Certified Nursing Assistant Programs in Montana

As Montana’s population grows, there’s a rising demand for certified nursing assistants (CNAs) to provide essential care to those in need. If you’re considering a rewarding career as a CNA in Montana, you’re in the right place. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of becoming a CNA in Montana, from selecting the right training program, including certified nursing assistant programs in Montana, and fulfilling prerequisites to passing the state certification exam and finding employment opportunities.

Exploring CNA Programs in Montana

Becoming a certified nursing assistant in Montana requires completing a state-approved training program that combines classroom instruction, hands-on learning, and clinical experience. This comprehensive approach ensures that CNAs are well-prepared to work in various healthcare settings, including nursing homes, long-term care facilities, and hospitals.

With a variety of CNA programs available across the state, it’s essential to find one that meets your needs and aligns with your career goals. Some of the top CNA programs in Montana include Montana Tech, which offers a 14/15-credit CNA Certificate, and Career Transitions in Belgrade, Bozeman, and Gallatin Valley, which provides a blend of coursework, residential experience, and a state test for certification.

Each program has its own set of prerequisites and admission requirements, which we will explore in more detail below.

CNA Program Prerequisites

To enrol in a CNA program in Montana, you’ll need to meet several requirements. Firstly, you must complete a minimum of 75 hours of classroom instruction, including 50 hours of classroom experience and 25-30 hours of clinical learning. This combination of in-person and classroom instruction equips graduates with the necessary skills to work in various medical facilities that employ nurse aides.

CNA Certification Requirements

Before you can work as a certified nursing assistant in Montana, you’ll need to obtain CNA certification. This involves completing a state-approved training program and passing both the knowledge and skills tests. You have up to three attempts within 6 months to pass the CNA exam.

To apply for CNA certification, you’ll need a high school diploma or GED, background check, fingerprinting, and drug test. Once you’ve completed the certification exam, you’ll need to register with the Montana State Nursing Home Nurse Aide Registry.

Montana CNA Training Programs

In addition to the programs mentioned earlier, there are numerous other CNA training programs available throughout Montana. These include the Community Hospital of Anaconda, St. John’s United, and Flathead Valley Community College. Each program follows a curriculum approved by the state of Montana, ensuring that all graduates receive the necessary knowledge and skills to excel as CNAs.

Billings, MT

In Billings, Montana, aspiring CNAs can enrol in the accredited nursing assistant training program offered by St. John’s United. This program, like others in the state, adheres to the Montana State Requirements of a minimum of 75 hours of classroom work and 25-30 hours of clinical learning.

To be eligible for CNA programs in Montana, applicants must possess a high school diploma or GED, have a valid driver’s license, and pass a criminal background check. 

Missoula, MT

Missoula, Montana, is home to several top-notch CNA programs, including those offered by Missoula College, Montana Tech, and The Lifelong Learning Center – MCPS Adult Education. The CNA program at Missoula College costs approximately $850, while the program at Montana Tech lasts one semester.

The Lifelong Learning Center – MCPS Adult Education offers a CNA program designed to prepare students for the Montana CNA certification exam through classroom instruction, lab practice, and clinical experience.

Helena, MT

Those looking to become CNAs in Helena, Montana, can enrol in the 75-hour CNA program at Helena College. This program equips students with the necessary skills and knowledge to become successful certified nursing assistants. The fee for the Helena College CNA program is $750, and an annual scholarship of $500 is awarded to one eligible applicant.

Montana CNA Exam Details

D & S Diversified Technologies LLP, Headmaster HD administers the Montana CNA exam. This organization is responsible for approving the certification for nursing assistants in the state of Montana. The test is comprised of two sections. The first part includes a knowledge/oral assessment and the second section evaluates manual skills. The knowledge/oral test has a total of 72 questions to answer. You have 90 minutes to complete it. The manual skills test begins with hand washing and includes four other specified tasks that must be completed within 35 minutes.

Employment Opportunities

Once you’ve completed your CNA training and passed the certification exam, it’s time to explore employment opportunities and salary expectations for CNAs in Montana. The job outlook for nursing assistants in Montana is promising, with a projected job growth rate of 5% over the 2021-2031 decade. This growth rate is significantly higher than the average for all occupations, creating numerous job opportunities for aspiring CNAs.

Job Outlook for CNAs in Montana

The job outlook for CNAs in Montana is quite favourable, with an estimated growth rate of 5% over the 2021-2031 decade. This projected growth is significantly higher than the average for all occupations and is anticipated to create 62,700 new positions by 2021. This growth can be attributed to an ageing population that will require increased care in various healthcare settings.

Average CNA Salary in Montana

When it comes to earnings, certified nursing assistants in Montana can expect to earn an average salary of $31,900 annually, with a range typically between $29,074 and $35,223. Factors such as experience, location, and employer can have a significant impact on salary rates.

It’s essential to consider these factors when evaluating potential job opportunities, as they can greatly affect your overall earning potential. 

Montana Nurse Aide Registry

After obtaining your CNA certification, you’ll need to register with the Montana Nurse Aide Registry, a database containing information on certified nursing assistants in Montana. Managed by the Department of Public Health and Human Services, the registry is utilized to verify the certification status of CNAs and ensure that they comply with state and federal regulations for employment in healthcare facilities.

Free CNA Classes and Employer-Sponsored Programs

For those who may be unable to cover the costs of CNA classes, there are a variety of options for free CNA training in Montana. Government-funded programs, employer-sponsored training, and nursing assistant schools offering tuition-free lessons for those in need are available. These programs are typically offered through local community colleges and vocational schools.

CNA License Renewal in Montana

Keeping your CNA license up-to-date is crucial for maintaining your certification and ensuring that you’re able to continue working in the field. In Montana, CNAs must renew their license every two years. There is no fee to do so. To renew your license, you’ll need to create an ePASS account and complete the renewal application online through the BOUNDS portal. Renewals can be completed up to 90 days before the expiration date, allowing ample time for the process.

Summary

Becoming a CNA in Montana opens the door to a fulfilling and rewarding career in healthcare. With ample CNA training programs available across the state, a promising job outlook, and opportunities for free CNA classes and employer-sponsored programs, there’s never been a better time to join this growing field. By following the steps outlined in this guide and staying informed about the latest industry trends, you’ll be well on your way to making a meaningful difference in the lives of those who need your care the most.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to become a CNA in Montana?

It typically takes approximately eight weeks for an individual to become a CNA in Montana. By taking an approved CNA training program, individuals can complete the necessary education and gain the skills needed to earn their certification in eight weeks or less.

How much does a CNA make in Montana?

The average Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) salary in Montana is $36,797 per year or $17.69 per hour, ranging from $33,150 to $49,335 per year.

Entry-level CNAs typically start at a lower salary than experienced professionals.

How do I become a CNA in Billings MT?

Becoming a CNA in Billings, MT requires you to complete an approved 96-hour course at City College MSU Billings and pass the state competency exam.

With the right preparation and dedication, you can take the steps necessary to make your career goals a reality.