Certified Nursing Assistant Programs in Montana: Get Certified Now!

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.

Short Summary

  • Explore CNA programs in Montana with varying prerequisites and admission requirements.
  • CNA certification requires completing a state-approved program, passing the exam, having a high school diploma/GED, and submitting to a background check & drug test.
  • The job outlook for CNAs is positive with an average salary of $31k per year and license renewal every two years through the BOUNDS portal.

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 enroll 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.

In addition to course hours, specific health requirements must be met before enrolling in a CNA class. For example, a TB test result within the past year and a record of Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis vaccination within the past 10 years are recommended. Additionally, you must possess a clean bill of health and have no criminal record.

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 a 6-month period 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 successfully completed the certification exam, you’ll need to register with the Montana State Nursing Home Nurse Aide Registry.

In some cases, employers are required to cover the costs of CNA classes if the employee obtains certification within 12 months of employment.

Montana CNA Training Programs

In addition to the programs mentioned earlier, there are numerous other CNA training programs available throughout Montana. These include 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.

Specific programs in different cities across Montana cater to the unique needs of aspiring CNAs. In the following subsections, we’ll explore CNA training programs in Billings, Missoula, and Helena.

Billings, MT

In Billings, Montana, aspiring CNAs can enroll 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. With these requirements met, you’ll be well on your way to beginning a rewarding career as a CNA in Billings.

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. With a variety of options available, Missoula is an excellent location for pursuing your CNA education.

Helena, MT

Those looking to become CNAs in Helena, Montana, can enroll 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.

With its comprehensive curriculum and affordable cost, the Helena College CNA program provides an excellent opportunity for aspiring CNAs in the Helena area to kickstart their careers in healthcare.

Exam Preparation and Testing

Once you’ve completed your CNA training program, the next step is to prepare for and take the Montana CNA exam. The exam includes both a knowledge/oral test and a manual skills test. Both components must be included for successful completion. To become a certified nursing assistant in Montana, you must pass both tests and submit proof of program completion. Free CNA practice tests for the Montana exam can be found on the CNA Free Training website.

In the following subsections, we’ll discuss the details of the Montana CNA exam, including the format of the manual skills test and knowledge test, as well as the locations and costs associated with the exam.

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.

Successfully passing both the knowledge and skills tests is crucial for obtaining your CNA certification in Montana. With proper preparation and practice, you’ll be well-equipped to conquer the exam and begin your career as a certified nursing assistant.

Exam Locations and Costs

Finding a convenient location to take the Montana CNA exam is essential for exam success. The exam is available at various HD Headmaster locations throughout the state, including Billings, Butte, Havre, Helena, Shelby, and Stevensville.

As for the costs associated with the Montana CNA exam, the knowledge test is $20, and the skills test is $77. These fees are a necessary investment in your future as a certified nursing assistant, ensuring that you have the credentials needed to provide quality care to those in need.

Employment Opportunities and Salary

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.

In terms of salary, certified nursing assistants in Montana can expect to earn an average hourly wage of $17.82 – $18.54. Factors such as experience, location, and employer can influence salary rates, so keep this in mind when considering potential job opportunities.

Job Outlook for CNAs in Montana

The job outlook for CNAs in Montana is quite favorable, 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 aging population that will require increased care in various healthcare settings.

With such a promising job outlook, pursuing a career as a CNA in Montana is an excellent choice for those interested in making a difference in the lives of others. The demand for skilled and compassionate CNAs will only continue to grow, ensuring that you’ll have ample opportunity to find rewarding employment in the field.

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. With a solid understanding of the average salary and influencing factors, you’ll be better prepared to make informed decisions about your career as a CNA in Montana.

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.

To access the Montana Nurse Aide Registry, you can call (406) 444-4980, fax (406) 444-3456, or visit their website.

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.

Additionally, certain healthcare and nursing facilities may offer CNA programs as part of their employer-sponsored training. By taking advantage of these free CNA classes and employer-sponsored programs, you can obtain the necessary education and training to become a certified nursing assistant without the financial burden.

Transferring Out-of-State CNA Licenses

If you’re a CNA from another state and wish to transfer your license to Montana, you can do so by following a specific process. Firstly, visit the Montana Board of Nursing website and access the Forms tab for the necessary documentation, information, and requirements. You’ll need to complete an application for interstate endorsement. Additionally, you must submit copies of Montana residency, proof of active residency in the previous state, and valid ID.

Once you’ve submitted the required documentation, your name will be included in the Montana Nurse Aide Registry within 15 business days. This streamlined process makes it easier for out-of-state CNAs to transfer their licenses and continue their careers in Montana.

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 prior to the expiration date, allowing ample time for the process.

Remember to provide proof of paid-for employment within the past 24 months when renewing your license. By staying on top of your license renewal, you’ll ensure that your credentials remain valid and that you can continue providing essential care to those in need.


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.