CNA Exam Requirements

Being a certified nursing assistant (CNA) is nothing but being one of the vital health care professionals, especially in the nursing arena. It is the very first step towards becoming a senior nursing professional or supervisor or manager; and there are many more steps ahead like LPN / LVN (licensed practical nurse / licensed vocational nurse), RN (registered nurse), etc. As there are different job responsibilities for each of these nurses and the level of responsibility increases towards the higher level, certified nursing assistant can be considered as a fundamental or basic nursing professional. This means that a certified nurse assistant must possess the basic knowledge related to nursing and also the essential clinical skills.

All the nursing aspects and nursing skills are rendered to the students through the certified nurse aide classes; and the state examination for certified nursing aide serves to evaluate and verify the same through its characteristic test pattern. CNA exam is conducted in every state and is valid in that respective state only. There is a nurse aide registry for every state which governs all the aspects concerned with certified nursing assistant, right from classes to licensure.

CNA Exam: an Overview

It is a written and practical competency examination (also called as NNAAP (national nurse aide assessment program) ,which has to be given by the students after completing the certified nurse assistant program. The examination is taken in 2 parts: technical / theoretical and practical / clinical. The technical paper asks multiple choice questions to solve. This requires thorough study of the course content covered in the classroom session. On the other hand, practical test asks the students to perform any 5 clinical skills randomly, under supervision of senior registered nurses. They assess and evaluate each and every skill of the students in order to decide the level of nursing skills. At the same time, the course instructors of the students are also present there to monitor all the tasks done by them.

In this way, the students are tested both technically and practically in the CNA exam. The regulatory entity for this test is the state and federal board of nursing which renders it recognition. The students get their results online, within a month's period after they are done with the examination. If one passes in one of the 2 tests, then there is a facility of having retest for that particular paper. If one fails to clear both the papers, then retest can be given for both the papers. Generally, one can appear for retest twice to thrice. When a student fails to clear the examination even for 3 consecutive times, then retraining becomes necessary. This norm may vary state wise. Those who pass the examination successfully are eligible for the position of the entry-level nursing assistant. They can get their certificate and apply for the license too.

Preparation for CNA Exam

  • All the theory course material covered during technical classroom sessions must be thoroughly revised
  • Nursing related extra information must be read
  • Many facilities offering certified nursing aide classes and online / free courses offer practice tests for the examination. The students should get such practice tests n solve them so as to be comfortable in actual test.

Clinical Skills to be Practiced

  • Washing of hands, cleanliness practices
  • Cleaning of dentures
  • Providing mouth care
  • Bed making (occupied / unoccupied)
  • Feeding and dressing
  • Assisting ambulate using transfer belt
  • Transferring patient from the bed to wheel chair and vice versa
  • Counting and recording of pulse rate, respiratory rate
  • Assisting the use of bedpan
  • Repositioning the patient
  • Measuring and recording blood pressure, urinary output
  • Providing catheter care for female patients
  • Communicating with patients

Would be certified nursing assistants have to undergo training and a CNA exam after that, which is the path towards getting the certified nurse assistant certificate and license. This examination holds great importance to shape up the career of the nursing professionals.

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