CNA Certification and Training in Massachusetts
Many people work as CNAs in Massachusetts, because the career allows them to earn a good living and help other people. Certified Nursing Assistants spend their days taking care of patients: they help patients eat, bathe and move about. Often, CNAs work in long-term care situations and develop personal relationship with patients. These relationships are very fulfilling. After all, everyone enjoys helping someone in need.
In order to become CNAs, people must first take a Massachusetts-approved training program and pass the state’s licensing exam. The courses required by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health last a minimum of 75 hours. These are split, with at least 16 hours spent in clinical training. The remaining hours are spent in a classroom setting.
The CNA licensing exam in Massachusetts is known as the Nurse Aide Competency Evaluation (NACE). This test is administered by the Red Cross, which also provides practice exams. There are two sections to the test: a 60-question multiple choice portion and a skills portion. The cost for taking the NACE is $93.
Alternatively, candidates can apply for a CNA license by reciprocity. To be approved, applicants must be listed as active on another state’s CNA registry, and they have to be in good standing. There is no fee for applying by reciprocity to the Massachusetts Nurse Aide Registry.
Employment for CNAs
In 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were over 40,000 CNAs working in Massachusetts. They worked in nursing homes, hospitals and other health care facilities across the country, although more than 18,000 of them were employed in Boston. Because Massachusetts has an aging population, there will be an increased demand for healthcare workers in the future. By 2018, there could be an additional 10,000 CNA jobs added to the Massachusetts economy.
Salary of CNAs
CNAs working in Massachusetts are among the most well paid ones in the country. The latest statistics available from the BLS are from 2010. In that year, the median wage for CNAs in Massachusetts was $13.93 an hour, or $29,000 annually. In contrast, only 25 percent of CNAs in the U.S. earned more than $11.54 an hour.
CNAs in Massachusetts earn significantly more than most CNAs for two reasons. Certainly, the cost of living in Massachusetts, especially in Boston, is higher than it is in other areas of the country. However, there also is a high demand for CNAs in Massachusetts. As the overall demand for CNAs increases, their wage might also increase in the future.
Becoming a CNA can be the first step toward a promising career. For those transferring from outside of the state, the application process is easy. Massachusetts residents, on the other hand, will have to take a class and pass an exam. This is a small inconvenience for a rewarding career that pays well.
For more information, people should write to:
MA Nurse Aide Registry
MA Department of Public Health
Division of Health Care Quality
99 Chauncy Street, 2nd Floor
Boston, MA 02111