A Need for Quality Health Care Services

The Federal regulations passed by the congress and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services mandate each state to establish minimum standards in the state offered NATP. The regulations were passed to improve the quality of cares in hospitals and long term care facilities to safeguard the public health. The Federal Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 (OBRA-87) further requires nurse aides to meet these minimum requirements for nursing and basic nursing care related services.

In the state of Arkansas, the Department of Human Services (DHS) is entrusted to implement the state and federal regulations in the state NATP for certification. The basic purpose to design and develop training program by ADHS is to prepare nurse aides to provide quality health related services to ailing patients in hospitals, long term care facilities, hospice, home health care and restorative care centers. The ADHS approved nurse aide training programs (NATP) are offered through various vocational schools, community colleges, technical institutes and long term care facilities.

Arkansas NATP trains nurse assistants to assist LPNs, RNs and physicians in carrying out their direct care procedures. They also promote residents’ right and independence, meet emotional, physical and mental health care needs of residents, form a strong bond with long term care patients, communicate and interact efficiently with residents.

All AR training program courses are based on the “Arkansas LTCF Nursing Assistant Training Curriculum” and the LTCF guidelines are followed for both facility and non-facility based programs.

AR CNA program is combination of theoretical classroom instructions and clinical hands-on experience. The total duration of AR CNA Certification program is 90 hours, divided between 74 hours classroom instructions and 16 hours clinical training. The ratio of students to instructors in the classroom is 24:1 and for clinical training is 12:1.

The successful completion of the training programs allows students to challenge the state certification test or competency evaluation test for CNA Certification in Arkansas.

CNA Certification Test

In Arkansas, the competency evaluation test is regulated by the Department of Human Services (DHS) – the Office of Long Term Care across the state. Arkansas DHS-OLTC has contracted nationally recognized testing agency Prometric to develop, organize and administer certification exam. The exam is divided into two independent parts including:

• Written/Oral Test
• Skill Test

The Written test consists of 50 theoretical multiple-choice questions. Each question has 4 choice answers. The candidates have to select the right answer to score.

The Skill Test comprises of 5 skills, randomly selected from 25 clinical training skills. The test candidates have to demonstrate given skills on a model or a dummy. The scoring is provided on the basis of each skill performance.

The successful passing of both tests awards CNA Certification in Arkansas. The qualified candidate is also listed with the AR Nurse Aide Registry and allowed to work in approved health care facilities across the state.