A person who is called a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) in other states is called a State Registered Nurse Aide (SRNA) in Kentucky. The agency responsible for administration of the SRNA certification process is the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services-Department for Medicaid Services (Cabinet). New nurse aide applicants follow a process for becoming a SRNA that includes completing a training program and passing a competency evaluation examination. There are other paths for certain people, like nursing students. The following sections discuss paths to SRNA certification, training requirements, program selection and maintaining certification.
- 7 Steps to Becoming a SRNA in Kentucky
- How to Keep SRNA Certification Active
- Salary and Job outlook for SRNAs in Kentucky
- Becoming a Nurse Aide in Nearby or Bordering States
7 Steps to Becoming a SRNA in Kentucky
There are several paths to becoming a SRNA in Kentucky. Most individuals are first-time students seeking certification and must complete the entire training and examination process. The state does have several other paths for nursing students and people who obtained training elsewhere. Therefore, the steps to certification begin with a review of the various paths to ascertain the route that best fits personal circumstances.
Step 1: Select the SRNA Certification Path
Certification requirements for a new nurse aide state the individual must complete the Nurse Aide Training and Competency Evaluation Program (NATCEP) in order to get listed on the Kentucky Nurse Aide Registry (Registry). That means the person must successfully complete a state-approved training program and pass the competency evaluation examination.
Kentucky does grant reciprocity. However, the Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) must:
- Be listed on the Nurse Aide Registry in the other state
- Be in good standing
- Have verification of employment for pay as a Certified Nursing Assistant within the prior 24 months
If someone completed nurse aide training in another state, but did not take the CNA exam and is not listed in that state’s Registry, he or she will have to take the out of state exam and get their name on that state’s Registry. Only then can out of state CNAs apply for reciprocity in Kentucky.
Nursing students who successfully completed a nursing fundamentals course in a Licensed Practical Nurse or Registered Nursing Education program within the prior year (12 months) can apply to take the competency examination without going through nurse aide training.
Also, individuals who are foreign nurses or military trained nursing assistants (or equivalent) can request permission from the Cabinet to take the competency evaluation examination with retraining.
Step 2: Select the SRNA Training Program
Individuals who must complete training have two main options:
- Option one: Attend a school offering a SRNA training program. A state-approved training program must consist of at least 75 hours of training, of which 16 hours are supervised clinical training.
- Option two: Work in a Medicare or Medicaid funded long-term nursing care facility while training. A student can work in the facility for no more than four months (120 days) without registration.
In both options, the trainee in any clinical setting must work under the supervision of a Registered Nurse (RN) who has at least two years of nursing experience. One year must be employment in a long-term care facility. The trainee can also work under the supervision of a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) who has at least one year of work experience.
There are over 20 SRNA programs in Kentucky, offered in a variety of facilities that include community colleges, career and technical education schools, nursing facilities, Kentucky Community and Technical College (KCTCS) facilities, universities, private licensed educational facilities, nonprofit and church-related educational facilities, and long-term nursing facilities. It is important to attend only a state-approved training program. The state says students should always verify the program’s status and to be cautious about offers of home training programs because most are not state-approved.
23 Local SRNA Classes in Kentucky
|City||CNA Program Provider||Address||Phone|
|Ashland||Ashland Community & Technical College|
|4700 Roberts Drive, Building 5||(606) 326-2252|
|Bowling Green||Southcentral Kentucky Community & Technical College|
|1845 Loop Drive||(270) 901-1000|
|Cumberland||Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College|
|700 College Road||(606) 248-2159|
|Elizabethtown||Elizabethtown Community and Technical College|
|600 College Street Road||(270) 706-8464|
|Florence||Gateway Community and Technical College|
|500 Technology Way||(859) 441-4500|
|Fort Campbell||Hopkinsville Community College|
|202 Bastogne Avenue||(270) 707-3851|
|Grayson||Ashland Community & Technical College|
|902 Technology Drive||(606) 326-2252|
|Harlan||Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College|
|164 Ball Park Road||(606) 248-2159|
|Hazard||Hazard Community and Technical College|
|101 Vo-Tech Drive||(606) 487-3103|
|Henderson||Henderson Community College|
|2660 South Green Street||(270) 827-1867|
|Hopkinsville||Hopkinsville Community College|
|720 North Drive||(270) 707-3851|
|Jackson||Hazard Community and Technical College|
|601 Jefferson Avenue||(606) 487-3103|
|Lexington||Bluegrass Community and Technical College|
|164 Opportunity Way||(859) 246-4640|
|Lexington||University of Kentucky College of Nursing|
|751 Rose Street||(859) 323-3851|
|Lexington||Kentucky Healthcare Training|
|343 Waller Avenue||(859) 963-2901|
|Madisonville||Madisonville Community College|
|2000 College Drive||(270) 821-2250|
|Maysville||Maysville Community & Technical College|
|1755 US Highway 68||(606) 759-7141|
|Owensboro||Owensboro Community and Technical College|
|4800 New Hartford Road||(270) 686-3797|
|Paducah||West Kentucky Community and Technical College|
|4810 Alben Barkley Drive||(270) 534-3249|
|Pineville||Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College|
|3300 South Highway 25E||(606) 248-2159|
|Prestonsburg||Big Sandy Community & Technical College|
|1 Bert T. Combs Drive||(606) 788-2922|
|Somerset||Somerset Community College|
|808 Monticello Street||(877) 629-9722|
|Whitesburg||Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College|
|2 Long Avenue||(606) 248-2159|
Step 3: Evaluate Training Costs
The class costs at Kentucky Community Colleges, and Kentucky Community and Technical Colleges (KCTCS), are similar from program to program. For example, Ashland Community & Technical College charges $492 plus $11 for liability insurance. However, the student must also purchase a textbook for $102.80, scrubs, tennis shoes and medical supplies. There will also be testing fees. The Bluegrass Community & Technical College charges $596 for the course fee, malpractice insurance, state testing fee, mandatory per credit hour fee and an estimated $110 for books plus $40 for a security fee.
