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Certified Nurse Assistants (CNAs) provide hospital patients, nursing home residents and those living in adult care facilities with basic, day-to-day care. CNAs work under the direction and supervision of nurse practitioners, registered nurses and licensed practical nurses. Their responsibilities include feeding, bathing, dressing, grooming and helping patients sit, stand or walk. Each state has requirements for nurse assistant certification, including Florida.
Age/ Education Requirements
The state of Florida does not require CNA applicants to complete a state approved CNA training program before being permitted to sit for the CNA exam, although completing a program is strongly advised. If an applicant chooses to sit for the exam without first completing a state approved CNA program, examinees must be at least 18 years of age, with a high school diploma or equivalent.
Florida CNA applicants who choose not to complete a training program before sitting for the CNA examination may be required to complete a 120-hour training program if they fail one part of the two-part exam without passing the failed portion within two years, or if they fail the same portion of the exam three or more times within a two-year period. Upon passing the 120-hour course, applicants will be required to re-take the certification exam.
Florida CNA exam applicants are required to provide their fingerprints and personal information for a criminal history and background check before being allowed to sit for the CNA exam. Applicants will be deemed ineligible to sit for the exam if they have pled guilty or no contest to a felony violation, been terminated from a Florida Medicaid program (unless the applicant has been in good standing with Florida Medicaid for the five years prior to application), or has ever been fired from a Medicaid program in any other state (unless the termination occurred 20 years or more before the application, and the applicant has been in good standing with that state's Medicaid program for the five years prior to application).
CNA Written Examination
Florida CNA applicants are required to pass the written portion of the CNA examination. The computerized exam consists of 60 multiple-choice questions and covers the role of the nursing assistant, promotion of safety, promotion of function and health residents, basic nursing care and specific care for residents with changes in health.
CNA Practical Examination
Florida nurse assistant applicants are also required to pass the practical portion of the CNA exam before being certified. For the practical portion, applicants will be required to perform randomly-selected skills, such as assisting a patient with ambulation, providing bed pan assistance, changing an occupied bed, dressing and feeding, and transferring a patient from his bed to his wheelchair.
Florida CNA applicants are required to pay a $93 fee for the written and clinical examinations. Individuals who can prove continuous Florida residency for the five years prior to applying for certification must pay a $34 fee for a criminal background check. All others are required to pay a $53.25 criminal background check fee.
Oubria Tronshaw specializes in topics related to parenting and business. She received a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Chicago State University. She currently teaches English at Harper Community College in the Chicago area.