The Arkansas Health Care Association (AHCA) Medication Assistant – Certified (MA-C) Training Program has been approved by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing. The Program is designed to educate qualified students to perform the delegated function of medication administration and related tasks, under the supervision of a licensed nurse, in designated long-term care facilities as approved by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing. The Program includes both classroom and clinical training. Upon successful completion of the Program, students will be eligible to submit an application to take the examination required to become a MA-C.
Please note that the AHCA MA-C Training Program is only approved for SNFs at this time; ALFs are not eligible due to state regulations and ASBN rules.
- Follow the curriculum and clinical experiences guidelines for Medication Assistants – Certified as established by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing.
- Identify the scope of practice for Medication Assistants – Certified including ethics, communication, and legal responsibilities.
- Describe safety and infection control practices.
- Define common medical terminology and conditions as used in health care.
- Demonstrate competence and proficiency in skills within the Medication Assistant – Certified scope of practice.
- Demonstrate professional behaviors consistent with long-term care facilities.
- Adhere to the policies and procedures of the Program and its clinical sites.
Theory classes will be held in the offices of the Arkansas Health Care Association, 1401 W. Capitol Ave., Suite 175, Little Rock, Arkansas 72201, as well as other training spaces in Rogers, Fort Smith, Conway, Lonoke, and Hot Springs.
Clinicals will be held regionally in designated facilities.
Requirements for Admission
Applicants must have the following qualifications for program admittance:
- Currently listed in good standing with the state's certified nurse aide registry continuously for a minimum of one year.
- Completed at least one continuous year of full-time experience as a certified nurse aide in the state.
- Current employment at an ASBN approved facility.
- High school diploma or equivalent.
- Accuplacer entrance exam scores which reflect literacy and reading comprehension. All prospective students must take the Next-Generation Accuplacer test. Test scores must be at or above the 50th percentile in order to be considered for admittance to the Program. If student has taken the Next-Generation Accuplacer test and can provide proof of satisfactory test results, those results will be accepted.
- Satisfactory results on criminal background check, or the submission of documentation establishing a satisfactory criminal background check performed in the last twelve months.
Not all applicants may be accepted into the program due to limited positions.
All students must have the following completed prior to the first day of class:
- Proof of current TB skin test which does not expire during the length of the course.
- Influenza Vaccine (seasonal).
All applicants will have an equal opportunity for admission regardless of race, color, age, disability, sex, creed, religion, national origin, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws. Not all applicants are accepted into the Program. Applicants with special needs due to disability must make this fact known prior to admission, so that reasonable accommodations may be made, unless the accommodations would impose an undue hardship.
The following are estimated costs for the program.
Estimated tuition and fees: $1,000.00
Other items required for the Program:
- ID Badge Holder (provided by AHCA)
- Scrubs and tennis shoes
- Professional Liability Insurance
- Watch with a second hand – not digital
- Two t-shirts for clinicals (provided by AHCA)
- Skills lab equipment (provided by AHCA)
Resources & Textbook (provided by AHCA for use during Program):
- Hartman's Complete Guide for the Medication Aide. (2021). Hartman Publishing, Inc., Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Program Curriculum / Schedule
The Program consists of 102 total hours, including 62 theory/classroom hours (including 15 hours of skills lab) and 40 clinical hours.
The Program believes that for students to succeed, students should attend all scheduled class and clinical practicum days. Absences negatively affect a student's progress and success.
- Attendance at all lectures, laboratory and clinical sessions is expected and is regarded as a Program requirement. Students enrolled are expected to be on time, and remain in class, in skills lab, or in the clinical rotation for the scheduled time.
- Attendance records are maintained by the Program.
- A student must notify their instructor in the event of an absence.
- If possible, in the event of an absence, the student will be required to make up the missed time at the discretion of the instructor and the instructor's availability.
- A certificate of completion will not be granted until all requirements have been completed.
- If greater than 6 hours are missed in the Program, the student will be dismissed and will fail the Program.
- Current, unencumbered nursing license to practice in the state of Arkansas.
- Minimum of one (1) year of recent experience in long-term care.
- Employment at a facility that agrees to allow preceptorship. Facility must also have a current affiliation agreement with the Medication Assistant – Certified Program, or at a facility willing to enter into an affiliation agreement.
- A 1:1 ratio must be maintained between Preceptor and Student.
- Successful completion of all components of the didactic and lab portions of the Medication Assistant – Certified program and at least 24 hours of clinical experience prior to start of the precept clinical experience.
- All clinical healthcare requirements as required by the affiliation agreement with the facility where the preceptorship experience will occur.