Qualifications and Regulations
Montana is a bit more flexible than other states when it comes to its regulations on Certified Nursing Assistants. The working title for CNAs in Montana is more often Home Health Aide, or HHA. Candidates may be employed in the position of a CNA/HHA for up to four months without passing any certification exams, but at the end of this time are prohibited from working more. There are many state-approved nurse aide training programs, though they are not required to take Montana’s competency evaluation. Montana allows CNA candidates to challenge their State Competency Evaluation Program without proof of training. This test is different from the national exam most CNAs take, called the NATCEP, but its purpose is the same. If the individual does not pass the SCEP test on their first try, they are required to enroll in a training program in order to take the NATCEP. Montana’s regulations on CNA classes require that at least 75 hours, with at least 45 spent on classroom learning and at least 30 hours spent developing clinical experience under the supervision of a licensed nurse. Additionally, facilities that employ CNAs in Montana are required to provide the opportunity for at least twelve hours of continuing education for working CNAs, or else nurse aides will not meet requirements for certificate renewal.
Salary and Cost
The average salary a CNA or HHA makes working in Montana is around $25,000. This is slightly above average for most CNAs in the country. This can be explained by the high demand for well-trained healthcare personnel throughout the rural state, as there are many positions available with few to fill them. The wage a CNA makes in the state falls between $21,000 and $29,000. Because of Montana’s flexibility on the certification process, there is no necessary cost for training because a self-sufficient applicant will be able to challenge the test without expense. But for those who are in need of training, there are CNA/HHA training programs available at hospitals, long-term care facilities, and community colleges. The prices will range greatly between these institutions. Community and technical colleges will be the most expensive and reliable. If finances are more concerning, it may be a better option to receive training from an accredited nursing home, as some are capable of providing on-the-job training which reduces costs with a working wage. No matter the option you chose, Montana is one of the most cost-effective states for receiving certification, as it can be achieved in a number of ways without mandatory education costs. Online CNA classes are a popular choice these days.