Certified Nursing Assistant

How to become a CNA in Florida?

Alyssa Jane
May 5, 2023

In Florida, also known as the Sunshine State, opportunities to become a CNA are increasing. If you are interested in becoming a CNA, this career choice may grow into something worthwhile and be something you are passionate about.

Where can I find CNA classes in Florida?

We cover multiple cities throughout Florida, and you can find classes in certain cities, such as Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, Cape, Ft. Lauderdale, and more!  Filter and compare schools in Florida from Dreambound’s list of Florida state-approved CNA schools

Depending on your chosen school, CNA programs in Florida have varying lengths of time to complete. The state requires the training program to have a minimum of 120 hours. The current estimated program cost is $2,000 for the schooling and supplies, but the prices of CNA programs will also vary.

Florida has many accredited schools to choose from. Most schools offer hybrid programs, and there are plenty of options!

What do I need to buy for my CNA class?

You will need to wear a set of scrubs and closed-toe shoes such as Crocs or sneakers to follow the proper dress code. Your school may also include items in your tuition during the enrollment process. You can also buy supplies to help you on your journey to becoming a CNA. 

These items can include:

  • Books, workbooks, and practice tests - Reading ahead of time is helpful! You can familiarize yourself with the tools CNAs use, their practices, and more!   
  • Gloves and nail file kit - protect your hands from fluids by using sterile gloves. Having a nail file kit will also come in handy during nail care skills. 
  • Toothette & denture brush - oral care is a skill taught during the CNA training. Take some time to get familiar with these tools and their proper usage on your patients.  

Get prepared and check out these things to buy for your CNA classes! Make sure to check your shopping list and get ready for your training! 

What are the requirements to be a CNA in Florida?

Each state has different requirements to become a CNA. In Florida, these requirements include completing an approved training program, passing the state examination, passing a criminal background check, and being 18 years old or above. It is optional to complete a training program to sit for the state-approved exam, but it is helpful. 

Educational criteria (should meet at least one of the following below): 

  1. Completed or enrolled in a state-approved training program.
    You can take the exam if you are actively enrolled and want to take it early. The application form should have the completion date of your program and training program code.
  1. Have a high school diploma, GED, or is at least 18 years of age. 
    The CNA exam does not require a training program to take. You can take the exam if you meet the requirements mentioned. If you wish to take this path, this blog on How to become a CNA in high school is helpful.
  1. Complete a curriculum developed under the Enterprise Florida Jobs and Education Partnership Grant.
    For CNAs to succeed in their role, these programs provide the students with the necessary skills and knowledge.

Important note: You must pass both parts of the exam within two years of each other. You will have three chances to pass the exams. If you need to take the state exams a fourth time, you will need to register and complete a state-approved training program.  

Background screening criteria:

  1. Electronic fingerprinting 
    You must have your fingerprints scanned for the public’s safety. Approved Livescan service providers have electronic fingerprints to signup for when making an appointment. 
  1. Pass a background check and report health history
    You will need to report any criminal convictions other than minor traffic offenses and any health conditions that may impair how you work.

How do I register for a CNA exam in Florida?

You may register for the CNA exam in Florida once you have met all the eligibility requirements. The Florida State Board of Nursing has a contract with Prometric, which handles the Florida CNA Exam. To apply, the Florida State Board of Nursing has created a thorough application process to ensure your information is submitted correctly.

A simplified step-by-step application process guide: 

  • Complete the application form, background check, and submit fees
    When applying, you can submit an online form or a paper application and should complete a Level II background check with image capture. The testing fee is currently $140. Make sure to check your information, as testing fees are non-refundable and non-transferable. Once you sign up, the application and test fees are only valid for one year. 
  • Application received notification
    You will receive an email after Prometric processes the application. Then they will also send the application for approval to the Florida State Board of Nursing. 

Once Prometric gets approval from the Florida State Board of Nursing, Prometric can finally schedule the candidate for examination and send an admission letter to the candidate! Bring this letter on the day of the exam and two valid IDs for identity verification. 


How do I prepare for the CNA exam in Florida?

