How to Become a CNA in Michigan (A Complete 2023 Guide)

How to Become a CNA in Michigan

The process of becoming a CNA in Michigan is SUPER easy. 

And to make it even easier, we’re going to give you a complete guide on how to become a CNA in Michigan. 

Don’t let it fool you — you still need to put in the work. 

But with a detailed roadmap of what, when, and how of CNA application, you’ll soon be on your way to being a certified nursing assistant in the state. 

So shall we begin?

How to Become a CNA in Michigan – The 2 Major Steps

To become a CNA in Michigan, you only need to complete 2 major steps. These are:

  1. Complete a state-approved CNA training 
  2. Pass the CNA written and skills exam

Let’s walk you through the details of each step. 

Step 1: Complete a State-Approved CNA Training 

Just like any other healthcare professional, nurse aides are required to go through training to prepare them for their new careers. 

Now, in Michigan, you need a minimum of 75 hours of CNA training. This equates to at least 59 hours of classroom instruction and at least 16 hours of skill training. 

Click here for a map of all the approved CNA training providers in Michigan. 

To apply for a CNA training program, fill out the application form of your chosen provider and submit all required documents. Remember, though, that the documents and process may vary depending on where you’re applying. 

But generally, you will have to meet these requirements: 

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Test negative for TB
  • Pass a criminal background check
  • Have a high school diploma or GED (this is only required for some providers) 

Step 2: Pass the CNA Written and Skills Exam

Once you graduate from your CNA training, only the competency exam stands between you and your certificate. 

In Michigan, the CNA application, exam, and even renewal are conducted by Headmaster

Here’s how you can register: 

  • Sign in with Headmaster’s TestMaster Universe (TMU) using your Secure Email or Username and Password. 
  • Fill up the necessary information. 
  • Pay the CNA exam fee of $125. NOTE: Some CNA training programs pay the fee for their students. 
  • Wait for an email or text notifying you that you are eligible to schedule the CNA exam. 
  • Schedule your CNA exam through the TMU website. NOTE: Again, some CNA training programs schedule the exam for their students. 
  • Get your ‘Test Confirmation Letter’ and read it for the test location, time, date, and further instructions. 

What can you expect from the CNA exam?

Well, it consists of two parts – a written/oral exam and a skills test. 

NOTE: The written exam can be swapped for an oral exam for aspiring nurse aides whose primary language is not English. 

The written/oral exam has 65 multi-choice questions that you need to answer in 60 minutes. To pass, you need a score of at least 74%. 

As for the skills test, you will need to demonstrate 5 nurse aide skills, chosen at random. To pass, you need to get an 80% score for each task. 

Once you pass both portions of the CNA exam, the Headmaster will list your name in the Michigan Nurse Aide Registry. 

And that’s it — you’re now a certified nursing assistant in Michigan.


Working Without a Nurse Aide Certificate in Michigan

Did you know that, in Michigan, you can work as a temporary nurse aide without a certificate?

According to the Michigan Nurse Aide Registry, you can work as a temporary nurse aide in a medical or long-term facility for 4 months while waiting to take your CNA exam. 

However, if your results come out and it shows that you failed the exam, you’re no longer allowed to be a temporary nurse aide once the 4 months are up. 

You can continue to work as a temporary nurse aide if the 4 months aren’t over yet, just as long as you retake the CNA exam. 

Frequently Asked Questions About CNAs in Michigan

We know that applying for a CNA brings up so many questions. To help you understand the Michigan CNA process and being a CNA in general, here are some FAQs. 

How much does the CNA exam cost in Michigan?

The first attempt for the written/oral and skills exam cost $125. However, if you need to retake any part of the exam, the price becomes $125 for each part. 

Can I skip the CNA exam in Michigan?

If you’re a first-timer and you’ve never been certified in any state as a nurse aide, then you have to take the CNA exam. 

But if you’ve been certified as a nurse aide in a different state and you’ve already taken a training program and competency exam, you can apply as a CNA by reciprocity. 

You can check out reciprocity requirements here

How much do nurse aides make in Michigan?

As of December 27, 2022, the average salary of a CNA in Michigan is $34,546 a year.

How long does a CNA certificate last in Michigan?

In Michigan, a CNA certificate is valid for 24 months (2 years). 

How to renew a CNA certificate in Michigan?

90 days before your CNA certificate expires, you are already allowed to renew it. 

You have to log in at the D&S Headmaster site, choose certificate renewal, and submit proof of employment. You are required to show that you have been employed for at least 8 hours in the last 24 months. 

Once submitted, pay the $20 renewal fee. 


And that was how to become a CNA in Michigan. 

Pretty simple, right? I mean, you only need to complete 2 steps. 

But don’t underestimate the process too much – you still need to train for 75 hours and pass both parts of the CNA exam. 

But if you are diligent, then you should have no trouble going through all that. 

So what are you waiting for?

Now that you know everything, it’s time to get started… 

Good luck!

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