FAQ

Nurse Aide Program

  1. How to Enroll in the Nurse Aide Program?

    Enrollment in the Nurse Aide Program requires you to meet the pre-requisites, physical requirements, and submit an application. Click here to see what is required to enroll in the Nurse Aide Program.

  2. What do I need to do in order to become a certified nurse aide (CNA)?

    You will hold the title certified nurse aide and be allowed to work in the state of Texas when:
    - You graduate from a state-approved nurse aide training program, and pass the state evaluation test
    OR
    - You hold a nurse aide certification from another state and obtain certification in the state of Texas by waiver or reciprocity.

  3. What is the Nurse Aide Registry?

    The State of Texas maintains an official record of all certified nurse assistants qualified to provide patient care services in nursing facilities and licensed by the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services. This record is called the Texas Nurse Aide Registry.

  4. How can I qualify for reciprocity?

    You can qualify for reciprocity if you are currently on the nurse aide registry in another state that is in compliance with applicable federal laws and you complete the necessary DADS-required documentation.

  5. What does the state exam for nurse aide certification consist of?

    The examination has two parts:
    1. Testing of your hands-on, client care skills. This part includes demonstrating five randomly selected nurse aide skills.
    2. Testing of nurse aide concepts and knowledge. This part of the exam includes answering 60 multiple choice questions.

  6. How many hours of instruction are required by law to complete a CNA course?

    Every school offering a nurse aide program must provide a minimum of 100 hours of training. 60 hours are dedicated to classroom instruction while 40 hours are for clinical training providing direct patient care.

  7. How long can I wait to take the certification exam after I complete a nurse aide training course?

    You must take the state exam within 24 months of completion of the nurse aide training course.

  8. Where can I take the nurse aide certification exam?

    You may take the examination at any facility approved to administer testing by the Department of Health or at any state approved nurse aide training provider school that has volunteered to accept you for testing.

  9. Do I need to show proof of a High School diploma or GED to become a certified nurse aide?

    You do not need a high school diploma nor a GED to become a nurse aide in Texas.

  10. Can I become a nurse aide if I do not attend a training program but I do take the state test?

    Yes, you can take only the state exam if:
    1. After July 1, 1989, you successfully completed the training portion of an approved NATCEP in any state and have not completed the CEP test or been placed on the registry in another state.
    2. After July 1, 1989, you successfully completed military training of 100 hours or more which is equivalent to civilian nurse aide training.
    3. After July 1, 1989, you successfully completed a state-accredited registered nurse (RN) or licensed vocational nurse (LVN) school but were not licensed as an RN or LVN in Texas or have not held a nurse license that has been revoked.
    4. You are currently a nursing student in any state and are able to provide basic nursing skills.

  11. Once I pass the state examination, how fast can I get my certificate?

    The nurse aide certificate will be sent to you within four to six weeks.

  12. Is it possible to check on the status of my certification?

    Yes, you can call the toll free number: 1-800-452-3934. You will be asked to enter your Social Security number.

  13. Do I have to renew my certification?

    No, there is no expiration date on your nurse aide certificate. In order to maintain active status you have to contact the Texas Nurse Aide Registry and confirm your employment status at least every two years.

  14. If I fail the nurse aide state exam on the first try, can I re-test?

    Yes, you can re-test twice.

  15. What happens if I fail the nurse aide state exam three times?

    You need to complete another nurse aide training program before you are allowed to retake the state exam.

  16. Am I allowed to work in a nursing facility while I am training to become a CNA?

    Yes, if you are a student enrolled in a nurse aide training and competency evaluation program you can work as a nurse aide for up to four months in a nursing facility without being certified.

  17. Where can I find a list of nurse aide training programs in Texas?

    Please follow this link for a list of CNA training programs in Texas.

  18. Do I need to have a copy of my certificate in order to be allowed to work as a CNA?

    You need to show proof of your CNA certificate in order to be employed and your status as a nurse aide needs to be active on the Texas Nurse Aide Registry.

  19. What happens when a nurse aide is referred to the Nurse Aide Registry for abuse, or neglect charges?

    The Department of Aging and Disability Services conducts a review and will investigate any allegations. The nurse aide will have the opportunity to show compliance with the law through both informal and formal hearings. Those found guilty will no longer be employable by health care facilities regulated by DADS.

