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Top 11 Certified Medication Aide Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top certified medication aide certifications available to healthcare professionals.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 18 min read

Certifications are important for certified medication aides in the job market because they demonstrate an individual’s qualifications and experience in the field. Employers value certifications as they provide assurance that a potential employee has the necessary skills and knowledge to perform their duties effectively. Many employers may require certification in order to be considered for a position, and having a certification can give an individual an edge over other candidates who don’t have one. Additionally, certifications can help certified medication aides advance their careers by allowing them to take on more responsibility or move into higher-level positions.

The purpose of this article is to review the top certifications for Certified Medication Aides and explain how they can help advance a certified medication aide's career.

What are Certified Medication Aide Certifications?

Certified Medication Aide (CMA) certification is a professional certification that allows individuals to safely and accurately administer medications to patients in long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities, hospitals, and other settings. The certification is obtained by taking an approved medication aide course, passing a state-approved exam, and having a valid license or certificate to practice as a medication aide.

The CMA certification provides healthcare professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to properly administer medications under the supervision of a licensed nurse or physician. It also demonstrates that the individual has the ability to interpret orders from physicians and nurses, follow safety protocols in administering medications, understand pharmacology and drug interactions, recognize adverse reactions to medications, ensure accurate documentation of medication administration, and provide patient education regarding their medications.

Having this certification can help healthcare professionals stand out among other applicants when applying for jobs in long-term care facilities or other settings where they will be required to administer medications. Additionally, it demonstrates that the individual has taken initiative to obtain additional knowledge beyond what was learned during their initial training in order to provide quality care for patients.

Always stay up to date on your certified medication aide certification requirements. This includes completing continuing education courses, renewing your license, and ensuring that you are aware of any changes in regulations or laws related to the profession.

Related: What does a Certified Medication Aide do?

Top 11 Certified Medication Aide Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Certified Medication Aides today.

1. Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

A Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is a healthcare professional who provides basic patient care under the supervision of a Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse. CNAs are responsible for assisting with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, feeding, and toileting. They also take vital signs, provide emotional support to patients and families, and help maintain a safe and clean environment.

It typically takes around 4-12 weeks to complete the CNA program. The exact length of time varies depending on the state in which you live and the program you choose. Most CNA programs consist of both classroom instruction and clinical experience in a healthcare setting.

To become a CNA, you must first complete an approved nursing assistant training program. After completing the program, you must pass the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) exam administered by your state’s Board of Nursing in order to receive certification as a nursing assistant.

The cost of becoming a CNA varies depending on where you live and what type of program you choose. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $500-$2,000 to complete the necessary training and obtain certification.

2. Certified Medication Aide (CMA)

Certified Medication Aide (CMA) is a healthcare professional who has been trained to provide medication administration and related services under the supervision of an RN or LPN. CMAs are responsible for administering medications, recording vital signs, observing patients for reactions to medications, and providing basic patient care.

It typically takes between four to eight weeks to complete the CMA program. The program consists of classroom instruction, supervised clinical experience, and a competency exam.

In order to become certified as a CMA, individuals must first meet the requirements set forth by their state’s Board of Nursing. These requirements may include completing an approved training program, passing a criminal background check, and obtaining CPR certification. Once these requirements have been met, individuals can take the CMA certification exam administered by either the National Council of State Boards of Nursing or the American Association of Medical Assistants.

The cost for becoming certified as a CMA varies depending on the state in which you live and the type of program you choose to take. Generally speaking, it costs between $500-$1,000 for tuition and fees associated with taking a CMA course. Additionally, there may be additional costs associated with obtaining CPR certification and taking the certification exam.

3. Certified Home Health Aide (CHHA)

A Certified Home Health Aide (CHHA) is a health care professional who provides personal care and support to individuals who are unable to perform basic activities of daily living due to illness, disability, or age. CHHAs provide assistance with bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, meal preparation, light housekeeping, and other related tasks. They also provide companionship and emotional support for their clients.

To become a CHHA in the United States, you must complete an approved training program that consists of at least 75 hours of instruction. This includes classroom instruction as well as supervised clinical experience. Training programs are offered by community colleges, vocational schools, and home health agencies. The cost of training varies depending on the type of program and location but typically ranges from $500 - $1000.

Once you have completed the required training program and passed the certification exam administered by the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), you will be eligible to work as a CHHA. In addition to completing the training program and passing the certification exam, most states require CHHAs to register with their state's licensing board in order to practice legally.

The cost of becoming a certified home health aide can vary depending on where you take your classes and how long it takes you to complete them. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $500-$1000 for tuition plus any additional fees associated with taking the certification exam.

4. Certified Geriatric Nursing Assistant (CGNA)

Certified Geriatric Nursing Assistant (CGNA) is a specialized certification for nurses who are interested in providing care to elderly patients. This certification is offered through the American Association of Nurse Assessment Coordinators (AANAC). The CGNA certification focuses on the assessment and management of geriatric patients, including those with chronic illnesses, mental health issues, and end-of-life care.

