Montana, or “Big Sky County” as it is often called, is located along the northern border of the U.S. Stretching far from east to west, it is an amazing combination of the flatness of the Great Plains in the east and the mountains of the west. It is perhaps best known for Glacier National Park as well as for the numerous mountains that make excellent ski runs around Whitefish and Great Falls. CNAs can most readily find jobs in these larger cities as well as in Helena, but the 50 hospitals and 6,700 nursing homes are scattered across the state. Over one million people call Montana home, and of this number, a surprising 17 percent are over the age of 65.
– Capital: Helena
– Minimum Wage: $8.20
– Number of Hospitals: 50
– Number of Nursing Homes: 6,713
– Total Population: 1,023,579
– Population (ages 45-64): 281,473
– Population (ages 65+): 171,155
– Population (ages 85+): 21,985
– Carroll College
– Montana State University, Bozeman
– University of Montana
The only way to skip CNA training in Montana is to challenge the competency evaluation. All individuals have the option to challenge it once. Should they fail, they must attend a state-approved training program. If they pass, they will need additional assessments on all CNA skills by a licensed nurse when they are hired at a health care facility.
CNA training classes must be approved by the Department of Public Health and Human Services. All programs must be at least 75 hours long, which is the federal minimum. Students must complete at least 25 of these hours at a local health care facility learning and practice hands-on skills on patients. Students may work as non-certified nursing assistants for up to 120 days as they train and test. This pre-certification work period cannot be extended or reinstated for any reason.
Students must meet certain qualifications to be admitted to training programs. While neither the state nor the United States imposes age or educational requirements, students are encouraged to hold either high school diplomas or GEDs. Those who do not may have to pass basic assessment tests before being admitted to certain programs. Students must also have clean physicals and negative tuberculosis tests from within the past six months as well as up-to-date immunizations. Finally, they will need a clean criminal background check performed with fingerprinting.
Students will need to pass the Montana CNA competency evaluation before being placed on the state’s Nurse Aide Registry. Montana uses the Headmaster examination through D&S Diversified Technologies. Many tests are performed with pencil and paper; however, some regional testing sites use WebETest, a computerized testing system. Those who take computerized testing will receive their scores sooner than those who take a paper test do. Also, oral knowledge tests can only be performed at WebETest sites. The oral examination is performed with a computer and headphones.
Headmaster uses a two-part competency examination. The first section tests CNA theory knowledge with 72 multiple-choice questions that must be answered in 90 minutes or less. Students must have a score of at least 75 percent to pass this section.
The second section tests CNA skills. Students will be asked to demonstrate hand washing as well as four other randomly selected CNA skills as described in the manual. Students must pass each skill with a score of at least 80 percent and must perform all the critical steps accurately to pass this section. Students have 35 minutes to complete the skills section.
Students receive their scores the next day for computerized testing and within 3 to 5 business days with paper testing. Both sections must be passed for students to be listed on the CNA registry. Those who fail will only need to retake the part that was failed. The fee for both sections is $97 or $108 for the oral version.
CNAs who are new to the state can transfer their certifications into Montana if they are currently active on their prior state’s registry and are not listed on the abuse registry for patient abuse, neglect or maltreatment. They will need to fill out the application for interstate endorsement and will need to send in copies of a photo ID, proof of residency in Montana and proof of prior certification. Once the Montana Registry receives the application, the CNA will be approved and placed on the Registry within 15 business days. However, CNAs can work for pay in the state for up to 30 days while they apply and wait to receive Montana certification. Candidates who are not approved must retrain and retest. Reciprocity is free.
Montana CNAs must renew their certifications every 24 months. The state sends out renewal notices a couple of months in advance. To be eligible for renewal, CNAs must submit proof to the Registry that they have worked at least 8 hours for pay performing nursing-related tasks in the past 24 months. CNAs should send in the renewal form a month before expiration to allow enough processing time. CNAs who do not renew in time or who have not worked the required hours will need either to retrain and retest or to challenge the competency examination. There is no grace period for renewal. Those who renew on time will not have to pay any fees. Those who have lapsed certifications will be subject to fees.
|Billings Clinic||2800 10th Avenue North||Billings||MT||59101||406-657-4000||Website|
|Kalispell Regional Medical Center||310 Sunnyview Lane||Kalispell||MT||59901||406-752-5111||Website|
|St. Patrick Hospital||500 West Broadway||Missoula||MT||59802||406-543-7271||Website|
|Advanced Care Hospital Of Montana||3528 Gabel Road||Billings||MT||59102||406-373-8000||Website|
|Barrett Hospital & Healthcare||600 Highway 91 South||Dillon||MT||59725||406-683-3000||Website|
|Beartooth Billings Clinic||2525 North Broadway||Red Lodge||MT||59068||406-446-2345||Website|
|Benefis Hospitals||1101 26th Street South||Great Falls||MT||59405||406-455-5000||Website|
|Big Horn County Memorial Hospital||17 North Miles Avenue||Hardin||MT||59034||406-665-2310||Website|
|Big Sandy Medical Center||166 Montana Avenue East||Big Sandy||MT||59520||406-378-2188||Website|
|Bozeman Deaconess Hospital||915 Highland Boulevard||Bozeman||MT||59715||406-414-5000||Website|
|Broadwater Health Center||110 North Oak Street||Townsend||MT||59644||406-266-3186||Website|
|Central Montana Medical Center||408 Wendell Avenue||Lewistown||MT||59457||406-535-7711||Website|
|Clark Fork Valley Hospital||10 Kruger Road||Plains||MT||59859||406-826-4800||Website|
|Community Hospital Of Anaconda||401 West Pennsylvania Street||Anaconda||MT||59711||406-563-8500||Website|
|Community Medical Center||2827 Fort Missoula Road||Missoula||MT||59804||406-728-4100||Website|
|Crow/Northern Cheyenne Hospital||10110 South 7650 East||Crow Agency||MT||59022||406-638-2626||Website|
|Dahl Memorial Healthcare Association||215 Sandy Street||Ekalaka||MT||59324||406-775-8730||Website|
|Daniels Memorial Healthcare Center||105 Fifth Avenue East||Scobey||MT||59263||406-487-2296||Website|
|Deer Lodge Medical Center||1100 Hollenbeck Lane||Deer Lodge||MT||59722||406-846-2212||Website|
|Fallon Medical Complex||202 South 4th Street West||Baker||MT||59313||406-778-3331||Website|