CNA Training in Washington

A nursing career in Washington could be rewarding with the right knowledge, skillset, and of course, endorsement. In this state, departments of health and social services are responsible for the administration and development of nursing programs. Earning a certification in Washington testifies that you are capable of delivering services for quality-of-life to residents and patients.

Steps to Become a CNA in Washington

Certification is an elective in Washington for those who work in the healthcare facilities as nursing assistants. However, it needs federal requirements; people with certification legally use the NA-C (Nursing Assistant-Certified) tag. You can achieve the certification after completing the training program or alternative training with the approval of DOH and then passing the evaluation examination.

Step 1: Review the Routes

Washington courses are different from other states because there are two designations in the state. According to federal law, students have to work for up to 120 days in a nursing home before getting certified. If you select the training route, you have to apply to the DOH (Department of Health) for NA-R (Nursing Assistant Registered) status. Here are some requirements of NA-R status:

  • Submit the application to the DOH
  • You should pass a background check that is fingerprint-based
  • Provide personal and demographic information
  • Submit proof of minimum 7 hours working of AIDS training

After meeting the certification requirements, you will have to finish the training that is state-approved and clear the competency exam. And also, meet examination and training requirements for nursing assistant certification. Assistant nurses are eligible to work in nursing homes after completing the certification. You can achieve the status through various routes, also known as licensing.

Graduate and Nursing Students

LPN and RN nursing students and graduate nurses from LPN and RN programs can show proof that they have completed the curriculum of the nursing assistant. With this, they can take permission for the competency exam without getting any additional training.

Military Nursing Assistants

If you have completed a specified training while serving in the military, you can get permission to take the examination without any additional training. Recognized programs include U.S. Army 91-C Program, Navy’s Basic Hospital Corps School, and Air Force’s Apprenticeship Program.

Out of State CNAs

The state of Washington recognizes reciprocity. The graduate/student nurse or nursing assistant has to show the proof of finishing the curriculum of nursing assistant or at least 50 hours of clinical training and 35 hours of classroom training. After the approval of DOH, the student can give the exam of CNA without extra training.

Alternative ‘Bridge’ Program

After successfully completing an alternative ‘Bridge’ program approved in this state, a medical assistant or home care aide certified by DOH is considered eligible for the exam. However, the candidate has to go for a 24-hour training program besides the 75-hour program completed already.

Step 2: Find a Suitable Training Program

In Washington, a student can also complete short-term classes of CNA for completing the training. It is one of the biggest advantages of selecting the program in this state. Various facilities offer CNA programs across different parts of the state. Some of these include high schools, public academics, nursing homes, private academics, colleges, institutes, medical facilities, and technical schools.

Training Length

The programs for this training are designed in various ways, and those approved by the state meet the state curriculum as well as federal requirements. The training program takes three months to finish and includes clinical and classroom training. And, you can get classes for NA-C from the Excel Health Careers Training in Des Moines, a private yet state-approved training facility. Every class lasts for around 3 weeks, and you can choose flexible timings as per your convenience from the evening, weekend, and daytime classes available.

Financial Aid and Costs of Training

In Washington, the nursing assistant training program’s costs vary, and those mentioned online cover only fees, textbooks, and tuition. Others might include expenses for items required for training, such as supplies and uniforms. Typical supplies include shoes, uniforms, textbooks, medical devices for measuring blood pressure, and stethoscope. Students can also buy liability and medical insurance.

For instance, Green River Community College levies its students only for fees and tuition, and they have to buy their own supplies and uniforms. And, the community college in Washington has identical fees and tuition schedule. The cost of fees and tuition is $173.18 per credit, which means the 12-credit program’s cost for training amounts to $2078.04. As these rates might change in the state, you should check the current fee and tuition from the desired facility for better calculation of course affordability before proceeding. You might also get some financial aid from an external source or get zero/reduced fees from the college for specific candidates.

Excel Health Careers charges $600 that includes all costs. Although the program doesn’t allow you to apply for financial aid from the federal department, you still have the option of Workforce Training Funds from a local training center in the state. In short, there are a variety of cost options available, and you can research various programs to locate the best one that meets your financial needs.

Free Training

One of the best ways to gain zero-cost training is getting trained and work at long-term care facilities and nursing homes. According to state and federal law, to pay the cost of training, the facilities must be approved to provide CNA training. If you are an NA-C bearer and taking employment at any of the long-term care facilities or nursing homes within a period of 12 months of certification, you are eligible for reimbursement of the training cost.

Step 3: Training Program’s Conditions

In Washington, every training program for CNA has some prerequisites that include:

  •  At least 18 years of age
  • A background check done through fingerprint-based verification
  • Varicella series proof
  • Tuberculosis test’s latest proof
  • Flu vaccination proof
  • MMR series confirmation
  • Tdap proof within the last 10 years
  • Hepatitis proof (eight series + titer)

Step 4: Finish a Training Program

In Washington, a training program of CNA is required to cover a minimum of 85 hours of training. It includes at least 35-hour classroom sessions, out of which 7 hours cover subjects of AIDS training. From the pending 50 hours, a minimum of 40 hours is required for actual practice, such as at a place like long-term care facilities and nursing homes.

Learn skills

The CNA training program covers various skills and topics that include:

  • Daily living activities, such as grooming, elimination, hygiene, nutrition, etc.
  • Restorative skills like independence and self-care
  • Infection control
  • Recording and taking vital signs
  • Meeting mental and emotional health needs

Other topics: Besides, other topics are also covered, such as:

  • Securing clients’ rights
  • Maintaining ethical and legal behavior
  • Personal safety
  • Working with healthcare professionals

Step 5: Clear Certification Exam

In Washington, the DSHS (Department of Social and Health Services) has appointed Pearson VUE for development, scoring, and reporting of the competency exam results. The NNAAP (National Nurse Aide Assessment Program) is the administered exam to make sure that applicants meet at least the minimum of state and federal knowledge and requirements of competency to work in the nursing homes as CNA. The CNA examination contains 2 segments that are explained below:

  • Written Exam

Written examination consisting of 70 MCQs includes questions based on the curriculum of the training for nurse aides. It is advised to take the exam for practice offered by Pearson VUE and can be easily found online.

  • Skills Evaluation

The skills evaluation is basically a practical test, and applicants should perform five skills of a nursing assistant. An important skill is handwashing, while others are selected at random. And out of the rest 4, one will include measurement such as recording and taking respiration, weight, etc.

The applicant can give each of the exam’s segments within four attempts. If you are not able to clear the exam after 4 tries, it is essential to take the test again. You must complete the five skills of nursing.

Step 6: Registry

After clearing the skills evaluation and written examination, the name of the person is submitted by Person VUE to the OBRA nursing assistant registry. After the registration of the name in this state, the assistant can apply for the certificate from the DOH that is renewed annually.

Job Opportunities

In Washington, after completing the CNA certification, a person can work in medical facilities, such as clinics, hospitals, adult family homes, nursing homes, and nursing rehabilitation centers. Being an NA-C, you can also work for private clients as well. And registered assistants are able to work for a maximum of 120 days in a nursing home without certification. However, this is allowed with the condition that the candidate will achieve the certification within a period of 4 months.

Once you meet all the requirements and get certified, you have to keep it active. For the renewal of the certification, the CNA has to work for 24 months during the period of certification. The date of passing both the segments, written as well as skills evaluation, becomes the start time for the registry. If registration fails, you cannot work in nursing homes. Also, when you are failed to clear the certification, you can go for training again and retake the test. And, if you are not able to renew your certification within 3 years, you will need to retake the test.