It takes approximately two months to complete the CGNA program. During this time, students must complete an online course that covers topics such as gerontology, nursing assessment techniques, communication skills, and ethical considerations. Upon successful completion of the course, students will be eligible to take the CGNA exam.

To get certified as a CGNA, you must meet certain eligibility requirements before taking the exam. These include having a valid RN license in your state or country; being employed as a nurse for at least one year; completing at least 15 hours of continuing education related to geriatrics; and successfully passing the CGNA exam.

The cost of getting certified as a CGNA varies depending on where you take the exam and other factors such as whether you need to purchase study materials or pay for travel expenses associated with taking the exam. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $200-$500 USD to become certified as a CGNA.

5. Certified Medical-Surgical Technician (CMST)

A Certified Medical-Surgical Technician (CMST) is a healthcare professional who specializes in the care of patients with medical or surgical conditions. They provide direct patient care, assist physicians and nurses in the diagnosis and treatment of medical and surgical conditions, and help to maintain a safe environment for patients.

The CMST certification is offered by the National Board for Certification of Medical-Surgical Technicians (NBCMST). To become certified, individuals must have completed an accredited medical-surgical technology program and have at least one year of full-time experience as a medical-surgical technician. The certification process includes passing a written exam that covers topics such as anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, medical terminology, laboratory procedures, patient assessment, and clinical skills.

It typically takes up to six months to complete the certification process. During this time, applicants must complete all required coursework, pass the written exam, submit their application materials to NBCMST for review and approval, and pay any applicable fees.

The cost of becoming certified varies depending on the applicant’s individual circumstances. Generally speaking, applicants can expect to pay between $200-$400 for their application materials and exam fees.

6. Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPT)

A Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPT) is a professional who has completed a certification program and passed an exam to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in the pharmacy field. This certification is offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA), which is recognized nationally as a leader in healthcare certifications.

The CPT certification requires completion of an accredited training program, such as those offered by community colleges or vocational schools. The program typically takes about one year to complete and includes coursework in pharmacology, medical terminology, drug calculations, and pharmacy law. Once the training program has been completed, applicants must pass an exam administered by the NHA to become certified.

To get certified, applicants must submit an application to the NHA along with official transcripts from their training program and a fee of $129 for members or $179 for non-members. After submitting their application, applicants will receive notification of acceptance within two weeks. Once accepted into the program, applicants will be able to take the CPT exam at any approved testing site within six months of acceptance.

Once all requirements have been met and the exam successfully passed, applicants will receive their official CPT certification from the NHA within four weeks of passing the exam.

7. Certified Dialysis Technician (CDT)

A Certified Dialysis Technician (CDT) is a healthcare professional who is trained and certified to operate dialysis machines, monitor patient progress, and provide care for patients undergoing dialysis treatments. Dialysis technicians are responsible for setting up the dialysis machine, connecting patients to the machine, monitoring their vital signs during treatment, and ensuring that the machine is working properly. They also help with patient education and provide emotional support to patients.

To become a CDT, individuals must complete an accredited program in dialysis technology or nursing with a specialization in dialysis. The program typically takes about one year to complete and includes classroom instruction as well as clinical experience. After completing the program, individuals must pass a certification exam administered by either the Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing Technology (BONENT) or the Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC).

The cost of becoming a CDT varies depending on where you take your classes and how long it takes you to complete them. Generally speaking, tuition costs range from $2,000-$5,000 for most programs. Additionally, there may be additional fees associated with taking the certification exam such as registration fees or study materials.

8. Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA)

Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) is a nationally recognized certification for medical assistants. It is awarded by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). The CCMA credential is designed to recognize and validate the knowledge, skills, and abilities of medical assistants who are employed in clinical settings.

The CCMA certification requires successful completion of an exam that covers topics such as anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, patient care techniques, laboratory procedures, pharmacology, and administrative duties. The exam consists of 140 multiple-choice questions and must be completed within two hours.

To become certified as a CCMA, individuals must meet certain eligibility requirements. These include being at least 18 years old; having completed a formal medical assistant program or have at least one year of experience working as a medical assistant; and passing a criminal background check.

The cost to take the CCMA exam varies depending on where you take it. Generally speaking, it costs between $90-$150 to register for the exam. Additionally, there may be additional fees for study materials or practice tests.

Once certified as a CCMA, individuals must renew their certification every two years by completing continuing education credits or retaking the exam.

9. National Council of State Boards of Nursing Medication Aide Certification Program

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) Medication Aide Certification Program is a national program that provides certification to individuals who wish to become medication aides in long-term care facilities. This program is designed to ensure that individuals who work as medication aides have the necessary knowledge and skills to safely and accurately administer medications to residents in long-term care facilities.

