You are probably wondering how to become a CNA in New Hampshire because each state has its own set of requirements. In fact, not all states even call nursing assistants CNAs. New Hampshire, because of its mandatory licensing law, calls nursing assistants LNAs (Licensed Nursing Assistants).
Yes, this name can be a bit disconcerting in the beginning, but don’t you worry — you’ll get used to it. To ensure you don’t lose your way to becoming an LNA in New Hampshire, we’ve put together all the information you need to get your license.
We’ve kept our guide clear and comprehensive, summarizing the entire process into four steps:
- Understand the Three Paths to Licensure
- Narrow Down Your Nursing Program Options
- Preparing for Enrollment
- Undergo Competency Evaluation
We’ve also thrown in a bonus step if you want to go the extra mile. We’ve got ways to go, so let’s start!
How to Become an LNA in New Hampshire in 4 Steps
Becoming an LNA in New Hampshire can be confusing, so we’re here to guide you. Here’s what you have to do.
Step #1: Understand the Three Paths to Licensure
The ultimate goal is to get your license, but there are three possible options to get there. Knowing which one applies to you can make your journey more efficient.
You can get your license through one of these ways:
- By Endorsement
- By Comparable Education
- By Competency Evaluation
Let’s find out which path is yours.
Licensure by Endorsement
This path is open to applicants who worked as CNAs in other states. You can qualify for a New Hampshire LNA license if you meet the following requirements:
- Have good standing on the other state’s Nurse Aide Registry,
- Be free of felony convictions
- Present proof of 200 practice hours as a CNA while supervised by an LPN, RN, or APRN within the last 2 years
- Present proof of 24 hours of Continuing Education within the last 2 years
However, if you passed the knowledge and skills assessment within the last two years, you will not have to complete the last two items on the list above.
To get your LNA license, complete the online application. You must upload the following documents:
- A copy of your current CNA license (which must be active)
- A filled out Contact Hour Documentation Form
You must also ask your state to verify your license and pass a background check.
And voila! You’re licensed!
Licensure by Comparable Education
New Hampshire requires all LNA applicants to complete an approved LNA training program. However, nursing students, graduate nurses, Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) and military-trained personnel can challenge this if you have one of the following:
- An official transcript showing they completed a Nursing Fundamental Course within the last five years
- Proof of completing a Challenge Program, including testing, within the last two years
- Proof of providing 200 hours of nursing or nursing assistant care within the last two years
Afterwards, you must:
- Send a letter from your nursing program confirming you completed the Nursing Fundamental Course in the last 5 years (this must be sent directly by your school)
- Pass a criminal background check
If you qualify, fill out the application form, pay the $35 fee and proceed to Step Four.
Licensure by Competency Evaluation
You have to undergo the entire process if you don’t qualify for either of the first two options. You must look for the right nursing program, ensure you meet all the enrollment requirements, and take the competency evaluation.
We know that you’re thinking this will take much time and effort, but we’re here to guide you long the way!
Narrow Down Your Nursing Program Options
All LNA applicants must complete an approved nursing assistant training program that provides at least 100 hours of education.
Remember, these numbers are only minimum requirements — your training may be longer depending on the LNA program you choose.
Instead of looking up the best LNA program in New Hampshire, try paring down your options by exploring various areas. Try to see which one addresses what you’re looking for (at least as much as possible).
What to Look for in an LNA Nursing Assistant Program
The ideal school is different for everyone, so although it helps to ask around, the decision is yours.
Here are some things to consider:
- Board Approval: Ensure you attend an approved nursing assistant program. The worst thing that could happen is for you to spend time and money on a program the Board won’t accept. You check the providers in this list.
- Program Length: Curriculums vary between providers. Remember your choices aren’t limited to community colleges or vocational schools. You can also check with hospitals and nursing homes.
- Tuition Fee: Remember, the longer the program, the more expensive it tends to be. However, rates can vary, so compare quotes before deciding. You can also see if there are schools that offer financial aid.
