Qualifications and Regulations
Mississippi shares many of the standard requirements for Certified Nursing Assistants with most other states. A candidate must first complete a state-approved training program in order to be qualified to take the certification test to become a CNA. In Mississippi, these training programs require applicants to have a high school diploma or an equivalent GED degree. The state board does not accept online training as qualification for the certification test. The coursework of state-approved training programs is subject to the same federal regulations as every other state, which means that there must be at least 75 hours of training provided to CNA students. The state of Mississippi has very general guidelines for what the subject matter these hours must include, so there is a possibility of great variance between programs. Candidates will have two years to take and pass both parts of the competency exam from the date of their training’s completion. If they do not pass within three attempts or before this time period expires, they are required to take another course. If being trained at a healthcare facility on-the-job, the CNA must complete the program within 120 days of the date of employment. Other possible methods to become qualified for the CNA certification test include a nursing degree and military. For nursing students, either in school or graduates, the state board must receive and approve proof of the applicant’s educational background before it will grant eligibility to test.
The average salary a CNA working in Mississippi receives is around $21,000 per year. This is below the national average, though it falls in place among the regional average among Mississippi’s neighboring states. Mississippi CNA salaries can be anywhere from $19,000 to $23,000, which is noticeably less than states immediately to the north, such as Tennessee or Missouri. Mississippi runs its training and testing programs through a private company called Pearson VUE, which handles many national nursing applications. The cost to register to take both parts of the certification test through Pearson VUE is $101. If a candidate does not pass both, there is a $32 fee for retaking the written portion and a $69 fee for retaking the clinical skills portion. Because Pearson VUE handles the administrative process, there is no additional fee to be included on the Mississippi Nurse Aide Registry. Once you pass both portions of the test, Pearson VUE will notify you of your scores and send your certification in the mail, with online verification available.