Qualifications and Regulations
There are several different types of training that will qualify an applicant to become a Certified Nursing Assistant in Oklahoma. The primary method of certification for beginners is to receive training from a state-approved nurse aide training program. Federal regulations stipulate that CNAs must be trained for at least 75 hours before they are permitted to take the certification exam. Once a CNA education program is complete, the applicant will have two years to challenge the exam and is limited to three attempts. If both portions of the test are not passed within three tries, the applicant will have to repeat. Other ways to be qualified to take the certification exam include holding valid certification from another state or studying as a nursing student. Nursing students who are going to become either registered nurses or licensed practical nurses can submit a waiver for training exception in order to challenge the test without taking any CNA training programs. These students must submit transcripts and the appropriate forms, along with a $15 processing fee. The same option is available to CNA classes from other states; with the submission of the appropriate forms, a waiver for the exception will be granted to a CNA with good standing in another state.
Wage and Cost
The average salary a CNA makes working in Oklahoma is around $21,000 per year. This is just below the national average. This can be explained by Oklahoma’s lower cost of living and lower population density. There are fewer opportunities to work in many of the rural communities of the state, with the average salary ranging between $18,700 and $23,000. Despite fitting the regional norm of lower pay, Oklahoma CNAs receive less compensation than their counterparts in almost every other state. State-approved nurse aide training programs range in cost, with the cheapest options available at community centers like the American Red Cross. There are also more programs available at universities and community colleges. The most abundant source of programs in the state is technical colleges, which are also useful because they offer students the option to receive education for other healthcare certifications besides the CNA, such as the Certified Medication Assistant or Home Health Aide. Generally speaking, a CNA course can cost as little as $350 or as much as $2125. In order to enroll or find more information on specific costs, the applicant must contact the Oklahoma Health Facilities Surveyor, a state representative responsible for guiding new applicants through the certification process.