Qualifications and Regulations
The state of Rhode Island is a bit more demanding of its Certified Nursing Assistants, with stricter regulations than most states. Firstly, all applications to the state board must be completed as a physical copy, with notarization required. The first step for applicants to become a CNA is completing a state-approved nurse aide training program. For a program to qualify, it must provide at least 100 hours of instruction with at least 20 of these hours spent in a clinical setting, providing direct care to patients or performing other CNA duties under the supervision of a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse. These 20 hours may not be conducted until at least 16 hours of classroom training have covered the proper protocol for personal interaction with patients. The training program must be completed within 90 days or else is invalid and the certification exam must be challenged within one year of beginning training. If a nurse aide is hired before completing their CNA certification, they must achieve certification within 120 days of the date of their employment.
Rhode Island is a small state, but makes big concessions to its CNAs, offering one of the best salaries for the position in the country. The average salary for a CNA is around $28,000. This is extremely high for CNAs, with an entry-level worker making around $24,000 per year and the top-earners bringing in $32,000 per year. This may be accounted for by the state’s small size, with a highly competitive job-market. There a less positions available and more qualified nurse aides to fill them. The types of institutions also contribute to the high salary, with a high concentration of nursing homes and several types of federally funded healthcare institutions. The cost of training ranges between programs, with college programs being the most expensive. The cost of CNA training at a community college is around $700. There are other options, such as nursing home and hospital training programs, which will be less expensive and offer the option for on-the-job training. Because of Rhode Island’s regulations, working as a nurse aide while training for your certification can be a useful option for those who face financial difficulties. Further, federal regulations allow CNAs to receive compensation for the cost of their training if they are hired within one year of completing training. The state makes a condition here, however, that the CNA must work for at least 6 months before being reimbursed.