To work as a CNA in Texas, start by signing up for a training program approved by the state Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS). Next, you need to pass the Pearson VUE-administered competency exam. Then your name will be added to the Texas CNA registry, and you can start working as a nurse aide.
To qualify for a CNA program, you need to:
- Be at least 18.
- Pass a complete physical, including a drug and TB test.
- Have at least a high school diploma or GED.
- Pass a thorough criminal background check. You might be disqualified if you have prior criminal offenses, or have appeared on the Employee Misconduct Registry.
The DADS website has a complete list of accredited CNA training programs. You have to take at least 24 clinical hours and 51 classroom hours in order to apply for the competency exam.
You might be able to waive the training requirement if you:
- Were trained as a nurse in the military.
- Have a lapsed CNA license, and haven’t worked in a health care setting for the past 2 years.
- Are a current RN or LVN student and have taken nursing courses in the last 24 months.
- Completed out-of-state CNA training that meets DADS standards.
CNA training costs around $1,300 in Texas. If you already work in a health care facility, your employer should cover these costs.
The Pearson VUE testing fees are:
- Written and skills testing: $93
- Oral and skills testing (English): $106
- Oral and skills testing (Spanish): $106
- Oral Spanish: $71
- Oral English: $71
- Written only: $58
CNA certification expires after 24 months. If you didn’t work as a paid CNA during that time, you’ll need to re-sit the nurse aide exam before you can renew your license.
- If you have a past criminal record or a record of employee misconduct, you’re ineligible to be certified as a nurse aide in Texas.
- You can work as a CNA for 4 months while you finish training. If you’re not licensed within that time frame, you risk losing your job.
- You must pass the competency exam within 2 years of training. If you don’t pass in 3 attempts, you have to reenroll in training.
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