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Certified Nurse Aide Requirements in Alabama

Alabama's Certified Nurse Aides are under the jurisdiction of the Alabama Department of Public Health. They are place on the nurse aide registry after they meet the state’s training and testing requirements. They maintain their status by accruing work experience and displaying good conduct in the work setting.

Select an Alabama Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) Topic:


Training and Examination Eligibility

CNAs are required to pass state-approved training and competency evaluation programs; these are offered in both school and nursing home settings (https://ph.state.al.us/NurseAideRegistry/(S(tmzurqj5kv0mx0ad0f1zpn55))/FAQ.aspx). Nursing assistant programs are to be specifically approved by the Alabama Department of Health and have a program code.

Click Here to learn about Nurse Aide programs as well as other entry to nursing and health care programs in Alabama.

Individuals can also be approved for testing after completion of fundamentals of nursing coursework, taken as part of a qualifying LPN or RN program.

The Examination Process

After program completion, candidates go through a two-part competency evaluation process. They must complete all testing requirements within 24 months of program completion and within three examination attempts.

Alabama has approved NACES to administer its competency evaluations. The NACES Plus Foundation works in cooperation with Pearson VUE to administer the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program, or NNAAP. The exam consists of a skills examination and a written or oral examination.

An Alabama candidate can opt to take the knowledge evaluation as a written test in English or an oral test in either English or Spanish. The oral examination consists of two parts, one consisting of 60 questions, the other, ten; both must be passed. Candidates who opt for the Spanish oral exam should be aware that they will be asked to recognize a minimal amount of spoken and written English.

The practical skills test consists of a sampling of nursing assistant duties, performed in a simulated setting. All test takers are required to demonstrate proper hand washing technique. Other skills are randomly selected. The candidate handbook, available on the Person Vue website, includes a list of 22 skills that may be tested (http://www.pearsonvue.com/al/nurseaides). Candidates can also find a list of skills (and required and expected steps) in the Spanish language.

The NACES examination is offered in the following Alabama cities:

  • Alexander City
  • Eufaula
  • Gadsden
  • Huntsville
  • Montgomery
  • Selma
  • Talladega
  • Tuscaloosa

Candidates (or their sponsoring institutions) will pay $100 for the written and skills evaluations or $120 for the oral and skills evaluations. (A candidate who is employed at a Medicare/Medicaid eligible nursing home will not be required to self-pay.)

Examination admission tickets are mailed within ten working days. Candidates who need to reschedule are directed to so at least five business days in advance.

Candidates will need to follow the test day procedures found in the candidate handbook. They are directed to show up early with all required materials (including two IDs and a watch with a second hand). They typically receive their test results on-site soon after testing.

Unsuccessful candidates can send their failing score reports, along with the requisite fees, to NACES to request a retake. It costs $60 to retake either the skills or oral examination; the written knowledge test is $40. Candidates who have successfully passed one of the two required examinations need only register for the one that was failed. However, if they don't pass both during the allowable timeframe, it will be necessary to retrain and then take both portions of the examination again.

Prometric has also been approved to administer nurse aide competency examinations at some Alabama nursing homes and testing centers. Prometric candidates will also take their practical skills and multiple choice examinations together on the same date. Prometric notes that is is not permissible to take part of the examination through Prometric and part through another vendor. Prometric has provided a candidate handbook fort Alabama candidates (https://www.prometric.com/en-us/clients/nurseaide/pages/al.aspx). However, Alabama candidates will not register directly through Prometric but through one of the following organizations:

  • Community Empowerment Training Center
  • Northeast Alabama Community College
  • Saad’s CNA School

Testing resources are found on the 'Alabama Nurse Aide Test' page of the Prometric site. Questions can be addressed to Prometric at 'ALCNA at prometric.com' or (866) 241-3116.

The Application Process

Prospective CNAs apply simultaneously for examination and for placement on the Alabama registry. They must demonstrate their eligibility to the testing vendor. Once they have completed the examination process, placement is automatic. (https://www.prometric.com/en-us/clients/nurseaide/pages/al.aspx)

Candidates applying to NACES will attach copies of their completion certificates or nursing transcripts. The application includes sections that are to be completed by the instructor and the sponsor; the latter may be either an employer or a training program.

The Alabama Department of Health does not issue paper certificates. Individuals will need to search the online nurse aide registry.

In order to remain active, CNAs will need to do accrue the minimum amount of qualifying work experience during every 24 month period. Volunteer work or work performed in doctor's offices or assisted living facilities is not credited.

Nurse aides with lapsed certification become eligible after retraining and retesting. Nurse aides with disqualifying findings are permanently banned from employment in Alabama nursing homes.

Out-of-State CNAs

Out-of-state CNAs who take positions in Alabama nursing homes can have their status transferred, provided their credentials are active and in good standing (https://ph.state.al.us/NurseAideRegistry/(S(tmzurqj5kv0mx0ad0f1zpn55))/FAQ.aspx). Those who take positions in other settings such as home health will need to re-enroll in training programs in order to achieve Alabama CNA status.

Additional Information

Information about the Alabama Certified Nurse Aide Registry can be found online on the site of the Alabama Department of Health (https://ph.state.al.us/NurseAideRegistry/(S(tmzurqj5kv0mx0ad0f1zpn55))/FAQ.aspx).

The Alabama Certified Nurse Aide Registry can be reached by telephone at (334)206-5169.

The NACES Plus Foundation can be reached by telephone at (877) 889-0939.

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