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Frequently Asked CNA Online Training Program Questions

Student Questions

How do I enroll?

Facility students are to contact your employer and they will then go online to averasolutions.org and register you for the Avera CNA On-Line Training Program. If there are any complications please contact Avera Education & Staffing Solutions (AESS) by phone (605-668-8475) or email averasolutions@avera.org. AESS staff will then direct your employer through an on-line registration process.

Independent Students may take the same steps as the facility employer to become enrolled in the On-Line CNA Program. If there are any complications again please contact AESS. Note: Independent students are required to pay an initial fee to gain access to the on-line train modules. There is then a second fee required before being approved to come to the 8 hour skills review, 16 hours of clinical, or testing.

Independent students are also required to register for the 8 Hour CNA Skills Review, 16 hours of clinical, and CNA testing separately on-line at www.averasolutions.org.

Login and password access for both facility students and independent student will expire after 90 days. You may request a 30 day extension if needed (additional fee will be charged for any extensions). Facility students will have 4 months to complete the program in its entirety. Independents will have 6 months to complete the program in its entirety.

What is the Cancellation Policy

Facility Students - Upon registering the student for the CNA On-line training program, AESS will charge the employing facility the current fee. This fee will include Units I, II and III of the on-line training activities. Students must be registered by the employing facility for the didactic (online) program, and testing individually. All components of the training must be documented and submitted to AESS 10 days prior to testing. If cancellation of the testing is necessary, AESS must be notified within 10 days of the testing date, or the full testing fee will be charged.

Independent Students - Avera Education & Staffing Solutions (AESS) reserves the right to require a non-refundable pre-payment for tuition and fees prior to advancing through both Part I, II and III (51 hours of on-line modules) and the 8 hour skills review. The fee schedule may be obtained by contacting AESS by phone at (605)668-8475. After AESS receives payment for the clinical component (which includes one testing opportunity), the fee is non-refundable. A case-by-case review for refund requests because of medical emergencies or bereavement will be made by the AESS Director. Documentation is required to allow AESS to review the reasons for the refund request. If AESS determines that good cause exists, the student may be excused from the clinical component and may reschedule. If documentation is not acceptable, the clinical component is non-refundable.

Do I need a computer to take this training?

Yes; all students are required to have access to a computer (with sound and video capabilities, internet access, and the latest version of Adobe Flash Player* is recommended, along with the latest version of Adobe Reader.) Internet browsers recommended for accessing this course are Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Students may also use Internet Explorer (latest versions are recommended). Cookies must be enabled to provide continuity and maintain your login from page to page. You must also enable pop-up windows and Javascript. Internet Explorer 8 will not support the features of this course.

*Please note that different operating systems such as Windows 8 may incorporate Adobe Flash Player into the Internet Explorer browser.

Please contact AESS regarding technical difficulties, and have ready the operating system you are using, what internet browser you are using, and how you access the internet. If possible, try using a different internet browser and/or a different way to access the internet. For example, if you are on a network in a facility try WiFi.

If you are employed, an Instructor based in your facility is responsible to ensure you complete 16 hours of clinical training in a direct care setting in addition to the 51 hours of didactic education and 8 hours of sikll review training in the laboratory or clinical setting.

If you are not employed and are taking the course as an independent student, the AESS instructor will provide the 8 hours of skills learning/review in a laboratory setting AND the 16 hours of clinical training in a direct care environment. As an Independent student you must register for CNA skills review and the 16 hours of clinical training separately online at www.averasolutions.org. Independent students are also required to have the Independent Student Immunization Form filled out and turned in to AESS at least one week prior to any clinical hours. This form can be found at www.averasolutions.org under forms.

What do I need to start the program?

Read the Avera CNA On-Line Training Solutions© program overview and syllabus which outlines the training program. You will be referred to corresponding textbook chapters. The rewuired textbook you are to be using is: Pulliam, JoLynn. The Nursing Assistant: Acute, Subacute, and Long-Term Care (5th Edition). New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2011. ISBN: 0132622556. This textbook has an optional workbook that is not a required component of the Avera CNA On-Line Training Solutions© program. However, you or your employer may wish to purchase it as an additional training tool to reinforce instruction.

