Arkansas, known as “The Natural State,” is a fun mixture of folksy charm and natural beauty. Though it does not have any large metropolitan areas, Arkansas has six national parks, including Hot Springs National Park, as well as 2.5 million acres of national forests and plenty of lakes and rivers for outdoor sports. It has been called home by such notable people as Bill Clinton and Johnny Cash. Today, thousands of CNAs call this state home as well because they love the opportunities provided by this state of nearly 3 million residents. With 15 percent of the population over the age of 65, CNAs have plenty of possibilities for job growth and occupational advancement.
– Capital: Little Rock
– Minimum Wage: $8.00
– Number of Hospitals: 84
– Number of Nursing Homes: 24,546
– Total Population: 2,966,369
– Population (ages 45-64): 755,423
– Population (ages 65+): 466,191
– Population (ages 85+): 55,050
– Hendrix College
– University of Arkansas
– Ouachita Baptist University
Everyone wishing to become a CNA in Arkansas must complete state-approved training unless the individual is a nursing student who has completed at least one basic nursing class. These students may skip directly to the CNA examination.
CNA training is regulated by the Office of Long Term Care. The Office does not list any requirements for a person’s education or age. However, many employers do not hire people for work in a licensed facility unless they are at least 18 years old. In addition, those applying for a training program will not need a high school diploma although many future employers may make this a requirement. Students will often need to complete a competency examination before training to demonstrate English and reading comprehension as well as basic math skills. They will need to have proof of eligibility to work in the United States, fingerprinting via Live Scan, a photo ID and two additional photographs on file. They will also need to submit to federal and state-level background checks. Finally, students will need to have a negative tuberculosis screening, proof of up-to-date immunizations and a physical examination to show that they can do the hands-on work of a CNA.
The state requires 90 hours of training altogether. The first 16 hours must be completed in the classroom before students can have any direct patient care. The final 74 hours include 58 hours of classroom time and 16 hours of clinical time.
The Arkansas CNA examination is administered by Prometric in coordination with the state’s Office of Long Term Care. Applicants must take and pass the entire test within one year of training completion to avoid having to retrain. The fee for the examination is $75 for both parts along with an initial nonrefundable eligibility screening fee of $10.
The CNA test is taken in two parts, which are initially completed on the same day. The written exam covers general CNA knowledge. Applicants may choose to take this section orally if they have difficulty reading English. Some testing sites use pencil and paper for this part while others use internet-based testing. Those using online testing will receive their scores immediately upon completion while those using pencil and paper will have their scores mailed to them. This section of the test includes 60 multiple-choice questions that must be answered in 90 minutes or less.
The second part of the test is the clinical skills section. Individuals will need to demonstrate five skills, including hand washing and indirect care. Three additional skills will be randomly chosen on the test day. Testers will have 31 to 40 minutes to complete the skills depending on those chosen. The skills will be performed on a resident actor. Once again, individuals testing at a site with internet testing will receive their scores immediately. Others will receive their scores by mail. All testers have up to three attempts to get a passing grade before having to retrain.
CNAs can transfer their certifications to Arkansas from another state should they move. Arkansas often places these CNAs on the state’s registry without requiring them to retest; however, this is not always the case. To become endorsed by Arkansas, CNAs must have an active license in their previous state that is unencumbered with allegations of patient abuse or neglect. Applicants will need to contact the Office of Long Term Care for an application. Arkansas requires a background check and verification that the applicant attended and completed a CNA training program in the former state. They will also need a copy of a certificate from every state where the applicant is currently certified. The process is free as long as applicants are not required to retest.
Arkansas requires CNAs to renew their certifications every two years. The Registry sends out reminders several weeks before renewal along with an application form. To renew, CNAs must have worked for pay for at least eight hours in the past two years. In addition, the license must be unencumbered with allegations of patient abuse, neglect or maltreatment. CNAs who allow their certifications to lapse or who have not worked the required eight hours will be required to retest and will have to pay a retesting fee of $75. The process is free for CNAs who have kept their licenses current. Completed applications should be sent by mail to Prometric.
|Chi St. Vincent Infirmary||Two St Vincent Circle||Little Rock||AR||72205||501-552-3000||Website|
|Arkansas Surgical Hospital||5201 North Shore Drive||North Little Rock||AR||72118||501-748-8000||Website|
|Washington Regional Medical Center||3215 North Hills Boulevard||Fayetteville||AR||72703||479-463-1000||Website|
|Advance Care Hospital Of Fort Smith||7301 Rogers Avenue, 4th Floor||Fort Smith||AR||72903||479-314-4900||Website|
|Advance Care Hospital Of Hot Springs||300 Werner Street, 3rd Floor East||Hot Springs National Park||AR||71913||501-609-4300||Website|
|Advanced Care Hospital Of White County||1200 South Main Street||Searcy||AR||72143||501-278-3155||Website|
|Arkansas Heart Hospital||1701 South Shackleford Road||Little Rock||AR||72211||501-219-7000||Website|
|Arkansas Methodist Medical Center||900 West Kingshighway||Paragould||AR||72450||870-239-7000||Website|
|Arkansas State Hospital||305 South Palm Street||Little Rock||AR||72205||501-686-9000||Website|
|Ashley County Medical Center||1015 Unity Road||Crossett||AR||71635||870-364-4111||Website|
|Baptist Health Extended Care Hospital||9601 Interstate 630, Exit 7, 10th Floor||Little Rock||AR||72205||501-202-1070||Website|
|Baptist Health Medical Center||3333 Springhill Drive||North Little Rock||AR||72117||501-202-3000||Website|
|Baptist Health Medical Center||9601 Interstate 630, Exit 7||Little Rock||AR||72205||501-202-2000||Not Available|
|Baptist Health Medical Center-Arkadelphia||3050 Twin Rivers Drive||Arkadelphia||AR||71923||870-245-2622||Website|
|Baptist Health Medical Center-Heber Springs||1800 Bypass Road||Heber Springs||AR||72543||501-887-3000||Website|
|Baptist Health Medical Center-Hot Spring County||1001 Schneider Drive||Malvern||AR||72104||501-332-1000||Website|
|Baptist Health Medical Center-Stuttgart||North Buerkle Road||Stuttgart||AR||72160||870-673-3511||Not Available|
|Baxter Regional Medical Center||624 Hospital Drive||Mountain Home||AR||72653||870-508-1000||Website|
|Booneville Community Hospital||880 West Main Street||Booneville||AR||72927||479-675-2800||Website|