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Certified Nursing Aide Requirements in Indiana

Indiana’s Certified Nursing Aides are under the jurisdiction of the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH). They are certified on the basis of training and examination.

Select an Indiana Certified Nursing Aide (CNA) Topic:


CNA Training

Nurse aides must complete ISDH-approved programs unless they have pursued other qualifying healthcare training. ISDH-approved programs are at least 105 hours; they include at least 75 hours of clinical training and 30 hours of classroom education. A list of approved programs is available on the site of the Indiana State Department of Health (http://www.in.gov/isdh/reports/QAMIS/nat/index.htm). Prospective students can search by city or county.

There is a two-year limit on examination eligibility. A nurse aide who is not working in the field must still pass the exam within two years. Otherwise, he or she will have to take another approved program in order to restore eligibility.

Click Here to see Nursing Aide and other entry to nursing and health care programs in Indiana.

Alternate Training Pathways

Nursing students and graduate nurses are also eligible to test as CNAs. Graduates will need to do so within two years of program completion. Graduate nurses who have attempted, but not passed, the board examination are required to take CNA written and skills examinations. Students and graduates who have not yet attempted the examination need only take the CNA written examination.

Click Here to see Nursing Aide and other entry to nursing and health care programs in Indiana.

Foreign nurses can test as CNAs in Indiana if they have been found eligible by an approved organization such as the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS). They will need to take both portions of the CNA examination.

Out-of-State CNAs

CNAs who are current in other U.S. states are required to take the written examination only.

An out-of-state CNA may begin working prior to examination but must pass within 120 days. The testing vendor notes that the minimum passing score is 80% (http://www.ivytech.edu/cna/faqs-march2013.pdf).

The Examination Process

Ivy Tech Community College administers the required test, the Indiana Nurse Aide Competency Exam. Students who complete nurse aide programs at other schools will still apply to Ivy Tech for examination.

There are two parts to the competency exam: skills and knowledge. The knowledge test is administered in writing except in cases where the test taker has a visual impairment, literacy difficulty, or diagnosed learning disability; in these instances, the exam may be administered orally (https://www.ivytech.edu/cna/4338.html).

Candidates who take both evaluations pay $75. Those who take only one pay $65. Fees can be paid by facility check but not by personal check. Self-pay candidates may pay by Visa, MasterCard, or money order.

Applicants are scheduled at the closest testing site unless they indicate another preference (http://www.ivytech.edu/cna/faqs-march2013.pdf). They can expect communication two weeks after their examination applications are approved. Ivy Tech will generally schedule examinations within 30 days of application processing. In most cases, a candidate who is taking both evaluations will take both on the same day. However, one who is on restricted activity will be allowed to sit for only the written portion (https://www.ivytech.edu/cna/4341.html).

A candidate who cannot keep a testing appointment will need to reschedule at least 48 hours in advance. Otherwise, full fees will be due. Notification is to be given in writing.

In order to be admitted to the test, the candidate must present an official state ID such as a driver’s license.

Test results will be provided on-site (https://www.ivytech.edu/cna/4326.html). A candidate who is unsuccessful on either evaluation will receive information to help improve test performance. Up to three attempts are allowed.

Candidates will find practice questions on the Ivy Tech site. They should be aware that there were some changes in 2014.

Test takers may call 317-917-5948 or leave an email at ‘cna_qma_testing at lists.ivytech.edu’ if they have unanswered questions. Ivy Tech notes that telephone calls are returned within 72 hours.

The Application Process

Individuals submit applications when they are ready to take the examination. Applications are available on the Ivy Tech website (https://www.ivytech.edu/cna/4344.html). Applicants may also request application materials by calling 317-917-5948.

An applicant must provide documentation of examination eligibility.

An individual who has completed an ISDH-approved program will have the program director confirm successful completion of the required classroom hours; the clinical supervisor will confirm successful completion of the required clinical hours. Both signatures will appear on the competency evaluation application.

A nursing student will provide a current transcript or an official letter from the nursing school. Transcripts are to be sent directly from the nursing school to the following address: Ivy Tech Community College, ATTN: CNA Testing, P.O. Box 1621, Indianapolis, IN 46206. The student will need to have earned a grade of at least ‘C’ in fundamentals of nursing.

A recent nursing graduate will provide a transcript that shows the date of program completion; the graduate, too, must document at least a ‘C’ in nursing fundamentals.

A psychiatric technician will provide a copy of the completion certificate or official letter.

An international nurse will provide an eligibility letter from the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools or other approved agency.

A military medic will provide a copy of a DD214, transcript, or other appropriate documentation.

In most cases, an out-of-state CNA will provide a copy of the qualifying certificate. It is to show certificate number and expiration date. CNAs from Illinois and Alabama will not be able to provide this document. Instead, they will provide a letter from an employer that includes the work title and dates of employment; the applicant’s name must also appear on the letter. (The minimum is one eight-hour shift. It is not necessary to demonstrate work experience, however, if certification was earned in the prior two years.)

Applicants will send materials to ‘CNA Testing’. Two separate addresses are provided. A post office box is used for standard mail, a physical address for UPS or FedEX delivery.

A candidate who is successful on the exam will be issued a license. However, the process may take up to eight to ten weeks.

Qualified Medication Aides

A CNA with 1,000 hours of recent work experience may train for adjunct credentialing as a Qualified Medication Aide (QMA). The enrollee must be at least 18 years of age and in possession of a high school diploma or GED.

Additional Information

The ISDH Certified Nurse Aide Registry Program can be found online at http://www.in.gov/isdh/20510.htm. The main ISDH switchboard can be reached at (317) 233-1325. Additional contact information is available on the website.

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