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Certified Nurse Aide Requirements in Louisiana

Louisiana’s Certified Nurse Aides must complete training programs and pass knowledge and skills evaluations. Some CNAs are certified through reciprocity or other alternative pathways. There are multiple agencies involved in CNA training and regulation.

Select a Louisiana Certified Nurse Aide Topic:

Training Requirements

Nurse aide programs follow a state-approved curriculum. The Department of Health & Hospitals has provided a list of approved training schools, with locations and contact information (http://dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/directory/category/172?sidx=1).

Louisiana programs include at least 80 hours of training and education. This is comprised of 40 hours of classroom instruction and 40 hours of clinical training (http://dhh.louisiana.gov/assets/medicaid/hss/docs/NATS/NurseAideTrainingRule062012.pdf). A student will have at least 16 hours of education before beginning resident contact.

Click Here to see Nurse Aide and other entry to nursing and health care programs in Louisiana.

An individual can also be certified on the basis of status as a nursing student, nurse, or military healthcare worker.

Examination Requirements

Louisiana uses the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) examination. In Louisiana, it is administered by Pearson VUE. There are two separate evaluations, both timed. One measures CNA knowledge and can be taken in written or oral format. The other requires the candidate to perform nursing assistant skills. Each candidate will perform at least one measurement task as part of the skills test; there are various possibilities, including measuring blood pressure, recording weight, or counting respirations. Each candidate will also be evaluated on hand washing. Other skills will be randomly selected.

The knowledge examination is multiple choice. Test takers who select the oral examination will listen to cassette tapes as they mark their answers. Although the evaluation is primarily oral, the test taker will need to show that he or she can read some words that are used in care facilities. Test takers who are unsure whether to take the written or oral examination can complete the reading assessment found in the candidate handbook.

Candidate handbooks and practice exams are available on the ‘Louisiana Nurse Aides’ page of the Pearson VUE website (http://www.pearsonvue.com/la/nurseaides/). The candidate handbook contains content outline, skills listing, and sample questions. It also provides information about testing policies, for example, what candidates should bring with them on test day and what they should leave behind.

Test takers will need two forms of identification; at least one must include a photo. Examination results are generally available the same day. A test taker who fails either evaluation will be given information to help improve performance. Three attempts are allowed. Pearson Vue requires candidates to pay for re-examination.

Candidates with questions about the registration or examination process are invited to call (800) 475-8302.

The Application Process

The application process may differ, depending on whether the individual has pursued a Louisiana-approved CNA program or is utilizing another eligibility pathway.

The Health Standards Section website is a starting place for candidates who are applying on the basis of alternative training or out-of-state certification. Individuals who apply based on alternative pathways will use the ‘Application for Nurse Aide Certification form’. All applicants will provide copies of their social security cards. Other supporting documentation will depend on status.

Nurses are to provide verification of licensure.

Nursing students are to provide official transcripts.

Military personnel are to include DD-214 and military transcript.

The application and supporting documentation are to be sent to the following address: Nurse Aide Training Program, DHH – Health Standards Section, P. O. Box 3767, Baton Rouge, La. 70821-3767.

A reciprocity candidate will need to fill out the top portion of the reciprocity form. The other state will provide basic information such as whether a competency examination was passed and whether there are negative findings (abuse, neglect, or property misappropriation).

He or she will send certification verification and copies of his or her 1) social security card and 2) Louisiana driver’s license or ID to the Louisiana Nurse Aide Registry. A description of the process and a link to the required form are available in the ‘Common Questions’ section of the website (http://dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/faq/category/31). Forms are to be sent to the following address: Louisiana Nurse Aide Registry, 5647 Superior Drive, Baton Rouge, La. 70816.

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing has provided a list of CNA regulatory agencies and contact information (http://new.dhh.louisiana.gov/assets/medicaid/hss/docs/NATS/NurseAideRegistries20132014.pdf).

CNAs who have questions are directed to call the Louisiana Registry at (225) 295-8575.

Louisiana certification status can be verified online.

Former CNAs

Nurse aides who allow certification to expire may retest for certification, provided they do so within a two-year eligibility period. Eligible former CNAs are directed to contact a nurse tester for information about fees.

An aide who fails either portion of the assessment will be required to retrain. An aide whose certification expired too long in the past will also be required to retrain. Individuals who are unsure of their eligibility may check online, using the directions provided by the Department of Health and Hospitals (http://new.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/page/1488/).

Additional Information

CNA certification resources and answers to frequently answered questions can be found on the website of the Department of Health and Hospitals: State Standards Section (http://dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/faq/category/31).

CNAs and applicants should be aware that rules and policies change periodically. The nurse aide rule was last changed in 2012. A copy of the current rule is available online (http://dhh.louisiana.gov/assets/medicaid/hss/docs/NATS/NurseAideTrainingRule062012.pdf).

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