CNA Certification in Idaho and OBRA Requirements

The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) of 1987 was passed to improve the quality of care in the Nursing Facilities (NFs) and Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs). OBRA requires nursing assistants to complete Nurse Aide Training Program (NATP) of 75 hours, and pass the Competency evaluation Program (CEP) to be eligible to assist residents with ADL and direct patient cares.

The legislation further requires all states to include minimum OBRA education standards in their training programs, and maintain a state Nurse Aide registry to list all certified nurse aides who successfully meet the OBRA Nurse Aide Training and Competency Evaluation (NATCEP) requirements, and earn CNA Certification proving their competency. Federal regulations also direct the licensed, and skilled nursing facilities to employ only these certified nursing aides for direct patient cares who are listed on the Registry in good standing.

The state of Idaho has also included federal provisions in the state Nurse Aide Training and Competency Evaluation Program. The state law requires nursing students to complete the state-approved training program, and pass the copetency test before applying for an entry-level nursing assistant job. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare prohibits uncertified nursing assistants from performing nursing assistant-related tasks in the state. The Department is also responsible for overseeing the inclusion of federal provisions in the state-approved CNA certification program.

Idaho Nurse Aide Training Program

The state-approved Nurse Aide training Program is 120 hours in length, more than 35 hours of what OBRA requires, and includes 40 hours of clinical training, and 80 hours of theoretical classroom education and lab trainings. The nursing students complete their clinical hands-on experience in a long-term care facility under the direction and supervision of a RN or LPN. The training program prepares unlicensed assistive personnel (UAP) in nursing and nursing assistant-related tasks. On successful completion of the training program, nursing students are eligible to challenge the Idaho CNA Certification Test.

Idaho Competency Evaluation Test

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has sought the services of a nationally known testing vendor, Prometric to schedule, administer, and score the competency testing. The Department-approved competency testing consists of two independent tests, a Written/Knowledge Test, and a Skills demonstration Test. The Written Test content features 60 questions to be completed in 90-minutes.

The skills test is a competency assessment tool with the Department for evaluating the direct patient care skills of nursing assistants. The skills test contains five (5) performance-based skills. The testing candidates will have to demonstrate the skills on a client or a volunteer, and they are scored on the basis of each demonstrated skill. The successful performance of all five skills passes the test.

The nursing students who fail the CNA exam on their first shot can attempt the test thrice within 24-months, but if they fail to pass the test even in three chances they will have to enrol, attend, and complete the training program once again to be eligible for retesting. The successful candidates are awarded CNA Certification in Idaho, and listed on the state Nurse Aide Registry. Once certified, CNAs assist long-term care patients with the activities of daily livings (ADL), and provide long-term cares to patients in varied settings The Department of Health and Welfare regulates the Idaho Nurse Aide registry.

Idaho CNA Certification Renewal

CNA Certification in Idaho is valid for 2 years. Certified Nursing aides must renew the Certification before it expires on the Registry. The Renewal requirements include performance of 8-hours nursing, and nursing-related tasks for compensation in the past 2 years.

CNA Guide – Nurse Aide Training Program, Exam, Job, Salary, and Job Outlook

Certified Nursing Aides are valuable members and lifeline of the health care industry. They perform a broad range of nursing tasks and spend highest time with residents compared to other members of a medical team. The classroom instructions and clinical hands-on experience of CNA Training program provide them expertise in nursing care. According to the PHI survey, direct care workers are responsible for offering activities of daily living (ADL) and basic care to 70 to 80% Americans living with chronic conditions, disabilities, and long illness.

CNA Classes

Nurse aides must complete state-approved training programs and earn certification by passing the state-approved examination to be able to work as a CNA. The federal Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 (OBRA ’87) have also made it mandatory for the states to provide minimum 59 hours classroom instructions and 16 hours clinical training to nursing assistants. The states should also assess their nursing care competencies through competency evaluation exams prior to their performing as a CNA. These OBRA measures are adopted by Congress for improving the quality and standards of cares for residents in the facilities.

CNA Exam

Nurse aide Exams are a means through which states implement OBRA-87 measures for evaluating nursing care competencies, skills, knowledge, and abilities of nurse assistants. The state’s home health departments are mainly responsible for developing and administrating these exams. However, many states have also contracted national exam providers like Pearson VUE, Prometric, and D & S Headmaster for developing, administering, and scoring nursing assistant exams. The examination consists of Oral or Written Tests, and Skills demonstration test. The test papers are prepared on the basis of classroom teachings and clinical trainings. The candidates must score required passing grade to be eligible for certification.


Nursing assistants and orderlies work in health care settings where their nursing proficiencies are essential for performing basic nursing cares and activities of daily living (ADLs). They are mostly found working in skilled nursing facilities, assisted living centers, long-term care units, residential care facilities, and home health agencies. In these facilities, nursing assistants offer ADLs and personal assistance to elderly and other people who suffer from disabilities and chronic conditions, long illness, and severe injuries.


According to the Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2013, total employments for Nursing assistants were 1,427,830, and their Mean hourly wage was $12.51, and Mean annual wage $26,020. However, their percentile median annual wage from starting 10 percent to 90 percent varied from $18,600 to $35,780 annually. The variation in wages was due to factors such as practical work experience, places of work, job types, education and training, and position. The salaries also differ in states, cities, and metropolitans due to density of population, nursing shortages, numbers of health care facilities, and hospitals.

Job Outlook

In coming years, the demand for nursing assistants will continue to rise rapidly, and more nurse aides will be required to perform varied basic nursing care duties. The factors responsible for higher nurse aide demands include nursing shortage, baby boomers age, and increase in aging population. During this period, many nurse aides will also retire and leave nursing for other high paying lucrative jobs. According to the BLS survey, the need for all categories direct care workers will grow by 21 percent from 2012 to 2020.