Qualifications and Requirements
Florida is more lenient than other states when it comes to their requirements for Certified Nurse Assistants. Unlike almost every other state in the country, Florida does not require CNA candidates to complete any CNA training program before taking the certification test. Of course, it is strongly recommended that applicants do so anyway.The only requirement is a high school diploma or being at least 18 years of age. For those who have failed the certification test three times, it is mandatory that a state-approved nurse aide training program is completed before the applicant may take the test again. The test is the same as most other states, with a written portion and a clinical skills portion. Results of the test are valid for two years, so candidates may take the portions separately, so long as they are both completed within the two year time period. For CNAs transferring from another state, it is not necessary to take the CNA certification exam so long as good-standing with the previous state and up-to-date certification are verified. All candidates must comply with fingerprint registration protocol and pass a criminal background check. Unlike other states, a CNA applicant in Florida may be disqualified for both felony and misdemeanor charges. If disqualified, it is possible for the candidate to apply for an exemption review. This requires several additional documents, including arrest records, probation records, a letter of self-explanation, and three to five letters of professional recommendation. Considering these letters of recommendation may be the deciding factor in your exemption review, it is better to have more than less.
Wage and Cost
The average salary of a certified CNA working in Florida is around $23,000. The salaries earned can be anywhere from $20,800 to $25,000. This is a high wage among the neighboring states in the southern region of the country, but compared across the nation, it is on the lower end of the wage spectrum. The reason CNAs are relatively better-paid in Florida is mostly due to the significant size of the elderly demographic within the state’s population. Given the extensive retirement community in Florida, there is a constant demand for healthcare professionals which is illustrated by the relatively high wage for the region.The fee for taking both parts of the certification exam is $93, along with a $25 processing fee for the following application. Fortunately, federal law requires that if a nursing home hires a CNA within 12 months of their certification, the employer must pay the fees. If you would like to increase your pay you can further your CNA training online.