Certified Nurse Aide Requirements in Mississippi

Mississippi nurse aides are under the jurisdiction of the Mississippi State Department of Health: Bureau of Health Facilities Licensure and Certification. Individuals go through a training and examination process. They must complete CNA programs unless they have nursing training.

In order to stay active on the registry, a nurse aide must work CNAs can be disqualified based on negative findings in any state.

Select a Mississippi Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) Topic:

Training and Examination Eligibility

Training programs must be state approved. Prospective students may email or phone the State Department of Health to request the current list of Mississippi-approved programs (http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/30,10669,83,74.html).

Click here to learn about Nurse Aide programs and other entry to nursing and health care programs in Mississippi.

Nurse aides may not be certified in Mississippi on the basis of programs approved by other states unless they first achieve certification in the other state. (At that point, they can be granted reciprocal credentialing.)

Mississippi programs are offered by colleges, proprietary schools, and nursing homes. None, however, are offered online. Individuals can be hired in Medicare/Medicaid certified long-term care facilities prior to certification only if they will be completing a facility-based program.

Mississippi also allows student nurses, graduate nurses, and out-of-state or international nurses to test as CNAs. Individuals applying for examination on the basis of status as a student nurse must do so within 24 months of completing basic nursing skills/nursing fundamentals.

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The Examination Process

Mississippi CNAs take the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) exam. In Mississippi, the NNAAP is administered by Pearson VUE in cooperation with the NACES Plus Foundation.

The examination has two components. The skills portion requires the candidate to carry out five nurse aide skills. The candidate handbook includes a description of all skills that the candidate may be asked to complete (http://www.pearsonvue.com/ms/nurseaides/). The multiple choice portion of the examination can be taken in either written or oral format; a test taker who wants the oral examination must note this on the examination application.

Some candidates test at their own facilities; others travel to regional testing centers. Currently, there are regional testing sites in seven Mississippi cities. A list is available on the ‘Mississippi Nurse Aides’ page of the Pearson Vue website (http://www.asisvcs.com/indhome.asp?CPCAT=0725NURSE). The document also includes upcoming test dates. Candidates will enter the test code of their preferred site on the application. They will indicate whether they want to travel to another site if it means being able to take the exam sooner (and, if so, how far they are willing to travel).

An approved candidate can expect to receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) in the mail within ten business days of application. A candidate who needs to reschedule is to call by noon at least five business days in advance of the scheduled examination.

Two forms of ID must be brought to the test site. The test taker will also need a watch with a second hand.

A candidate who arrives late will forfeit testing fees. However, a candidate who will arrive too late for the knowledge examination may still be permitted to take the skills examination.

Test results are generally available the same day. A candidate who fails an examination attempt will receive re-examination information. The candidate will submit the failing score report when requesting a retake. Additional fees will be due.

The full evaluation costs $101. It costs $32 to retake the oral or written evaluation and $69 to retake the skills evaluation.

A candidate who fails either test three times will need to complete another approved training program if he or she still seeks certification.

The Application Process

Individuals submit applications after completing training but before meeting examination requirements. Application materials can be downloaded from the Pearson Vue website (http://www.pearsonvue.com/ms/nurseaides/). The candidate must note on the application whether he or she received training at a school or a long-term care facility. (Candidates who are nursing home hirees must achieve certification within 120 days of hire date. Those who train at proprietary schools or colleges can take up to two years from program completion to pass the examination. They must, however, do so within three attempts.)

Examination eligibility must be verified. Mississippi-trained nurse aides will need to include copies of their training certificates. They will also need to have the application signed by the coordinator or instructor their training program. They are advised to call the Mississippi State Department of Health if the program is no longer in operation.

Graduate nurses are to provide copies of their certificates.

Student nurses will need to provide a training certificate and instructor signature. They are to contact the State Department of Health to verify that their program is state approved.

Applications are to be submitted to NACES Plus Foundation, Inc. Applicants who need assistance with the application process are directed to call NACES.


A nurse aide who holds current out-of-state registration can be certified by reciprocity provided that minimum standards are met. The out-of-state training/ examination program must meet Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) requirements (http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/30,1285,83,74.html). The CNA must be in good standing with the out-of-state registry.

Reciprocity applications are available on the Pearson VUE website (http://www.pearsonvue.com/ms/nurseaides/). The candidate will need to document paid work experience unless registry status was earned in the prior 24 months. A W-2 or pay stub can be accepted as evidence. Reciprocity candidates pay a $26 registration fee.

Former Nurse Aides

A nurse aide with lapsed Mississippi certification may attempt the examination without retraining. If the aide does not pass on a first attempt, however, he or she must enroll in a training program.

Additional Information

CNA information can be found on the website of the Mississippi State Department of Health (http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/30,0,83,74.html). The Bureau of Health Facilities Licensure and Certification can be reached at (601) 364-1100.

NACES can be reached at (800) 579-3321. Pearson can be reached at (888) 204-6213

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