Certified Nurse Aide Requirements in Texas

Texas Certified Nurse Aides are under the jurisdiction of the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS). Certified Nurse Aides must complete training and evaluation programs. They must also have acceptable legal and professional backgrounds.

CNAs maintain active status by working in the field. A CNA who allows certification to expire can take steps to renew it. Eligibility is lost permanently if the nurse aide has findings of abuse or misappropriation of property.

Select a Texas Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) Topic:

Training and Examination Eligibility

Nurse aides must complete state-approved programs. The most direct path to certification is to complete a Texas-approved Nurse Aide Training and Competency Evaluation Program, or NATCEP (http://info.sos.state.tx.us/pls/pub/readtac$ext.ViewTAC?tac_view=4&ti=40&pt=1&ch=94&rl=Y). Texas programs are 100 hours. They include 60 hours of and 40 hours of clinical skills training. The student can expect a background check as part of the eligibility process.

The Department of Aging and Disability has provided a searchable database of nurse aide programs (http://www.dads.state.tx.us/providers/NF/credentialing/NATCEP/credtraining.cfm). Prospective students can click on their region of the state.

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

An individual may be approved to take the examination on the basis of a program completed in another state if the program was at least 100 hours.

Military personnel may also be approved on the basis of 100 hours of healthcare training; DADS states that the training must be equivalent to civilian nurse aide training.

Nursing students and recent nursing graduates may also be approved to test. An individual may be approved on the basis of 1) current enrollment and completion of basic coursework or 2) LPN or RN program completion. Individuals are not eligible if they have had a Texas nursing license issued or revoked (http://www.dads.state.tx.us/providers/nf/credentialing/nar/faq_nar.html).

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Examination Requirements

Texas nurse aides take the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP). It includes two separate tests. One measures knowledge; the other measures practical skills.

The knowledge test is multiple choice. It may be administered as a written test in English or an oral test in English or Spanish. The practical skills test requires the candidate to perform a sampling of nurse aide duties. Each candidate is assessed on hand hygiene. Other skills are selected randomly. However, a candidate will always be asked to perform at least one skill that involves taking and recording a measurement. The candidate must score a ‘satisfactory’ on at least four out of five of the tested skills.

The candidate handbook includes a skills listing. Candidates can also download Spanish language skills listings from the ‘Texas Nurse Aides’ page of the Pearson website (http://www.pearsonvue.com/tx/nurseaides/).

In Texas, the NNAAP is administered jointly by Pearson VUE and the NACES Plus Foundation. Candidate materials can be downloaded from the Pearson VUE website (http://www.pearsonvue.com/tx/nurseaides).

In many cases, the training program will handle the registration process. Registration materials are also available through Pearson. Pearson has provided a list of testing sites and upcoming test dates (http://asisvcs.com/publications/pdf/064407.pdf). Candidates will enter the test code of their preferred site on the application form. They may indicate whether they prefer to test on a weekday or weekend. Applicants can expect to be scheduled for examination within 30 days. They will receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) by postcard.

The full evaluation costs $95. The skills test costs $70; the oral or written test, $25. Candidates will take both evaluations the same day. They will need to show up at the test site with appropriate identification. Test takers generally receive their test results on-site the day of test. If there is some technical difficulty, the results will be mailed.

Candidates may make up to three attempts at the examination. A candidate who has passed either the knowledge or practical skills test will not need to retake it during the examination cycle. A candidate who does not pass on a third attempt will need to re-enroll in a training program if he or she still seeks certification.

Although candidates have up to 24 months from program completion to fulfill testing requirements, those who are employed in nursing facilities have a shorter timeframe. Texas nursing homes can allow nurse aides to work for no more than four months while in the process of meeting registration requirements.

The Application Process

Candidates apply simultaneously for examination and registry placement. Graduates of Texas-approved programs will find the paperwork they need on the Pearson VUE website (http://www.pearsonvue.com/tx/nurseaides). They will have a program director sign the form to confirm eligibility.

Other candidates, though, will have additional steps to complete before submitting their examination applications. Candidates seeking examination eligibility based on alternative training will need authorization from the Department of Aging and Disability Servies. They will find the forms they need on the DADS website (http://www.dads.state.tx.us/providers/nf/credentialing/NATCEP/forms.html).

DADS will require supporting documentation. Applicants who completed LPN or RN programs, out-of-state CNA training programs, or military training programs will need to submit notarized copies of their training certificates. Nursing students will need to have the dean or director fill out a section of the application; the form will require notarization.

All candidates applying for examination eligibility through DADS will need to include a criminal records check, processed by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). Application materials will be sent to the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services Nurse Aide Training Program in Austin.

Approved examination candidates will receive letters of eligibility. They will also receive testing applications and instructions.

The testing vendor will submit names of individuals who pass, and they will be added to the registry. CNAs can verify status by calling 1-800-452-3934. They may also check online (https://www.asisvcs.com/services/registry/search_generic.asp?CPCat=0644NURSE).

Nurse Aides with Expired Status

Nurse aides who allow their registry to expire may become active again by passing the required knowledge and skills examinations.

Out-of-State Nurse Aides

Out-of-state CNAs who are in good standing may be granted reciprocity, provided that the certification standards of the other state met federal requirements. Reciprocal candidates will not need to train or test in Texas.

Additional Information

The Texas Nurse Aide Registry (http://www.dads.state.tx.us/providers/nf/credentialing/nar/index.html) can be reached at (512) 438-2050.

The Pearson VUE Texas Nurse Aide Program can be reached at (800) 274-2900.

The NACES Plus Foundation Texas Nurse Aide Testing Program can be reached at (800) 444-5178.

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