Certified Nursing Assistant Requirements in Utah

Utah Certified Nursing Assistants are under the jurisdiction of the Utah Nursing Assistant Registry, or UNAR. Utah CNAs must complete training programs and pass state-specific examinations.

Select a Utah Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Topic:

Training and Examination Eligibility

A prospective CNA will need to complete a program that has been approved by the Utah Nursing Assistant Registry. Utah-approved CNA programs are 80 hours. They are offered at a variety of institutions including nursing homes and community colleges. Some are housed in high schools. The Nursing Assistant Registry has provided a list of approved programs (http://utahcna.com/). The list includes the pass rate on the required post-program examination.

In some cases, the Registry may grant a waiver from the usual training requirements. A nurse with an expired license from any state will be allowed to test, provided that the credential was in good standing. A nursing student who is past the first semester and has successfully completed nursing fundamentals can also test as a nursing assistant.

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

A nursing student may make up to three attempts at the examination without pursuing nursing assistant training (http://www.utahcna.com/forms/FAQ.pdf). A nurse with an expired license, however, is only allowed one attempt. If he or she does not pass on a first attempt, training will be required.

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Examination Requirements

After completing training, the candidate will take the state assessment. Utah administers its own. It includes skills and written components. Candidates must pass within one year of the time they complete their CNA training.

In the skills assessment, candidates will demonstrate the ability to carry out nursing assistant duties. Care may be provided to a mannequin or to an individual who is playing the part of a resident. Each test taker will need to demonstrate proper hand washing technique. Each test taker will need to take vital signs (blood pressure, temperature, pulse, respiration). Five other skills will be randomly selected. There is a range of skills possible, for example, performing passive range of motion, feeding a dependent resident, and demonstrating methods of preventing pressure ulcers. The prospective nursing assistant must perform all of the selected tasks competently and will be allowed no more than two prompts or helpful hints.

All skills are described in the candidate handbook (http://www.utahcna.com/forms/UTcandidatehandbook.pdf). The handbook also includes key vocabulary and sample multiple choice questions. Candidates should make sure they have the most current version of the handbook. It can be assessed from the main page of the UNAR website. An online practice exam can also be assessed from the UNAR website.

The written test is administered by computer. There is a time limit. The minimum score is 75 out of 100. Candidates have the opportunity to listen to audio on headphones. (They should, however, let the individual test center know in advance that they need this.) The test is administered in English, but UNAR notes that it may be ‘toggled’ in Spanish (http://www.utahcna.com/forms/FAQ.pdf). Test takers are allowed to bring a translation dictionary; the dictionary will need to be checked to make sure that it conforms to regulations – for example, that it does not include definitions.

The Examination Process

Individuals receive testing applications from their instructors after completing their nursing assistant programs. Application materials are to be accompanied by a $75 fee. This can be paid by certified check, money order, or credit card but not by personal check. Individuals who have been employed (or received employment offers) from nursing homes can expect to have fees covered by their employers.

Required materials are to be mailed to the Utah Nursing Assistant Registry in Kaysville. Approved candidates can expect to receive their testing vouchers five to ten days later. At this point, they will be allowed to schedule at any of the twelve approved testing sites.

Candidates will need to bring their vouchers to the scheduled examination along with one picture ID. Test results will be sent in the mail.

A candidate who fails either the written or skills evaluation will receive re-examination information and new vouchers (http://www.utahcna.com/forms/FAQ.pdf).

Candidates who completed Utah-approved training programs are allowed to make three attempts without re-enrolling in training programs.

The Application Process

Candidates simultaneously apply for examination and for their CNA certificates. Successful examination candidates are automatically placed on the state registry.

Applications are available on the UNAR website (http://utahcna.com/). However, a student who completes a state-approved program can expect to receive paperwork from the program; an instructor signature will be required.

The online registry is maintained by a third party organization, Headmaster. The registry can be accessed from the main page of the UNAR website.

Out-of-State CNAs

Nursing assistants with current certification in other U.S. states can be granted reciprocity. There is an application form specifically for out-of-state candidates. By signing the form, the nursing assistant authorizes UNAR to verify certification from other state registries. A $10 fee is assessed.

Nursing Assistants with Expired Certification

A nursing assistant with expired Utah certification will be allowed to retest for certification, but must do so within one year of expiration; one examination attempt will be allowed. A nursing assistant with lapsed out-of-state certification will need to enroll in a training program.

Additional Information

The Utah Nursing Assistant Registry (http://utahcna.com/) can be reached by telephone at (801) 547-9947. Office hours are 7:30 to 4:00.

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