How to become a CNA in CA while in nursing school

  1. This is to help nursing student out who would like to challenge the CNA exam and become CNAs while in nursing school. The CA Dept. of Public Health does not make it very clear how to do this so i though I would make it a little easier on people.
    With the job market being so scary for new nurses I have decided to work as a CNA to better my chances of being hired when I get out of school. The only graduates from my ASN nursing program last year who got jobs were those who had worked as CNAs and those who took jobs at prisons. Since the latter does not appeal to me I figured I would give myself a little extra boost with the CNA experience. Here is how you go about it:

    1. you have to have finished your first semester of nursing school to be eligible

    2. go to the Dept. of Public Health website (publications and forms tab then certified nurse assistant/home health aide/hemodyalisi tech forms)...or just go to the website below
    http://www.cdph.ca.gov/pubsforms/for...TechForms.aspx

    3. print/ fill out out application form HS 283 B

    4. print BCII 8016 SAMPLE
    this will show you have to fill out the Live Scan form so you can get finger printed

    5. print out 3 copies of form BCII 8016
    fill out the form as it is in the sample form.
    this is you request for a Live Scan (finger printing system in CA). It is important you print out 3 copies!!!! and fill them out properly

    6. request a copy of official transcripts from your nursing school. Yes they have to be official and sealed.

    7. Go get you Live Scan. You can do this at official Live Scan sites such as police office or even some UPS stores. It cost me $44 for my live scan. Make sure you bring your paperwork.

    8. Send your completed application, ONE of the completed Live Scan forms, and your official transcripts to the address below (it is also on the application form)
    California Department of Public Health
    Licensing and Certification Program (L&C)
    Aide and Technician Certification Section (ATCS)1615 Capitol Avenue, MS 3301
    P.O. Box 997416
    Sacramento, CA 95899-7416

    9. The Dept. of Public Health then assesses if you are eligible to challenge the CNA exam (which you should be if you did everything above) and will send you info on taking the test. It costs $90 to take the test I believe.

    Hope that helps anyone who is looking for this info!!!!
    Just FYI this is the current info for 2009-2010 so dont hold me to this if it gets changed in the future
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  2. 28 Comments

  3. by   cabogirl
    Thank you!! I had heard that you could challenge the exam, but I had no idea where to begin! Thanks for such a detailed, step by step instruction!
  4. by   muffinCNA15
    do you know how to reschedule exams? i didn't keep up with my CEU's & had to take the CNA class again. i arrived to take the exam & my teacher had used my old address on the form instead of the new address/new form i had filled out a few wks before....
  5. by   ratherberidin
    Sorry about that! I just took my test last week and that happened to a few people too!
    Just call the agency that you scheduled the test with originally (Red Cross of LA or Pearson in California) and they will re-schedule you. Unfortunately it costs another $25.00. Make sure if you get a voice mail that you keep calling them because when I needed to get a hold of them they didn't return my calls always so just keep bugging them!
    Good luck!!!
  6. by   point520
    does the official transcripts have to be sent by school ? or you can mail the seal official transcripts by yourself ?? thanks!!!!!!!
  7. by   ratherberidin
    you need to send them in yourself with the application. So you will have your school(s) send them to you directly.
  8. by   point520
    thanks a lot!!!
    could I ask you some informations about the test-style practices of CNA? Is there any resources online?
    thanks!!!
  9. by   ratherberidin
    I don't know of any resources online but when I registered for the test the state sent me pamphlets that had the list of skills that you will have to perform in front of the nurse "judge." I would recommend reviewing your intro to nursing skills (like positioning patients with pillows, turning them, brushing unconscious peoples teeth, stuff that CNAs do). I almost failed the skills part because I didn't know how to read a scale where you slide the weights on hahaha we just use digital ones in the hospital so I was like uhhhhhh but the nurse kind of helped me along. You have to perform 3 skills selected at random and do them correctly to pass. I would not even bother studying for the written test. If you passed into to nursing, have a high school...sctratch that 5th grade reading level you will pass the written test. Honestly it was ridiculously easy and all multiple choice. Hope that helps!
  10. by   dmeas
    Thank you for the info )

    How long did it take for you to hear back from The Dept of Public Health?
  11. by   StillSeeking
    Just wanted to say thanks to the OP! I'm already an RN, applied for an aide job today and was told I had to have my aide cert! I am both under and over-qualified for the same job!!!
  12. by   ratherberidin
    How horrible!!!!! That sounds so frustrating Good luck with the CNA process/ finding a nursing job!
    Just FYI I have NEVER been able to use my CNA license since all the job postings require that you have 1 year experience as a CNA...come on people I have experience as a NURSE!!!! that should count waaaaaay more!!!
    Good luck to you!
  13. by   StillSeeking
    Wow, that's crazy! Here in the CA bay area it's nearly impossible to get a job as something other than an RN (aide, med. asst, LVN) for a different reason; because employers are concerned you will leave as soon as you get an RN position. They say, "you need to get an RN job. Ridiculous, because we all know there aren't any! :-(

    Luckily I'm doing a preceptorship where I applied for the aide position (of course I applied for RN positions too), so even if I have to wait a month for the CNA cert it sounds like I have a good chance of getting into their new aide pool, which will be great exposure. Fingers crossed! It's the closest I've come to any hospital job in 9 mos!!! Good luck to everyone else too. It's so tough out there!

    Luckily I am in the middle of a preceptorship at this hospital where I applied for the aid job (of course I applied for RN jobs too, but they like to hire from within and several of their RNs worked as aides first).
  14. by   StillSeeking
    Oops, that last paragraph somehow got chopped and pasted below (I was wondering where that went, LOL!), sorry for the redundancy!

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