Certified Nurse Aide Requirements in Idaho
Idaho Nurse Aides are placed on the nurse aide registry after they complete approved training programs and pass a series of examinations. There are multiple Idaho state agencies involved in CNA training and oversight. A third party organization, Prometric, is involved in the examination process.
Select an Idaho Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) Topic:
- CNA Training in Idaho
- Examination Requirements
- Examination Exemption: Nurses and Physicians
- The Application Process
- Out-of-State CNAs
- Contacts, Nursing Assistant Programs and Additional Information
- Advancement: CNA to RN Programs
CNA Training/ Testing Eligibility
In most cases, the prospective CNA must complete a state-approved program. There are multiple options, including programs that are approved in Idaho and similar programs that are approved by the regulatory party in the state where they are located.
In-State CNA Training: The Department of Health and Welfare website has a list of Idaho schools that offer nurse aide programs (http://www.healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/?tabid=282). Students are advised to call the nearest school to find locations where classes are offered .
Idaho has established a statewide curriculum; this is described on the site of Idaho Technical-Professional Education (http://healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/?tabid=282). All programs are at least 120 hours and include at least 80 hours of classroom/ laboratory work that meets basic curriculum requirements.
High school student may take the Idaho CNA course if they meet requirements (http://healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/?tabid=282). They must take IDPTE Health Occupation Program prerequisites.
Out-of-State CNA Training: A trainee who completes an out-of-state program that meets Idaho Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) requirements may be approved to go through the examination process in Idaho, but must do soon in the time frame Idaho requires. Candidates should be aware that completion of an out-of-state program does not guarantee approval to test.
Alternate Training: Idaho will also allow nursing students to test as CNAs. The student will need to have completed at least one semester of actual nursing coursework; prerequisites like anatomy and physiology do not count.
Candidates who believe they have had training that meets OBRA requirements can request to challenge the examination. However, training as a medic, emergency medical technician, or medical assistant does not meet the requirements (http://www.healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/?tabid=282).
The Examination Process
The nurse aide must pass a series of examinations. The first is a manual skills test. Idaho administers its own state-specific skills evaluation. The candidate will need to act out one scenario that includes multiple skills sets and activities. The Idaho Division of Professional-Technical Education has provided a “Dear Candidate Letter” that describes the process and includes a sample scenario (http://healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/?tabid=282). CNA students will need to successfully complete the manual skills exam within 6 months of program completion. They are allowed up to three attempts.
Successful candidates must then pass a written examination. This is administered by Prometric. Candidates may opt to take it as an oral examination; oral examinees will hear the questions on the computer and may play them back multiple times if needed. Prometric notes this may be a better fit for individuals for whom English is a second language as well as those with reading disabilities or limited reading ability. Candidates who want the oral examination must select it when they submit their examination applications.
Idaho candidates take the examination at their training site or at a site determined by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. The cost is currently $29 for the written examination and $39 for the oral examination, in addition to fees due the individual testing center (https://www.prometric.com/en-us/clients/nurseaide/pages/id.aspx).
The written examination must be passed within one year of CNA program completion. It must also be passed within three attempts. Otherwise, it will be necessary to retrain.
A candidate can turn to the Professional-Technical Education website for a description of the Idaho curriculum and of the overall examination process (http://healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/?tabid=282). The candidate can turn to Prometric to study the content outline and work through sample questions (https://www.prometric.com/en-us/clients/nurseaide/pages/id.aspx). The Prometric candidate bulletin also includes Idaho eligibility pathways and examination day procedures.
The Application Process
Examination candidates can view a copy of the exam application on the Prometric site. However, they can expect to fill out the actual application at their ‘nurse aide training and competency evaluation program’ (http://www.healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/CertifiedNursingAssistants/tabid/282/Default.aspx) site.
Examination Exemption: Nurses and Physicians
Nurses and medical doctors can be added to the CNA registry without nurse aide training or examination. The license can be in another state or nation. However, status can be denied based on disciplinary action taken against a nursing or medical license.
Prometric describes this alternative as ‘Route 4: waiver’. Individuals seeking waivers must go through the Department of Health and Welfare.
CNAs with active registry in other states can be added to the registry without examination. Verification forms are found on the Department of Health and Welfare website (http://www.healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/?tabid=282) and on the Prometric site. CNAs from Iowa and Wyoming are directed to use the Iowa/ Wyoming verification form posted on the Prometric site (https://www.prometric.com/en-us/clients/nurseaide/pages/id.aspx).
Out-of-state CNAs who allowed certification to lapse will need to retest, but will not be required to retrain. They are considered examination ‘challengers’.
The Idaho State Nurse Aide Registry can be reached by telephone at (208) 334-6620 or by email at IDNAP@DHW.IDAHO.GOV.
Idaho Prometric can be reached at Idado IDCNA@prometric.com.
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