How do I start the program?

A login will be provided to you or your employer via e-mail to the Avera CNA On-Line Training Solutions© program. This login and password will be active for your use for 90 days. The introductory section of the program will provide guidance on how to work through the textbook chapters, work through on-line activities and to take the quizzes and tests. PLEASE NOTE: due to the size of the files, each activity may take a few moments to load onto your computer workstation.

What materials are required for the course?

The following are materials required for participation/completion of the Avera CNA On-Line Training Solutions:

  1. The Nursing Assistant: Acute, Subacute, and Long-Term Care (5th Edition) by JoLynn Pulliam (Prentice Hall, 2011 ISBN: 0132622556)
  2. The South Dakota CNA Candidate Handbook (SD Health Care Association and D&S Diversified Technologies, dba: Headmaster, Version Effective October 1st, 2015).
  3. A computer with internet, Adobe Acrobat 9 – or later, and sound and video capabilities. Avera CNA On-Line Training Solutions©: Forms used for the program are available at:https://www.avera.org/avera-solutions/cna-training-solutions/forms/

Note: if a facility student is to be CNA tested at AESS the supplemental instructor must register the student 10 days prior the requested testing date. Supplemental instructor and student are to also complete (sign/date) the Eligibility Verification Documentation Form and Training Documentation Form that will need to be emailed or faxed to AESS 10 days to requested testing date.

Who do I contact if I have questions regarding the materials?

If you are employed in a healthcare facility, the first person to talk with is the nurse in your facility identified as the Staff Development/RN Facility Instructor. This individual will oversee your training. Should you and the Facility Instructor require further clarification, contact the Primary Instructor at Avera Education & Staffing Solutions at 605-668-8475 between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday – Friday or you may submit your question to averasolutions@avera.org to the attention of CNA Training Programs.

If you are an independent student, you will be working directly with the AESS Primary Instructor and will follow the same process of either a telephone call or e-mail communication.

Every effort will be made to respond to your question as soon as possible; all questions will receive a response within 24 hours (excluding weekends and holidays).

Who do I contact if I have technical difficulties?

If you are employed in a healthcare facility, the first person to talk with is the nurse in your facility identified as the Staff Development/RN Facility Instructor. S/he will assist you or will contact the appropriate individual/department that works with computers to resolve the issues you may be facing. If further technical assistance is needed specific to the web-based programming, please contact Avera Education & Staffing Solutions at 605-668-8475 between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday–Friday. You may submit your inquiry to averasolutions@avera.org to the attention of CNA Training Programs.

If you are an independent student, you will be working directly with the AESS Primary Instructor and will follow the same process of either a telephone call or e-mail communication.

Every effort will be made to respond to your question as soon as possible; all questions will receive a response within 24 hours (excluding weekends or holidays).

What documentation is required for the program?

Complete the Training Documentation for located at: https://www.avera.org/avera-solutions/cna-training-solutions/forms/. Once at the website page, ensure you have requested the correct forms located under the column title of Facility Student or Independent Student. Select CNA Training Documentation Form 3.0. Additional forms for the program are also listed at this site. To review your completed chapter and unit scores go to the upper left corner under each unit and select “Administration,” the “Grades”. Record your score from the percenetage column for all quizzes and final exam onto the CNA Training Documentation Form 3.0.

What is my next step after I complete the 75 hours of CNA training?

If you are employed by a healthcare facility the Staff Development/RN Facility Instructor will arrange for you to take the Certified Nursing Assistant Competency Evaluation Exam administered through Headmaster. If you are an independent student, you will work with the AESS Primary Instructor to arrange for this Exam. All students are to complete (sign/date) the Eligibility Verification Documentation Form and Training Documentation Form, and either email or fax to AESS 10 days to requested testing date. Email: averasolutions@avera.org or Fax: 605.668.8483. Testing date will not be guaranteed if these forms are late and student may have to reschedule for another testing date.

What does the CNA Competency Evaluation Exam involve?

