After more than 20 years regulating Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), the Arizona State Board of Nursing (Board) is converting to two levels of nursing assistant:
- Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA): a person who passes an approved CNA course and the state manual skills/written exams and whose name is placed on the CNA registry. Any substantiated allegations of abuse, neglect or misappropriation of property/theft will be reported to the Office of Inspector General (OIG) and will be listed on the registry.
- Licensed Nursing Assistant (LNA): a person who meets CNA educational and exam requirements and, in addition, submits an application, fingerprints and fees to the Board. The LNA is regulated by the Board which has broader jurisdiction for any act of unprofessional conduct.
Rationale for CNA and LNA Change
After more than 20 years regulating Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), the Arizona State Board of Nursing (Board) is moving to two levels of nursing assistant: CNA and LNA. Current regulation of CNAs, which includes criminal background checks and full Board jurisdiction for all unprofessional conduct, cannot be maintained without either charging the CNA, which is prohibited by federal law, or using the fees paid by RNs and LPNs for their licenses. In 2014 the legislature required the Board of Nursing to propose a self-sustaining model for regulation of nursing assistants. The Board’s model, which was passed into law in 2014, calls for two levels of nursing assistant (CNA and LNA). The requirements for LNA are identical to the current requirements for CNA with one additional requirement: the payment of fees for licensure ($50.00, initial fingerprinting $50.00 and renewal $50). The requirements for the "new" CNA are the minimum required by federal law to be listed on a Nurse Aide Registry and, consistent with federal law, do not include fees for initial placement or renewal on the Registry.
All CNA's, Programs & Facilities
On July 1, 2016, all CNAs who were certified by the Arizona State Board of Nursing (Board) before July 1, 2016 will be able to convert to LNA by completing a conversion application and paying a $50.00 fee. The year of renewal may change as this application is considered a renewal.
NA Training Programs
All students completing a nursing assistant program after July 1, 2016 will need to submit proof of legal presence in the United States to D & S (Headmaster) prior to taking the state exams. To facilitate the processing of applications, the Board is requiring all NA training programs to collect the document, scan the document and upload to Headmaster. Ideally, this identification document should be the same as the ID document(s) the student uses for state testing (e.g. AZ driver's license or passport). The name on the document should exactly match the name entered in the system. A comprehensive list of documents acceptable for proof of legal presence is available here.
The titles CNA and LNA are mutually exclusive. All CNAs who are converted to LNA should use the initials “LNA” when identifying themselves. Registry CNAs should use the initials “CNA” when identifying themselves. If credentials are noted on a name badge/pin/facility ID, the information should accurately reflect the correct credential.