Certified Medication Assistant (CMA) Certification

What is the Certified Medication Assistant (CMA) Certification?

The Certified Medication Assistant (CMA) certification is a specialized certification for nursing assistants or other direct care professionals who have completed additional training to administer medications to patients under the supervision of a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse.

Eligibility Requirements

To become a CMA, candidates must hold an active Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) certification or equivalent and have a specific amount of work experience (varying by state) as a CNA or in a similar role. Some states may have additional requirements, such as passing a background check.


CMA candidates must complete a state-approved medication aide training program. This program usually consists of 60-100 hours of instruction, covering topics like medication administration, drug classifications, side effects, dosage calculations, and documentation.


Upon completing the training program, candidates must pass a state-approved CMA certification exam, which typically consists of a written portion and a skills demonstration. The written portion assesses the candidate’s knowledge of medication administration, while the skills demonstration tests their ability to perform medication administration tasks safely and accurately.

What is covered on the CMA exam?

The content of the Certified Medication Assistant (CMA) exam may vary based on the state and the certifying organization. However, generally, the CMA exam assesses a candidate’s knowledge and skills related to medication administration, including topics such as medication classification, routes of administration, dosage calculations, pharmacology, medication orders, documentation, and patient education. The exam may also include questions related to infection control, patient safety, and legal and ethical considerations.

What are the benefits of the CMA certification?

The Certified Medication Assistant (CMA) certification offers several benefits for nursing assistants and other direct care professionals, such as:

Expanded scope of practice: A CMA certification allows nursing assistants to administer medications under the supervision of a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse, broadening their responsibilities and enhancing their skill set.

Increased job opportunities: CMAs are in demand in various healthcare settings, such as nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and long-term care facilities. The certification can open up new job opportunities and make candidates more marketable to employers.

Higher earning potential: With the additional skills and responsibilities associated with medication administration, CMAs may have higher earning potential than nursing assistants without the certification.

Career advancement: The CMA certification can serve as a stepping stone for career advancement within the healthcare field. It can lead to further specialization or serve as a foundation for pursuing higher education or additional certifications, such as becoming a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or registered nurse (RN).

Professional credibility: The CMA certification demonstrates a commitment to professional development and maintaining competency in the healthcare field. It can enhance a candidate’s credibility and reputation among colleagues and employers.

Improved patient care: With proper training in medication administration, CMAs can contribute to improved patient care by ensuring that medications are administered safely, accurately, and in a timely manner.

How long is the cMA certification valid?

The Certified Medication Assistant (CMA) certification is generally valid for a period of two years, although the exact validity period may vary depending on the state. To maintain an active certification, CMAs must typically complete a renewal process, which can include fulfilling continuing education requirements, providing proof of employment, and paying a renewal fee.

However, it is crucial to consult your state’s specific requirements for CMA certification renewal, as there may be slight variations in the process, required documentation, and fees. Staying informed about renewal deadlines and requirements can help ensure that you maintain an active certification and avoid potential lapses in your ability to work as a CMA.


Once the candidate has successfully passed the CMA exam, they will be issued a CMA certification by their state’s nurse aide registry or relevant licensing board. This certification must be maintained and renewed according to state requirements, which may include continuing education and proof of ongoing employment.

What else do i need to know about the EFDA?

Scope of practice: CMAs are authorized to administer medications to patients in various healthcare settings, such as nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and long-term care facilities. They must follow state-specific regulations and work under the supervision of a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse.

Job Opportunities: Earning a CMA certification can expand a nursing assistant’s job opportunities, as they are qualified to take on additional responsibilities related to medication administration. This can also lead to increased earning potential and career advancement within the healthcare industry.

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