The healthcare industry is constantly progressing, trying to provide patients with the most comfortable experience. And the need and demand for CNAs are ever on the rise. Nurse aids are a valuable part of society as they assist nurses by fulfilling patient needs like bathing, checking vitals, and feeding, among other patient care duties.

Nurse doing blood pressure monitoring for senior woman at home. Close up photo of blood pressure measurement. Nurse measuring blood pressure of senior woman at home. Smiling to each other.

CNA certification in North Carolina offers multiple levels of practice for nursing assistants. Each of them has different requirements, and knowing them is essential before beginning your career. In this article, you will learn about all the criteria, qualifications, and certification procedures to become a CNA in North Carolina.

Types of CNA Certification in North Carolina

In North Carolina, there are different levels of nursing aides depending on their credentials and duties. The Board of Nursing has allotted specific duties for each level of nursing assistant. The three different levels are as follows.

Nurse Aide I

Nurse Aide I, which is the basic level as it, provides foundational practice for upper-level positions. The assistants mostly have duties in nursing home facilities. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provides the credentials for this level.

Nurse Aide II

Nurse Aide II includes all the unlicensed assistive personnel. The North Carolina Board of Nursing awards the credentials to eligible candidates.

Geriatric Nurse Aides

Geriatric Nurse Aides are the ones who contribute to the needs of healthcare facilities, as mentioned by the North Carolina Institute of Medicine (IOM) Long-Term Task Force. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) awards the necessary credentials for this level.

In addition to these three levels, nursing assistants can also seek training to become medication aides. They perform specific additional duties relating to administering medicines to patients under the direction of licensed practical nurses.

Nurse Aide I Certification Requirements

The North Carolina Department of Public Health and Human Services is in charge of regulating Nurse Aide I education and certification. Getting started as an NC Nurse Aide I necessitates finishing a training course that has been certified by the state. These courses may typically be finished in a few weeks. Students who want to register with the state must pass the certification test in their state after finishing the required coursework.

Eligibility for CNA Program in North Carolina

A minimum age of 18 is required to begin a CNA training program. A high school diploma or a GED are not necessary qualifications for nursing assistants. Criminal convictions of a certain nature will prevent trainees from working as CNAs.

Their program teachers must hold valid North Carolina nursing licenses, and students are directly supervised while in training. Once you have finished your training, you may seek to become a certified nurse assistant (CNA), which enables you to register for the CNA test.

Required Length of Program

A minimum of 75 hours of instruction, including at least 16 hours of practical experience in a long-term care institution, are required for nurse aide I training programs in North Carolina. Some nurse aide I training programs can be completed in as little as 3 to 4 weeks. However, it can vary depending on the school and program and ranges between 6 to 15 weeks.

Several community colleges, vocational schools, medical facilities, and nursing homes in North Carolina provide training programs. The classroom element of Nurse Aide I training could occasionally be made available online. However, you must finish the practical clinical component of the curriculum on-site.

Eligibility Criteria of Licensure

The National Nursing Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) test is mandatory for nurse assistants in North Carolina for first registry placement at the Nursing Assistant I level. Both a knowledge evaluation and a clinical skills evaluation are part of the NNAAP test. Test takers have several options for proving their eligibility. You must fulfill at least one of the following eligibility Criteria.

  • An applicant has finished a nursing assistant training course that has been authorized by North Carolina.
  • Students of nursing programs who want to get hands-on experience.
  • Those who have successfully completed out-of-state nursing aide, emergency medical technician (EMT), or other healthcare programs.
  • A person may occasionally be determined only by inspection. A person can challenge even if they lack nursing aide training, according to the testing provider Pearson VUE.

Additional Condition

Nursing aide certification has some additional conditions in North Carolina. These are as follows:

  • No applicant may attempt more than twice in two years.
  • Students have two years after program graduation to complete nursing assistant programs or refresher courses that are recognized in North Carolina.
  • Students studying nursing have two years from the day they finish their prerequisite curriculum.
  • From the time of their initial exam try, other test-takers have two years.

