Persons who undergo CNA training in Florida will become capable of providing basic patient care to the disabled or ill for the long-term regardless whether they are in various healthcare facilities or nursing homes. It is necessary to be aware that for persons to become eligible to serve as CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant), they must initially satisfactorily bass the State required certification. Before taking the certification examination, persons must initially take training programs from State accredited centers and colleges.
In the State of Florida, a CNA normally works under the direct supervision of LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) or RN (Registered Nurse) in any type of healthcare facility. This means that persons who take CNA training in Florida and successfully pass the certification examination will be in direct contact with patients.
They are likewise normally tasked with taking vital signs, assisting in the bathing and toileting of patients, moving patients physically, feeding patients, and taking care of overall hygiene of patients among others. Some of the common questions associated with a CNA in Florida are:
1. Is it possible to be employed as a CNA before receiving a certification?
There are actually three instances where persons will be allowed to work in the State of Florida without certification. It is important to understand that these instances apply only for those who are merely awaiting the receipt of the certification from the State. These instances also allow employment for four months at the maximum. These instances are:
• Persons are enrolled in or already completed the State approved training program.
• They are verified to have an active certification within another State.
• The applicants have preliminary passed the examination issued by the State, but have not yet received the certificate.
It is important to point out that the determination of these individual circumstances based on the claims of applicants will be up to the employer alone.
2. Will it be possible to get reimbursements for the expenses incurred for the certification?
Persons who have successfully completed the training program approved by the State and satisfy specific requirements may become eligible for some type of reimbursement for the expenses that they have incurred towards their certification. The details may be available from the district Medicaid office in the locality or the current employer of the CNA like nursing homes that normally offer education reimbursements.
3. What are the implications of failing to renew the CNA certification until December 31?
Completion of the CNA training in Florida and passing of the associated certification examination will give persons the necessary certification to work in various healthcare facilities. It is important for them to remember to renew and pay the corresponding fees before midnight of December 31. Otherwise, the certification enters delinquency status.
Any CNA who is in delinquent status will not become eligible to work in any healthcare facility or nursing home in the State of Florida. Failing to renew and pay the corresponding fees by midnight of December 31 two years later will invalidate the certification. With the certification voided, persons will no longer be allowed to renew and practice in the capacity of CNA in the State of Florida.
4. Should persons attend training programs or just challenge the examination?
It is vital for candidates to be aware that they have the option to challenge the examination. In other words, the State approved training program may not be considered as mandatory except when candidates have already failed to pass part of the certification examination three times. Candidates however as strongly recommended to go to State approved training programs to ensure that they are adequately equipped to perform the responsibilities of a CNA.
5. Are there different examinations that must be passed to be a CNA in the State of Florida?
It is expected that after completing the CNA training in Florida, candidates will take the certification examination that is required by the State for employment. There is actually only one examination that is required by the State, but it is divided into two portions – written and performance. It is imperative that both portions of the examinations be successfully passed by candidates.
The only exception to this applies to those who have a CNA certification from another State that has an approved reciprocity with the State of Florida. The certification of successful examinees remains valid for two years that will allow them to continue working in the capacity of a CNA in the State. This emphasizes the need to be aware of the validity period.
6. Is it possible to take the 1st part of the examination in one State and the 2nd part in the State of Florida?
This kind of setup is not possible. The main reason is that the nature of the examinations will vary from State to State, which means allowing this setup may not result in a fair evaluation of the capabilities of candidates to perform the expected task of the CNA. Since a CNA cannot work in the State of Florida without the appropriate certification, it is vital that the examination be taken and passed.
Candidates are likewise reminded that there is a time limit for passing both portions of the certification examination. Those who pass the 1st portion of the certification examination should be able to pass the 2nd portion within a period of two years. Otherwise, they will be required to retake everything. Failing any portion of the examination three times will also require candidates to undergo CNA training in Florida retake the entire certification examination again.
7. Will candidates be subjected to background checks?
Because of the potential complexity and sensitivity that a CNA plays in any healthcare facility or nursing home, candidates are now subjected by the State of Florida to background checks by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). It is important to understand that this background checking can be different from those that can be instituted by employers.
8. Will out-of-State CNA requesting for reciprocity be required to complete examinations?
At the moment, the State of Florida will not require any additional testing for any candidates that have been verified with active certification and are in good standing from another State. Unless these two conditions are satisfied by candidates, they will be required to take both the written and performance portions of the examination to allow them to be included in the Florida Registry for CNA.
These are very important questions that can be to the benefit of all those who are thinking of taking the CNA training in Florida.