The passage of the federal Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 (OBRA-87) legislation required each state, including Alabama to establish state and federal OBRA approved CNA Training program and evaluate the competency level of nurse aides. The federal legislation further requires candidates upon completion of the program must pass state approved CNA Certification in Alabama within 120 days to earn certification and to work legally in a variety of health care settings in the state.
CNA Training Program
The Alabama Department of Health approved training program requires nurse aides to complete, at least, 75 hours program, prior to earning their CNA Certification in Alabama. The program consists of 59 hours of theoretical classroom instructions and 16 hours of supervised clinical hands-on experience that must be performed in an approved facility among the residents, under the direct monitoring of a registered nurse.
The course curriculum includes training on restorative care skills, communication and interpersonal skills, residents’ rights and independence, mental health care skills, personal care skills, basic nursing care procedures, emergency cares and patient safety. The successful completion of the program allows candidates to sit for the nurse aide certification exam.
CNA Certification Exam
The Alabama Department of Health has contracted Pearson VUE, a leading test assessment agency to design, develop, administer and score competency evaluation exam. The exam consists of Written/Oral Test and Skill Test. Both exams are administered on the same day.
The Written Test comprises of 70 multiple choice questions.The students facing problem reading English can opt for Oral test, offered in English or Spanish, instead of Written Test.
Skill test requires performance of at least, 5 skills on a dummy. The demonstration of each skill is supervised by a licensed nurse.
The nurse aides are offered 3 chances in 2 years to pass both Written and Skill test, and failure to pass either part or full parts of the test in given 3 attempts, they will have to re-train through AL CNA Training Program and pass both portions of AL competency evaluation test again.
Under OBRA requirements, a CNA Certification gets expired in 24 months. It is essential that the certification must be renewed before it gets expired.
Nurse Assistants must get their Certification renewed through the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) to maintain it in a current level. The ADPH requires CNAs in AL, once certified must perform for compensation, at least, 8 hours during 2 years of certification for certification renewal. The complete information on Certification renewal process can be checked with the Alabama Department of Health.