Certified Nurse Aide Requirements in New York

New York’s Certified Nurse Aides must meet training and examination requirements set by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH). The Department of Health contracts with Prometric to maintain the nurse aide registry.

New York nurse aides and trainees can expect criminal background checks at the employment level. The Department of Health will review the results and determine eligibility.

Select a New York Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) Topic:

Training and Examination Eligibility

In most cases, CNAs will need to complete nursing assistant training programs. Programs must be specifically authorized to operate in New York State. The Office of the Professions has provided a list (http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/nurse/nurseprogs-cna.htm). Prospective nurse aides can search by region.

Nursing education can substitute for CNA training. New York will allow licensed nurses (both U.S. and international) to forego the usual CNA training course. U.S. LPNs and RNs are excused from examination requirements while international nurses are required to test. U.S.-trained graduate nurses can also take the CNA examination.

Click here to learn about Nurse Aide programs as well as additional entry to nursing and health care programs in New York.

The Examination Process

Candidates will need to take and pass the New York State Nursing Home Nurse Aide Competency Examination (https://www.prometric.com/en-us/clients/nurseaide/pages/ny.aspx). Some candidates have the opportunity to test at their own facilities while others will need to schedule examinations at regional testing centers. There are currently 23 regional testing sites in New York. Candidates can find addresses site codes online.

There are two components: skills and knowledge. The skills test involves carrying out a sampling of nurse aide duties. Test takers are also evaluated on indirect care behaviors as they perform the assigned tasks. They can expect the Nurse Aide Evaluator to read instructions for the selected skill as well and also provide directions in written format. The Prometric site includes general instructions, skills checklists, and a description of indirect behaviors. Candidates can make up to three attempts at the examination without having to retrain.

The knowledge exam is multiple choice. Candidates can take it in a primarily oral format. However, it does include a reading comprehension section that must be passed. Individuals who want the oral test must select it at the time of application.

Test takers are allowed three total attempts at the knowledge examination. They can switch from written to oral at a later administration but will have fewer attempts remaining.

Examination results can typically be accessed online after 48 hours.

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The Application Process

The application process is integrated with the examination process. First time candidates who test at their own facility will give the application to an employer or on-site coordinator. Other examination candidates will mail their application materials to Prometric.

Recent graduates of State-approved CNA programs must have their program coordinators fill out a portion of the application. If they are currently working in a nursing home, their employer will also fill out a section.

Examination is the last step. Successful examinees receive their certificates and wallet cards about ten days after they complete testing requirements. Status can often be verified online several days before the certificate arrives.

The Application Process for Nurses and Graduate Nurses

Individuals who hold LPN or RN licensing in U.S. jurisdictions must include copies of their diplomas when applying to Prometric. If their school does not have a nurse aide training program, they are advised to contact the NYSDOH.

International nurses and graduate nurses have a two-step process. They must be authorized to test by the State Department of Health. They can download the application from Prometric, but will submit it first to the following address:

New York State Department of Health
NATP/NAR Program
Mailstop: CA/LTC
Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY 12237

International nurses must document their coursework when applying to NYSDOH. Additionally, they must provide copies of the following: social security card, nursing school diploma, license, and (if they have attempted or been scheduled for the LPN or RN examination) a copy of the admission letter or score report.

Graduate nurses must include copies of their nursing school diplomas.

After receiving their approved applications back, candidates will submit them to Prometric.

Out-of-State CNAs

CNAs who are active on other state registries can apply for reciprocity. They will use the application materials available on the Prometric site. They will need to include copies of current certification. If the certificate does not include an expiration date, the CNA will need to provide additional documentation of employment (at least seven hours during the two-year period). Documentation can take the form of a letter on official company letterhead, if signed by the supervisor.

Former CNAs

CNAs with lapsed certification can apply for examination without retraining provided they completed NYS-approved programs no earlier than July 1, 1989. If they completed their training prior to this date, or were placed on the registry without completing a New York program, they will need to complete approved programs before they can again have active status.

Fees and Possible Fee Reimbursement

Candidates must submit fees with their Prometric applications. First time test takers pay $115 for the written/ skills combination or $135 for the oral/ skills combination. They pay $68 to retake the clinical test, $57 to retake the written test, and $67 to retake the oral test. Those who are employed by nursing homes can expect their facility to cover fees.

Reciprocity candidates and LPNs/ RNs pay a $50 fee with their applications.

There is a $40 recertification fee. This is paid by the employer.

Additional Information

The New York State Department of Health Bureau of Professional Credentialing can be reached at [email protected]. The Nurse Aide Registry can be found online at https://registry.prometric.com/registry/public.

The Department of Health refers prospective CNAs to Prometric for information about the credentialing process (https://www.health.ny.gov/health_care/consumer_information/nurse_aide_registry).

The candidate handbook provides detailed information about all eligibility pathways (https://www.prometric.com/en-us/clients/nurseaide/pages/ny.aspx). Prometric can be reached by email at [email protected]. Candidate services can be reached at 800-805-9128.

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