The program consists of two parts: a written exam and a practical skills assessment. The written exam covers topics such as pharmacology, medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, administration of medications, and infection control. The practical skills assessment includes demonstrating the proper techniques for measuring, preparing, administering, and disposing of medications.

In order to be eligible for the NCSBN Medication Aide Certification Program, applicants must be at least 18 years old and have completed an approved medication aide training program. The training program must include at least 120 hours of classroom instruction and 40 hours of supervised clinical practice.

The cost of the NCSBN Medication Aide Certification Program varies depending on where you take the exam. Generally speaking, the cost ranges from $100-$200 for both parts of the exam. Once certified, there are no additional fees required for recertification or renewal.

The entire process typically takes about 6 months from start to finish; however, this can vary depending on how quickly you complete your training program and when you are able to take the exams.

10. American Association of Nurse Assistants Medication Aide Certification

The American Association of Nurse Assistants (AANA) Medication Aide Certification is a program designed to train and certify nurse assistants to safely and accurately administer medications in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other long-term care settings. This certification allows nurse assistants to perform medication administration duties under the direction of a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse.

The AANA Medication Aide Certification program typically takes between six to nine months to complete. During this time, students will learn the fundamentals of medication administration, including proper dosing, storage, labeling, and documentation. They will also receive instruction on how to recognize potential medication errors and adverse reactions.

To get certified as an AANA Medication Aide, individuals must first meet certain eligibility requirements. These include having a high school diploma or GED; being at least 18 years old; completing an approved training course; passing both a written and practical exam; and obtaining CPR certification from the American Heart Association or Red Cross.

The cost of the AANA Medication Aide Certification program varies depending on the institution offering it. Generally speaking, it can range anywhere from $500-$1,000 for tuition and fees associated with the training course. In addition to this cost, there may also be additional fees for textbooks, testing materials, background checks, etc.

11. National Healthcareer Association Medication Aide Certification

The National Healthcareer Association (NHA) Medication Aide Certification is a credential that demonstrates an individual’s knowledge and skills in administering medications to patients. This certification is designed for those who are employed as medication aides in long-term care facilities, hospitals, and other healthcare settings.

To become certified, individuals must complete a training program approved by the NHA. The training program typically takes between six to twelve weeks to complete depending on the individual's prior experience. During the program, students will learn about medication administration, patient safety protocols, and other related topics.

Once the training is completed, individuals must take and pass the NHA Medication Aide Certification exam. The exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions covering topics such as pharmacology, drug forms and routes of administration, patient safety protocols, and more. After passing the exam, individuals will receive their certification from the NHA which will be valid for two years before needing to be renewed.

The cost of obtaining this certification varies depending on where you take your training course but can range anywhere from $600-$1500 USD.

Do You Really Need a Certified Medication Aide Certificate?

Yes, a Certified Medication Aide Certificate is important for those working in the field of medication administration. This certificate provides proof that an individual has the necessary knowledge and skills to safely and accurately administer medications. It also indicates that they have completed the required training and have passed all exams related to the certification.

Certification is especially important when administering certain medications such as opioids, psychotropic drugs, or controlled substances. These types of medications must be administered with caution and precision due to their potential for misuse or abuse. With a Certified Medication Aide Certificate, healthcare providers can rest assured that their patient is receiving the correct dosage at the right time.

In addition to providing reassurance to patients and healthcare providers, having a Certified Medication Aide Certificate can also open up more job opportunities in the field of medication administration. Employers may prefer to hire someone who has already proven their ability to handle medication appropriately and effectively.

Overall, having a Certified Medication Aide Certificate is beneficial for both patients and healthcare providers alike. It provides assurance that medications are being properly administered and can open up new job opportunities for those looking to work in this field.

Related: Certified Medication Aide Resume Examples

FAQs About Certified Medication Aide Certifications

1. What is a Certified Medication Aide (CMA)?

Answer: A Certified Medication Aide (CMA) is a health care professional who has been trained to safely administer medications and provide basic nursing care to patients in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes and assisted living centers.

2. How do I become a Certified Medication Aide?

Answer: To become a CMA, you must complete an approved training program, pass the state CMA exam, and receive certification from your state's Board of Nursing.

3. What is the difference between a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) and a Certified Medication Aide (CMA)?

Answer: CNAs are trained to provide basic patient care such as bathing, dressing, feeding, and taking vital signs. CMAs are trained to administer medications safely and accurately while also providing basic nursing care.

4. How often do I need to renew my CMA certification?

Answer: Your CMA certification must be renewed every two years by completing continuing education courses or retaking the state exam.

5. What type of job opportunities are available for CMA's?

Answer: CMA's can work in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes or assisted living centers, home health agencies, hospitals, or other healthcare settings where they can provide medication administration services to patients.