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Nurse Aides in South Carolina

A prime southeastern state for beach-lovers, South Carolina, may be best known by visitors for Myrtle Beach, a favorite oceanfront vacation spot for families. However, residents appreciate many other points of historical and scenic significance here, such as Fort Sumter, famous during the Civil War, and Charleston, an Old South town with rows of plantation-style homes in pastel colors. CNAs here enjoy the beautiful scenery along with secure jobs caring for the 4.8 million residents, 16 percent of whom are older than 65. The United States Occupation Outlook reports that CNA jobs across the United States will increase by around 20 percent in the next decade as this age group and the next younger generation continue to age.

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About South Carolina

– Capital: Columbia
– Minimum Wage: $7.25
– Number of Hospitals: 69
– Number of Nursing Homes: 19,689


– Total Population: 4,832,482
– Population (ages 45-64): 1,280,213
– Population (ages 65+): 761,865
– Population (ages 85+): 80,384

Top Colleges & Unversities

– Wofford College
– Furman University
– Clemson University

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in South Carolina

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CNA Training Requirements

Taking the Test (Procedure)

Out-of-State Applicants

Renewing & Expired Certification

Contacts & Additional Resources

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control works with the South Carolina Nurse Aide Registry to regulate CNA training and testing. CNA students here must complete a state-approved training program with at least 100 hours before being allowed to sit for the test. At least 40 of the 100 hours must be completed in a local health care setting providing hands-on care to patients under the supervision of a licensed nurse. Students who have completed programs with at least 100 hours in other states are also eligible to waive South Carolina training. Nursing students who have completed a fundamentals of nursing class with a C average or above as well as military-trained health care personnel and foreign nurses are also eligible to waive CNA training.

The state requires CNA students to be at least 18 years old. However, there are no additional requirements for an educational level in South Carolina. Some training programs may require students to have a high school diploma or GED or to complete a pre-training assessment examination to determine reading and math competency.

Students will also need to complete a criminal background check as well as two fingerprint cards. Students will need to have a photo ID and two additional photographs on file with the state. Physically, they must have up-to-date immunizations and recent negative tuberculosis screenings along with physicals performed by a doctor stating that they can complete the physical requirements of CNAs, such as lifting at least 40 pounds.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control uses the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program through Pearson VUE for its CNA competency evaluations. Tests can be taken at many training facilities as well as at regional testing centers. The test includes two sections designed to test both CNA theory and skills.

The knowledge section can be taken as either a written or an oral version. The oral version uses either the English or Spanish language and is good for those who have trouble reading English for any reason. This section uses 70 multiple-choice questions to test theory. The oral version has 60 multiple-choice questions testing theory plus an additional ten multiple-choice questions testing basic reading comprehension. This test must be completed in two hours or less.

The skills examination requires students to demonstrate five skills in front of a Nurse Aide Evaluator. One of the skills is hand washing, and another skill is taking a measurement, such as a blood pressure. The other skills will be randomly selected on test day. Students have up to 30 minutes to complete this section.

Students will learn their test results while they are at the testing facility. Those who fail will only need to retake the section that they failed. Students can take each section up to three times before being required to retrain. In addition, both sections must be passed within 24 months from completing CNA training. The cost to take both sections is $101.

A CNA moving to South Carolina from another state can request reciprocity to begin working as a CNA in South Carolina. To apply for reciprocity, CNAs must be active and in good standing on their prior registries and not be listed on the abuse registry for patient abuse or neglect. Applicants must prove that they have attended a program with at least 100 hours of training. This can be documented through a diploma, certificate or notarized school letter. In addition, CNAs who have held their certifications less than 24 months will need to provide a list of work experience totaling at least eight hours for the past 24 months. Work experience can be documented with a pay stub or W-2. Reciprocity is free.

South Carolina CNAs must renew their licenses every 24 months to stay current. To renew, they must have an active license in good standing with the state with no accusations of patient neglect or abuse. Renewal notices and forms will be mailed out from the state one to two months prior to expiration. CNAs are required to pay a fee of $28 for renewal. However, CNAs who work in a Medicaid-certified facility in the state will have their employers pay their renewal fees. Those who allow their licenses to expire will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Some expired CNAs may be required to retrain and retest.

Employment Information for SC

Average Salary for CNAs in SC

CNAs make an average salary of $23,140 per year or an average hourly wage of $11.13. This is a tidy sum when compared to the only slighter higher state income per capita of $23,943. While CNAs can expect to make slightly more than this with experience or in a larger city, the best way to increase salary is to advance one’s health care-related career.

Job Outlook in SC

There are currently 18,820 openings for CNAs in South Carolina. This number is expected to increase exponentially by 2024 as the population ages. As of 2014, over 80,000 residents were older than 85, over 761,000 were older than 65 and over 1.2 million were between the ages of 45 and 65. This means that CNAs can expect excellent job security and increased demand in the next decade as they care for increasing numbers of aging individuals.

Employment Opportunities

Top Hospitals in South Carolina
Hospital NameAddressCityStateZipPhoneWebsite
Medical University Of South Carolina169 Ashley AvenueCharlestonSC29425843-792-2300Website
Spartanburg Regional Medical Center101 East Wood StreetSpartanburgSC29303864-560-6000Website
Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital2095 Henry Tecklenburg DriveCharlestonSC29414843-402-1000Website
Roper Hospital316 Calhoun StreetCharlestonSC29401843-724-2000Website
Anmed Health800 North Fant StreetAndersonSC29621864-512-1000Website
Mcleod Health555 East Cheves StreetFlorenceSC29506843-777-2000Website
Bon Secours St. Francis DowntownOne St Francis DriveGreenvilleSC29601864-255-1000Website
Abbeville Area Medical Center420 Thomson CircleAbbevilleSC29620864-366-5011Website
Aiken Regional Medical Centers302 University ParkwayAikenSC29801803-641-5000Website
Allendale County Hospital1787 Allendale Fairfax HighwayFairfaxSC29827803-632-3311Website
Anmed Health Rehabilitation Hospital1 Spring Back WayAndersonSC29621864-716-2600Website
Baptist Easley Hospital200 Fleetwood DriveEasleySC29640864-442-7200Website
Beaufort Memorial Hospital955 Ribaut RoadBeaufortSC29902843-522-5200Website
Cannon Memorial Hospital123 W G Acker DrivePickensSC29671864-878-4791Website
Carolina Center For Behavioral Health2700 East Phillips RoadGreerSC29650864-235-2335Website
Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center1304 West Bobo Newsom HighwayHartsvilleSC29550843-339-2100Website
Carolinas Hospital805 Pamplico HighwayFlorenceSC29505843-674-5000Website
Chesterfield General Hospital711 Chesterfield HighwayCherawSC29520843-537-7881Website
Chester Regional Medical Center1 Medical Park DriveChesterSC29706803-581-3151Website
Clarendon Memorial Hospital10 Hospital StreetManningSC29102803-435-8463Website

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