Certified Nursing Assistant Requirements in Oregon

Oregon credentials Certified Nursing Assistants at two levels: CNA I and CNA II. In order to become a CNA I, an individual must complete training and assessment requirements. A criminal background check is also required.

In order to move up to CNA II status, the nursing assistant must complete an additional training program.

Select an Oregon Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Topic:

CNA I Training and Examination Requirements

The prospective CNA must complete a Board-approved CNA training program. The Oregon State Board of Nursing has provided a list of Oregon-approved CNA programs. Students who enroll in Oregon-approved programs will have a final examination which they must pass with at least 75%. Only then can they be approved to take the state competency evaluation.

Click here to learn about Nursing Assistant programs as well as other entry to nursing and health care programs in Oregon.

Individuals who have completed CNA programs approved by other states may test in Oregon. To be accepted, a program must be at least 75 hours. It must have been completed within the previous two years.

Recent nursing school graduates are also eligible to test as CNAs. International nursing graduates may be approved as well.

Military medics and corspmen are eligible if their training met OBRA requirements and if they have at least 400 hours of nursing related employment during the previous two years.

Candidates must take the Oregon Nursing Assistant Competency Examination. The examination consists of two parts: manual skills and written. The written exam may be requested in oral format, but test takers should be aware that it includes some reading comprehension questions; this is to ensure that CNAs can read at a minimal level. The manual skills exam includes actual nursing assistant duties. The prospective CNA will first demonstrate proper hand washing technique, then perform four other random skills such as ambulating with a gait belt, putting on an anti-embolism stocking, or giving a partial bed bath.

The CNA I Examination Process

Oregon contracts with Headmaster to administer examinations. Some candidates will take the examination in-facility. Other candidates will travel to approved regional testing sites. Headmaster has provided a list of sites and examination dates for the coming three months (http://www.hdmaster.com/testing/cnatesting/oregon/OR_CNA_Home.htm).

Candidates must be authorized to test. They are to apply to the Board of Nursing at least three weeks before their desired examination date. They will receive confirmation letters once they have been Board authorized.

Prospective CNAs will take both evaluations the same day. Examination results will be made available online. They are typically posted in the evening one to three business days after the examination. (The timeframe depends on whether the examination was taken on paper or by computer.) The candidate will also receive test results in the mail.

Candidates are allowed up to three examination attempts. A candidate who fails one of the two evaluations will only be required to retake the one he or she failed. The failure letter must be submitted to the Board along with the required fee.

The examination costs $106. There is an additional $35 fee for candidates requesting oral examination. It costs $70 to retake the full examination. It costs $45 to retake just the skills examination.

Candidates who complete in-state nursing assistant I courses can expect to receive candidate bulletins from the training program. Bulletins can also be downloaded from the ‘Oregon CNA Testing and Certification’ page of the Headmaster site (http://www.hdmaster.com/testing/cnatesting/oregon/OR_CNA_Home.htm). Applicants are expected to know the contents.

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The CNA I Application Process

Some candidates will receive applications from their training program instructors. Others will download them from the SBON website (http://www.oregon.gov/OSBN/pages/cnacertification.aspx).

The Board requires all candidates to complete fingerprint-based criminal background checks. Candidates can have fingerprints made at their choice of law enforcement agencies. They may use the card provided by the agency or the one sent by the State Board of Nursing. An applicant will need the OSBN Identity Verification form provided by the Board. The fingerprints must be sealed in a manila envelope at the fingerprinting site. The Board has provided a list of frequently asked questions about the fingerprinting process (http://www.oregon.gov/OSBN/pages/fingerprintingfaqs.aspx).

The candidate is to include a copy of the training certificate as well as the sealed fingerprint documents.

CNA II and CMA Requirements

In order to achieve CNA II status, an individual must complete an approved CNA II program. CNA II programs are also included in the Board approval list. Prospective students will find contact information for the programs.

In order to be eligible for CNA II, a person must be current and in good standing on the CNA I registry.

The Oregon Certified Medication Aide (CMA) credential is also dependent on first earning status as a Certified Nursing Assistant. Prospective CMAs will complete board-approved training programs and take another examination.

Out-of-State CNAs

In order to be granted reciprocal certification at the CNA I level, an out-of-state CNA must have completed a program that met OBRA requirements. In most cases, the CNA must have at least 400 hours of nursing assistant employment experience during the previous two years; the experience must have been under the supervision of a nurse. CNAs who received their credential within the previous two years, however, will not be required to document work experience.

CNA endorsement application packets are available on the Board website. The endorsement applicant will need to submit training and certification verification. The application includes a certification verification form. In most cases, the CNA will fill out the top portion and send in to the state of certification. CNAs are advised to contact the out-of-state registry first to make sure their status is current and inquiry whether there is a fee that must be submitted with the form. CNAs from the following states will instead fill out the top portion of the form and send it to the Oregon State Board to carry out the verification process:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • North Carolina

The CNA endorsement fee is $60. This is in addition to the $52 fingerprinting fee.

Additional Information

CNA certification information is available on the site of the Oregon State Board of Nursing (http://www.oregon.gov/OSBN/pages/cnacertification.aspx). The OSBN can be reached at (971) 673-0685 between 2:30 and 4:00 on weekdays.

Headmaster can be reached at (800) 393-8664 between 8:00 and 6:00 on weekdays.

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