Examination Process For Nurse I

The examination process begins with an exam schedule which is possible on the Pearson website for candidates. The knowledge portion of the exam is available in two languages and modes. English is the language of the written examination. Both English and Spanish are offered for the oral examination. They must decide whether they wish to take the written or oral portion of the knowledge test.

Candidates must give at least nine calendar days’ notice if they need to reschedule their appointment. Those that fail to comply typically lose their fees. However, an absence may be justified in certain cases.

After the exams, results are often readily available on-site soon after the exam is finished. Once you pass the examination, your name will be added to the registry shortly after. Test takers must spend $101 to complete the entire exam. Retakes of the skills assessment are $77. Retakes of written or oral exams are $24 each.

Nurse Aide II Certification Requirements

A Nurse Aide I who either enrolls in a qualifying nursing curriculum, completes an approved program, or exhibits comparable military training is eligible to get the Nurse Aide II certificate. You need to have a current Nurse Aide I listing without any convictions of abuse, neglect, or misappropriation of property to list as a Nurse Aide II.

You also need to finish a Nurse Aide II curriculum that has been approved by the Board. Several commercial businesses and the majority of community institutions offer the Nurse Aide II program. The initial listing and renewal fees for the Nurse Aide II registration are $24.

You must have held a position of nursing care services provider for at least 8 hours within the previous 24 months while working directly under the direction of a registered nurse to keep your Nurse Aide II Listing current.

90 days before your current Nurse Aide II Listing expires, the North Carolina Board of Nursing will send an email to the email address on file with the Board of Nursing informing you that your listing is up for renewal. The final day of your birth month, or earlier, is the deadline to submit the online Nurse Aide II renewal application.

Geriatric Aide Certification Requirements

To become a geriatric nursing assistant, a person must first earn nursing aide I credentials. In addition, they must finish the North Carolina geriatric aide program to become eligible to work. Applicants must provide documentation that they have successfully completed an accredited nursing aide training program.

In addition, they must prove their active status on the Nurse Aide Registry to enroll in a geriatric nursing assistant program. Students who successfully complete the program are qualified to register with the North Carolina Nurse Aide Registry as geriatric nurse assistants.

Regardless of the location, the Nursing Assistant II course trains its graduates to do complicated tasks for patients or residents. In addition to Nurse aide training, geriatric aide training covers topics including dementia, mortality, dying, self-care, and stress management. To demonstrate student proficiency, a skill or competency evaluation is necessary.

The learning activities in the course span the classroom, the lab, and the clinic. Graduates may seek to be listed as Nurse Aide IIs on the North Carolina Board of Nursing Nurse Aide Registry after successfully completing the course and passing a competency exam. The Nursing Assistant II will operate under the guidance and supervision of qualified employees in every workplace.

Medication Aide Certification Requirements

An assistant who holds the certification of medication aide may be eligible for extra duties in a nursing care environment. Additionally, medication assistants must first have a fundamental nursing aide certificate.

A 24-hour medication aide course that has been authorized by the North Carolina Board of Nursing is an essential requirement for this category. They then go through a test organized by the Pearson VUE.

Validating the status and conducting a clinical skills evaluation are the responsibilities of the employer to determine the credibility of the nursing aide. Usually, a certified nurse verifies the ability of the aide to carry out the medication-related responsibilities necessary in the specific institution.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, being listed on the medication aide register does not automatically make a person qualified to administer drugs in different medical facilities and settings. Aides who want to fill this position in an adult care facility must apply for licensing with the Adult Care Licensure Section.

Wrapping Up

It is necessary to enrol in a state-approved nursing program to become eligible for certification and licensure. You may find the list of the approved programs on the website of DHHS. These programs are available in most of the local colleges, schools, and universities. The fees for the programs vary depending on the institution.