The Exam consists of two parts: A knowledge test administered on the computer and proctored by either the Staff Development/RN Facility Instructor in your facility OR by the AESS Primary Instructor at our location. This portion of the Exam consists of 75 randomly presented, multiple choice questions to ascertain your understanding of the knowledge necessary to be a successful Certified Nursing Assistant. The second part of the Exam tests your knowledge of the 26 essential skills required of a Certified Nursing Assistant. It consists of five randomly selected skills you must perform correctly in a laboratory setting before the Exam proctor to demonstrate your competency with these required skills. The complete list of skills to be mastered can be found at https://www.avera.org/avera-solutions/cna-training-solutions/forms/.

STUDENTS MUST RECEIVE A MINIMUM SCORE OF 75% CORRECT ANSWERS TO PASS THE EXAM.

What paperwork do I need to provide in order to register for the Exam?

The following documents must be completed and submitted to your Staff Development/RN Facility Instructor or the AESS Primary Instructor:

  • Eligibility Verification Form
  • Completed Avera CNA On-Line Training Solutions© Training Document Form signed by your staff development/RN Facility instructor or AESS Primary Instructor.

What if I don’t pass one or both parts of the CNA Competency Evaluation Exam?

The Competency Evaluation Exam (computer and skills exam) may be taken a total of three times. In the case of facility-based students unable to successfully pass both the computer and skills exam, the Staff Development/RN Facility Instructor is to contact the SD Department of Health to determine whether the student may be remediated and then retake the exam. The student may retake the computer exam no more than three times, or must be reenrolled into the Avera CNA On-Line Training Solutions© program.

Please note: individuals with learning disabilities must bring this to the attention of their instructor well in advance (up to 4-6 weeks) prior to taking the CNA Competency Evaluation Exam. All students may request oral testing (computer reads exam to student while student wears headphones/earbuds), which is not considered special testing. The request for oral testing must be noted on the Eligibility Verification Form.

Once I pass the exam, what do I need to do to start working as a CNA?

The South Dakota Board of Nursing (SDBON) maintains an official registry of all certified nursing assistants qualified to provide patient care services in nursing facilities in South Dakota. Once the student successfully passes the CNA Competency Evaluation Exam, the student’s name and status is added to the registry (https://doh.sd.gov/boards/nursing/). Once your name is listed on the Registry, including your certificate number, you are able to work as a Certified Nursing Assistant in South Dakota. All questions related to your status on the registry are to be directed to the SD Board of Nursing.

Do I have to renew my certification?

Yes; you must renew your certification every 2 years. Please visit the SDBON website to review specific requirements (www.sdboardofnursing.org).

Am I allowed to work in a nursing facility whe I'm training to be a CNA?

If you are enrolled in a nursing assistant training program you can work as a nursing assistant for up the 4 months in a nursing facility without being certified, as deemed acceptable by RN facility instructor.

How long can I wait to take the CNA Competency Evaluation Exam after I complete the program?

You must take the CNA Competency Evaluation Exam (computer and skills exam) within 24 months of completion of the Avera CNA On-Line Training Solutions© program.

Facility Instructor Questions

How do I enroll a student in the program?

Contact Avera Education& Staffing Solutions at 605-668-8475 or averasolutions@avera.org. If assistance is needed to enroll a student we would be happy to assist you.

Staff can assist with enrolling the student in either Avera CNA On-Line Training Solutions Curriculum© - DIDACTIC ONLY (51 hours of on-line curriculum) or on-site classroom Nursing Assistant Training Program.

Staff can assist you through the on-line registration process. Remember that the facility is also required to complete 8 hours of CNA Skills Training in addition to the 51 hours online computer training to equal 59 hours of training. The minimum 16 hours of clinical training is to be supervised directly by the approval instructor.

Once the 51 hours of online computer training, 8 hours of CNA Skills Review training and 16 hours of Clinical Training are completed per curriculum requirements in total of 75 hours prior to the student completing the written and Skills Competency Exam as required to be placed on the SD Board of Nursing Registry.

Does the student need computer access for training?

