Qualifications and Regulations
Oregon is like many other states in terms of its regulations on Certified Nursing Assistants. In order to become a CNA in the state, an applicant must enroll in a state-approved training program and pass a competency evaluation upon completion of the program. All programs will be at least 75 hours in length, with 16 of those hours required to be spent in long-term care facility, nursing home, or clinical laboratory gaining practical experience with the duties of a CNA. There are two portions to the test: a written section testing conceptual knowledge and a practical section testing procedural ability. Testing is handled by a private company, Headmaster Testing Service. In order to register for certification by examination, there are several materials the Oregon State Board of Nursing requires with an application. Applicants must include completed application forms, a photocopy of a certification of completion from an accredited nurse aide training program, fingerprint cards, and the necessary fees. It is possible to fore go the completion of a CNA course if the candidate has received equivalent education elsewhere. Other types of education that qualify an applicant to become a CNA are advanced CNA education and military training. If a student who is currently studying to become a Registered Nurse, Licensed Practical Nurse, or completing another advanced nursing degree, they are qualified to challenge the certification exam with application and inclusion of appropriate materials (school transcripts, diploma, etc.). Military education will also qualify an applicant, but only if the applicant has worked at least 400 hours in the field since completing their classes.
Wage and Cost
A CNA working in Oregon can expect to make a salary around $26,000. This is a very good pay-rate for CNAs, exceeding the national average. The pay-scale varies from $23,000 to $29,000. Though the wages paid to the most experienced CNAs are not as high as in some other states, the entry-level wage is very competitive, with the average entry-level CNA making as much as top-earning CNAs in other places. The cost of training programs varies, with the least expensive options available at community centers or nursing homes that train on-site. The cost to apply for certification with the Oregon State Board of Nursing includes a $106 fee for administrative costs and a $52 fee for fingerprint processing. With such a competitive salary and relatively low training costs, Oregon is a great state to receive certification and begin work as a CNA.