Certified Nurse Aide Requirements in Nebraska
Nebraska nurse aides are under the jurisdiction of the Department of Health and Human Services. Nursing assistants must be at least 16 years of age and have acceptable legal backgrounds. They must speak English unless employed at facilities where another language is in common usage; in these cases, a CNA may speak the dominant language of the facility.
Prospective CNAs must meet education and examination requirements. There are several pathways.
Select a Nebraska Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) Topic:
- CNA Training in Nebraska
- Examination Requirements
- The Application Process
- Lapsed Nurse Aides
- For Out of State CNAs
- Nursing Assistants in Intermediate Care
- Contacts, Nursing Assistant Programs and Additional Information
Training and Examination Requirements
In most cases, CNAs will need to complete approved nursing assistant courses that include at least 75 hours of training.
Approved CNA traing programs: http://dhhs.ne.gov/publichealth/pages/crlCNATraining.aspx
Individuals can also be placed on the registry based on nursing school coursework, military health care training, or status as a foreign nurse or lapsed U.S. nurse.
It will be necessary to take a one hour course in reporting abuse and neglect, unless one is a nursing student and the program includes the required curriculum. (The Department notes that only some nursing schools do.)
Prospective CNAs must pass written and clinical evaluations. New nurse aides test after completing their programs. Nurse aides with lapsed or inactive status can test to regain active status.
Individuals who complete community college courses can expect to test through their college. Those who complete facility-based programs will need to arrange testing separately. The Department directs individuals to register through one of the following two institutions:
- Nebraska Health Care Learning Center
- Providence Health Care Institute
The Nebraska Health Care Institute has posted a list of upcoming test dates (https://www.nehca.org/). Test takers will need to register at least seven business days in advance. They may mail or fax their applications. The application process can also be completed online. The course instructor will provide information that will be used to determine eligibility.
Nebraska Health Care Institute charges $20 for the written evaluation and $32 for the clinical evaluation. The institution notes that candidates who fail an examination are allowed to retake the test two times. If they have not passed after a third attempt, they will need to retrain. Test takers will learn whether they have passed the skills test immediately following examination. It may take longer for results of the written test to be known.
Providence Health Care Institute directs approved test takers to call (402)-326-2792 to schedule testing.
In many cases, it will be necessary for individuals with alternative health care training to pass the CNA skills and written examination. However, RNs and LPNs with inactive licenses may be excused if they have performed nursing or related services within the prior 24 months. Nursing students may be exempted if they have earned grades of at least 70% in all required courses. International nurses may be exempted if they have passed the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools exam (CGFNS) or the Canadian Nurse Licensing exam.
The Application Process
Individuals who complete the standard state-approved curriculum and competency evaluation are not required to apply for certification. The Department will receive notification after the evaluation has been passed. The individual will be added to the registry within 30 days of notification (http://dhhs.ne.gov/publichealth/pages/crlCNATraining.aspx).
An individual who seeks registry placement based on alternative training as a nursing student, military personnel, lapsed LPN or RN, or foreign nurse must submit eligibility documentation along with a cover letter requesting placement. Cover letters are to include birth date and social security (or I-94) as well as address and phone number. Inactive nurses are to include the date that they last worked.
Military personnel will need a copy of the training record or DD214. An international nurse will need a copy of graduate certification or license; if the document is in a language other than English, it must be translated. A lapsed LPN or RN will need to include a copy of the license; if the credential was held in Nebraska, this will not be necessary. A nursing student will need a signed copy of the transcript unless the nursing school is one that automatically submits the names of students who have had qualifying coursework.
Out-of-state CNAs may be placed on the Nebraska registry without further training if they can document that they have already had the required 75 training hours. Interstate candidates will need to fill out the interstate endorsement form. CNAs who trained in Iowa will need to include copies of their training certificates; the Department will not accept copies of the certification card or testing results. (An Iowa nurse aide who does not have a copy in his or her possession should contact the school or facility where training was completed.)
Out-of-state CNAs who have not worked during the most recent 24 month period will be required to take the examination. The Department will provide examination authorization.
Out-of-state nursing assistants must take a one hour class in recognizing and reporting abuse. This must utilize the Nebraska curriculum. Some out-of-state CNAs will have the opportunity to take the training through a prospective employer. Those who do not have this opportunity are directed to register through one of the following institutions:
- Central Community College in Hastings
- Clarkson College in Omaha
- Providence Health Career Institute in Lincoln
- Southeast Community College in Lincoln
- Western Nebraska Community College in Scottsbluff
Southeast Community College and Providence Health Career Institute also offer the one-hour training online.
Some CNAs from Iowa will have already completed the required abuse training. The Department notes that Iowa Western Community College and Tri-State Nursing include the Nebraska abuse curriculum in their programs.
Lapsed Nurse Aides
Lapsed nurse aides must complete a recompetency examination through an approved provider (http://dhhs.ne.gov/publichealth/Licensure/Documents/RecompetencyCollegeListForNAs.pdf). A nurse aide is eligible to retest only if he or she completed the full 75 hour program. Individuals who were “grandfathered” on the basis of lower requirements are not eligible.
Nursing Assistants in Intermediate Care
Nursing assistants who work with the developmentally disabled in intermediate care facilities have shorter program requirements. They may be placed on the registry after 21 hours of training.
CNA certification information can be found on the site of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (http://dhhs.ne.gov/publichealth/pages/crlCNATraining.aspx). The Registry can be reached by telephone at 402-471-0537.
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