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CNA Progams in Mississippi

Mississippi is a state full of Southern charm with deep roots to traditional Southern living. In fact, one of the most important battlegrounds of the Civil War is memorialized here at Vicksburg National Military Park. Mississippi is demarcated by the Mississippi River to its west and the Gulf of Mexico to its south. The Mississippi Delta offers beautiful views and rich soil and is known for being the birthplace of blues music. This state of nearly 3 million is served by thousands of CNAs who use their hands-on skills at many of the state’s 99 hospitals and 18,550 nursing homes.

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About Mississippi

– Capital: Jackson
– Minimum Wage: $7.25
– Number of Hospitals: 99
– Number of Nursing Homes: 18,550


– Total Population: 18,550
– Population (ages 45-64): 762,733
– Population (ages 65+): 428,383
– Population (ages 85+): 49,635

Top Colleges & Unversities

– Millsaps College
– University of Mississippi
– Mississippi State University

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in MS

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CNA Training Requirements

Taking the Test (Procedure)

Out-of-State Applicants

Renewing & Expired Certification

Applications & Forms

Contacts & Additional Resources

State-approved training is required to become certified as a CNA except in the cases of student nurses, graduate nurses or foreign nurses who can skip to the competency examination. However, graduate nurses must complete the examination within two years of graduating.

Other individuals who have no other health care training must attend a state-approved training program to be eligible to test. Mississippi does not have any age requirements for CNA training nor does it require a high school diploma. However, specific schools may have additional requirements. Potential students will need to undergo a criminal background check and have a photo ID and two additional photographs on file with the state. They will also need a complete, up-to-date immunization record and a negative tuberculosis test before providing care to patients. They should be able to spend long hours on their feet and lift up to 40 pounds. Finally, they will need to carry liability insurance and CPR cards.

Mississippi follows the federal minimum guidelines for training hours, which is 75 hours altogether. Of this number, 16 hours must be spent practicing hands-on clinical skills in a local health care facility. In the classroom, students will learn basic CNA theory, including human anatomy, body mechanics, vital signs, communication skills and infection control. They will also be able to practice personal care skills, such as bathing and feeding patients, in a lab before practicing on actual patients. This training usually takes no longer than eight weeks to complete in Mississippi.

The Mississippi Department of Health contracts out its CNA competency examination to Pearson VUE, which administers a two-part test. The test may be completed at numerous training facilities following training, or it may be taken at regional testing sites across the state.

Initially, both sections of the test will be taken on the same day. The knowledge test is usually taken in a written format, which has 60 multiple-choice questions that must be answered in two hours or less. However, students with a disability may request the oral version on their applications. The oral option has 60 multiple-choice questions along with ten additional reading comprehension questions and is performed with the use of an MP3 player and earphones.

The clinical skills section tests practical knowledge that the student will perform on a volunteer acting as a disabled resident. The Nurse Aide Evaluator will monitor and score this section and will randomly choose five tasks for the student to perform in 25 minutes or less. One task is always hand washing, and another task is taking a measurement. The student must pass all five tasks to pass the skills section.

Students should receive their scores while at the testing facility. If they fail, they will receive instructions about how to reapply and will only need to retake the section of the test that they failed. Each section can be taken up to three times. The cost for the test is $101 for both written and oral versions.

CNAs moving to Mississippi from another state can apply for reciprocity. To be eligible for this, CNAs must have active certifications without any findings of patient abuse or neglect on their previous state’s registry. They must be coming from a state that subscribes to the OBRA ’87 competency evaluation and must provide proof that they have worked for pay as a CNA within the past 24 months. This could be in the form of a pay stub or W2. The process takes at least 30 days although it may take longer depending on how long the prior state takes to verify certification. The fee for reciprocity is $26. Those who are not eligible for reciprocity will need to take Mississippi’s competency examination.

CNA certifications expire every 24 months in Mississippi. The state sends out renewal notices to CNAs approximately 60 days before the expiration date. CNAs must have their correct names and addresses on file with the registry. To be eligible to renew, CNAs must have worked for pay in a health care setting for at least 8 hours in the past 24 months. Renewal costs $26. However, CNAs employed in a Medicaid/Medicare nursing home do not have to pay this fee. Renewal processing takes approximately two weeks. Those who allow their certifications to lapse are required to retake the competency examination. Those who do not pass the test on the first try will have to retrain and retest.

Mississippi State Department of Health
Mississippi Board of Nursing
Mississippi Nurses Aide Registry
Verify your CNA License here

Mississippi Board of Nursing
713 Pear Orchard Road
Suite 300
Ridgeland, MS 39157
Phone: 601-957-6300
Fax: 601-957-6301

Employment Information for MS

Average Salary for CNAs in MS

States in the southeastern United States have the lowest compensation for health care employees in the country. However, CNAs here will find that they make a similar amount to the state’s income per capita of $20,618. At an average of $20,840 per year and $10.02 per hour, Mississippi CNAs make enough for a comfortable style of living when compared to the state as a whole. 

Job Outlook in MS

With nearly 100 hospitals and thousands of nursing homes and other health care facilities that hire CNAs, Mississippi CNAs have over 15,000 job opportunities open to them. Indeed, as the next two decades progress, CNAs will be in higher demand as the 428,000 residents over the age of 65 and 763,000 residents between the ages of 45 and 65 need increasing care at hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities.

Employment Opportunities

Top Hospitals in MS
Hospital NameAddressCityStateZipPhoneWebsite
North Mississippi Medical Center830 South Gloster StreetTupeloMS38801662-377-3000Website
Allegiance Specialty Hospital Of Greenville300 South Washington Avenue, 3rd FloorGreenvilleMS38701662-332-7344Website
Alliance Healthcare System1430 Highway 4 EastHolly SpringsMS38635662-252-1212Website
Alliance Health Center5000 Highway 39 NorthMeridianMS39301601-483-6211Website
Amg Specialty Hospital-Greenwood1401 River Road Floor 2GreenwoodMS38930662-459-2681Website
Anderson Regional Medical Center2124 14th StreetMeridianMS39301601-553-6000Website
Anderson Regional Medical Center-South Campus1102 Constitution AvenueMeridianMS39301601-693-2511Website
Baptist Medical Center Leake310 Ellis StreetCarthageMS39051601-267-1100Website
Baptist Memorial Hospital-Booneville100 Hospital StreetBoonevilleMS38829662-720-5000Website
Baptist Memorial Hospital-Desoto7601 Southcrest ParkwaySouthavenMS38671662-772-4000Website
Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle2520 Fifth Street NorthColumbusMS39705662-244-1000Website
Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi2301 South Lamar BoulevardOxfordMS38655662-232-8100Website
Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union County200 Highway 30 WestNew AlbanyMS38652662-538-7631Website
Batesville Specialty Hospital303 Medical Center DriveBatesvilleMS38606662-712-2484Not Available
Beacham Memorial Hospital205 North Cherry StreetMagnoliaMS39652601-783-2351Website
Biloxi Regional Medical Center150 Reynoir StreetBiloxiMS39530228-432-1571Website
Bolivar Medical Center901 East Sunflower RoadClevelandMS38732662-846-0061Website
Brentwood Behavioral Healthcare Of Mississippi3531 East Lakeland DriveJacksonMS39232601-936-2024Website
Calhoun Health Services140 Burke-Calhoun City RoadCalhoun CityMS38916662-628-6611Not Available
Central Mississippi Medical Center1850 Chadwick DriveJacksonMS39204601-376-1000Website

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