CNA EXAM AND JOB INFORMATION - FLORIDA
In this article we will discuss everything you ever wanted to know about how to become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNAs) in Florida, inlcluding information on the state test and obtaining your license. We will discuss what CNAs do, what their salary is, and what is the fastest way that you can become a CNA yourself.
LIFE AS A CNA
What is a CNA?
CNAs assist in the healthcare world by providing many critical routine tasks that patients need to have performed multiple times a day. CNAs are especially needed when patients have some type of mobility limitation, such as elderly patients or patients who have undergone surgery.
What do CNAs do in their jobs?
CNAs help patients with their daily routine tasks such as bathing, eating, brushing teeth, transferring from a bed to a wheelchair, as well as basic healthcare tasks such as taking a patient’s blood pressure. In many instances, CNAs are often the healthcare staff that interact the most with patients, and serve a critical role in managing the overall patient experience. A caring CNA can help a patient who is undergoing stress and frustration due to their limitations have a positive experience in the hospital or care facility. Many CNAs gain much fulfillment by helping improve the quality of life of their patients. Naturally compassionate and caring individuals are generally the most successful and happy CNAs.
What kind of jobs are available for CNAs?
Since CNAs serve a role in helping almost all patients, job prospects for CNAs are generally very good. The state of Florida, in particular, is attracting many older residents who will need long term care in the not too distant future. Many CNAs work in long term care facilities such as nursing homes, as well as in other kinds of nursing facilities. These roles are great for CNAs that desire to develop long term relationships with their patients, as they will frequently be the main point of contact for the patients. CNAs can also work in hospitals; where they assist with many patients as they move through various hospital departments. Another opportunity for aspiring CNAs is the option to become a travelling CNA. Travelling CNAs visit patient homes and perform duties that are similar to those in a nursing facility, but without the patient having to travel.
BECOMING A CNA
What is the fastest way to become a CNA in Florida?
The fastest way to become a CNA in Florida is to take an online course and upon course completion take the test as a Challenger. You can also opt for an in person course, some of which are certified by the state. This can be an option for those that feel they would like more preparation, but keep in mind the cost of the in person courses can be much higher. During normal times, the process can be completed in one month, from the point the student signs up for the course, to them taking the state exam to finish the process. Unfortunately, as of January 2021, it has currently been taking about 2 months for students to get a test date from Prometric (the third party company that administers CNA exams in Florida). Due to this, we recommend students budget 2-3 months from the point they register for the course to the point where they will have their CNA license and be employable.
Can you take CNA classes online?
Yes! Florida is the only state in the nation where you can take any CNA online course, take the state test, and receive your license if your pass. Note that no course can grant you your CNA lincese online, as the state test has to be taken in person. If you are interested in taking an online CNA course, we encourage you to check out our offering, as it is one of the most established and economic in the state.
I prefer to take a CNA course in person, where can I find courses in my area?
If you feel you prefer an in person course as opposed to our online offering, we encourage you to use the tool below to specifically find programs in your area.
What is the average salary for a CNA in Florida?
The average salary for a CNA in Florida is $13.60 per hour. CNAs also earn on average a total of $4,125 in overtime pay a year, according to Indeed. Some CNAs can earn upwards of $20 per hour, depending on their employer. Location can also play a factor, with CNAs in Fort Myers earning an average of $15.67 per hour. You can estimate your salary as a CNA by using our CNA Salary Calculator.
What are the requirements to become a CNA in Florida?
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Possess a high school diploma OR take a state certified CNA training course
- Pass the Prometric Nurse Aide Exam
- Pass a Level 2 background check performed by a Livescan vendor
- Have a valid Florida address - you need it in order to register for the state exam
- This is what prevents most students from out of state from being able to take our course
Can I become a CNA if I am under 18 years old?
Yes, in Florida, you can be a CNA if you are under 18 years old; however, our course will not work for your situation if you are under 18 and have not yet graduated high school. If that is your case, we recommend you use our tool above to find accredited courses in your area to determine if any can work for your situation. To take advantage of our online course you need to either be over 18, or have a high school diploma. This is becuase we train you to take the state exam as a a challenger, and these are the requirements for that path. If you take an accredited course, they can waive this requirement as they have other requirements in terms of instruction hours and course approval.
What does the CNA exam consist of?
The CNA exam is administered by Prometric and consists of both a written portion and a practical clinical skills portion. Clinical Skills:
- Costs $120
- Your test evaluator will assign three randomly assigned skills from the clinical skills checklist. Since you do not know which skills you will be tested on, you need to become proficient in all of them. We cover all skills in our course.
- You will also be evaluated on handwashing technique and indirect care behavior.
- Costs $35
- The written test (also available in audio format) is also called the knowledge portion of the exam. This exam is available in both English and Spanish, and consists of 60 multiple choice questions.
Our course will prepare you for both parts of the test.
How to take the CNA exam?
In order to take the CNA exam, you need to register through Prometric. There is an option to apply online or through a paper application, but we recommend applying online. When applying, if you have gone through our course, you will choose the “E3 Challenger” option to challenge the CNA test. As a challenger, you have up to three attempts within a two year period to pass the exam. If you fail either the clinical or written portion three or more times within two years, you will need to register for a state-certified program containing 120 hours or more of CNA instruction. This kind of training will be many times more expensive than our online course, so we recommend that you practice as much as you are able to in order to maximize your chances of passing on the first attempt.
How much does the CNA exam cost?
The CNA exam costs a total of $155, with $120 being for the clinical test and $35 being for the knowledge exam.