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

How to Become a CNA in Ohio

Thinking about becoming a CNA in Ohio?

Don’t know where to start?

Maybe you’re afraid of the whole process…

Don’t fret – we’re here to help you. 

In this article, we’re going to show you how to become a CNA in Ohio. We’ll walk you through all the steps, requirements, and details. 

You’ll soon see that there’s nothing to be afraid of. 

So shall we? 

NOTE: In Ohio, CNAs are referred to as State Tested Nurse Aides (STNA). So don’t get confused – CNAs and STNAs are the same. 

How to Become a CNA in Ohio – You Only Need to Complete 5 Steps

Here are the 5 steps to becoming a CNA in Ohio:

1. Plan your career

2. Find an approved NATCEP provider

3. Complete your CNA training

4. Pass the competency exam

5. Land your first CNA job 

Come with us as we get to the details. 

Step #1: Plan Your Career

As a CNA, you’ll have plenty of job opportunities waiting for you in Ohio. 

You can choose to work in a hospital, clinic, facility, doctor’s office, nursing home, assisted living center, and so much more!

It’s a good idea to plan your CNA career so it’ll be easier to find the right CNA program for you. 

Step #2: Find an Approved NATCEP Provider

Now it’s time to begin your training!

In Ohio, this is called the Nurse Aide Training & Competency Evaluation Program (NATCEP). 

The first thing you need to do is find an approved NATCEP provider. You can download a list of approved providers here

From the list, you can choose from a number of facilities, such as community colleges, vocational schools, and other medical centers. 

What’s more, a lot of the medical centers offer FREE training. In exchange, you have to work there once you get certified. 

Once you find your program, you need to make sure you meet the provider’s prerequisites. This may include: 

  • Be at least 16/18 years old 
  • Have a high school degree or a GED
  • Have proof of immunizations
  • Have proof that you passed the Tuberculosis test
  • Pass a drug screening
  • And more!

Step #3: Complete Your CNA Training

In Ohio, the NATCEP is required to have a minimum of 75 hours. Within those hours, at least 59 should be dedicated to classroom instruction and skills training. 

If you train in a nursing home, you are required to spend 16 hours on supervised resident care in a long-term care facility. 

Of course, these are only the minimum hours. Your chosen NATCEP provider may extend the hours for extra knowledge and skills. 

During these moments, it’s best to keep your head down and focus on your studies. Expect to cover a wide variety of topics, including: 

  • Infection control
  • Nutrition
  • Mental health
  • Anatomy
  • Communications 
  • Documentation
  • Safety and emergency procedures
  • Patient rights
  • Basic patient care

Step #4: Pass the Competency Exam

Once you complete the NATCEP, you are eligible to sit for the competency exam. 

In Ohio, this exam is administered by Headmaster / Diversified Technologies. 

It consists of 2 parts – a written or oral test and a skills test. You have to pass both portions to be listed in the Ohio Nurse Aide Registry. 

Here is how you can schedule the competency exam:

  • Have your NATCEP provider register your information with Headmaster / Diversified Technologies. 
  • From there, schedule your written or oral test and skills test separately. 

NOTE: You can also schedule through the mail. Fill up FORM 1101OH and FORM 1402OH (found on Headmaster’s website), print the forms, and send them.

  • Pay the appropriate exam fee with a credit or debit card:
    • Knowledge test – $26


  • Oral test – $36
  • Skills test – $78

NOTE: Some NATCEP providers will pay the exam fee for you. So make sure to ask them first. 

  • Once approved, you will get a test confirmation letter on your Headmaster account. Check it for important details about your competency exam. 
  • On exam day, arrive at least 30 to 20 minutes early. Also, you should bring the following:
    • Appropriate attire – scrubs and flat, closed-toed shoes. Also, you need to keep your hair tied back and have clean and short fingernails.
    • A valid government-issued ID with a signature, photo, and a name that matches your Headmaster account. 
    • Your original Social Security card
    • Sharpened number 2 pencils 
  • Listen carefully to the instructions for the written/oral test and skills test. 
  • Take and pass both portions of the competency exam. 
  • If you pass, your name will be listed in the Ohio Nurse Aide Registry. 

Step #5: Land Your First CNA Job 

If you trained with a nursing center or facility, you can have a job immediately after you are certified. 

If not, then you can look around in hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care institutions, and even doctor’s offices. 


You completed all the steps!

FAQs About Becoming a CNA in Ohio

Still have questions about becoming a CNA in Ohio? See if we answered some of your burning questions in our FAQs section.

What Happens if I Fail the Competency Exam in Ohio?

You get 3 chances to pass the exam. However, for each retake, you need to repay the fee and reschedule. 

If you fail the 3rd time, you are required to complete the entire NATCEP again. 

What if you fail one portion of the exam but pass the other?

Then you’ll only need to retake the portion you failed. 

How Many Questions are on the Competency Exam?

For your written / oral test, you have to answer 79 questions in 90 minutes. You need a score of at least 70% to pass. 

How Much Does the NATCEP Cost in Ohio?

There’s no fixed price. This will vary between program providers. But to give you a general idea, the NATCEP can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,500. 

But again, many facilities offer FREE training in exchange for your service. 

Can You Take the NATCEP Online in Ohio?

Yes, some providers may allow the student to take the classroom portion of the program online. You still need to report on campus for hands-on training, though. Nevertheless, this option can add a ton more flexibility to your schedule – especially if you’re a working student. 

How Long Does Your CNA Certificate Last in Ohio?

Your Ohio CNA certificate stays valid for 2 years. To renew, you need to show proof that you work 8-hour shifts at a healthcare facility that pays for your service. 

Final Thoughts

And that is how to become a CNA in Ohio. 

Now that you know all the steps, requirements, and details, you won’t be afraid to tackle the tasks ahead. 

Just follow our guide – slowly but surely. 

Good luck!

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