As the demand for Certified Nursing Assistants grows, you might be thinking about getting your own certification as a viable career path. Finding the best CNA classes in Arkansas takes a little research and time out of your busy schedule.
That’s why we’ve done the hard work for you and compiled all of the top CNA classes in Arkansas in our guide below. We’ll also go through some of the major things you need to be aware of as you pursue your CNA certification.
Who is the Regulatory Body for CNAs in Arkansas?
The regulatory Body for Arkansas CNAs is the Office of Long-Term Care in the Arkansas Department of Human Services. They administer the certification earned by the program graduate after they have both completed the required number of training hours and passed the exam. They also oversee the CNA registry in Arkansas.
Who Administers the CNA Exam in Arkansas?
Prometric, the same company responsible for the composition of the exam, administers the test. There are many resources for practice exams and sample questions so that students can be prepared when the time comes to take the real test.
Arkansas State Requirements for CNAs
The state requirements to become an Arkansas CNA are similar to those required for other states.
A minimum of 90 hours of CNA training has to be completed by any candidate wishing to become a CNA, and those hours must be administrated at an accredited training program.
The first 16 hours of most CNA classes in Arkansas consist of orientation and live lecturing, along with some demonstrations depending on the exact program. Afterward, 58 hours of lecture and lab time must be completed by every student along with 16 hours of supervised practical training.
The lecture and lab times are usually completed at a school or a regional facility while the practical training is often completed at a medical facility or nursing home depending on student availability and job desires.
In addition, candidates must complete the Nursing Assistance Competency Exam, administered by Prometric.
Upon passing the exam, graduates will be added to the Arkansas Nurse Aide Registry. Certificates are acceptable for two years before they must be renewed.
Arkansas CNA Exam Details
The CNA exam in Arkansas has two separate parts. One part is an overall written knowledge section and the other is a practical skills segment.
The written portion of the exam can be deferred into an oral format if this suits the student’s abilities better. The practical part of the exam measures the student’s ability to perform the actions learned during practical education hours in training.
The written portion of the test contains 60 multiple-choice questions and students must complete them all by a 90-minute time limit. The oral option has the same number of questions and utilizes a headset connected to a CD player. Candidates write the answers in the printed test booklet.
The practical evaluation tests students in up to five different skills. Handwashing and indirect care are always included, while the other three will be selected at random from the information the student should have obtained during training. The practical exam takes between 30 to 40 minutes and all five skill checks must be passed.
Students are given up to three times to pass the exam before they must retake training in order to submit another application for their Arkansas CNA license.
How Much Does the Arkansas CNA Exam Cost?
The CNA exam in Arkansas costs $10 for initial screening for eligibility, $34 for the written or oral portion of the test, and $45 for the practical portion of the test for a combined total of $89.
However, CNA candidates that are currently working in nursing homes as part of a volunteer or educational opportunity may have the exam cost waived by the state of Arkansas. This waiver must be applied for on the Prometric website before the date of the test administration.
Where Can I Take the CNA Exam in Arkansas?
The CNA test in Arkansas is administered at various regional testing sites or in-facility testing sites that are offered to students in CNA training programs.
When applying for the exam on the Prometric website, students will be given the opportunity to list their preferred testing site to better accommodate their schedule or location. However, students are not guaranteed to get the testing location they desire the most.
How Much Does a CNA Get Paid in Arkansas?
The typical range for a CNA salary in Arkansas is between $19,000 and $30,000. The hourly rate is between $9 and $14 an hour.
Some CNA jobs in Arkansas pay more or less than others. The differences are due to geographic location, the type, and busyness of the employing medical facility or nursing home, and seniority or practical experience. CNAs typically make more money after they have been on the job for some time.
List of CNA Schools
Northwest Arkansas Community College
This CNA program is offered as a one-semester course package. Because of this, it is offered only twice per year, so registration times are limited to windows beforehand.
High school students can enter this program at no main see. It is a valuable way for future nursing students and medical professionals to gain experience in their career field and earn an impressive mark on their transcripts.
The program meets from 730 to 9:30 AM and only costs $105 for various background checks and drug tests.
