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Nurse Aide in Kentucky

Technically a southeastern state, Kentucky is far enough north to have the Ohio River for its northern border. It also benefits from the beauty found in the foothills of the Appalachians, located on its eastern side. Perhaps Kentucky is best known for the Kentucky Derby, a much-anticipated horse race located in the state’s largest city, Louisville. Outdoor lovers can enjoy the famous Mammoth Cave National Park and the Cumberland River, which runs through this “Bluegrass State.” CNAs have excellent opportunities for growth here as the state’s population is rapidly aging with over 14 percent of people over the age of 65. In addition, the state subscribes to the federal minimum training hours, making CNA training here fast and affordable.

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About Kentucky

– Capital: Frankfort
– Minimum Wage: 7.25
– Number of Hospitals: 106
– Number of Nursing Homes: 26,170


– Total Population: 4,413,457
– Population (ages 45-64): 1,189,055
– Population (ages 65+): 654,514
– Population (ages 85+): 75,895

Top Colleges & Unversities

– Centre College
– Transylvania University
– Asbury University

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in KY

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CNA Training Requirements

Taking the Test (Procedure)

Out-of-State Applicants

Renewing & Expired Certification

Applications & Forms

Contacts & Additional Resources

All Kentucky individuals who wish to become CNAs must undergo state-approved CNA training except for those who have received similar training as nurses. Student nurses and licensed nurses may waive CNA training and skip directly to the competency examination. Those who are required to take a state-approved training course will need to complete at least 75 hours of training altogether of which 16 hours must be spent in a clinical setting providing hands-on care to patients under the supervision of a nurse. Kentucky residents may work as non-certified nurse aides for up to 120 days while they train and test. This grace period cannot be extended for any reason.

Kentucky has not placed any limitations on potential students regarding age or educational background. However, certain institutions may have their rules and may require students to have at least an eighth-grade education or to pass a basic reading competency entrance examination. All students will need to have current photo IDs and will need to have fingerprint cards taken to get a criminal background check.

CNA students must be physically fit as proven through a doctor’s physical examination. They will need to spend plenty of time on their feet and be comfortable walking for long periods. In addition, they will need to be able to push, pull and lift at least forty pounds. They should have up-to-date immunizations, including MMR and hepatitis B, and a recently negative tuberculosis screening.

All Kentucky CNA students will need to take their competency evaluations through the Kentucky Community and Technical College System whether or not this is where they received their educations. The test is offered at a variety of regional testing centers, and students can choose their preferred locations. The test is taken in two parts, both of which must be completed on the same day initially. The knowledge section tests CNA theory and has 75 multiple-choice questions. This test can be taken with pencil and paper or orally for those who have trouble reading English. This section must be passed by at least 70 percent.

The second section tests clinical skills in front of an evaluator. The skills are demonstrated on a volunteer actor, and students are encouraged to act as if the actor is an actual patient. Students will be randomly assigned five skills on test day and must perform at least 70 percent of each skill correctly to pass. In addition, critical steps must be completed with 100 percent accuracy.

Students will receive their test results in the mail within 30 days of taking the test. Both sections must be passed successfully before students will become SRNAs or State Registered Nurse Aides as they are called in Kentucky. Students must take and pass the test within one year from the end of training to avoid having to retake the examination. The fee to take both sections is $75. However, high school students taking the examination only have to pay $50 for a first-time discount.

CNAs moving to Kentucky from another state may be able to transfer their certifications to Kentucky via reciprocity. The certification must be active and in good standing, and the CNA must not have any accusations of patient abuse or neglect on his or her record. Applicants will be required to submit their personally identifying information and certification numbers as well as copies of their prior CNA certifications, social security cards, and driver’s licenses. Reciprocity is free in Kentucky. Those who are approved for reciprocity will be notified by the Board within 30 days and will receive their new certifications in the mail.

Kentucky CNAs are required to renew their certifications every two years. The state sends out renewal notifications two months prior to the expiration date. To renew, they must be in good standing with the state with no accusations of patient abuse, neglect or mistreatment. They also must have worked at least eight hours in the past 24 months and must have completed at least 12 hours of in-services or continuing education each year. CNAs must include proof of employment, such as a pay stub or W-2, along with their renewal paperwork. Those who cannot provide proof of employment or who have not worked the required hours will have to retake training classes and retake the competency examination. Renewal is free.

Kentucky Department for Public Health
Kentucky Board of Nursing
Kentucky Nurse Aide Registry
License Lookup Tool

312 Whittington Pky
Suite 300-A
Louisville, KY 40222-5172

KNAR Program Coordinator
Julie Lobo
Phone: 502-429-3349
Email: [email protected]

Employment Information for Kentucky Residents

Average Salary for CNAs in KY

A CNA’s average salary is on par with Kentucky’s income per capita of $23,462. An average hourly wage for CNAs here is $11.36, which comes to approximately $23,620 per year. Of course, beginning CNAs typically start at less than this but can quickly work up as they gain experience. However, many licensed employers also provide health care, pension, and retirement plan benefits.

Job Outlook in KY

Jobs are opening up all the time for CNAs in Kentucky, just as they are across the United States. Kentucky currently has over 24,000 CNA positions, and more are expected to appear over the next few years as the aging population needs increasing amounts of skilled care in the 106 hospitals and 26,170 nursing homes here. In fact, 654,000 residents are older than 65, and another 1.2 million are between 45 and 65.

Employment Opportunities

Top Hospitals in KY
Hospital NameAddressCityStateZipPhoneWebsite
Baptist Health Lexington1740 Nicholasville RoadLexingtonKY40503859-260-6100Website
St. Elizabeth Edgewood1 Medical Village DriveEdgewoodKY41017859-301-2000Website
Baptist Health Louisville4000 Kresge WayLouisvilleKY40207502-897-8100Website
Norton Hospital200 East Chestnut StreetLouisvilleKY40202502-629-8000Website
University Of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital800 Rose StreetLexingtonKY40536859-323-5000Website
Baptist Health Madisonville900 Hospital DriveMadisonvilleKY42431270-825-5100Website
Baptist Health Richmond801 Eastern BypassRichmondKY40475859-623-3131Website
Baptist Hospital Northeast1025 New Moody LaneLa GrangeKY40031502-222-5388Website
Baptist Regional Medical Center1 Trillium WayCorbinKY40701606-528-1212Website
Bluegrass Community Hospital360 Amsden AvenueVersaillesKY40383859-873-3111Website
Bourbon Community Hospital9 Linville DriveParisKY40361859-987-3600Website
Breckinridge Memorial Hospital1011 Old Highway 60HardinsburgKY40143270-756-7000Website
Caldwell Medical Center100 Medical Center DrivePrincetonKY42445270-365-0300Website
Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital2050 Versailles RoadLexingtonKY40504859-254-5701Website
Cardinal Hill Specialty Hospital85 North Grand AvenueFort ThomasKY41075859-572-3880Website
Carroll County Memorial Hospital309 11th StreetCarrolltonKY41008502-732-4321Website
Casey County Hospital187 Wolford AvenueLibertyKY42539606-787-6275Not Available
Caverna Memorial Hospital1501 South Dixie StreetHorse CaveKY42749270-786-2191Website
Central State Hospital10510 LaGrange RoadLouisvilleKY40223502-253-7000Not Available
Clark Regional Medical Center175 Hospital DriveWinchesterKY40391859-745-3500Website

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