CNA Certification and Training in Arkansas
People become CNAs in Arkansas for many different reasons. Some find the work enjoyable, as they get to know patients and help them in their times of suffering. Others enter the field, because it provides a fair living and requires little formal training. Still others enter the medical field as a CNA, with aspirations to further develop their education and become nurses in the future. Whatever one’s reasons for becoming a CNA are, this can be a rewarding career. Here is how people can earn their CNA certification in Arkansas, and what they can expect after being licensed.
Most people become a CNA in Arkansas by passing the state’s certification exam. When compared to other states’ exams, Arkansas’ test is unique. The state offers two versions, which applicants can choose between. All candidates must pass a skills portion, regardless of which option they select. In addition to the skills portion, either a written part or oral part must be taken. Arkansas officially calls these versions a, “Written Test and Clinical Skills Test” and an, “Oral Test and Clinical Skills Test.”
Both versions require an application fee of $79, plus a $10 fee for first-time candidates. People retaking an exam can select the portion they did not pass and forfeit an appropriate fee. The cost for retaking the Clinical Skills Test is $45, and the other two sections are $34 each.
To prepare for this exam, prospective CNAs need to take a short course. The preferred preparation is through an Arkansas-approved training program, although other training programs are accepted, as long as they are approved by another state. In this case, a copy of the OLTC’s approval letter is required.
Anyone who has prepared for work as a CNA in another state and is licensed in that state can transfer their credentials. Arkansas accepts any other states’ active CNAs, as long as they do not have records of abuse. In these cases, a copy of the OLTC’s approval letter is needed, as it is with any other state’s training program.
New CNAs in Arkansas can look forward to a promising career. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 18,500 people worked as a CNA in Arkansas in May 2010. The per-capita employment rate of CNAs in Arkansas, which was 16.36 per 1,000 people, was the fifth-highest in the country that month. As the state’s population’s health continues to decline in general, due to aging, the demand for CNAs will increase.
Anyone working as a CNA in Arkansas can expect to earn around $21,000 annually. The median hourly wage in May 2010 was $10.05. For a position which requires little training, this is a very respectable salary, which could increase as demand for people in the position increases.
Students training to work as Certified Nursing Assistants in Arkansas should feel confident about their job prospects. Many CNAs are employed throughout the state in hospitals, nursing homes and other medical settings. These people earn and honest wage and are often satisfied with the role they fulfill. Helping people who are ill is a noble service, and Arkansas needs people willing to do just that.