CNA Training in Maryland

Do you want to start your medical career after completing a short-term training in Maryland? If yes, you can choose a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) career. It gives you a variety of adaptable work schedules, job opportunities, and comfortable salaries, and requirements or licensing procedures are not complex either. Having a certificate enables you to provide valuable patient care in Maryland across home health, group homes, hospitals, and assisted living. In this state, various types of nursing assistant certifications are available. CNAs in Maryland can also get other certifications as supplementary such as Dialysis Technicians, Certified Medication Aides, and Home Health Aides.

Types of Certifications for Nursing Assistants in Maryland

Before you learn the steps to become a CNA, you should understand the options available. In order to become a Certified Medication Aide and Home Health Aide, many states need you to go through special training. Beyond it, Maryland offers various certification types as discussed below:

  • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA): It is designed as a fundamental and a primary level for all other certifications. So, you have to earn a CNA certification before opting for a CMA, GNA, Dialysis Technician, or HHA.
  • Geriatric Nursing Assistant (GNA): Beyond CNA certification, you can complete some other course and learn certain clinical skills through a GNA certification. A person is eligible for service at long-term care hospitals and licensed nursing homes after passing the examination for GNA. Several schools also provide a joined GNA-CNA program.
  • Home Health Aide (HHA): Students having gained the CNA credentials meet the eligibility and training requirements of HHA.
  • Certified Medicine Aide (CMA): If a person has achieved a GNA certification along with an experience of 1 year and has completed a 60-hour, state-approved medicine course at a community college, he/she earns the CMA certification.
  • Dialysis Technician (CAN-DT): For students having earned a CNA certification, they can achieve the eligibility for working with the dialysis patients by completing the training requirement of the state.

How to Become a CAN in Maryland?

Here are some steps you should follow to achieve your dream of becoming a CNA in the state of Maryland:

Step 1: Choose the Most Suitable Program

In Maryland, there are a variety of CNA programs that are state-approved. But all programs do not offer CNA-DT, CMA, or GNA training. While making a selection, here are some points that can help you find the most suitable program.

  • Firstly, find the most interesting employment type because it influences the certification type that a student needs. This will help you shortlist the choice of school and required training as well.
  • You can opt to earn a CNA certification prior to or alongside other certifications.
  • Beyond CNA, there are various education and/or training required to earn more credentials.

Several institutes provide CNA programs, including nursing homes, community colleges, high schools, academies, renal care clinics, retirement homes, and technical colleges. Students can enlist their options by program and city preference and then compare various options to choose the most suitable match. Moreover, many Maryland-based high schools offer programs following a career path in health sciences that you can follow to gain CNA and CPR credentials. For instance, Paint Branch High School students attending the Academy of Health Professions get certified in 11th grade only with a 4-course first semester followed by a clinical training-based second semester and the senior year covers healthcare studies.

Step 2: Evaluate the Cost of CNA Program

The costs vary with the path that you opt for. You can complete a 6-week CNA & GNA training program with options of day and evening classes for CNA at the American Health Career Institute by spending $1065. An 8-week long CNA program with day/evening classes will cost you $1450 and will cover expenses for fees, books, and tuition at Prince George’s Community College. The college also offers an additional GNA Theory course for students willing to become GNAs and CNA clinical training is also required, but that will cost extra. CNA training at the American Red Cross is available for $1250 with day/evening classes. However, lab supplies, fees, and uniforms aren’t covered under this cost.

Getting a Financial Aid: Many CNAs do not allow financial aid if it is not an essential component program or degree. However, you can try getting some aid by applying for training funds and scholarships. Also, employers can also pay the fee for students who are working in long-term care facilities and medicare nursing homes, eliminating the financial burden of the training for them.