  20. If certification to practice as a nurse aide has been revoked, can it ever be reinstated?

    No because the Federal law prohibits reinstatement of certification for those who have abused or neglected clients or misappropriated patient property.

  21. Are there certain criminal convictions that will prevent a person to find employment as a nurse aide?

    Yes, there are criminal convictions which prohibit employment in health care settings regulated by the Department of Aging and Disability Services. You can find a complete listing of these violations here: Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 250.006.

  22. How long can I keep my certification active if I stop working as a nurse aide?

    If you were not employed as a nurse aide for 24 consecutive months you will lose your certification and will be removed from active status on the Nurse Aide Registry.

  23. How can I become recertified after losing my CNA certification due to inactive status?

    If you were not employed as a nurse aide for 24 consecutive months, you need to re-take the state certification exam or to enroll in a new facility-based nurse aide program to be restored to active status.

  24. Who regulates nurse aide training programs and providers in Texas?

    It is the role of the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) to review and approve any nurse aide training and competency evaluation programs (NATCEP) as well as any nurse aide competency evaluation programs (CEP).

  25. Do I qualify to receive reimbursed for the cost of my nurse aide program?

    According to Federal laws and regulations, any long term care facility that receives Medicare or Medicaid funding is required to reimburse tuition, training, and testing costs for certified nurse aides within 12 months of them completing the nurse aide program.

  26. In order to keep my certification, am I required to complete continuing education credits?

    As a certified nurse aide you are required to complete 12 hours of in-service or continuing education credits every year.

  27. What is the minimum age required to enroll in a nurse aide program in Texas?

    To be accepted into a nurse aide course in Texas you must be at least 16 years of age.

  28. Does VNI accept international students?

    At this time, VNI is not SEVIS certified and approved. Once the school completes its accreditation process it will then apply for SEVIS certification and approval by DHS. So, as of right now, no we do not issue I-20's or accept international students.

  29. If I was a nurse aide in another state what do I need to do when I come to Texas?

    The first step is to call the Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) to find out if you can just sit to take the certification exam or if you will be required to take the nurse aide course first. The phone number to DADS is: 1-512-438-2050.

DADS Nurse Aide Registry FAQs

  1. Q: How do I become a certified nurse aide (CNA) in Texas?
    A: To become a nurse aide and be eligible to work in a Texas nursing home, you must:
    • successfully complete a state-approved nurse aide training and competency evaluation program, and
    • successfully complete the competency evaluation program examination; or
    • qualify to be placed on the Texas Nurse Aide Registry by waiver or reciprocity.
  2. Q: Do I have to have a high school diploma or GED to become a certified nurse aide?
    A: Neither the federal regulation nor state rule imposes a minimum education requirement for nurse aides.
  3. Q: How can I be exempted from the training and only take the test?
    A: You may request to be exempt from training and take only the exam, if:
    1. After July 1, 1989, you successfully completed the training portion of an approved NATCEP in any state and have not completed the CEP test or been placed on the registry in another state. (Complete Form 5510, Request to Take the Competency Evaluation Program [CEP] Based on Approved Nurse Aide Training Out of State)
    2. After July 1, 1989, you successfully completed military training of 100 hours or more that's equivalent to civilian nurse aide training. (Complete Form 5511, Request to Take the Competency Evaluation Program [CEP] Based on Military Training as a Nurse Aide)
    3. After July 1, 1989, you successfully completed a state-accredited registered nurse (RN) or licensed vocational nurse (LVN) school but were not licensed as an RN or LVN in Texas or have not held a license that's been revoked. (Complete Form 5512, Request to Take the Competency Evaluation Program [CEP] Based on Completion of an RN or LVN School)
    4. You're currently enrolled in a state-accredited school of nursing in any state and have demonstrated competency in providing basic nursing skills in accordance with the school's curriculum. (Complete Form 5513, Request to take the Competency Evaluation Program [CEP] Based on Competency in Basic Nursing Skills as an RN/LVN Student)
  4. Q: How can I qualify for reciprocity?
    A: You can qualify if you are currently on the nurse aide registry in another state that is in compliance with applicable federal laws and you complete the necessary DADS-required documentation.
  5. Q: After I train and pass the examination, how long will it take to get my certificate?
    A: You will receive your certificate four to six weeks after successfully completing the exam.
  6. Q: How can I check on the status of my certification?
    A: Call 1-800-452-3934 and follow the prompts. You will be required to enter your Social Security number.
  7. Q: Once I am certified, how often do I have to renew?
    A: No expiration date is printed on your certificate; however, you must contact the Nurse Aide Registry and verify your employment at least every two years to remain in active status.
  8. Q: I completed an approved training program but haven't taken the exam. Who do I call to schedule an exam?
    A: Normally, your training program will schedule your examination with the Nurse Aide Competency Evaluation Services (NACES). However, if you need to schedule your own examination, call NACES at 1-800-444-5178 or 512-467-0615 for more information.
  9. Q: If I don't pass the examination the first time, can I test again?
    A: Yes. People who fail either the skills or the written/oral examination may re-test twice. People who don't pass after three attempts must go through the training again before being allowed to take the test again.
  10. Q: Can someone work in a nursing facility while training to become a Certified Nurse Aide? If so, how long may they work before they must be listed on the nurse aide registry?
    A: People who currently are enrolled in a NATCEP may work up to four months in a nursing facility. The facility must terminate anyone who's not on the registry within that time.
  11. Q: Is there a list of training providers?
    A: A searchable directory is available on our website.
  12. Q: Must I have a copy of my certificate to work?
    A: Normally, employers will require that you present your certificate, so they may make a copy for their files. However, your employability depends upon the current status of your certification. If you are not in "Active" status on the Nurse Aide Registry, you are not employable even if you have a copy of your certificate.

