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CNA Frequently Asked Questions


​A:  Division 63 of the Nurse Practice Act identifies the specific duties that a CNA1 may complete and the additional duties that a CNA2 may complete.

The authorized duties for CNAs are finite lists and may not be expanded upon by the nurse. The CNA is responsible to decline assignments of duties not included in the authorized duties approved by the Board.
A:  Yes.  Duties assigned by the nurse must be consistent with the authorized duties for the CNA1 found in Division 63 of the Nurse Practice Act.

The authorized duties for CNAs (both CNA1 and CNA2) are finite lists and may not be expanded upon by the nurse. The CNA is responsible to decline assignments not included in the authorized duties approved by the Board.
​A:  Hours spent performing CNA1 or CNA2 authorized duties for pay under supervision of a RN or LPN, or under monitoring by an RN who works for the same employer as the CNA, may be used toward renewal.

Monitored supervision means that the RN assesses and plans for care of the client, assigns duties to the nursing assistant according to the nursing care plan, and evaluates client outcomes as an indicator of the CNA's competency.  Hours worked under the direction of a physician would not count as CNA hours.
​A:  The CNA (at level 1 and 2) may only administer over-the-counter (OTC) suppositories, topical barrier skin creams/ointments, and OTC pediculicides (treatment for lice).  The CNA needs to receive direction from the nurse to administer/apply these items.

The CNA may not administer medications beyond the listed items even if given specific instructions by the nurse. Assisting a client to take their medications is also not within the authorized duties for the CNA.

Many facilities include items on the Medication Administration Record (MAR) that are not medications such as tube feedings or oxygen.  The CNA may work with tube feedings and oxygen as described in the Division 63 Authorized Duties.
​A:  Hours worked in various technician roles do not count for renewal of the CNA certificate.

Roles such as an OB tech, ED tech, anesthesia tech, etc. are unique positions created by employers to meet specific needs of a unit/service.  These positions are not limited to the CNA authorized duties and these roles do not require a license/certificate from a state regulatory agency.
​A:  No.  The Board does not set an age requirement for seeking the CNA or CMA.  Most training programs define age requirements for admission, however.


​A:  No, except for some unique circumstances.

The Board of Nursing has an Interpretive Statement that helps explain what may be considered patient abandonment.  In a setting where a CNA may be providing care in a client's home and no other care provider is available to take over the care, it could be considered patient abandonment to leave the client alone.  A CNA working as the only care provider in a client's home is advised to fully understand the options open to them, if a relieving CNA is not available.
​A:  This question is not answered by the Nurse Practice Act.

The Board does not regulate facilities or their scheduling and staffing activities.  For many settings where CNAs are employed, there are laws/rules for the facility that define CNA to client/resident ratios.  CNA staffing ratios in nursing facilities are regulated by the Oregon Department of Human Services.
​A:  This is an employment issue and is not regulated by the Board of Nursing.

Scheduling, hours of work, overtime policies, etc. are Human Resources issues.  Laws related to employment and standards for facility licensing are the best resources for questions in these areas.

If there is a situation where the work scheduling is being implemented by a licensed nurse and the result is unsafe client care, the individual nurse may be reported to the Board through the on-line complaint form.  The Board of Nursing investigates individual nurses to determine if there has been a violation of the Nurse Practice Act.  The Board of Nursing does not take complaints about or investigate facilities or departments within facilities.
A:  No. This is not a requirement for renewal.

Requirements for training in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and/or first aid are typically a requirement of facility policies, rules governing a setting/service, and/or a specific position description within an organization.
​A:  It depends.

The CNA must work under the direction of a nurse who works for the same employer as the CNA.  That nurse must be seeing the clients to assess their needs and contributing to the care plan that guides the CNA's work.  If there is no nurse employed by the facility, the CNA would not be able to count hours worked there for renewal.
​A:  Possibly, but the worked hours would not count for the CNA certificate renewal.

The Nurse Practice Act does not prohibit the CNA from accepting a position in another role.  Medical assistants are unregulated assistive personnel and have no list of authorized duties defined by a regulatory board.  Their work is defined by the licensed independent practitioner (such as a physician) in the office or clinic who may delegate a variety of tasks to the medical assistant including injections and drawing blood.  Most medical assistant training programs teach many procedures that are not included in CNA training and are beyond the authorized duties for a CNA.  Very few of the authorized duties for CNAs are included in training programs for medical assistants.

The CNA is trained to work with dependent clients who need assistance with basic activities of daily living and need on-going care.  The medical assistant is trained to work with clients who are able to come into a clinic setting and receive just a small amount of help from the healthcare team during a short visit.  The two roles are not comparable.
​A:  Possibly, if the nurse has determined the client's circulation isn't compromised and has made this assignment to the CNA.

The CNA authorized duties include nail care of persons with uncompromised circulation.  The nurse must determine when it is appropriate to assign nail care to the CNA based on the client's condition and facility policies.
​A:  No.  This is not a part of the CNA's authorized duties.

A CNA may collect a specimen via nasal swab but may not administer a medicated solution via nasal swab.

A:  Yes, this is a part of the CNA2's authorized duties and may be assigned to the CNA2 by the licensed nurse.

If you cannot find the information you need at one of the links above, access the OSBN interactive scope-of-practice decision guide (PDF version), the OSBN interpretive practice statements, or the Nurse Practice Act

The Board does not answer any practice questions by phone or questions sent to the general OSBN e-mailbox.  You may submit a written practice question to Board Staff.  However, if your question is answered in the FAQs or in a practice statement, you will be directed back to the website.  Please allow up to four weeks for a response to your inquiry.

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