Step 3: Search and Comply with the Conditions of a CNA Program

Although prerequisites change with school, some common conditions include:

  • The minimum age requirement is 18 years
  • The student must have valid tax identification (TIN) and social security (SSN) numbers
  • Should pass a reading and math test
  • Have earned the certification of CPR Health Provider (Some programs allow students to complete it during the CAN training)
  • Tests for a chest X-ray and TB skin of the student must be negative
  • Should not have a criminal record
  • Complete program applications and school
  • If a program requires, take part in the orientation session

Step 4: Complete a CNA Training Program Successfully

CNA program must be a minimum of 100 hours covering classroom, clinical, and laboratory training, but some programs cover more time. Topics covered include:

Patient hygiene and grooming

  • Nutrition
  • Changing linens
  • Legal rights
  • Communication
  • Calculate vital signs
  • Transferring patients
  • Mental and emotional health
  • Elimination
  • Restorative skills
  • Infection control
  • Reporting and data collection
  • Improve motion range

This covers a section of Maryland’s major categories of the NA training. In addition to this information, a program might also cover additional requirements. Those who have completed healthcare training in the military are eligible for training and course credits.

Step 5: Clear the CNA Exam

If you want to work in a clinic or hospital in Maryland as a CNA, taking the state-level exam is not necessary. However, working in a nursing home or a long-term care facility in the state needs you to have a GNA certification. Thus, completing GNA in Maryland is considered similar to CNA in many of the other states.

NNAAP: You need to pass the NNAAP (National Nurse Aide Assessment Program) Examination for earning the state-level GNA certification. It is divided into two parts:

  • Written Test: It includes 70 MCQs. The syllabus covers lessons during the training for nursing assistants covering topics, such as dressing patients, grooming, control of infection and client rights. Students can also opt for an oral examination that consists of 10 reading questions of comprehension and 60 MCQs.
  • Skills Examination: Out of the various skills learned during classroom and training sessions, five randomly selected will be performed by the applicant. And, one of those five will be chosen from the measurement category.

Routes: In the state, you can choose any of the various routes to the NNAAP examination.

Route 1: NA (Nursing Assistant) Trainee

This requires you to have completed a 100-hour NA training program approved by the Board of Nursing within the past 12 months. The course should include clinical training and classroom sessions in a nursing home licensed in Maryland.

Route 2: Inactive/Active Student Nurse

You should have done equivalent training as a student of nursing during a program of nursing that you are enrolled in now or have completed in the past 12 months.

Route 3: Graduate Nurse

You should have completed a program of nursing education in the U.S.

Route 4: Foreign Nurse

You should have graduated from an education program for foreign nursing. In addition, to be eligible for the NCLEX exam, you also need to have a nursing license issued in a foreign nation that is approved by Maryland’s nursing board.

Route 5: Invalid GNA certificate

Is your GNA certification valid? If no, then do you have an 8-hour job experience as a GNA at a nursing home licensed in Maryland? In case your GNA certificate has expired for less than 24 months, you can be eligible for retaking the NNAAP examination. But if your GNA certificate expired for over 24 months, you would be asked for proof of 8-hour job experience for that 2-year period. In the case of no employment proof, you need to retake both the training, as well as the examination.

Results of the NNAAP Exam and Retake: Results of the exam will be reported directly to the students and Maryland’s Nursing Board by the Susquehanna Red Cross. In Maryland, the requirement of the certification is that you have to pass the exam’s both parts in no more than four attempts within a period of 24 months. In case you are unable to meet this condition, you will need to again go through the 100-hour training program and then re-attempt the examination.

Step 6: Earn Certification

In Maryland, a combined registry for GNA and CNA is maintained. The name of the applicant is listed in the registry of CAN by Maryland’s nursing board after the CNA program’s completion. When you pass the exam for GNAs, the board gets a notification to upgrade your credentials in the GNA registry.

Maintain the certification

While the above guide can help you earn CNA certification in Maryland, you may also need to know about the renewal process once it expires. The certification can be reissued for a period of 2 years, though the date on which it was renewed first is considered as its base. The expiry date of this certification is decided by the birth month of the CNA, where the certificate’s expiry date falls on the birth month’s 28th while the year is decided by whether the birth date is even or odd. The rule also applies to HHAs, GNAs, and MAs.