CNA Classes in Montana | 9 Best Training Programs To Help Your Fellow Citizens in Their Time of Need

What kind of career is the best choice for compassionate people? The obvious answer is a career where you can spend your time helping others. Taking CNA classes in Montana allows you to become certified by the Montana Board of Nursing to help out when patients are in need. CNAs are the patient’s most compassionate caregiver in their time of need.

This guide to CNA certification in Montana will take you though all of the Montana CNA requirements. When you finish reading, you will know exactly how to get your CNA license in Montana and the programs offering the best training and CNA classes in Montana. 

Who is the regulatory body for CNAs in Montana?

While the Montana Board of Nursing certified RNs and LPNs, they are not the regulatory body for CNAs. They provide access to the Nurse Aide Registry and regulatory information regarding licensees, but the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Safety actually oversee the CNA licensure and training for Montana.

Their website provides a lot of valuable information. They also host and maintain the Montana Nurse Aide Registry. They have some Frequently Asked Questions that are answered. They also have lists of training programs and host the application forms. They set forth the curriculum requirements for CNA training.  

 Who administers the CNA exam in Montana?

Headmaster LLP through D&S Diversified Technologies administers the Montana CNA exams. Their website is filled with tons of useful information. They have test schedules, all the required application forms, and study guides for both exams. They also have candidate handbooks letting you know what to expect on test days and how to prepare. 

Montana State Requirements for CNAs

New nurse aides in Montana are required to complete a state approved CNA training program. Once they finish the program, which typically requires at least 16 hours of hands on experience in a clinical setting, they must sit for their certification exam. If they pass both the knowledge and skills tests, they will automatically be added to the Nurse Aide Registry for Montana CNAs. 

If you have equivalent experience, you can apply for a Challenge. This will let you take the CNA exam without having to go through state mandated training program. If you choose this option, you must pass the state exam on your first try. If you fail to do so, you must take the state approved training before being allowed to retest. 

CNAs who have moved from out of state and have active CNA certifications in that state can request to be placed on Montana’s Nurse Aide Registry. They must provide proof of good standing on an out of state CNA registry with their application form. Once they are verified, they will be transferred and certified in Montana. 

Nursing students who have completed a Fundamentals class are automatically qualified to take the CNA exam in Montana. This allows them to become certified and begin getting experience while completing their nursing degree and certifications. 

 Montana CNA Exam Details

Once you have completed your training and submitted your application to sit for your certification examination, you will contact Headmaster. They will email you when your application is approved, and you can schedule your exam online through their 3-month exam calendar schedule. 

Your knowledge test will cover communication, data collection, disease process, the role and responsibility of a nurse aide, basic nursing skills, older adult growth and development, resident rights, safety, personal care, care impaired, mental health, and infection control. It will consist of 72 multiple-choice questions.

On your exam day, you should show up early. No shows and late applicants will not get their testing fee refunded or be allowed to take their exam. Bring 2 forms of signed identification. One of them must be a government issued photo ID. These IDs should match the name you registered for exams with, and they will be regularly checked throughout the day by your exam proctors and officials. 

Wear scrubs and non-skid nursing shoes because your practical skills evaluation will take place in a testing facility. You will also need a watch with a second hand for measurements during your skills test, but smart watches are not allowed. Leave electronics and valuables behind because you will not be permitted to bring anything into your testing room except for your pencils, eraser, and identification and there will not be anywhere to store your valuables.

Prepare to be at the testing facility al day. Once you finish your written or oral knowledge examination, you will be assigned a time to take your skills exam.  

The skills test will put the knowledge into practice. An Observer will administer your exams, scoring you based on standardized checklists for how to perform each skill. Hand washing will always be your first task, and a computer will randomly determine the other 4 before your exam begins.

You must pass every skill to pass your exam, and you must have a total score of 80% to pass this portion. If you miss any key steps on any skill, you will automatically fail your exam. If you miss a step on any skill, you may correct yourself by informing your Observer that you missed or mis-performed a step then correctly performing it. You may not correct a previous skill once you move on to the next one, so make sure you are ready before moving from one skill to the next. 

How much does the Montana CNA exam cost?

In Montana, the certification exam is cheaper than other states. Headmaster charges $20 for a written knowledge exam. This is true if it is your first time and also the same price for retests. If you need the questions read aloud, they charge $31 for an oral version of the written test. You must make that request when applying to sit for your exams. The practical skills test and retest costs $77. This makes your total exam fee $97 or $108. 

In Montana, the certification exam is cheaper than other states. Headmaster charges $20 for a written knowledge exam. This is true if it is your first time and also the same price for retests. If you need the questions read aloud, they charge $31 for an oral version of the written test. You must make that request when applying to sit for your exams. The practical skills test and retest costs $77. This makes your total exam fee $97 or $108. 

Headmaster offers several options for expediting your requests. If you fax them your information, there’s an extra $5 fee. Overnight shipping fees are $40. Express service costs $15. 

