Guide to CNA Certification in Mississippi and Re-Certification Process

The state of MS, same as other US states is bound by the Omnibus Reconciliation Act 1987 (OBRA-87) legislation for including federal education standards and competency assessment provisions in the state-offered Nurse Aide Training and Competency Evaluation Programs (NATCEP). These federal standards became necessary for improving the quality of care in nursing home settings. The legislation further requires nursing aides to be certified and listed on the state Nurse Aide Registry before they are allowed to perform as nursing assistants.

In the state of Mississippi, individuals wishing to perform direct patient cares in nursing homes and licensed facilities must complete 75-hours Nurse Aide Training Program (NATP) and pass the MS Competency Evaluation Test (CEP). The successful completion of both NATP and CEP make nursing assistants eligible for CNA Certification in Mississippi and registration with the state Nurse Aide Registry, thereby allowing them to work legally in a variety of healthcare settings throughout the state.

Mississippi Nurse Aide Training Program (NATP)

MS NATP is divided into two separate parts – 59-hours theoretical classroom education and laboratory trainings, and 16-hours clinical training in a long-term care facility. The training program trains the nursing students in a variety of nursing-related skills and knowledge. The successful completion of the program allows nursing students challenge the state CEP for Certification. The MS State Department of Health, Bureau of Health Facilities Licensure and Certification is responsible for approving and regulating MS NATCEP in the state.

Mississippi CNA Certification Test (CEP)

The nationally known testing agency Pearson VUE is contracted by the MS State Department of Health, Bureau of Health Facilities Licensure and Certification to develop, administer, and score NNAAP Exam in the state. NACES Plus Foundation (NACES) and Pearson VUE jointly schedule and administer the NNAAP exam in selected centres.

MS CEP, also known as NNAAP Test or CNA Certification Test consists of a Written/Oral Test and a Skills Test. Both the tests are independent of each other, and the students are rated as per their performance. The state-approved Written Test is composed of 70 multiple-choice questions, of which 10 questions are pre-test non-scored questions. The Oral Test comprises of 60 multiple-choice questions and 10 non-scored reading comprehensions.

The Skills Test is skills demonstration test where the candidates demonstrate five (5 skills) on a volunteer, acting as a resident. Out of 5 randomly selected skills, one skill will be a hand-washing skill and another will always be a Measurement Recording skill. The successful performance of all 5 skills will pass the test.

Once the nursing students pass the competency assessment test, they are awarded CNA Certification in Mississippi and listed on the MS Nurse Aide Registry. The facility owners can verify the certified status of CNAs through the Registry before employing them.

CNA Re-Certification

The Certification remains operational for 2 years from the date of issue and must be renewed before the expiration date. The license is expired if it is not renewed before the expiration date. Nurse Aides must work for at least eight (8) hours in a licensed facility during the past two (20 years to be eligible for re-certification. If the license is expired, the nursing aides must re-test to validate the expired license on the Registry. They are offered one opportunity to pass both parts of the competency assessment. The failure in any Written or Skills test may require nurse aides to enroll and complete MS NATP once again to be eligible to re-test.

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