(found 7 schools, updated in March 2018)
A career in the healthcare field as a Certified Nursing Assistant or Certified Nurse Aide offers a number of benefits, including stable employment and many job opportunities in Idaho. Working with patients and residents in medical facilities is also personally rewarding because CNAs are instrumental in ensuring the people under their direct care are treated with respect as their basic health, safety and comfort needs are met. As the healthcare industry continues to grow, so will the need for CNAs.
- 6 Steps to Becoming a CNA in Idaho
- How to Keep CNA Certification Active
- Salary and Job Outlook for CNAs in Idaho
- A List of Nearby or Bordering States
6 Steps to Becoming a CNA in Idaho
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare regulates the CNA programs in the state. Certified Nursing Assistants are not licensed, so they are officially referred to as Unlicensed Assistive Personnel (UAP). However, the Certified Nursing Assistant must always have active status in the Idaho CNA Registry which is accessed through Prometric.
The following steps describe the process for becoming a CNA in Idaho, from selecting a school to getting the nurse aide’s name listed in the CNA State Registry.
Step 1: Research and Choose Preferred State-Approved Schools
States-approved CNA programs in Idaho are available in all of the state’s largest cities. When researching schools, consider things like location, length of the program and costs. They will vary from program to program, giving students options.
For example, Eastern Idaho Technical College in Idaho Falls offers two types of CNA programs. The non-credit CNA program takes approximately eight weeks to complete. The credit CNA program is a semester-long program. The North Idaho College Workforce Training Center offers a CNA program that is 10, 17 or 18 sessions long, depending on the timeframe chosen for attendance.
Local CNA Classes in Idaho
Stevens-Henager – Boise Campus
Address: 1444 South Entertainment Avenue, Boise, ID 83709
Contact Phone: (208) 383-4540
Eastern Idaho Technical College
Address: 1600 South 25th East, Idaho Falls, ID 83404
Contact Phone: (208) 535-5302
Contact Name: Justin Esplin
Contact Email: Send email
Program Length: 8 weeks for the non-credit CNA program, a semester long for the credit CNA program
Clinical Experience: 32 hours in a skilled nursing facility
Location: Both the course and the State examination at Eastern Idaho Technical College
Lewis-Clark State College
Address: 500 8th Avenue, Lewiston, ID 83501
Contact Phone: (208) 792-2059
Program Length: 124 hours with 12 sessions
Online Class: 44 hours of the theory portion
Clinical Experience: 40 hours in an approved facility
Estimated Tuition Fees: $765
College of Western Idaho
Address: 5500 East Opportunity Drive, Nampa, ID 83687
Contact Phone: (208) 562-3000
Minimum Age Requirements: 16
Program Length: 3 months; 88 hours of classroom instruction for 11 weeks (OR 12 weeks of online classes plus 4 hours of onsite training per week), and 32 hours of clinical training
Scholarships: Call at (208) 562-2700 for scholarship opportunities
Estimated Tuition Fees and Costs: Books – $120; Supplies – $75 to 140 (scrubs, shoes, watch, gait belt, stethoscope, BP cuff); Background Check & Drug Test – $45; American Heart Association Healthcare Provider CPR – $65; Immunizations – $12 to $250; Idaho CNA Tests – $100
Idaho State University
Address: 921 South 8th Avenue, Pocatello, ID 83209
Contact Phone: (208) 282-3372
Program Length: 88 hours of classroom and lab instruction, and 32 hours of clinical training in healthcare facilities
Program Period: Offered monthly
Daytime Program: Yes
Evening Program: Yes
Class Size: Maximum 20 students in each class
Estimated Tuition Fees: Course Fee – $600; Other costs including books, clinical tools, immunizations, Healthcare Provider CPR training, supplies and state CNA exam fees
North Idaho College, Workforce Training Center
Address: 525 Clearwater Loop, Post Falls, ID 83854
Contact Phone: (208) 769-3333
Estimated Tuition Fees: $995
College of Southern Idaho
Address: 315 Falls Avenue, Twin Falls, ID 83303
Contact Phone: (208) 732-6701
Program Period: Offered each semester
Estimated Tuition Fees: Course Fee – $600; State CNA Tests – $100; Books and Scrubs – $120
Step 2: Review the Program Costs
CNA training costs also vary from program to program. The North Idaho College Workforce Training Center mentioned in the preceding section charges $795 for a 10 session course. Idaho State University charges $814 for tuition, textbooks, clinical suppliers and CPR certification.
When researching costs, keep in mind the total costs a student will pay include the course fee, textbooks and workbooks, medical supplies, CPR certification fee, uniforms, vaccinations, TB test and examination fee. To compare program costs, be sure to consider the same cost items from school to school. Also, rates often change from year to year.
Always inquire if financial aid is available. Educational facilities often have access to different kinds of financial assistance the student may qualify for, like scholarships and workforce training funds.
The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) of 1987 requires federally funded Skilled Nursing Facilities and Nursing Facilities to reimburse CNAs for program costs if the person is hired within 12 months of earning certification. This makes it free training.
Step 3: Select a School and Ensure Prerequisites Are Met
There are prerequisites that must be met before taking CNA classes in Idaho. The student will need to apply for entrance into the school first. Upon acceptance, the student can then enroll in the CNA course.
Since the CNA program includes classroom and clinical training, and students will be working with patients and residents, the students must provide documentation of immunizations and criminal background. While the specific requirements may be slightly different between schools, the following are usually required.
