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
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
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:
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.
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.
can opt to earn a CNA certification prior to or alongside other certifications.
CNA, there are various education and/or training required to earn more
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.
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.
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.
3: Search and Comply with the Conditions of a CNA Program
Although prerequisites change
with school, some common conditions include:
minimum age requirement is 18 years
student must have valid tax identification (TIN) and social security (SSN)
pass a reading and math test
earned the certification of CPR Health Provider (Some programs allow students
to complete it during the CAN training)
for a chest X-ray and TB skin of the student must be negative
not have a criminal record
program applications and school
a program requires, take part in the orientation session
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
and emotional health
and data collection
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
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
Routes: In the state, you can choose any
of the various routes to the NNAAP examination.
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.
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.
3: Graduate Nurse
You should have completed a
program of nursing education in the U.S.
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.
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.
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.
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.