Certified Nurse Aide Requirements in Georgia
Georgia certifies nurse aides, or CNAs, on the basis of training and evaluation.
A Georgia CNA can expect a criminal background check at the employment level if hired by a nursing home or personal care home.
Select a Georgia Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) Topic:
- CNA Training in Georgia
- Examination Requirements
- The Application Process
- Out-of-State CNAs/ Reciprocity
- Fee Payment and Employer Repayment
- Contacts, Nursing Assistant Programs and Additional Information
- Advancement: CNA to RN Programs
A nurse aide must complete an approved program. A prospective student can find a list of Georgia-approved programs on the Georgia Medicaid Management Information System website (https://www.mmis.georgia.gov/portal/PubAccess.Nurse%20Aide/tabId/73/Default.aspx). The student can also find examination pass rates for individual programs.
Approved programs follow a state-mandated curriculum. A student nurse aide may begin supervised client contact after completing 16 hours of training in six state-mandated priority areas; among the priority areas are infection control and respecting patient right.
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Individuals who completed programs in other states can also be certified by examination; the program must be approved to operate in the other state and must meet federal requirements.
Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses are also eligible to test as CNAs; Georgia will accept licensure in any U.S. state as evidence that training requirements have been met.
The Examination Process
Georgia CNAs take the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) examination; in Georgia, it is administered by Pearson VUE in cooperation with the Nurse Aide Competency Evaluation Service (NACES). There are two separate evaluations. One is a multiple choice knowledge evaluation. The other involves actually carrying out a set of randomly selected nursing assistant duties.
There are three choices for completing the knowledge evaluation; candidates may complete it as a written test in English or an oral test in either English or Spanish. There is only one version of the skills test. However, a Spanish-language description of CNA skills is available on the ‘Georgia Nurse Aides’ page of the Pearson site (http://www.asisvcs.com/indhome.asp?CPCat=0711NURSE).
The examination is administered regularly in a number of Georgia cities. Candidates can find a list of test sites and upcoming examination dates on the Pearson site. The document also includes the code for the test site; this is to be entered on the application. Candidates can also download handbooks from Person. These include content outlines and describe, in detail, the registration and examination procedures.
NACES usually sends out an Authorization to Test (ATT) within 48 hours. Test takers who need to reschedule should do so at least five business days in advance.
Test takers are allowed no more than three attempts at either the knowledge or skills evaluation.
Candidates should be aware that testing eligibility is extended for only a limited period of time. For new nurse aides (not previously certified in any state), the time limit is one year. For individuals trained as CNAs, the one-year time limit is based on program completion. For nurses, the one-year time frame is based on the date when the application was received. An individual who submits an examination application after the eligibility period has expired will not be scheduled; the person will need to complete another training program to become eligible again.
A former CNA must also apply within a limited period of time in order to be allowed to test without retraining. This is the case whether the lapsed certificate is from Georgia or another state. An individual with expired registration cannot be approved for examination if the completed application is not received within three years of certification expiration.
The Application Process
Examination applications are available on the Pearson VUE website (http://www.asisvcs.com/indhome.asp?CPCat=0711NURSE).
All applicants will include copies of their social security cards and government-issued identification. Other supporting documentation will vary, depending on eligibility route.
A person who completes a Georgia-approved program is to submit a notarized copy of a training certificate; it is to include instructor signature and completion date.
If the program was located outside Georgia, the applicant will provide a copy of a training certificate that includes instructor signature, date of completion, and the name of the state where the program was approved.
An RN or LPN will include a copy of his or her license.
The Pearson VUE candidate handbook includes requirements for all examination eligibility pathways. They are also summarized on the application. Applicants who have questions may call NACES at (866) 432-2865. Pearson can be reached at 877-244-1694.
Applicants are advised to make sure that all supporting documentation is received at least 12 business days before their desired test date.
Out-of-State CNAs/ Reciprocity
An out-of-state CNA whose credential is current and in good standing can be certified by reciprocity. The CNA will fill out a reciprocity application. This can be found on the Georgia Medicaid Information Management System website (https://www.mmis.georgia.gov/portal/PubAccess.Nurse%20Aide/tabId/73/Default.aspx). The reciprocity candidate will need to verify at least eight hours of paid employment as a nurse aide within the prior two years. Private duty can be accepted only if it was under the general supervision of a nurse. In this instance, the applicant is to provide a notarized statement from the supervising nurse. The Registry will also need copies of the applicant’s social security card and photo ID. The name on the social security card will need to match the registry listing.
The Nurse Registry will confirm certification status through a web portal unless the CNA is coming from a state that does not support this method; in these instances, the Nurse Registry will mail a verification form. If certification can be confirmed through the web portal, the reciprocity application can generally be processed within 14 days. If not, the process may take longer.
An out-of-state CNA whose certificate has not expired but who has not worked as a CNA during the prior two years will apply for examination through the reciprocity pathway. The nurse aide will receive an authorization letter to present when applying for examination.
The fee is $122 for the full examination. In many cases, the fee will be covered by an employer; the test taker’s name should still appear on the check. Candidates may pay by certified check, money order, or Pearson VUE voucher.
Re-examination fees are as follows: $85 for the skills evaluation, $27 for either the oral or written evaluation.
The Georgia Registry can be reached at (678) 527-3010 or (800) 414-4358. (mmis.georgia.gov/portal/PubAccess.Nurse Aide tabId Default.aspx)
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