Yes; all students are required to have access to a computer (with sound and video capabilities, internet access, and the latest version of Adobe Flash Player* is recommended, along with the latest version of Adobe Reader.) Internet browsers recommended for accessing this course are Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Students may also use Internet Explorer (latest versions are recommended). Cookies must be enabled to provide continuity and maintain your login from page to page. You must also enable pop-up windows and Javascript. Internet Explorer 8 is not supported; you must use Internet Explorer 9 or later.

*Please note that different operating systems such as Windows 8 may incorporate Adobe Flash Player into the Internet Explorer browser.

Please contact AESS regarding technical difficulties, and have ready the operating system you are using, what internet browser you are using, and how you access the internet. If possible, try using a different internet browser and/or a different way to access the internet. For example, if you are on a network in a facility try WiFi.

Who is responsible for the clinical component of the program?

The Facility Instructor is responsible for a minimum of 16 hours of clinical training in a direct care setting.

After enrolling, how does the student start?

The student must read the Avera CNA On-Line Training Solutions© overview and syllabus which outlines the training program; this includes references to required reading in the textbook. The required textbook is: Pulliam, JoLynn. The Nursing Assistant: Acute, Subacute, and Long-Term Care (5th Edition). New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2011. ISBN: 0132622556. This textbook has an optional workbook that is not a required component of the Avera CNA On-Line Training Solutions Curriculum© - DIDACTIC ONLY (51 hours of on-line curriculum) program. However, the facility may wish to purchase it as an additional training tool to reinforce instruction. A link for the Avera CNA On-Line Training Solutions Curriculum© - DIDACTIC ONLY (51 hours of on-line curriculum) will be provided to the Facility Instructor via e-mail. This link and its password will be active for the individual student’s use for 90 days. The course overview, syllabus, and the introductory section of the program will provide guidance on how to work through the textbook chapters, work through on-line modules, and take the on-line chapter quizzes and final exam. Scores for chapter quiz/test are to be recorded onto the Training Documentation form and approved by the Facility Instructor.

PLEASE NOTE: due to the size of the files, some of the activities may take a few moments to load to the computer workstation.

What materials are required for the course?

The following are materials required for participation/completion of the Avera CNA On-Line Training Solutions© program:

  • The Nursing Assistant: Acute, Subacute, and Long-Term Care (5th Edition) by JoLynn Pulliam (Prentice Hall, 2011 ISBN: 0132622556)
  • The South Dakota CNA Candidate Handbook (SD Health Care Association and D&S Diversified Technologies, dba: Headmaster, Version 57 09/12)
  • A computer with internet, Adobe Acrobat Reader 9 or later, sound and video capabilities
  • Training Documentation Form 3.0 (available at https://www.avera.org/avera-solutions/cna-training-solutions/forms/).

Who do I contact if I have questions regarding the content materials or if I have technical difficulties?

Contact the Primary Instructor at Avera Education & Staffing Solutions at 605-668-8475 between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday – Friday or you may submit your question to averasolutions@avera.org to the attention of CNA Training Programs. Every effort will be made to respond to your question as soon as possible; all questions will receive a response within 24 hours (excluding weekends and holidays).

Where can I find test dates and locations?

AESS CNA test dates are located at: www.averasolutions.org.

Testing Location

Benedictine Center (4th floor)
Avera Sacred Heart Hospital Campus
1000 W. 4th St., Suite 9
Yankton, SD 57078

What paperwork needs to be completed prior to testing?

Select a CNA test date and then complete the on-line document AESS Eligibility Verification Form available at https://www.avera.org/avera-solutions/cna-training-solutions/forms/.

The Facility Instructor must provide this document to AESS by one of the following methods:

Avera Education & Staffing Solutions
Attention: Avera CNA On-Line Training Solutions©
1000 W. 4th St., Suite 9
Yankton, SD 57078

The Eligibility Verification Form must be received by AESS no later than 10 days prior to the Exam. Once AESS receives the Eligibility Verification Form, AESS will contact Headmaster to arrange and schedule the student for the Exam. AESS will email a CNA Testing Confirmation (includes test date and time) to the Facility Instructor or other approved person for that facility.