- High school diploma or GED
- Healthcare Provider CPR Card (if not offered as part of CNA program)
- Criminal background check
- Drug screen test
- Tuberculosis test that is less than 6 months old
- Tetanus, pertussis and diphtheria vaccination
- 2 MMR vaccinations or titer
- Chicken Pox vaccination
- Flue vaccination, if it is flu season
Step 4: Complete CNA Training
The Idaho Board of Nursing, working with the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare and the Idaho Division of Professional-Technical Education, developed a standard curriculum for CNA programs in the state.
The minimum required training hours a CNA program must offer is 120, of which 80 hours must be classroom and laboratory work; 32 hours must be clinical training; and eight (8) hours can be classroom, lab or clinical training. Idaho does not allow assisted living facilities to be used for clinical training.
What to Learn
Certified Nursing Assistant training will cover the following areas:
- Nursing assistant in holistic care
- Legalities and ethics
- Communication and relationship building
- Diversity, human needs, growth and development
- Infection control
- Safety and emergency care
- Admission, discharge, transfer and unit care
- Taking vital measurements
- Moving, lifting, positioning and transfers of patients or residents
- Personal care (patient hygiene)
- Nutrition and hydration
- Mental health and illness
- Rehabilitation and restorative care
- Professional development
- Body systems
Manual skills are learned and mastered during classroom and clinical training. These skills include activities like performing catheter care, measuring blood glucose, refilling portable oxygen tanks, assisting with a bedpan and many others.
Step 5: Take the CNA Examination
Idaho’s examination process for certification is a bit different from other states.
There are two parts to the examination including the Manual Skills Evaluation and the Written Examination. However, students must pass the Manual Skills Evaluation first. Only after passing the Manual Skills Evaluation are they allowed to apply to take the Written Examination.
Manual Skills Evaluation
The student is permitted three opportunities to pass the manual skills evaluation. He or she must pass it within six months after successfully completing the training program. The university or technical college will administer the Manual Skills Evaluation according to state-approved guidelines.
The student is permitted three opportunities to pass the written test within one year after completing the CNA training program. The student is only allowed to test if the person has successfully completed a state-approved training program and passed the Manual Skills Evaluation within the six months of training program completion.
If the student does not pass the Manual Skills Evaluation or Written Examination within the allowed timeframe, the person will have to retake the nurse aide training program. Prometric offers a practice written examination on its website.
Step 6: Get Certified as a CNA in Idaho
New Nursing Assistants
The new Nurse Aide who completes a state-approved training program and passes the Manual Skills and Written tests has met CNA certification requirements in Idaho. The person’s name is entered into the state CNA Registry.
If a person completed a state-approved CNA program in another state but did not take the certification examination, he or she can request the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare to allow testing in Idaho.
Active CNAs from Other States
Out of state CNAs who are active on that state’s Nurse Aide Registry can request having their name entered on Idaho’s CNA Registry. It is not necessary to take the CNA exam when applying for reciprocity.
Nursing students who have met certain requirements can challenge the CNA Competency Examination in Idaho. Requirements include:
- Completing one semester of a nursing school program, OR
- Completing a state-approved Nurse Aide Training Program, OR
- Verification of expired status on an out of state CNA registry
Physicians or Nurses
A physician or nurse from another country or state can be added to Idaho’s registry with additional training or examination. The person’s license must be in good standing.
How to Keep CNA Certification Active
CNA certification in Idaho is renewed every two years. To maintain active status in the Idaho CNA Registry, the person must perform paid CNA work for at least one day within the prior 24 months of the certification’s expiration date. If certification is allowed to lapse, it is necessary to retake and pass both parts of the certification examination to return to active status.
Salary and Job Outlook for CNAs in Idaho
The average hourly wage for CNAs in Idaho is $12.32, meaning the average annual CNA salary is $25,630. These are the figures provided by the Department of Labor in its most recent occupational employment statistics survey as of May 2016. Short term projections for the number of CNA jobs in Idaho for the period up to 2018 shows a 4.7 percent increase. | See Job Openings
Once certified, the nursing assistant can work in most healthcare facilities. They include hospitals, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, clinics, doctor offices and home health care companies.
Certified Nursing Assistant Salary in Idaho
|ID CNA Salaries||Empl.||Hourly mean wage||Annual mean wage||Wage percent relative std. error||Hourly 10th % wage||Hourly median wage||Hourly 90th % wage||Annual 10th % wage||Annual median wage||Annual 90th % wage|
|Boise City, ID||2580||12.54||26080||1.5||9.92||12.23||15.80||20630||25450||32860|
|Coeur d'Alene, ID||720||12.96||26950||3.6||10.24||13.12||15.19||21300||27290||31590|
|Idaho Falls, ID||790||10.77||22410||2.4||8.10||10.60||14.18||16850||22050||29490|
|Panhandle of Idaho nonmetropolitan area||470||12.03||25020||2.6||9.69||11.54||15.16||20150||23990||31530|
|South Central Idaho nonmetropolitan area||760||12.59||26180||2.5||9.31||12.74||15.03||19370||26500||31260|
|Southeast Idaho nonmetropolitan area||460||10.94||22750||4.9||8.17||10.52||14.41||16980||21880||29980|
|Southwest Idaho nonmetropolitan area||190||17.35||36090||16.6||8.59||11.59||18.60||17870||24110||38680|