In Florida, many training providers give out examination prep study guides and practice tests for the skills exam. There are over 300+ questions with step-by-step instructions and training manuals. It is also helpful to review online study guides and the list of commonly used equipment by CNAs to get familiar with them. 

On the day of your exams, arrive at least 30 minutes before the scheduled exam time. Wear proper attire, such as scrubs or school uniforms, and wear closed-toe flat shoes like those used during training. Wearing a watch with a secondhand is also necessary for taking vitals.

Prometric also published a Candidate Information Bulletin on its website as a guide for CNA students. Lots of resources are easy to access for the benefit of the students, but nothing beats proper preparation in passing your CNA exam. 

How do I get my CNA certification in Florida?

You’ve probably finished taking the CNA exams at this time; congratulations! After you complete both parts of the CNA exam, you will have your printed report on the same day. You can access the results online after 48 hours by logging onto the Prometric website. Prometric will have the results of the exam, and they are responsible for sending these to the Board.  

Prometric usually takes 72 hours and up to a week to send the exam results to the Florida Board of Nursing. From there, it can take 5 days to 4 weeks for you to receive your certification by mail and your physical license in the mail within 7-14 days. It may also take 2 to 5 weeks before you can verify your license on the CNA registry. 

There seems to be a lot of waiting, but keep in mind that patience is a virtue! In the end, it will surely be worth it. 

How do I get a job as a CNA in Florida and where can I work?

The starting salary of a CNA in Florida is around $17 per hour and will increase over time. You can make around $36,000 annually if working full-time.

CNAs are in demand anywhere. Hospitals, assisted living facilities, retirement homes, government agencies, and even schools need CNAs. You can find CNA jobs in different settings by browsing trusted job boards. Applying directly to a facility is also a smart choice! Find your desired employer's website and look for their open roles.

One trusted job board is the Florida Health Care Association Long Term Care Career Center. Prepare, update, and upload your resume. It's time for your search for a new exciting opportunity! 

Did you know that you can perform CNA tasks even if you’re not yet certified? That’s right! Some nursing centers are open to hiring Personal Care Attendants (PCAs). There are 2 ways for you to get hired as a CNA by choosing this path: 

  • Option 1: Complete the required 16 hours of training and skills demonstration. After this, you can now work in assisting the residents, but with the supervision of a CNA. Working as a PCA is available for a limited time only. Employers will give 4 months or 120 hours for PCAs to get their CNA certification. 
  • Option 2: Employers directly hire students enrolled in training programs! Competent candidates can take care of residents as CNA trainees. Students will have 4 months or 120 hours to pass the exam and get certified. Some employers even pay for you’re training and will hire you afterward!

The list below is some of the daily tasks of CNAs. These are:

  1. Bathing and dressing patients
  2. Taking vital signs 
  3. Assist patients in drinking and eating
  4. Provide care and assist in daily activities 
  5. Helping patients with mobility (motion exercises in elbows, hips, knees) and more! 

Working as a CNA is a fulfilling yet challenging job. Every task that CNAs do should reflect their love for their craft and patients. It takes a lot of dedication and patience, and for that, we salute every CNA out there. 

What can I do after becoming a CNA in Florida?

There are different ways CNAs can progress in their career. Some CNAs would like to add an element of adventure and exploration to their career. Whatever your preference may be, there are lots of exciting opportunities for you!

A popular career choice related to being a CNA is working as a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA). CMAs play an important and varied role. They manage patient records and can also perform clinical tasks! 

Another popular choice is being a travel CNA. Travel CNAs are perfect for those who love working in different places. Imagine fulfilling your passion and seeing various cities at the same time. Get started with your journey as a travel CNA and learn how to become one!

There are popular certificates that you can add to your skills too! This will give you an advantage and equip you with more knowledge. These kinds of training may need different instruments, so better prepare and research!

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Written by
Alyssa Jane

Alyssa Jane is part of the customer success team at Dreambound. She works with students, training providers, and employers, helping them have a smooth customer journey. She is also an ESL tutor and Licensed Psychometrician. She is fond of traveling, photography, and discovering new restaurants.

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