In comparison, the University of Kentucky charges $517 for tuition, and the student must also purchase the textbook and clinical suppliers, and pay testing fees. Kentucky Healthcare Training charges $600 for tuition, study guide, background check and malpractice insurance. Students must still buy a textbook and uniform, and pay for a state testing fee and TB skin test. A nice feature is that classes are offered during the daytime, nighttime and weekends. There is also an online training option which also costs $650, but there is still a requirement to complete clinical training. To compare costs, make sure all expenses are considered.
Possible Free Training
Students can get free training in certain circumstances. Federal and state laws require nursing facilities to cover the costs of nurse aide training and competency evaluation examination. Also, if someone is a SRNA and employed by a nursing facility within 12 months of passing the competency evaluation examination, the facility must reimburse the employee for training and exam costs.
Financial aid is normally not available for CNA training, unless it is a credit course. However, the financial aid office may know of private scholarships, grants or state workforce training funds that are available. It is always wise to make inquiries.
Step 4: Meet Prerequisites
State Registered Nurse Aide Programs in Kentucky have a variety of prerequisites, including the following as a minimum:
- Unexpired state or federal photo ID
- Social Security Card that is not laminated
- Depending on the school or training facility, a high school diploma or GED, or minimum grade level score (usually eighth or tenth grade) in Reading and Math on an assessment test
- Proof of a negative two-step PPD or chest x-ray within the prior 12 months
- Proof of current immunizations
- Proof of a current health examination
- Pass a criminal background check
Step 5: Complete SRNA Training
The Cabinet’s “Medicaid Services Manual for Nurse Aide Training and Competency Program” (PDF file) describes the nurse aide program requirements. The SRNA classes in Kentucky cover information and skills in the following broad categories:
- Communication and interpersonal skills
- Safety and emergency procedures
- Respecting residents’ rights
- Infection control
- Promoting the independence of residents
- Basic nursing skills, i.e. taking and recording vital signs, caring for the resident’s environment, measuring and recording weight and height, etc.
- Personal care skills, i.e. grooming, dressing, feeding, transfers, positioning, etc.
- Mental health and social service skills
- Care of cognitively impaired residents
- Delivering basic restorative services, i.e. use of assistive devices, care and use of prosthetics, etc.
Step 6: Take and Pass the Competency Evaluation Examination
The KCTCS is the sole administrator of the competency evaluation examination, and most NATCEPs are given at KCTCs, technical education centers and health occupation schools. Nursing facilities may also administer the state exam if the nurse aide is or will be employed, and the facility gets permission from Medicaid Services. The exam is composed of a:
- Written or Oral Examination – This part of the exam consists of 75 multiple choice questions. The student must score a minimum 70 percent to pass.
- Skills demonstration – This part of the exam consists of five tasks and will include required personal care skills, like handwashing. The student must score at least a 70 percent.
All of the questions and skills come from what was taught in the SRNA training program.
Each person is allowed three attempts to pass both parts of the competency evaluation exam. Applicants are required to take the competency exam within one year of completing training or the fundamentals of nursing course.
Step 7: Get Name Placed in the Registry
The Kentucky Board of Nursing maintains the state Nurse Aide Registry (Registry). The KCTCS forwards the names of applicants who successfully completed the NATCEP to the Registry.
How to Keep SRNA Certification Active
The initial SRNA certification in Kentucky is valid on the Registry for two years from the date the competency exam was passed, and every two years after that. To renew SRNA certification, the SRNA must prove he or she worked for compensation for a minimum of eight hours during the prior 24 months (two years) as a nurse aide.
If the registration is allowed to expire or lapse, and the individual did not work eight paid hours during the certification period, it is necessary to retrain and retest. Also, the nursing facility must provide at least 12 hours of staff development (in-service) each year of the 2-year certification period, maintaining documentation for state review when requested.
Salary and Job outlook for SRNAs in Kentucky
SRNAs can work for all healthcare organizations, including long-term care, nursing, assisted living and hospice facilities; hospitals; clinics; doctor’s offices; and other medical organizations. They can also work as private duty nurse aides for employers or members of patient families. | See Job Openings
The number of jobs for SRNAs in Kentucky are projected to increase a phenomenal 46.1 percent for the period 2014 to 2024. This is significantly higher than the 17.6 percent jobs growth projection for nursing assistants in the United States. Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics agency, the average SRNA salary in Kentucky is $25,160 or $12.10 per hour. | See Job Openings
State Registered Nurse Aide Salary in Kentucky
|Kentucky 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|
|Bowling Green, KY||1010||11.01||22900||1.9||8.73||10.76||14.18||18160||22380||29490|
|Central Kentucky nonmetropolitan area||2270||11.18||23250||2.2||8.80||11.04||14.25||18310||22950||29650|
|East Kentucky nonmetropolitan area||2110||10.80||22470||1.3||8.48||10.80||13.60||17650||22470||28280|
|Elizabethtown-Fort Knox, KY||-||14.69||30560||2.9||10.07||15.08||18.87||20950||31360||39250|
|Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN||7250||12.81||26640||1.7||9.88||12.66||16.70||20550||26340||34730|
|South Central Kentucky nonmetropolitan area||2340||10.93||22730||3.8||8.05||10.49||14.07||16730||21820||29270|
|West Kentucky nonmetropolitan area||2090||10.89||22650||2.6||8.36||10.80||14.09||17390||22460||29300|