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Certified Nurse Aide Requirements in Oklahoma

Oklahoma recognizes six different types of Certified Nurse Aide, or CNA. The following certifications are issued by the Oklahoma State Department of Health:

  • Long Term Care Aide
  • Home Health Aide
  • Developmentally Disabled Direct Care Aide
  • Adult Day Care Aide
  • Residential Care Aide
  • Medication Aide

Long Term Care Aides, Home Health Aides, and Developmentally Disabled Direct Care Aides all have at least 75 hours of education and training. Adult Day Care Aide and Residential Care Aide status requires fewer training hours. Medication Aide, on the other hand, requires a second training program, completed after the first credential is earned.

The classification that is most comparable to the ‘CNA’ credential issued in many U.S. states is Long Term Care Aide.

Select a Oklahoma Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) Topic:

Certified Nurse Aide Training in Oklahoma

Prospective CNAs must complete programs that meet standards outlined in Title 310, Chapter 677 of state administrative code. Nurse Aide Training and Certification (http://www.ok.gov/health2/documents/HRDS_Chapt677.pdf). The Department of Health has provided a list of approved programs with contact information. There is a key at the end of the document that identifies the nursing aide specialty (for example, long term care or home health).

Click Here to learn about Nurse Aide programs as well as other entry to nursing and health care programs in Oklahoma.

Long Term Care Aides must have 75 total training hours with at least 16 hours of practical training. They must have at least 16 hours of training in mandated areas (for example, safety measures and respecting the rights of nursing home residents) before they begin to work directly with residents.

Alternate Pathways/ Deeming

Nursing students may be authorized to take the CNA examination. They are advised to contact the State Department of Health.

CNAs do not always have to complete a full training program to be certified in a new area. In some cases, the requirement is 16 hours of training that is specific to the population served. When a nurse aide is made eligible for a new certification without completing the usual curriculum, it is termed deeming. Chapter 677 outlines the types of deeming that are available and the requirements that must be met (http://www.ok.gov/health2/documents/HRDS_Chapt677.pdf).

The Examination Process

Nurse aides must pass competency evaluations. There are three approved competency evaluation programs, according to the 2014 list of approved nursing aide programs provided by the State Department of Health. They include the following:

  • Headmaster
  • Health Certification Project
  • Prometric

There are certain commonalities between vendors. Candidates can expect both a knowledge examination and a skills evaluation (at least if they are pursuing a first CNA certification); some secondary certifications may be issued on the basis of a knowledge test. In most cases, the knowledge examination can be administered in oral form. This is not, however, the case with CMA evaluation; oral administration is not permitted.

Candidates are permitted to retake competency evaluations. However, there may be limits imposed. Both Prometric and the Health Certification Project state that a candidate may not retake a skills or knowledge evaluation more than three times without retraining.

Selection of testing vendor may depend on nurse aide specialty as well as on arrangements made by the particular facility or training program. The Health Certification Project offers multiple competency evaluations including less common ones like Adult Day Care Aide and Residential Care Aide. The Health Certification Project has provided a description of each test in the 2014 candidate handbook (http://www.okcareertech.org/educators/assessments-and-testing/health-certification-project-hcp/nurse-aide/CandidateHandbook%20_04112014.pdf). Prospective CNAs can also consult the handbook to see which skills are expected of each type of nurse aide. Candidates register through project test centers; these are state technology centers.

Headmaster allows candidates to self-register if they have appropriate eligibility documentation. They will need copies of their training certificates or letters of approval from the Department of Health. Headmaster notes that students who enroll through the Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City will. go through OSU-OC when scheduling examinations. Others will schedule through Headmaster.

The Headmaster site includes application forms as well as candidate handbooks (http://www.hdmaster.com/testing/cnatesting/oklahoma/OK_CNA_Home.htm) Headmaster can be reached by telephone at (800) 393-8664 or by email at ‘hdmaster at hdmaster.com’.

Candidates take their nurse aide examination through Prometric if their training program or facility is an approved Prometric testing site. Prometric has also provided a candidate handbook. It includes sample questions and skills listing as well as general testing policies. Prometric can be reached at (800) 813-6670.

Out-of-State CNAs and HHAs

Out of state CNAs and Home Health Aides may be granted reciprocity. The healthcare worker will list all states where certification was held, past or present, and will note whether certification was as a Long Term Care Aide or Home Health Aide.

The Application Process

Candidates who complete state-approved competency and evaluation programs can expect to be added to the registry once all requirements have been met. Nurse aide registry status can be verified online (https://www.phin.state.ok.us/NARSWBSearch/Views/LandingView.aspx?id=4084). The Health Certification Project notes that after a candidate who passes both parts of the HCP competency evaluation should appear on the registry within 30 days; those who do not should contact the registry (http://www.okcareertech.org/educators/assessments-and-testing/health-certification-project-hcp/nurse-aide/CandidateHandbook%20_04112014.pdf).

Reciprocity applicants will need to apply to the state. Applications and forms are available on the Department of Health website (http://www.ok.gov/Nurse_Aide_Registry_Applications_and_Forms/index.html). Applications are to be mailed to the nurse aide registry at the address listed on the form. Application materials will also be accepted if hand delivered to the Department of Health in Oklahoma City.

Fingerprint-Based Criminal Background Checks

Oklahoma requires fingerprint-based background checks of long term care workers. Students may or may not be asked to have background checks as a condition of program entry. They should, at the minimum, be informed of state regulations.

Additional Requirements for Certified Medication Aide

Before an individual can be certified as a Medication Aide, he or she must first be certified as a Long Term Care Aide, Home Health Aide, or Developmentally Disabled Direct Care Aide. The CMA credential requires an additional 40 hours of classroom education and 16 hours of practical training. CMAs must be at least 18 and must possess high school diplomas or GEDs.

Additional Information

The Nurse Aide Registry can be reached by telephone at (405) 271-4085 or (800) 695-2157 or by email at ‘nar at health.ok.gov’.

The state administrative code includes a description of certification requirements for the various CNA classifications (http://www.ok.gov/health2/documents/HRDS_Chapt677.pdf).

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