In Washington, there are several ways to become a Certified Nursing Assistant. Applicants can complete a state-approved nurse aide training program and challenge a certification exam, transfer valid certification from another state, have completed medical training and served in the military, or qualify to challenge the certification exam by completing an advanced degree in nursing. The most common method of certification is by examination because of the majority of first-time nurses. Training programs can be found at nursing homes, long-term care facilities, community and technical colleges, and other types of healthcare institutions. The Washington Board of Nurses requires that training programs provide at least 75 hours of instruction. One of Washington’s unique requirements is that all Nurse Assistants must undergo at least 7 hours of training on AIDS and AIDS related symptoms. Once training is complete, the CNA will be required to challenge the state’s competency evaluation. There are two parts to this test and the applicant must pass both the written and skill portions to become certified. The written portion tests applicants’ on their background knowledge in the field of nursing and the skills portion tests their ability to perform the necessary tasks of a nurse aide. After passing the certification exam, the nurses aide will be permitted to work. It is also possible to work before gaining certification through a different registration process. Registered Nursing Aides are CNAs in training who are registered on the nurse aide registry and are therefore allowed to be employed in long-term care facilities.
Salary and Cost of Training
The average salary that a CNA working in Washington makes is about $27,000. This above the national average and is very favorable to other wages across the country. At the entry level, CNAs in Washington make about $23,000 a year, which is more than some of the most experienced CNAs in other states. The salary is capped at about $31,000 for the most experienced nurse assistants in the state. There are several fees associated with the application process. For certification, the fee is $48 and if seeking registration before certification, there is an additional $48 fee. The cost of training in Washington is similar to most other states, with the most expensive options being colleges and universities. Training programs at nursing homes and long-term care facilities are the best choice for those seeking low cost training because they accept trainees based on their employment needs, rather than for profit. Those who face financial difficulties should also be aware that there are federal funds allocated to every state in order to pay for the cost of all CNA training. If employed within one year of gaining certification, it is illegal for a Certified Nursing Assistant to pay for the cost of their training.