    Note: Nurse Aide Registry and Training Forms/Applications are available on the Forms page. Email questions to: credential@DADS.state.tx.us
  13. Q: What happens when a nurse aide is referred to the Nurse Aide Registry for an allegation of abuse, neglect or misappropriation of a resident’s property in a nursing facility?
    A: DADS reviews and investigates allegations of abuse, neglect or misappropriation of resident property by a nurse aide employed in a facility. Before entry of the finding on the Nurse Aide Registry, DADS will provide the nurse aide an opportunity to demonstrate compliance with the law through an informal reconsideration and a formal hearing.

    If the allegation is upheld, the finding of abuse, neglect or misappropriation of resident property will be entered to the Nurse Aide Registry and the nurse aide will be unemployable in facilities and agencies regulated by the department.
  14. Q: How does a nurse aide request an informal reconsideration?
    A: DADS will provide notice to the nurse aide of the facts or conduct alleged to warrant the proposed finding and the nurse aide's right to an informal reconsideration. The nurse aide must submit a written request to the address provided in the notice letter within 10 days of receipt of the notice letter.
  15. Q: How does a nurse aide request a formal hearing?
    A: A notice of adverse action and right to a formal hearing is sent to the nurse aide. The nurse aide must submit a written request to the address provided in the notice letter within 30 days of receipt of the notice letter.
  16. Q: Can a nurse aide's certification be reinstated after it has been revoked?
    A: No, according to federal regulation at 42 Code of Federal Regulation, §483.156, findings of abuse, neglect and misappropriation of resident property must remain on the registry permanently.
    Exception: In the case of a finding of neglect only, a nurse aide may petition the state to remove the finding after the finding has been entered on the registry for one full year.
  17. Q: Can a person work as a nurse aide if they have a criminal conviction?
    A: Certain convictions bar employment in facilities and agencies regulated by DADS. A list of these offenses can be found at Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 250.006.
  18. Q: How do I contact the Nurse Aide Registry?
    A: If you need information regarding renewing, transferring, retesting, requesting a duplicate certificate, or a change of name or address, please visit our forms website at: http://www.dads.state.tx.us/providers/NF/credentialing/nar/forms.html.

    Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services
    Nurse Aide Registry
    Mail Code E-414,
    P.O. Box 149030
    Austin, TX 78714-9030
    Phone: 512-438-2050
    Fax: 512-438-2052
  19. Q: How do I contact the Nurse Aide Enforcement Unit?
    A: If you need information regarding a referral that has been made against your nurse aide certificate or if your nurse aide certificate has been revoked, you may contact us at:

    Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services
    Professional Credentialing Enforcement
    Nurse Aide Enforcement Unit
    Mail Code E-302,
    P.O. Box 149030
    Austin, TX 78714-9030
    Phone: 512-438-5495
    Fax: 512-438-4285