The Facility Instructor may arrange for the student to take the CNA Competency Evaluation Exam independent of AESS, at your own facility, providing your facility is approved by SDHCA and Headmaster to be a Test Administrator and test site.

What do I need to submit to register a student for the competency exam?

The following documents must be completed and submitted by the Supplemental Instructor to the AESS Primary Instructor:

  • Avera CNA On-line Training Solution: CNA Training Documentation Form 3.0
  • Eligibility Verification Form

What does the CNA Competency Evaluation Exam involve?

The Exam consists of two parts: A knowledge test administered on the computer and proctored by either the Facility Instructor in your facility OR by the AESS Primary Instructor at our location. This portion of the Exam consists of 75 randomly presented, multiple choice questions to ascertain the student’s understanding of the knowledge necessary to be a successful Certified Nursing Assistant.

The second part of the Exam tests the student’s knowledge of the 26 essential skills required of a Certified Nursing Assistant. It consists of five randomly selected skills the student must perform correctly in a laboratory setting before the Exam proctor to demonstrate competency with these required skills. The complete list of skills to be mastered can be found at www.SDHCA.org.

STUDENTS MUST RECEIVE A MINIMUM SCORE OF 75% CORRECT ANSWERS TO PASS THE EXAM.

Where can I find a copy of the SD CNA Handbook that includes the 26 skills used on the exam?

The South Dakota CNA Candidate Handbook can be found and downloaded from the South Dakota Health Care Association website, www.SDHCA.org or at the AESS website at https://www.avera.org/avera-solutions/cna-training-solutions/forms/.

What if the student doesn’t pass one or both parts of the exam?

The Competency Evaluation Exam (computer and skills exam) may be taken a total of three times. The student may retake the computer exam no more than three times, or must be reenrolled into the Avera CNA On-Line Training Solutions Curriculum© - DIDACTIC ONLY (51 hours of on-line curriculum). In the case of facility-based students unable to successfully pass both the computer and skills exam after three (3) attempts, in extreme or unusual situations, the Facility Instructor may choose to contact the SD Department of Health, LTC Health Advisor, to determine whether the student may be remediated and then retake the exam.

Please note: individuals with documented learning disabilities or needs accommodation (for example a previous IEP) must bring this to the attention of their instructor prior to taking the CNA Competency Evaluation Exam (CNA Testing Exam). If the student is being tested at the AESS testing location and needs accommodation (for example a previous IEP), the Facility Instructor is to contact AESS, as soon as possible, as this request is time sensitive as SDHCA requires time to consider approval of accommodation.

Additionally, all students may request an oral exam (the computer reads the questions to the student, while student is wearing headphones). If the student is requesting oral testing and is being tested at their own facility, the student is to discuss this with their Facility Instructor. If the student is requesting oral testing at the AESS testing location, this request for oral testing or should be noted on the AESS Eligibility Verification form.

Once the student passes the exam, what needs to be done to begin working as a CNA?

The South Dakota Board of Nursing (SDBON) maintains an official registry of all certified nursing assistants qualified to provide patient care services in nursing facilities in South Dakota. Once the student successfully passes the CNA Competency Evaluation Exam, the student’s name and status is added to the registry (www.sdboardofnursing.org).

Once the student’s name is listed on the Registry, including their certificate number, the student is able to work as a Certified Nursing Assistant in South Dakota. All questions related to the student’s status on the registry are to be directed to the SD Board of Nursing.

Does the student have to renew their certification?

Yes; it is the CNA's responsibility to renew their certification every 2 years. Please visit the SDBON website to review specific requirements (www.sdboardofnursing.org).

Is the Nursing Assistant allowed to work in a nursing facility while enrolled in the program?

The student may work in a nursing facility up to 4 months from the date of hire, as long as they are enrolled in a nursing assistant training program and must become a Certified Nursing Assistant within 4 months and approved by the Facility Instructor as appropriate to provide care.

How long can the student wait to take the exam after they complete the program?

The student may delay completion of the CNA Competency Evaluation Exam for up to 24 months from completion of the Avera CNA On-Line Training Solutions© program, if not employed in a facility.

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