Directed by the Department of Health and Human Services, the certification of Montana CNAs requires passing a skill test after proving capable of performing nursing duties (either as a trainee or an employee).
Training: On the Path to Examination
First step: complete one of the approved CNA courses: they last 75 hours at a minimum; orientation period doesn’t count.
Usually, you’ll have to spend 45-50 hours in class, and 25-35 hours doing the clinical practice.
The path to an exam only opens after finishing all obligatory nurse aide courses.
Note: even though some skill tests can be avoided in case of disability, this also means you won’t be able to perform them professionally when employed.
Unlike in most other states, in Montana, a candidate can attempt an exam once, without previous training (3 attempts are allowed for those who completed training).
What is also unique, though, is that passing the exam isn’t the last step: before taking a job, a candidate’s skills (listed in the official DPHHS curriculum) also has to be successfully approved by a licensed nurse at an employment center.
If you are interested in becoming a CNA in Montana, you may be interested to take a look at our Top School list to find a suitable school just for you.
22 CNA Schools in Montana
|Fallon Medical Complex||Baker, MT 59313|
|St. John’s Lutheran Ministries||Billings, MT 59102|
|Daniels Memorial Healthcare Center||East Scobey, MT 59263|
|Dahl Memorial Healthcare Association Inc.||Ekalaka, MT 59324|
|Benton Medical Center||Fort Benton, MT- 59442|
|Valley View Health Care Services||Glasgow, MT 59230|
|Benefis Extended Care Center||Great Falls, MT 59405|
|Valley View Estates Health Care Center||Hamilton, MT 59840|
|Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital||Hamilton, MT 59840|
|Flathead Valley Community College||Kalispell, MT 59901|
|Kalispell Regional Healthcare||Kalispell, MT- 59901|
|Hillside Health Care Center||Missoula, MT 59803|
|University of Montana||Missoula, MT 59812|
|Teton Medical Center||North West Choteau, MT 59422|
|St. Luke Community Healthcare||Ronan, MT 59864|
|Daniels Memorial Nursing Home||Scobey, MT 59263|
|Marias Medical Center||Shelby, MT 59474|
|Sidney Health Center||Southwest,Sidney, MT 59270|
|The Living Center||Stevensville, MT 59870|
|Mineral Community Hospital||Superior, MT 59872|
|Broadwater Health Center||Townsend, MT- 59644|
|Polson Health and Rehabilitation Center||West Polson, MT 59860|
Earning Your Checkmarks: The Examination
Application is done using application forms on the Headmaster website; to apply, a training certificate has to be supplied (or, alternatively, an affidavit written by course teacher).
Papers are then submitted to the Headmaster Corporation, except if the facility is covering the candidate’s fees; in that case, forms have to be given to its representative.
Candidates who have to pay the fees use the payment form provided online by the Headmaster.
To become a certified nurse, a candidate has to show satisfactory results on both knowledge and skill tests, issued by Headmaster.
Important: a score of at least 80% is needed to pass the skill test (including all key steps), and 75% is asked for at the knowledge part.
In the knowledge part, a candidate will be tested by 72 questions of multiple-choice, usually in written form, using pen and paper or a computer (differs from site to site).
The oral version is also provided by some testing sites, namely ones that use the computer version of the knowledge test (at the moment, these are Billings, Cut Bank, Kalispell, and Missoula).
Warning: after training, a candidate has only 6 months to pass the examination.
Taking a test is not free: $77 fee is needed for the skill test, and $20 for the knowledge test (but: $31 for the oral version).
After paying, the candidate can expect to receive approval papers and testing directions from Headmaster; he then has to address the Nurse Evaluator, and the testing can be expected in a two-week timeframe.
If the candidate isn’t available on the testing day, rescheduling is possible but must be done one day in advance.
Those with existing disabilities, for example, candidates who have to use crutches, must arrange modifications for disabled persons in advance to be allowed to take the test.
Caution: failure to bring ID documents or later arrival may result in the candidate not being allowed to take the exam.
Results are usually finished within 3-5 days; those who fail to pass will be mailed more detailed info and advice.
Individuals repeating the test are obliged to submit a special request.
What about CNAs Coming from Outside of the State of Montana?
Instructions to apply are available in the “interstate endorsement packet, and the Nurse Aide Registry can provide all necessary additional assistance and advice with the procedure.
As long as a CNA is registered in another state, he can request recognition in Montana (using the form on DPHHS web).
A card or letter from the state of certification is also required by the Montana Registry.
No fees are asked for, and the status can be checked online, usually ready after 10 days if the request is accepted (in case the status is not updated, a credentialing agency should be contacted).
It’s possible to work in Montana for 30 days while waiting for certification, but only if the employer has confirmed his employee’s status with his state’s Registry.
What Kind of Salary Awaits Me?
People rarely aspire to become a CNA to get rich: on the other hand, if you want to share your time with people in need and have a caring soul, this may be the occupation of your dreams.
Naturally, the level of payment will vary depending on the experience, seniority and the place of work, but the average Montana CNA wage is currently $28,725.
For more detailed per-city info, please consult the table we prepared for you.Annual Salary Range:
Average Salary of CNAs in Montana
|Anaconda-Deer Lodge County||$26,190|