CNA Classes in Idaho | 6 Best Programs To Fast Track Your Healthcare Career

The demand for Certified Nursing Assistants is growing as America’s population lives longer and healthier lives than ever before. But becoming a CNA requires several milestones and educational competencies before you can claim the title as your own. If you want to join this employee-hungry workforce, finding the right CNA classes in Idaho might be difficult.

Unless you read this guide, that is. Below, you can find a list of the best CNA classes in Idaho, plus some information regarding application, certification, and examinations required for program completion. 

Who is the Regulatory Body for CNAs in Idaho?

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare regulates Certified Nurse Aides, as they are technically not fully licensed in the state of Idaho. Instead, CNA’s are sometimes referred to as Unlicensed Assistive Personnel.

However, the Department of Health and Welfare still governs licensure and certification for CNA coming from out-of-state sources and for UAPs that are trained in-state.

Who Administers the CNA Exam in Idaho?

The company Prometric administers the CNA exam’s written portion in Idaho. The manual skills evaluation is also administered by Prometric, but the details and circumstances of the manual test are determined by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

Idaho State Requirements for CNAs

CNA certification in Idaho requires that all certified nursing assistants complete a state-approved training program that can be accomplished in a number of ways.

Idaho CNA requirements are distinguishable from those of other states. These requirements are at least 120 hours of learning experience, with 80 of those hours being in classroom or laboratory settings where students are instructed on the theoretical aspects of the position.

The remaining 40 hours will be spent in clinical environments so that students can obtain practical experience ahead of real employment.

However, Idaho does allow candidates to challenge this requirement. Upon proving that they have completed one semester of an accredited nursing school program, candidates may take the exam early to prove competency.

Idaho CNA Exam Details

Idaho certified nursing assistants must follow complete a similar examination as the one completed in other states. The examination consists of a manual skills exam with scoring determined from Idaho specific requirements. This manual evaluation requires that the candidate act out a scenario involving multiple skill sets or activities.

Following the manual skill exam, the candidate must also pass a written examination. Prometric, one of the largest CNA examination administrators and preparers, administers this test. If a candidate is uncomfortable taking the written examination, they may take it in oral form, although both tests cover the same materials.

Idaho requires the candidates to complete the manual skills exam within six months of completing their program. The written examination must be completed within one year of completing a CNA program. All candidates will be allowed to take the test up to three times before they must retake the training.

Upon successful completion, candidates will get their CNA license in Idaho. 

Where Can I Take the CNA Exam in Idaho?

The examination will be performed either at the primary training site for the candidate or a different site determined by the Department. In most cases, the site recommended by the Department will be an administrative center or medical facility depending on the practical location relative to the candidate.

Candidates may also fill out preferences during their application as they begin the exam-taking procedure. These preferences will be taken into account when deciding the final candidate examination location.

To apply for this CNA exam, applicants must visit the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare website. This is distinct from other states’ CNA examination procedures, which usually require applicants to apply on the Prometric site.

How Much Does a CNA Get Paid in Idaho?

In general, the average CNA salary in Idaho is between $27,000 and $34,000 per year. The average salary is closer to $30,000. Hourly wages range between $8 to $15 per hour

Salaries between different nursing assistants vary due to geographical location, medical facility costs, and seniority. Earning more experience and higher education is likely to lead to higher overall salaries for all nursing assistants. In addition, nursing assistants that work in busy cities will likely be paid more due to a higher cost of living in a metropolitan area.

CNA Training in Idaho

CNA training in Idaho consists of completing a state-approved nursing assistant program from a school or medical facility. Upon completion of the program, candidates will apply for and pass a CNA examination with both manual and written aspects.  

List of CNA Schools

Idaho State University

This University provides students with the training and expertise required to become nursing assistants. The program consists of 120 credit hours of instruction.

88 of those hours will be spent in either a classroom or lab, while 32 hours of clinical practice are added in regional healthcare facilities.

There are both daytime and evening courses. This provides students with lots of flexibility with their schedule. In addition, each class only allows a maximum of 20 students. Such a class size means that instructors have more individual time with each student.

The program is offered monthly, giving students plenty of opportunities to sign up. It’s also not very expensive. The course fee is $600, although this does not incorporate fees for books or other materials and tests.

As an accredited college, completion of this course provides students with college credit which may be carried over into other academic endeavors.

North Idaho College

This program is one of the ideal pathways for students who also wish to proceed to nursing or medical school, due to its excellent curriculum and instructors. The program incorporates classwork, practical experience at local healthcare facilities, and online assignments.

Also included in this course is a customized lab manual for Idaho-specific practices and techniques, many professional guest speakers, and CPR certification pathways. This program further prepares students for employment by offering networking opportunities, many of which may lead to immediate employment after completion of the program.

Tuition costs $995. As a training center and not a University, this program doesn’t allow for FAFSA or similar financial aid options.

However, employer sponsorships and scholarships are available for all students to take advantage of. Generous payment plans can also help students pay back loans on time and when they are financially stable enough to do so.

College of Southern Idaho

This program focuses on hospital and long-term care. It is particularly adept at preparing students for helping elderly people at homes or hospices, and in working at assisted living centers. Since it meets Federal and Idaho state requirements for CNA training, students can easily switch to another state and maintain their career.

The course offered here has 88 hours of classroom or lab experience, followed by 32 hours of practical experience at a clinical facility. This practice will be led by a registered RN to provide students with real, hands-on experience from someone who shares their future duties.

In addition, this technical school has a multitude of networking opportunities and is connected closely with many hospitals and health care facilities. Finding CNA jobs in Idaho may be much easier.

The program is offered each semester and costs $600 for the course alone. However, additional materials typically add up to an overall cost closer to $720.

Eastern Idaho Technical College

This school offers two pathways. One includes college credit for the experience gained during the program, while the other only offers certification. The non-credit CNA program lasts for 8 weeks while the credited course is an entire semester long. This is relatively unique among many other CNA programs.

Like other programs, it requires that students complete 88 hours of classroom study and 32 clinical experience hours. Most clinical classes are on Thursdays and Saturdays.

As an accredited school, tuition is somewhat pricey. Most students will get more value out of taking the semester-long program, as the credits can easily be transferred to an RN program or another career path in the future.

Region 2 Academy

This program focuses on high school students looking to get a jump on their professional development before graduation. As a result, it qualifies for 2 high school credits among most schools.

This academy requires 80 hours of online classwork, along with 20 hours of skills practice in a lab setting.

Furthermore, 40 hours of clinical experience in the industry is required for graduation. This is a little longer than many other programs as a result, but the emphasis on online work allows for excellent schedule flexibility.

The program is only open to spring semester, so entry can be competitive. The schedule for the in-person work varies by location, and many classes or hours are logged in the evening hours. 

College of Western Idaho

This program offers two different pathways to obtain your CNA license and completion. The first path is classified as “hybrid” and involves 32 hours of clinical experience at a medical facility, as well as 4 hours per week at a site where skills are trained in person. This adds up to 12 overall sessions. In addition, this path includes 12 weeks of online lessons.

Due to its multiple sources of learning, it’s a great program for those with more difficult schedules.

The other path is “traditional”, with 88 hours of classroom education followed by 32 hours of clinical experience at a facility. Even the hybrid path requires that students attend an orientation on the first day of class.

Regardless of choice, both paths prepare students for their duties as a nursing assistant.

Overall tuition is affordable at $895. There are other fees for materials and books, however. The school offers several scholarship opportunities for those who need assistance in meeting their fees.