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CNA Certification Requirements and Process in Florida: A Complete Guide

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If you’re considering becoming a certified nursing assistant (CNA) in Florida, you’re making a great decision. CNAs play an important role in the health care field, and certification can open many doors for you. But before you can start working as a CNA, there are some requirements you’ll need to meet.

In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the certification requirements in Florida. So read on for all the details!

Basic Requirements for Certification of Nursing Assistants

Certain essential requirements need to be fulfilled to become a certified nursing assistant.

1. Background Screening

It is one of the mandatory requirements in every state whether you want to become a CNA by examination or endorsement. The screening tests are conducted to ensure that an applicant doesn’t have a criminal history. It is done to maintain the safety of patients and other staff members working in the hospital.

a. Electronical Fingeprinting

You’ll need to provide your electronic fingerprints as part of the screening. The fingerprints are then sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) for a criminal history check. To submit your prints, you can use any FDLE-approved Livescan service provider.

b. Criminal History

You must not have any disqualifying criminal offenses on your record. The Board of Nursing will review your criminal history and decide.

If you have any offense on your record, list it on your application. Applicants who have had previous criminal records must submit the following documents to the board:

  • Self-Explanation
  • Final Dispositions/Arrest Records
  • Completion of Probation/Parole/Sanctions
  • Letters of Recommendation

c. Disciplinary History

Applicants who have denied licensure or had disciplinary action taken against their license must submit documentation to the board. This includes a letter of explanation and records from the licensing agency.

d. Health History

Applicants who answer “Yes” to any of the Health History questions on the application are required to submit documentation explaining their medical condition(s) or occurrence(s). This may include a self-explanation letter, a statement from your treating physician(s)/counselor(s), and other supporting documentation.

e. Health Care Fraud

Health Care Fraud is a felony that can prevent you from getting licensed in the healthcare field. The law now stipulates that any applicant with a felony conviction related to social assistance, drug abuse, or healthcare fraud will not be granted a license. This also includes convictions from other states and jurisdictions.

You are automatically ineligible for licensure if you have been terminated for cause from state Medicaid programs twice within the last five years.

2. State-Approved CNA Training Program

A state-approved training program is not required before the examination if the applicant is challenged to pass the exam without a training program. However, a high school diploma or equivalent, or 18 years of age, is needed. If an applicant fails the exam three times, they must complete an approved training program before being allowed to retake the test.

You can register in the CNA program offered by different organizations and institutes in Florida, like Gabriel Health Institute. You’ll have clinical training in this program so that you can do clinical practice in nursing care facilities or hospitals under the supervision of a registered nurse.

Minimum Education

The minimum educational requirement to enroll in the state-approved training program is a high school diploma or equivalent and the student should be 18 years old. You are not eligible for the CNA program if you haven’t completed your high school education.

3. Pass CNA Competency Exam

You must pass the CNA certification exam to get the CNA license and start your practice as a CAN. In Florida, Prometric is the organization that provides this examination. The two-part exam tests your skills and knowledge related to the job of a CNA.

After clearing the exam, You’ll get your name placed on the state’s registry as a nurse aide or licensed/certified nursing assistant.

Importance of Exam

  • Important to test the knowledge and skills of the certified nursing assistants to see if they can back up the responsibilities of the job
  • Securing passing marks on the test is important to start your professional job; passing scores in different states vary between 70 to 80%, but students should try to secure high marks.

Now, we’ll discuss what you need in order to become a CNA by examination or endorsement.

CNA certification florida

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) by Examination

Applicants for a CNA certificate by examination must pass a background check and fulfill one of the following criteria:

  1. Has completed an approved training program and obtained a passing score on the nursing assistant competency examination
  2. Must have completed a state-approved nursing assistant training program and passed the board’s nursing assistant competency examination and
    • Has a high school diploma, or its equivalent; or
    • Is at least 18 years of age.
  3. Has completed the curriculum developed under Enterprise Florida Jobs and Education Partnership Grant and a passing score on the nursing assistant competency examination.

Certified Nursing Assistant by Endorsement

If you want to become a Certified Nursing Assistant by Endorsement, you must pass a background screening, and other requirements are as follows:

  1. You must be currently certified in another state or territory of the United States or in the District of Columbia
  2. You must be listed on that jurisdiction’s certified nursing assistant registry.
  3. Additionally, you cannot have been found guilty of abusing, neglecting, or exploiting someone else in any past jurisdiction where you were certified as a nursing assistant.

CNA Certification Process

1. You must submit a completed application, with all required fees, to Prometric. It is important to ensure that you have answered all questions correctly and legibly signed and dated the application, so there are no delays in receipt or approval.

2. To get a screening for your healthcare provider license, you must schedule an electronic fingerprint appointment and provide the Livescan provider with the Electronic Fingerprint Form. If you already have a shareable screening, it will be loaded within 72 hours of receiving your application – but make sure that all information matches your application and submission.

If you want your fingerprints to be shared among state agencies, you must have a photograph taken at the time of fingerprinting. 

Note: If you have completed a screening without having your photograph taken, the results may be entered in the Clearinghouse; however, they will not be shareable among the state agencies.

3. Your application will be reviewed by a processor as soon as it is received. You will be notified at that time if any additional information is needed.

4. You will be notified via email when your application is approved, and within 72 hours, Prometric will receive your eligibility.

5. If you want to take a Prometric exam, the company will schedule your test within 7-14 business days and send you an admission ticket via email.

6. You will receive your test results within 72 hours, and if you pass, you will be issued a license. You should then receive your physical license within 7-14 days.

We have discussed the certification process of CNA by examination. The certification process for CNA by endorsement is also the same but you don’t have to take the competency exam. For more information, visit the Florida Board of Nursing.