Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) play a crucial role in the healthcare industry. They provide essential care for patients under the supervision of licensed nurses or other healthcare professionals. If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a CNA in Arizona, follow the steps below to successfully achieve your goal.
What is a CNA?
A Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is a healthcare professional responsible for assisting patients with their daily needs, such as bathing, dressing, feeding, and mobility. CNAs typically work in nursing homes, hospitals, and other healthcare settings, and they often serve as the primary point of contact between patients and the rest of the medical staff.
Requirements for Becoming a CNA in Arizona
Before you can become a CNA in Arizona, you must meet specific requirements and complete necessary steps.
Determine the Minimum Age and Education Requirements
To become a CNA in Arizona, you must be at least 16 years old and possess a high school diploma or GED.
Check if There are Any Criminal Background Restrictions
Arizona requires aspiring CNAs to undergo a criminal background check. If you have a criminal history, you may be prohibited from becoming a CNA, depending on the nature of the crime and how long it has been since the offense occurred.
Complete a Training Program Before Applying
You must complete a state-approved CNA training program before applying for certification.
Complete a State-Approved CNA Training Program
Find an Approved Training Program in Arizona
Arizona has numerous state-approved CNA training programs, which can be found through the Arizona State Board of Nursing website. These programs are available at community colleges, vocational schools, and some high schools.
Enroll in the Program and Complete the Required Coursework and Clinical Hours
Once you’ve identified an approved training program, enroll and complete the required coursework, which typically includes both classroom instruction and hands-on clinical training. The Arizona State Board of Nursing requires at least 120 hours of training, with a minimum of 40 hours of supervised clinical practice.
Obtain a Certificate of Completion from the Training Program
After successfully completing the training program, you’ll receive a certificate of completion. This certificate is necessary when applying for the Arizona CNA certification exam.
Pass the Arizona CNA Certification Exam
Apply to Take the Arizona CNA Certification Exam
With your certificate of completion in hand, you can apply to take the Arizona CNA certification exam. This exam is administered through D&S Diversified Technologies, and you can schedule your test date online.
Prepare for the Exam by Studying and Practicing CNA Skills
To pass the certification exam, you’ll need to study and practice your CNA skills. The exam consists of a written portion and a skills demonstration portion. Familiarize yourself with all the necessary skills and knowledge to pass both sections.
Take and Pass the Written and Skills Portions of the Exam
On the day of your exam, arrive early and prepared to take both the written and skills portions. Upon passing both sections, you will become eligible to apply for Arizona CNA certification.
Apply for CNA Certification in Arizona
Submit Your Application and Certification Exam Results to the Arizona Nurse Aide Registry
With your exam results, complete the CNA application and submit it to the Arizona Nurse Aide Registry, along with the necessary fees.
Pay Any Necessary Fees for Certification
Paying the required fees is essential for processing your CNA certification. Ensure you submit the appropriate amount when applying.
Wait for Your Certification to be Processed and Issued
Once you’ve submitted your application, fees, and exam results, wait for the Arizona Nurse Aide Registry to process and issue your CNA certification.
Maintain Your CNA Certification in Arizona
Renew Your Arizona Certification Every Two Years
Arizona CNAs must renew their certification every two years. To do so, you’ll need to complete any necessary continuing education requirements and submit a renewal application.
Complete Any Necessary Continuing Education Requirements
The Arizona State Board of Nursing requires CNAs to complete 48 hours of continuing education every two years to maintain their certification.
Notify the Arizona Nurse Aide Registry of Any Changes to Your Personal or Contact Information
Keep your personal and contact information up-to-date with the Arizona Nurse Aide Registry to ensure you receive important notifications and information regarding your certification.
Pursue Additional Education and Training Opportunities
Consider Advancing Your Career by Pursuing Additional Healthcare Certifications or Degrees
Many CNAs choose to further their careers by obtaining additional healthcare certifications or degrees, such as becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Registered Nurse (RN).
Look for Job Opportunities in Different Healthcare Settings or Specialties
Expand your career opportunities by exploring job openings in various healthcare settings, such as assisted living facilities, home health care, or specialized medical units.
Continuously Learn and Grow as a Healthcare Professional
Stay current with the latest developments in the healthcare industry and continually improve your skills and knowledge as a CNA. This commitment to growth will make you a valuable asset in the healthcare field and help advance your career.