Certified Nursing Assistant Requirements in Maine

Maine CNAs must be listed on the Maine Registry of Certified Nursing Assistants & Direct Care Workers. In order to be placed on the nursing assistant registry, an individual must complete a Maine-approved CNA program or document other equivalent training. A prospective nursing assistant will be evaluated on knowledge and skills.

Nursing assistants may be employed up to four months while meeting requirements.

Select a Maine Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Topic:

Education and Examination Requirements

To be a CNA in Maine, one must be at least 16 and have education at at least the ninth grade level.

A prospective CNA must complete an approved training program. Maine’s approved CNA programs are 180 hours, well above the national minimum. They include 90 hours of theory, 20 hours of lab work, and 70 hours of supervised practice (http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/dlrs/cna/laws.html). Students must attend all sessions, though in some cases, they may be permitted to make up work missed due to unavoidable absence that was excused. CNA programs follow a state curriculum (http://www.maine.gov/boardofnursing/OLD%20WEBSITE/CNA%20BAsic%20Curriculum%2010-2008.pdf).

The individual can expect a criminal history check at the student level. Criminal background checks are carried out by the Maine State Bureau of Identification. The individual must provide all names he or she has had as an adult.

After training, the prospective CNA must pass the Maine CNA competency test. The competency test includes two components: knowledge and skills. The knowledge test may be oral or written. The skills evaluation requires the candidate to carry out nursing assistant duties.

Individuals who need assistant locating a training program and/ or competency evaluation site may call the Maine Department of Education at (207) 624-6711.

Alternative Training Pathways

There are several alternative routes. Current or former nursing students can be placed on the nursing assistant registry if they have had equivalent training.

Both U.S. and international nurses are eligible to become CNAs . However, international nurses will have some additional steps to carry out at the time of application.

An individual can also qualify for CNA status based on equivalent training done in the military.

Maine does not, however, credit Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training toward CNA requirements. An EMT who wishes to become a CNA must complete the entire nursing assistant training program.

The Registry notes that equivalent programs are a minimum of 150 hours (http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/dlrs/cna/home.html).

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The Application Process

Applications can be downloaded from the Registry website in PDF or Word form (http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/dlrs/cna/Application-forms.html).Applicants can also email ‘dlrs.cnaregistry at maine.gov’ or call (207) 624-7300 to request them.

Applicants are to include copies of their training certificates, social security cards, and driver’s licenses or IDs. The Registry will accept passports as identification but not student IDs.

A copy of the background check will also be required. An applicant typically includes a copy of the background report that was carried out at the student level.

Some applicants will need to supply additional supporting documentation.

Military applicants are to submit their DD-214s or equivalent documentation. Those who are currently on active duty can submit a copy of a training certificate, for example, Air Force Medical Specialist or Navy Hospital Corpsman.

LPNs and RNs are to submit copies of their current licenses. Student nurses are to submit certificates or letters demonstrating equivalent training.

International nurses typically go through the Commission of Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (COGFNS) before applying to the CNA Registry. The C/OGFNS will evaluate credentials; non-English speakers will need to demonstrate English proficiency. The Registry will also need a copy of the visa and a copy of the qualifying credential. If the credential is not in English, it must be translated.

Applicants who answer “yes” to criminal history or disciplinary screening questions will need to provide explanatory letters and (in many cases) court documents.

There is no fee to be listed on the Registry.

The Registry review process may take 30 days from the time all documents have been received. The Registry will send a letter after the decision has been made..

Nursing assistant status can be verified online.

Out-of-State CNAs

In some cases, out-of-state CNAs are allowed to take the Maine Bridge Examination in lieu of enrolling in a new training program. The Bridge Examination is designed for those who completed training programs that were at least 100 hours but fewer than Maine’s required 180. In order to be eligible, the out-of-state CNA must have worked at least 32 hours a week during no fewer than three of the prior five years. Work experience can be documented through employer letters. Letters are to include dates.

In addition to documentation required of all applicants, out-of-state candidates are to provide the following:

  • Copies of documents that demonstrate education at the 9th grade level or higher
  • Passing scores on the competency evaluation

CNAs who take the bridging examination will need to score 70 on the multiple choice examination and perform at least seven out of ten of the assigned nursing assistant skills correctly (http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/dlrs/cna/faq/index.shtml).

Out-of-state CNAs may contact the Department of Education to find a bridging program.

CNA-Medication Aides

After achieving CNA status and working for the equivalent of one full-time year, a nursing assistant can pursue additional training to become a CNA-Medication Aide (CNA-M). The medication aide course must be approved by the Maine Board of Nursing.

CNA-Ms must demonstrate at least 10th grade proficiency on an assessment such as the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE).

Additional Information

The Maine Registry of Certified Nursing Assistants (http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/dlrs/cna/home.html) can be reached by telephone at (207) 624-7300. Interested individuals may also use the email link on the main page of the registry.

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