University of Arkansas at Monticello
The CNA program at Monticello as a curriculum that focuses on applied laboratory and clinical training for long-term healthcare facilities. It counts for seven credit hours that can be transferred to other universities.
The program can be completed in only one semester and there are several application deadlines so students can apply at any time rather than be restricted to spring or fall semesters only. Summer is a viable alternative.
Tuition for the program costs $895 for tuition and fees and about $105 for books and supplies for a combined total of $1000. There are institutional scholarships and other financial aid opportunities available, as well.
Ozarka College, Melbourne
This CNA program follows the requirements of the state of Arkansas very strictly. The curriculum covers the basics, such as the interpretation of vital signs, and more advanced skills like the application of nursing knowledge equally thoroughly.
The course counts for seven credits and is finished over a four-month period.
In-state students can apply for this class at a $90 per credit hour fee while out-of-state students must pay a $188 per credit hour fee. While application deadlines are limited to traditional spring and fall times, the application is also easy and fast.
Black River Technical College, Pocahontas
This program is a 5 to 8-week commitment. The summer program is much shorter to complete and is better for those with an open schedule. Those who need more schedule flexibility can attend the spring or fall semester programs.
All students must attend a mandatory orientation. An advantage to the school is the limited class size of 24 students per instructor. This allows instructors to dedicate more specific time to individual students and personalize the education of each to some extent.
Classes run Monday to Thursday from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM, while clinical hours run from 6:45 AM to 3:15 PM.
Arkansas Northeastern College, Blytheville
This CNA program is an eight-week certificate pathway. Throughout the truncated eight-week period, all 90 hours of training required to obtain licensure as a CNA will be completed.
Classroom education will include lectures and discussions as well as video education to provide students with some exposure to unusual nursing events and duties. Skill demonstration and education will take place in the college clinical laboratory.
This program costs $876 including tuition and other fees, as well as immunization and books.
South Arkansas Community College
This CNA program includes the 90 required hours of instruction and accounts for 15 credit hours as well. While this program is a little harder to get into than some others, it does give students the ability to earn college credit which can be put toward further education.
The program courses meet on Mondays and Wednesdays and last from 9 AM to 3 PM.
In addition, this program includes a first-aid CPR class that is held online; this could be a valuable stepping stone to obtaining CPR certification later.
Tuition for this program comes to about $1100 when including fees for additional supplies and program materials.
Rich Mountain Community College
This CNA program offers 112 hours of instruction and clinical experience. While this is a bit longer than many other CNA programs, those who completed will be awarded seven credit hours for use at this or other universities.
Much of the curriculum focuses on caring for the elderly and for practicing skills and abilities best suited for ensuring the comfort and safety of others. It's a good program for those who are likely to go straight to work in a nursing home after certification.
Tuition at this college is $97 for in-state students and $107 for out-of-state students. These amounts do not include other mandatory fees or the cost of supplies.
Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas, Helena
This community college requires that students be enrolled in the school in order to take the program. 10 credit hours of study will be awarded upon completion of the program to be transferred to other schools if desired.
Classroom instruction and clinical experience are both included with the program to fulfill all the requirements for Arkansas State CNA licensure.
This program costs $900 without including additional fees for books and supplies. There are a number of financial aid opportunities available, all of which are accessible from the school's website.
Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas, De Queen
This community college offers a CNA program that is non-credited for further University recognition. Applying for the program is as simple as filling out the registration form on the college website.
The program only costs $549, although this number doesn't include books or fees for the other supplies.
The purchasing of scrubs and some other accessories are necessary for the attendance of the clinical portion of the program.
The program has the State-required minimum of 90 hours of instruction. Class sizes are limited and are filled out a first come first served basis. It’s critical that those interested in applying for this program apply quickly to secure their spot in the next batch.
University of Arkansas Community College, Batesville
This CNA program counts for seven credit hours in the Arkansas community college system; these credits can be transferred to other universities for further education if desired.
It combines classroom instruction with practical clinical training at local medical facilities and nursing homes. The practical training will be overseen by an RN or LRN depending on the facility’s staff. This can be valuable when learning to work with a team.
This program costs $420 as well as some additional fees for books and supplies.