CNA Exam To Be Translated To Spanish and Chinese in MA

2 Min Read Published August 16, 2023
CNA Exam To Be Translated To Spanish and Chinese in MA

The certified nursing assistant (CNA) exam is currently only offered in English throughout the United States, this poses a barrier to non-native speakers who wish to break into the profession. Lawmakers recognize this barrier and are renewing efforts to offer the certified nursing assistant exam in Spanish and Chinese to help address critical workforce shortages in the healthcare field, especially long-term care facilities.

Massachusetts Fiscal Budget Includes Translation

Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey approved a $55.98 billion state budget for fiscal year 2024 on August 9, 2023, that included a policy section addressing the CNA exam translations. 

According to a recent McKinsey report, the U.S. faces a shortage of over 450,000 nurses in the next two years. Offering the CNA exam in different languages may help fill this gap by making the CNA test more accessible to foreign-educated nurses while they work towards becoming Registered Nurses in the U.S.

Why Translate The CNA Exam?

One approach to addressing healthcare shortages and building a strong pipeline into nursing that is gaining more attention is making the CNA certification exam available in other languages, like Spanish and Chinese. The exam is currently only offered in English, which can be a barrier for some foreign-educated nurses to become licensed in the U.S. 

Translating the CNA exam into Spanish and Chinese could make the test more accessible to nurses from Latin America, China, and other regions looking to fill CNA roles in America. This may be an important step towards alleviating workforce shortages, especially for entry-level positions like certified nursing assistants.

How To Work in the U.S. As a Foreign Educated Nurse

There are several steps foreign-educated nurses need to take before they can legally work in the U.S. healthcare system, this guide outlines those steps. 

Becoming a CNA is a more entry-level step to break into the medical field while advancing your education to become an LPN or Registered Nurse. In fact, working as a CNA before becoming a nurse will add to your skill set, make the transition easier, and increase your job opportunities. Learn more about advancing from a CNA to registered nurse in our career guide.

Making the CNA exam available in the two most commonly spoken languages other than English in the U.S. could open up the field to many more prospective nurses. While not a complete solution, translating the test is one meaningful way to chip away at the nursing shortage and ensure high-quality care for patients across America.

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