If you need your test refunded, they charge a $20 fee for refunds provided you properly fill out your requests. This is the same fee for cancelling your exam. There are no refunds offered for those who come too late to be admitted to their exams or no shows to exams. If you feel your test was miss-scored, you can pay $25 to have it rescored and reviewed. That money will be refunded if they do find an error. 

Where can I take the CNA exam in Montana?

Many of the CNA training programs in Montana will offer on site testing. They arrange for Headmaster to administer your CNA exams at the end of your training program. If this is the case, you will be tested at your training facility.

If your program doesn’t include the exams, then they offer several regional test facilities. Residents of Billings can take their exam at the Billings Adult and Community Education center. Butte residents can go to Highlands College. If you live in Havre, then go to Northern Montana Hospital. Helena residents can take their examinations at CNA Productions Training Program. Shelby test takers report to the Computer RN Training Program. If you live in Stevensville, then go to The Living Center.  

How much does a CNA get paid in Montana?

As of July 03, 2019, CNAs in Montana can expect to make $28,500 on average. The salary range is typically from $26,000 to $31,500 for CNAs in Montana. They can expect to make about $5000 in overtime pay and an average of $14 per hour, although they are currently in high demand so many facilities are paying nearly $20 an hour for qualified and experienced CNAs and salaries are expected to rise.  

CNA Training in Montana

Okay, once you’ve sorted through the requirements and prepared yourself to take your test, you are ready to begin. By this time, you know whether or not pursuing your CNA is the right decision for your career and lifestyle. If you’re still interested, then these are the best programs in the state for CNA training. Check out the one nearest to you for more information and to get ready for your new career! 

University of Montana – Missoula College of Technology

missoula college of technology

Missoula residents can get their CNA certification training from one of the best universities in the state. Missoula College is partnered with the Lifelong Learning Center so that students can earn their CNA certification with practical, hands-on clinical training.

Their program includes healthcare CPR and costs around $600. It doesn’t include textbooks or the exam fees.  

Georgia Highlands College

The Georgia Highlands College offers CNA training through their Continuing Education programs. Heir training is 21 sessions and occurs in downtown Rome. Once students have completed the course, they are qualified to sit for the CNA exam. 

Students applying for their nursing program are required to have CNA certification as a prerequisite, so this program is a great way to get entry into their school and pursue a long term career in nursing. The program teaches students the foundations of nursing and prepares them for careers and continuing education. 

Flathead Valley Community College

Flathead Valley Community College allows their students to train and take the CNA examination. They are approved by the Montana Department of Health and Human Services and their training prepares students to enter the workforce as entry-level nurse aides. 

Their program offers hands on clinical training and teaches them to address patient care with chronically ill patients in long-term care facilities.  At the end of their program, students are given the CNA test that has been approved by the state of Montana. Any student who passes will automatically receive their CNA license and become eligible for work.  

Salish Kootenai College

private native american tribal college

Salish Kootenai is a private Native American tribal college.

If you are indigenous to the Pablo, Montana area and would like to train among your tribe then consider their CNA program on the Flathead Reservation. Their program will train you in local facilities and prepare you to take your CNA examination.  

Dawson Community College

If you live in Glendive, Montana, then Dawson Community College is a great program for you. They are an accredited program that is affiliated with the Montana University System. They partner with local long-term care facilities to provide their students hands on training before sitting for the CNA exam. They also assist with job placement in local facilities upon completion. 

Miles Community College

Miles Community College offers a really strong CNA preparation course. Their class is 4 credits that consist of 45 hours of theoretical classroom learning and 30 hours of hands on training in clinical institutions. They require 75 hours total for training. 

Applicants can fill out the non-degree seeking application to take just the CNA course. If they wish to continue to the rest of the nursing program, they can apply with the degree form instead. Once you complete orientation, you can register for the CNA preparation class.   

Stone Child College

Stone Child College offers a Certified Nurse Assistant Course as well. They offer sessions each semester, including summers. Their class sessions are 4 weeks each. Only 10 students per training session are selected because they want to offer hands on training and personalized instruction to each student. Class attendance is mandatory and at the end students are eligible to take the CNA exam.    

Helena College – University of Montana

university of montana

The University of Montana is extremely well respected. Helena College is part of this system, and their CNA training program is top notch.

Their classroom instructs students on communication skills, patient rights, personal care, safety, end of life care, restorative care, and more. 

They offer 48 hours of classroom instruction and 27 hours of clinical supervision, making their course one of the best in state for CNAs. One applicant per year is awarded a scholarship for this program; so let them know if you would like to apply. 

Fallon Medical Complex

If you live in Baker, you may not want to go to the community college nearby for your CNA training. That’s because the Fallon medical Complex offers a fantastic training program. You will get dedicated hands on experience in a real care facility, and if you make a good impression it may eve lead to an offer for employment!