How do you become a CNA in West Virginia?

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asked in Certification by Jane D.

2 Answers

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answered by Haley E.
The process for granting nurse aide credentials is one of the principal mechanisms established by the passage of the nursing home reform provisions of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 (OBRA) for ensuring provision of improved quality of care in nursing homes participating in the Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement programs. It defines a “nurse aide” as any individual providing nursing or nursing-related services to residents in a facility who is not a licensed health professional, a registered dietitian, or someone who volunteers to provide such services without pay. Nurse Aides do not include those individuals who furnish services to residents only as paid feeding assistants.

The eligibility requirements for nurse aide training are that the candidate must not be a registered sex offender or have committed a crime involving a child or incapacitated adult, and cannot be listed on an abuse registry in any state in the United States. There are no maximum education requirements such as high school diploma or GED, however, the training or hiring facility may have a policy that includes education requirements.

Please note that the West Virginia Nurse Aide Program does not certify or license nurse aides but maintains a registry listing consisting of all actively registered nurse aides within the state and that nurse aides in the State of West Virginia are referred to as “Registered Long Term Care Nurse Aides” not “Certified Nurse Aides” or “Licensed Nurse Aides”.

The West Virginia Nurse Aide Program has set a minimum standard of hours that an individual must complete prior to being eligible to sit for the state exam. The minimum hours that a Nurse Aide Training and Competency Evaluation Program (NATCEP) can offer in the State of West Virginia is one hundred twenty (120). This must include classroom, lab and hands on clinical hours in a certified nursing facility. The classroom and lab education must consist of at least sixty-five (65) hours, and clinical training must consist of a minimum of fifty-five (55) hours. A NATCEP must last a minimum of four (4) weeks and while any NATCEP may extend their program hours and time frame, at no given time can the instructor teach fewer hours than those for which the NATCEP is approved.

LPN and RN nursing students are allowed to skip training and challenge the state exam. A nursing student must have successfully completed the Fundamentals of Nursing with a “C” average or higher, and successfully completed a minimum of thirty-two (32) hours of clinical experience in a certified nursing facility in order to be granted the training exemption.

Those who finish training and are eligible to test, are allotted a two (2) year grace period and three (3) opportunities to pass the competency evaluation. If a candidate does not pass the exam within the two year grace period or has not successfully passed by the third attempt, the individual must take a new training program before being allowed to attempt the state exam again.
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answered by KJohnsHoll323

Method 1) If you have no formal experience and are are interested in nurse aide training in the state of West Virginia, you must  successfully complete a full nurse aide training program and pass the competency test. 

To find places that offer nurse aide training, WV's nurse aide program (NAP) recommends using this lookup tool: https://ohflac.wvdhhr.org/Apps/Lookup/FacilitySearch Make sure CNA EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS is selected in the facility type box, and search through the results to find a facility/location convenient for you (no guarantees the advanced searches criteria will work. OHFLAC is aware their website needs a lot of TLC). Contact that facility to learn how to enroll, what they offer, and other details. 

When the time comes to take the test, you need to contact WV's  the test vendor, Professional Healthcare Development, LLC (or PHD, their website and contact info). After you take (and pass) the test, PHD sends the results to WV's nurse aide program, then their office uploads the information. Passing scores mean you will be listed on West Virginia's nurse aide registry. 

As a sidebar: The transactions between PHD, the nurse aide program, and the registry are not immediate. WV's nurse aide program can take up to ten business days to upload test scores from the time they are received. The turnaround time can depend on the availability and workload the office staff is managing. Also, the WVNAP receives information at anytime, but only manages it during business hours and work days (excluding holidays). If/when a test is offered on the weekend, there is no guarantee you will be on the registry first thing Monday. It is understood your standing may be needed for employment opportunities and the results are important to the office as well, but they will be dealt with at the staff's earliest convenience after receiving them. 

You must both train and test in WV. Each state may operate with different training standards, so a student who trains in one state cannot cross over to test in WV. If this can be done in other states, I cannot say. 

Method 2) If you are a CNA in another state and wish to be a CNA in West Virginia, you may complete this application: https://ohflac.wvdhhr.org/Apps/Forms/NAReciprocity . The application and process is free of charge. It can be completed and submitted online, printing to fax or mail or anything is not necessary. Additional documentation is not necessary or required with the initial submission. 

 To be accepted, you must have a current/active/good standing CNA registration in at least one other state, a minimum of one eight-hour shift worked in nonprivate duty over the last two years, and more generally, correct, complete, and accurate information on your application. Some additional tips/considerations:

  • Exclusive to MD: Nurse aides applying from Maryland must have a current/active GNA certification to be accepted in WV (unless you are active in other states) Contact Maryland's registry/program to determine how to attain this licensure.
 
  • The program name in the training program section on the application is asking for the name of the place where you learned your nurse aide skills. This may be the name of a school, college, hospital, facility, organization, etc. that hosted the nurse aide program you attended. This information is needed even if you trained a long time ago, trained online, if where you trained is no longer active, or if you’ve challenged the test. Putting something to the effect of CNA, nurse aide training, NATCEP, Pearson Vue, etc. either takes longer to process or will not be accepted. 
 
  • Make sure your other-state registry info, your name, socials, and everything else is correct/accurate/spelled right. Some of your application info may be used to check other-state registries, and if the data between the app and the search is not correct, your info may not be found. (and you may be denied if you have only one other-state registry listed)
 
  • If your name on the application is found to be different to how it is on the other-state registry, a copy of the legal document that changes your name may be requested via email after your application is reviewed. 
 
  • Complete the application from either a desktop or laptop computer while using either Google Chrome or Firefox. Doing it from a cell phone does not always work for everybody and the WV NAP may not always receive your application if done that way.
 
  • At this time, temporary nurse aides from other states cannot be listed on the WV nurse aide registry. If you have a temporary licensure and no other active CNA registration, you will not be approved (but you are still permitted to work in WV as per the AHCA).
When submitting your application to the WV NAP, please keep in mind that a submission may not always grant or guarantee approval; it is just a submission waiting to be reviewed. Their office may take up to thirty business days to process it. However, most cases may take only a few business days. You may submit this application at any time, but it will only be processed during business hours and work days. (Again, if submitting over the weekend, receiving an update or approval first thing Monday may not be likely). If/when your application is approved, you are listed on WV's nurse aide registry. The WV NAP will contact you via email regarding your status after they review your submission, so please make sure:
  •  your email address is typed correctly
  • it is one you have access to
  • you check your inbox settings, spam, junk, etc. Some email programs may redirect the message to spam/junk, or if an inbox is full it may not be received. The WV NAP will only attempt emailing you once and does not send information by any other format. 
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