CNA Certification in Florida
As Florida’s population continues to grow and many healthcare workers such as nurses age and retire (according to a 2017 Sun-Sentinal article about nursing shortages in the state), the demand is strong for certified nursing assistants (CNAs) to fill the need for providing medical care and long-term care. Florida is already one of the top states in the total number of CNAs employed, and the growth outlook for the occupation for the state is one of the highest in the nation: Florida is the third-ranked state in projected job growth through 2026 for CNAs.
In response to this need, Premier Nursing Academy is turning the traditional educational model—student pays for school, student interviews hopes to land a job post-graduation—on its head. We are working with top healthcare employers in Florida to provide 100% free training to CNA candidates who can then go on to even more opportunities in the healthcare field.
Premier Nursing Academy Locations in Florida
Premier Nursing Academy is excited to bring our high-quality, 100% free instruction model to candidates in Florida. Our first location in Florida is in Pinellas Park. In November 2020, we opened our second Florida location in Bradenton. We look forward to launching additional locations to serve more of Florida’s candidate trainees and employers.
Career and Salary Outlook in Florida
There are numerous reasons to start your healthcare career in Florida. The Sunshine state has 8,436 miles of coastline, covered with magnificent beaches. It also has a burgeoning healthcare industry that makes it a great place to work as a CNA. According to the Florida Economic Development Council, the life sciences industry, which includes all aspects of healthcare, is one of the top five industries in Florida. Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that job growth for CNAs in Florida is nearly twice the national average.
The median CNA salary is $26,020 across the state, with the top 10% of CNAs earning upwards of $34,000.
With competitive salaries and no state income tax, Florida is the perfect place to start your nursing career!
How to Become a CNA in Florida
To become a CNA, you need to be certified. The state specifies the requirements for certification through the Florida Board of Nursing. Specific requirements are listed below.
Florida CNA Requirements for Certification
STEP 1: Complete a state-approved CNA training program.
You must attend a program that is approved by the state of Florida. Typically, training programs include:
- 120 hours of classroom lectures and lab time
- Of those hours, at least 40 will be a clinical practicum under supervision
- To be eligible for the clinical part of the training, you will need to complete 16 hours of in-class training
Although specific coursework may vary by program, all programs must teach Career Ready Practices and adhere to Florida standards.
Career Ready Practices are general practices that all in the nursing field must adhere to. They include practices such as acting responsibly, communicating clearly, demonstrating creativity and innovation, and using technology to enhance productivity.
The standards are specific to CNAs. The following are by no means a comprehensive list, but are some examples of the concepts and practices that a student should learn in a CNA program:
- Demonstrate knowledge of the healthcare delivery system and health occupations.
- Demonstrate an understanding of and apply wellness and disease concepts.
- Recognize and respond to emergency situations.
- Recognize and practice infection control procedures.
- Demonstrate an understanding of information technology applications in healthcare.
- Demonstrate knowledge of bloodborne diseases, including HIV/AIDS.
- Recognize and practice safety and security procedures.
- Demonstrate legal and ethical responsibilities.
Note that there are exceptions to the training requirement. If you feel you can pass the test without training, you can apply, but you must be at least 18 or have a high school diploma. Additionally, if you already have nursing experience, you can bypass the training requirement. However, most employers strongly prefer or require candidates complete state-approved programs.
STEP 2: Pass a state-approved exam.
The exam is administered by Prometric and has two parts: written and clinical skills.
The written test consists of 60 multiple-choice questions. Prometric provides a content outline that lists the topics on the written test. The five basic areas are:
- Role of the Nurse Aide
- Promotion of Safety
- Promotion of Function and Health of Residents
- Basic Nursing Care Provided by the Nurse Aide
- Providing Specialized Care for Residents with Changes in Health
You will have 90 minutes to take the test.
The clinical part of the test involves demonstrating your abilities in five areas. You will not be advised of the areas you will be tested on beforehand. The time for this part of the test is based on the skills that are tested.
The standard fee for both parts is usually $155. The cost for the exam is covered for Premier Nursing Academy graduates.
For complete details about the testing process, refer to the Prometric FL NA Licensing Information Bulletin.
STEP 3: Get certified.
After you have passed the exam, you need to complete the final steps for becoming certified. This requires completing an application for certification from the Florida State Board of Nursing.
The application process includes filling out paperwork and, typically, providing documentation indicating you completed a training program and passed the exam. Once you are certified by the Florida State Board of Nursing, you will be placed on Florida’s Nurse Aide Registry.