Certified Nursing Assistant

How to become a CNA in Michigan

Athena Kan
May 1, 2023

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in Michigan! If you have a passion for helping others and want to launch a rewarding healthcare career, you've come to the right place. This blog post will take you through the entire CNA process, from training and certification to landing your dream job in the Great Lakes State. Let's dive in!

In Michigan, the average CNA class costs $1,230 and is 5 weeks long. The Michigan Nurse Aide Competency Exam exam costs $125. Average starting salary ranges based on where in the state you are, but is around $15-21/hour.

What are the requirements to become a CNA in Michigan?

In Michigan, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) oversees the CNA certification process. Here are some things you need to know before enrolling in a training program:

  1. There is no minimum age requirement for enrolling in a CNA training program. However, there is a minimum age for working as a CNA, so keep that in mind. Employers in Michigan generally don’t hire CNAs under 18 years old because they need to follow special laws, but some may hire 16 or 17-year olds.
  2. A high school diploma or GED is not required by the state, but some training programs may require it. If you don’t have a high school diploma or GED, you’ll have the most luck enrolling in a vocational school. Community colleges and other technical colleges generally require a high school diploma or GED. 
  3. You need a Social Security Card or ITIN (if not a US resident). Some schools may also require a TB test, vaccination records, physical, or others.
  4. You will need to pass a criminal background check. Felonies and certain misdemeanors in the past 5 years will disqualify you from enrolling in a training program. You will also need to get fingerprinted.

When you’re ready to start your CNA training, here are the next steps:

  • Complete a state-approved CNA training program. Michigan CNA programs are the shortest in the country, requiring only 75 hours of training. As a result, you can complete a training program in as short as 2 weeks (although most are longer than that, especially CNA training programs at community colleges). Lectures may be done online, but clinicals have to be done in person. As a result, there are no fully online CNA training programs. Any CNA training programs claiming to be online are actually hybrid programs.
  • Pass the Michigan Nurse Aide Competency Evaluation (MACE). You must pass the exam within 24 months of completing your training, otherwise you will have to retake a training program. As of April 2023, the state exam is administered by D&S Diversified Technologies. It consists of a multiple-choice section assessing knowledge and a practical skills portion. The knowledge section can be taken either written or orally (if you make an accommodations request).

Where can I find CNA classes in Michigan?

You can search for schools on Dreambound by zipcode. Dreambound allows you to compare multiple CNA training programs at once. You’ll be able to see upcoming classes, class schedules, cost, and payment plan options available. 

How do I register for a CNA exam? 

Upon finishing your 75-hour CNA training, your institution will either register you for the state exam or you can do so directly through D&S. The Michigan test fee is $125, and retakes also cost the same amount.

For any concerns or rescheduling needs, reach out to D&S at:

Phone: (888) 401-0465

Email: [email protected]

You have a maximum of three attempts to pass the exam. Failing to pass within these attempts requires retaking the CNA course. 

How do I prepare for my CNA exam?

There are 2 sections on the Michigan CNA test: a written/oral knowledge section and skills test. The knowledge test has 65 questions and you must get at least 74% correct within 60 minutes. For skills, you’ll be randomly assigned 3-4 tasks to complete within 30 minutes. You must perform all “key” steps and 80% of all “non-key” steps.

Your school will offer you various resources like practice tests and videos to prepare. D&S has also uploaded some practice exams that you can use, like this mock skills test. It's a good idea to watch videos on YouTube to prepare for the skills portion of the exam, but make sure they're specific to Michigan.

How do I get a job as a CNA? 

In Michigan, you can work as a temporary nurse aide in a facility for up to four months, provided you have completed a state-approved nurse aide training program. However, if you fail to pass the CNA exam within four months, you won’t be able to work in the facility any longer. 

However, most employers prefer to hire CNAs who have passed the state exam, as they don’t want to take the risk that you fail. You can apply for jobs on Indeed, Monster, or Ziprecruiter to look for roles. You can also work at the clinical site that your CNA training program worked with, local hospitals, or staffing agencies. CNAs in Michigan generally don’t have difficulty finding jobs. 

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Written by
Athena Kan

Athena is Co-founder and CEO of Dreambound.

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