Nurse Aide Registry FAQs

Q: How do I become a certified nurse aide (CNA) in Texas?
A:
To become a nurse aide and be eligible to work in a Texas nursing home, you must:

  • successfully complete a state-approved nurse aide training and competency evaluation program, and
  • successfully complete the competency evaluation program examination; or
  • qualify to be placed on the Texas Nurse Aide Registry by waiver or reciprocity.

Q: Do I have to have a high school diploma or GED to become a certified nurse aide?
A:
Neither the federal regulation nor state rule imposes a minimum education requirement for nurse aides.

Q: How can I be exempted from the training and only take the test?
A:
You may request to be exempt from training and take only the exam, if:

  1. After July 1, 1989, you successfully completed the training portion of an approved NATCEP in any state and have not completed the CEP test or been placed on the registry in another state. (Complete Form 5510, Request to Take the Competency Evaluation Program [CEP] Based on Approved Nurse Aide Training Out of State)
  2. After July 1, 1989, you successfully completed military training of 100 hours or more that's equivalent to civilian nurse aide training. (Complete Form 5511, Request to Take the Competency Evaluation Program [CEP] Based on Military Training as a Nurse Aide)
  3. After July 1, 1989, you successfully completed a state-accredited registered nurse (RN) or licensed vocational nurse (LVN) school but were not licensed as an RN or LVN in Texas or have not held a license that's been revoked. (Complete Form 5512, Request to Take the Competency Evaluation Program [CEP] Based on Completion of an RN or LVN School)
  4. You're currently enrolled in a state-accredited school of nursing in any state and have demonstrated competency in providing basic nursing skills in accordance with the school's curriculum. (Complete Form 5513, Request to take the Competency Evaluation Program [CEP] Based on Competency in Basic Nursing Skills as an RN/LVN Student)

Q: How can I qualify for reciprocity?
A:
You can qualify if you are currently on the nurse aide registry in another state that is in compliance with applicable federal laws and you complete the necessary DADS-required documentation.

Q: After I train and pass the examination, how long will it take to get my certificate?
A:
You will receive your certificate four to six weeks after successfully completing the exam.

Q: How can I check on the status of my certification?
A:
Call 1-800-452-3934 and follow the prompts. You will be required to enter your Social Security number.

Q: Once I am certified, how often do I have to renew?
A:
No expiration date is printed on your certificate; however, you must contact the Nurse Aide Registry and verify your employment at least every two years to remain in active status.

Q: I completed an approved training program but haven't taken the exam. Who do I call to schedule an exam?
A:
Normally, your training program will schedule your examination with the Nurse Aide Competency Evaluation Services (NACES). However, if you need to schedule your own examination, call NACES at 1-800-444-5178 or 512-467-0615 for more information.

Q: If I don't pass the examination the first time, can I test again?
A:
Yes. People who fail either the skills or the written/oral examination may re-test twice. People who don't pass after three attempts must go through the training again before being allowed to take the test again.

Q: Can someone work in a nursing facility while training to become a Certified Nurse Aide? If so, how long may they work before they must be listed on the nurse aide registry?
A:
People who currently are enrolled in a NATCEP may work up to four months in a nursing facility. The facility must terminate anyone who's not on the registry within that time.

Q: Is there a list of training providers?
A:
A searchable directory is available on our website.

Q: Must I have a copy of my certificate to work?
A:
Normally, employers will require that you present your certificate, so they may make a copy for their files. However, your employability depends upon the current status of your certification. If you are not in "Active" status on the Nurse Aide Registry, you are not employable even if you have a copy of your certificate.

Note: Nurse Aide Registry and Training Forms/Applications are available on the Forms page. Email questions to: credential@DADS.state.tx.us

Q: What happens when a nurse aide is referred to the Nurse Aide Registry for an allegation of abuse, neglect or misappropriation of a resident’s property in a nursing facility?
A:
DADS reviews and investigates allegations of abuse, neglect or misappropriation of resident property by a nurse aide employed in a facility. Before entry of the finding on the Nurse Aide Registry, DADS will provide the nurse aide an opportunity to demonstrate compliance with the law through an informal reconsideration and a formal hearing.

If the allegation is upheld, the finding of abuse, neglect or misappropriation of resident property will be entered to the Nurse Aide Registry and the nurse aide will be unemployable in facilities and agencies regulated by the department.

Q: How does a nurse aide request an informal reconsideration?
A:
DADS will provide notice to the nurse aide of the facts or conduct alleged to warrant the proposed finding and the nurse aide's right to an informal reconsideration. The nurse aide must submit a written request to the address provided in the notice letter within 10 days of receipt of the notice letter.

Q: How does a nurse aide request a formal hearing?
A:
A notice of adverse action and right to a formal hearing is sent to the nurse aide. The nurse aide must submit a written request to the address provided in the notice letter within 30 days of receipt of the notice letter.

Q: Can a nurse aide's certification be reinstated after it has been revoked?
A:
No, according to federal regulation at 42 Code of Federal Regulation, §483.156, findings of abuse, neglect and misappropriation of resident property must remain on the registry permanently.

Exception: In the case of a finding of neglect only, a nurse aide may petition the state to remove the finding after the finding has been entered on the registry for one full year.

Q: Can a person work as a nurse aide if they have a criminal conviction?
A:
Certain convictions bar employment in facilities and agencies regulated by DADS. A list of these offenses can be found at Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 250.006.

Q: How do I contact the Nurse Aide Registry?
A: If you need information regarding renewing, transferring, retesting, requesting a duplicate certificate, or a change of name or address, please visit our forms website at: http://www.dads.state.tx.us/providers/NF/credentialing/nar/forms.html.

Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services
Nurse Aide Registry
Mail Code E-414,
P.O. Box 149030
Austin, TX 78714-9030
Phone: 512-438-2050
Fax: 512-438-2052

Q: How do I contact the Nurse Aide Enforcement Unit?
A:
If you need information regarding a referral that has been made against your nurse aide certificate or if your nurse aide certificate has been revoked, you may contact us at:

Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services
Professional Credentialing Enforcement
Nurse Aide Enforcement Unit
Mail Code E-302,
P.O. Box 149030
Austin, TX 78714-9030
Phone: 512-438-5495
Fax: 512-438-4285

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Updated: July 28, 2014