, you’ve just chosen a career path with a lot of opportunities. 

The question is, how do you start? 

A certified nurse aide, commonly known as State Registered Nurse Aide (SRNA) in Kentucky, has to attend a state-approved training program and take an exam to test their competency. 

Sounds simple? 

Here’s a complete guide on how to become an SRNA in Kentucky to help you get started. 

How to Become an SRNA in Kentucky

Here are the general steps you need to take if you want to become an SRNA in the state:

  1. Enroll in a state-approved nurse aide training program
  2. Pass the Competency Evaluation Program (CEP)
  3. Wait for the SRNA Certification

Let’s talk about what to do in each step below. 

Step 1: Enroll in a State-Approved Nurse Aide Training Program

The first step is to acquire the necessary training for a nurse aide. Colleges, vocational schools, nursing homes, and medical facilities offer this training. 

Be sure to enroll in a state-approved program. Otherwise, the training you get from the program will not be credited. 

SRNA training requires at least 75 hours to complete. This includes 16 hours of supervised practical training. You may complete the training in about 4 to 12 weeks. 

Did you know you can also work as a nurse aide while training? 

What’s great about Kentucky is that you can already practice nursing skills on the job even without getting an SRNA certificate. However, these criteria should apply: 

  • You should be employed in a Medicare or Medicaid funded long-term nursing care facility. 
  • You are under the supervision of a registered nurse (RN) who has at least two years of work experience or a licensed practical nurse (LPN) who has at least one-year work experience. 

There’s also a limitation: you’re only allowed to work in a facility for four months. Nonetheless, this is still a good opportunity to learn the ins and outs of being a nurse aide early on. You also get to earn on the side which may help shoulder some of the training fees. 

Step 2: Pass the Competency Evaluation Program (CEP)

Once you complete your nurse aide training, you can already apply to take the CEP. 

The CEP is solely administered by the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. No other offices are allowed to give CEP. 

The exam is divided into the written examination and the skills demonstration. The skills demonstration has 5 tasks which may include measuring and recording vital signs, providing nail care, positioning and aligning bed-ridden patients in varied ways among others. 

Examinees have to accomplish each task with at least a 70% accuracy. Proctors will be looking at the step-by-step procedure you will perform to finish the task. You must perform each step listed as “critical” accurately. 

You are also required to pass 70% of the written exam questions. Don’t worry, though, the exam is a multiple-choice type. 

If you fail one type of exam, you fail the whole exam and must retake the CEP. The good news is that you can take the CEP up to three times. 

Those who were employed while completing their nurse aide training, are required to pass the test in four months. On the other hand, those that have studied full time have to accomplish everything in 12 months. 

Step 3: Wait for the SRNA Certification

The last step is to wait for your SRNA Certification. Unfortunately, SRNA license cards are no longer given out. Your proof of certification will be a letter from the Kentucky Board of Nursing (KBN) and your name appearing at the Kentucky Nurse Aide Registry. 

To know if you passed the exam, wait 30 days after taking the CEP. If 30 days have passed without results, you may call them at 1-877-528-2748, but your actual test scores will not be provided. Instead, they may tell you if you have passed or failed. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming an SRNA in Kentucky

Where do I validate my SRNA certification in Kentucky?

If you want to check whether your SRNA certification is active or in the Kentucky Board of Nursing Registry, go to this site and search for your name. 

What do you need to be admitted to a nurse aide training program?

Here are the general requirements when enrolling in a nurse aide training program in Kentucky: 

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Pass a background check
  • Complete at least an 8th-grade education
  • Have a negative drug and TB tests
  • Show current and updated immunization records
  • Show reading comprehension skills in English

Other programs may require other documents, but these are the basic requirements all programs will ask of you upon application. 

Can you apply for reciprocity if you’re a CNA of another state?

Yes, Kentucky allows you to apply for reciprocity if you are listed as active and in good standing in your previous state’s Nurse Aide Registry. 

For more details, you may contact the Kentucky Board of Nursing. 

How much does a CNA/SRNA program cost?

A 75-hour program costs at least $600 and can go up to $1000 depending on the school you are enrolling in. Usually, this still excludes textbooks and materials. 


If you’ll notice, becoming a State Registered Nurse Aide in Kentucky is relatively easy because you only need to do two things: complete a training program and pass an exam. 

While the application process is simple, the training period still lasts for a month or two, so dedication and hard work are still necessary to get your certificate. 

We hope this helps you understand where to start on your journey to a certificate for an SRNA in Kentucky. 

Now, what are you waiting for? All that’s left to do is begin! 

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