How to Become a CNA in Louisiana

How to Become a CNA in Louisiana

Louisiana has always needed nurse assistants because of the growing demand for healthcare, especially these past few years. 

To avoid complicated and lengthy licensing applications in the field of nursing, becoming a certified nurse aide (CNA) might be the best option for you. It’s more flexible than other nursing careers, but it also gives you a relatively high salary. 

And who doesn’t want that, right?

So if you’re ready to take your first step, we’re happy to guide you through the process. Keep on reading for our 2023 guide on how to become a CNA in Louisiana. 

How to Become a CNA in Louisiana

Becoming a CNA in Louisiana can be completed in three easy steps— the last one being a simple waiting period.

Here are the steps to becoming a CNA in Louisiana:  

  1. Enroll in a state-approved nurse aide training program (NATP)
  2. Pass the Competency Evaluation Program (CEP)
  3. Wait for your name to be added to the Nurse Aide Registry

Let’s talk about these steps in the sections below. 

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

The very first step to starting your CNA journey is enrolling in a state-approved NATP. You can check the full list of approved schools here

The best part of this step is that you don’t need to be a high school diploma holder nor do you need to present your GED. Louisiana aims to reduce any barriers to becoming a nurse aide in the state. Hence, anyone can become a nurse aide in Louisiana as long as they complete a state-approved nurse aide training program. 

In Louisiana, NATPs must include 40 hours of classroom training and another 40 hours of clinical training in a nursing home or skilled nursing facility. 

The curriculum also includes learning basic nursing skills, personal care skills, mental health services, and basic restorative services. You will also be taught how you can maintain residents’ and patients’ rights. 

You can complete the course in about 4-12 weeks. 

Step 2: Pass the Competency Evaluation Program (CEP)

Completed the state-approved program? You can now prepare for the examination part of the application process. 

Just like any certified or licensed nurse in Louisiana, you have to go through an exam that will test your competency, experience, and knowledge of the skills needed to be a nurse aide. 

The CEP consists of a written test and a skills test. The written test has 70 numbers. 60 are multiple choice questions, and 10 are reading comprehension questions. 

You may also opt for an oral alternative to the written exam. This oral test will have 15 (instead of 10) questions for reading comprehension. 

For the skills evaluation, you will be given a 25-minute period to complete five randomly-selected nurse aide skills. These may include: 

  • Activities of Daily Living 
  • Basic Nursing Skills 
  • Restorative Skills
  • Psychosocial Skills 
  • Spiritual and Cultural Needs
  • Communication 
  • Client Rights 
  • Legal and Ethical Behaviour 

Step 3: Wait to Be Added to the Nurse Aide Registry

Remember that we said the third step was just about waiting? 

We weren’t kidding. 

Once you finish your exam, you may check your score at the test site. You will also receive an official printed result at the regional test site. 

If you fail your first attempt at the CEP, you can take the exam two more times. However, make sure that you can pass the CEP 12 months from the completion of your NATP. 

If you pass, your name will automatically be placed on the Louisiana Nurse Aide registry. Your certification will be valid for 24 months. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a CNA in Louisiana

Got a few questions on the whole application process? Here are some FAQs to help you out. 

How much does it cost to become a CNA in Louisiana?

In general, CNA classes will range from $700 – $1200. This heavily depends on the vocational school, college, or medical facility that will be giving the program. 

Can I become a CNA online?

There are classes and programs that cover the classroom instruction portion of the course online. However, since the state requires 40 hours of clinical skills training, you still must attend these classes in person. 

How long does it take to be a CNA in Louisiana?

You can be a CNA in 4-12 weeks depending on whether you are a full-time student and whether you pass your CEP on the first attempt. 

How can I get my CNA license active in Louisiana?

Your active status lasts for 24 months. To remain active, you need to show proof that in those 24 months, you were employed for at least 8 hours as a nurse aide. 

Does Louisiana allow CNA application by reciprocity?

Yes, Louisiana allows CNA application by reciprocity from nurse aids of other states. This exempts you from taking a nurse aide training program and an exam. 

You need to fill out a form available in the “Common Questions” section of this website. You will also need to submit documents such as your social security number, certification number from another state, and driver’s license. 


We hope this article made the process of becoming a CNA in Louisiana quick and easy for you! Now that you have much of the information you need to start, what are you waiting for? 


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