Qualifications and Regulations
Missouri’s regulations for Certified Nursing Assistants require more involvement from candidates than other states. There are several ways to qualify to take the state’s CNA competency examination, but for beginners to the healthcare industry, a state-approved training course must be completed. These programs must include 75 hours of classroom instruction, followed by 100 hours of on-the-job training. Most programs require the applicant to be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma, a clean criminal background, and up-to-date immunizations to enroll. After the applicant has received the appropriate training and met these qualifications, they are permitted to take the competency exam for their official certificate. There are two parts to the exam: a written portion, and a clinical-skills portion. It is possible to challenge the exam without completing a training course, but only under the certain conditions. The first category of qualified challengers includes RN or LPN students who can prove the status of their nursing education. Graduates of nursing schools are also qualified to challenge the competency exam. CNAs transferring from another state may challenge the exam as well. Instead of applying for reciprocity like many other states, CNAs transferring to Missouri must pass the certification test again, if they have proved good standing with their previous state’s nurse aide registry.
The average wage a CNA makes working in Missouri is around $22,000 per year. This is below the national average, with the lowest paid CNAs in the state receiving around $18,700 and the highest paid CNAs receiving around $25,000. Missouri and its neighbors act as a median between the southern states and the Midwestern states, with salaries to reflect the fact. States to the north of Missouri offer better pay for CNAs, with CNAs receiving less in states to the south. The cost of tuition varies between institutions, with some healthcare providers offering training programs for as little as $20. There are also a number of community and technical colleges that offer state-approved training programs, though the charges per credit hour will add up to be more expensive than other options. Because of the option to challenge the certification test, seeking out training centers will also be necessary for those who are qualified to skip instruction. There will be many places available to take the NNAAP, and considering that new CNAs in Missouri are required to work 100 hours in a facility, most training locations will offer the exam. If your location does not provide the exam or you are challenging it on your own, depending on where you take the exam (community/technical colleges, nursing homes), there will be different fees for providing the test.