To be a CNA in Massachusetts implies being included in the Department of Public Health Registry.
However, you can only be registered once you pass training and examination requirements.
The First Step: Training
The regular way of becoming a CNA in Massachusetts is finishing a training program (approved by the Department of Health).
However, if you satisfy criteria, there are alternative paths to proceed to the testing.
This is the case, for example, for people who took home health aide training within no more than five years.
Testing is also immediately available for those with a 100-hour training program (before 7.1.1989) under their belt, and for those who were working in nursing homes for at least 2 years on 19.12.1989.
Furthermore, completing 75 hours or more of nurse school training will also make you eligible for testing (but only if that school certifies its graduates to be a part of national board examinations).
For those taking the regular path, there are many schools available, and in the table below we have listed some of the most prominent ones.
17 CNA Schools in Massachusetts
|Colony Center for Health & Rehabilitation||Abington, MA 02351|
|Kindred Transitional Care and Rehabilitation – Country Estates||Agawam, MA 01001-2933|
|Belmont Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center||Belmont, MA 02478|
|Eastpointe Rehabilitation & Skilled Care Cente||Chelsea, MA 02150|
|Westover Job Corps Center||Chicopee, MA 01022|
|Shriver Job Corps Center||Devens, MA 01434-5106|
|Don Orione Home – Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation||East Boston, MA 02128|
|Bristol Community College||Fall River, MA 02720|
|North Shore Community College||Lynn, MA 01901|
|Alliance Health at Abbott||Lynn, MA 01902|
|Hannah B. G. Shaw Home||Middleboro, MA 02346|
|Grafton Job Corps Center||North Grafton, MA 01536|
|University of Massachusetts||Plymouth, MA 02360|
|Seashore Point||Provincetown, MA 02657|
|Project Hope||Roxbury, MA 02119|
|Seacoast Nursing and Rehabilitation Center||Gloucester, MA 01930-4832|
|Westborough Healthcare Center||Westborough, MA 01581|
The Second Step: Examination
The Massachusetts NACE (Nurse Aide Competency Evaluation) is done by the American Red Cross.
In the first part of the test, a CNA candidate must prove he is able to provide the required care to the person he chooses as his actor (this person must not be a candidate himself).
The second part consists of a multiple-choice test of knowledge (with an oral option available, using CDs for the source of questions).
Both tests are taken on the same day.
Also, both tests are covered by a $93 fee (rising to $103 if the oral option is chosen).
If a candidate is not being tested at their facility, he will have to choose among one of the 11 possible sites, and mention any exceptions (like the days they can’t attend the test, for example).
The candidates will be scheduled within 26 days after sending an application and will be notified 7-10 days before the exam.
Rescheduling is possible if a test date is missed, without having to pay the full fee (only $40 for the full test and $20 for individual one in this case).
However, after one year, a fresh application will be required, as well as a full fee payment.
Results are received within three weeks following the exams.
Four knowledge test attempts are allowed, but only three skill test retries.
In case of failure in both areas, $93 has to be paid; if only the practical test has been failed, the fee is $46; a failure at the written test costs $47 ($57 for the oral option).
Finishing Touches: The Application
The same papers are used for exam application and for registry inclusion request (available online from American Red Cross).
For training graduates, certificate copies are required (a letter can be accepted instead if it contains vital information like approval number and date of graduation).
Either official transcripts of a letter from the school administration are accepted for nurse school students; in case the documents are unclear; transcript with a description of a course must be added (proving the completion of a 75-hour long clinical course).
The Department of Health will ask for information on the finished training program, as well as proof of experience as a nursing assistant or home health aide in cases when it is required (signed by a supervisor).
Once filled, an eligibility application has to be sent by mail to the Boston Division of Health Care Quality.
Within 7 days cases, where DPH approval is needed, will be judged and the decision made and received by the candidates (only then can such candidates apply to the Red Cross for testing).
All the exam application papers have to be mailed to the Red Cross Testing Office in Peabody, and questions should be directed at (800) 962-4337.
And What about the Out-of-state CNAs?
Approval based on reciprocity is possible when a candidate has the certification and Is active (and in good standing) in another state, without further training or testing.
In this case, a verification form has to be filled out and mailed to the out-of-state Registry
As an exception, candidates from California, Colorado, Louisiana, Missouri, and North Carolina have to mail their forms to the American Red Cross (Massachusetts Nurse Aide Program); this is so because these states do not accept paper-based reciprocity requests.
Candidates who have training but are currently inactive in their state will, however, have to take the path of submitting the eligibility application before applying for the exams.
Securing Your Salary
The CNA job may not be the best paid one, but it has a myriad of advantages, especially for people with a caring personality.
With an average salary of 34,476$, Massachusetts CNAs can expect a safe and secure existence and a pleasant life if they are passionate about this kind of service.
In case you need further help getting an overview of the salary situation, we have prepared a per-city table that you can take a look at below.Annual Salary Range:
Average Salary of CNAs in Massachusetts