- Learning Options: Some programs (or, at least, some parts) are delivered online and may give you more flexibility regarding schedules and costs. Although you must complete the hands-on portion in person, classroom instruction can be self-paced.
Step #3: Prepare for Enrollment
Once you have chosen a program, begin preparing for enrollment. The minimum requirements in New Hampshire for eligibility are:
- Being 16 or older
- Pass a state and federal criminal background check, including fingerprinting
- Proof of immunization for Hepatitis B, MMR, and chicken pox
- A negative result for a tuberculin skin test done within the last ten months
- Liability insurance
Remember that these are only the essentials. Check with your provider for other specific prerequisites.
Once you’re good to go, enroll and complete the nursing assistant program.
Step #4: Undergo Competency Evaluation
Once you complete the necessary training, you’re qualified to take the state competency evaluation.
New Hampshire’s competency evaluation consists of two parts: a knowledge exam and a skills simulation. The testing organization will decide how many questions and skills fall under each part.
For the knowledge exam, answer multiple choice questions and earn a score of at least 70% to pass. For the skills exam, complete randomly selected skills with handwashing and critical skills always included.
You will take both portions on the same day. You receive separate scores for each, so you can pass one but not the other.
If you don’t pass both portions on your first try, don’t panic. You have three chances within two years to do so. If you fail thrice, you’ll have to retake the 100-hour program before scheduling another assessment.
Once you pass, fill in an online application for an initial LNA license and pay the $35 fee.
You only have 120 days to complete it, otherwise your application will be purged.
After the application has been completed, the OPLC (Office of Professional Licensure and Certification) will issue you a temporary license valid for 120 days. They’ll issue your permanent license once they receive your criminal history records and fingerprint report.
Bonus Step: Become a Medication Nursing Assistant (MNA)
Technically, you’ve finished the process. Congratulations are in order because you’re already a Licensed Nursing Assistant in New Hampshire!
After some time, you can consider becoming a Medication Nursing Assistant. An MNA is an LNA that can administer medication to stable patients in partnership with an RN (Registered Nurse) or an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse).
If you’re interested, see if you meet the criteria for eligibility:
- Carry an active LNA license
- Worked as an LNA for two years (4.160 hours) within the last five years
- Be proficient in English and Math
- Have no felony convictions
- Supply two character references
You’ll need to complete 60 additional training hours, 30 of which should be hands-on clinical instruction.
Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming an LNA in New Hampshire
If I’m a CNA from another state, can I apply to become an LNA in New Hampshire?
Yes, you can. An LNA is New Hampshire’s equivalent of a Certified Nursing Assistant in states that don’t require them to carry licenses. Although their titles are different, their roles and responsibilities are the same.
If you’ve been working as a CNA and want to join the New Hampshire workforce, you can get your license through the endorsement process.
How often do I need to renew my LNA license?
Licensed Nursing Assistants need to undergo the renewal process biennially. To ensure your license remains on active status, you must fulfill the following requirements:
- Two hundred practice hours as an LPN within the renewal cycle, with a licensed nurse supervising
- 24 contact hours on topics that could enhance your knowledge, skills, and judgment
NOTE: You must earn these within the renewal cycle. However, if you completed the competency evaluation less than two years ago, you don’t need to pursue continuing education.
How much do LNAs in New Hampshire earn?
The annual mean salary for LNAs in New Hampshire is $36,070. That’s almost over $3,000 more than the national yearly median of $33,250.
Remember that how much you earn depends on several factors. These include your tenure and industry.
The Wrap Up
Licensed Practical Nurses are essential to our country’s healthcare system, so working to get your license in New Hampshire is commendable.
Remember, it all begins with a clear understanding of your options. From there, you’ll know what steps you need to take next.
And if you ever get confused, you can always return to this page. After all, it has much of what you need to know.
There’s no better time to begin than now. Good luck!