The role of a certified nursing assistant is a remarkable one. They perform one of the most essential duties of taking care of health of the patients and the elderly people. Talented and extremely skilled employees are required for this post. Evaluation of the knowledge and the talent of the aspirants are checked by the certified nursing assistant state exam.
Eligibility Criteria for CNA Examination
Everyone is not allowed to appear for these exams. There are certain pre-requisites that should be fulfilled by the candidates before appearing for the examination. They are mentioned below:
- Age: The minimum age requirement is 18 years. However, this may differ from one state to another. Though, in most of the states the age requirement is 18, few states such as California provide admission to the students, who have completed 16 years of age.
- Educational Qualifications: Completion of a high school diploma or a General Educational Development (GED) is obligatory. This educational requirement is compulsory to ensure that all the students lie on the same page.
- Background Checks: This requirement needs to be fulfilled to ensure that the candidate does not possess any criminal records. The background checks are usually performed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
- Medical Check ups: Medical check up is necessary to make sure that the student does not suffer from any dreadful or contagious disease that may harm the other patients. Hence, a complete physical examination of the person is done before providing them license. One such medical test conducted is the tuberculosis test.
- Completion of the CNA Training: The nursing assistant trainings are conducted by many nursing schools, hospitals, community colleges, and other health care organizations. It is advisable to seek admission only in accredited and well-reputed training centers for best quality training. The duration of all the program is 75 hours in most states. These trainings can be pursued either through classroom training or online mode. Some of the nursing schools also conduct free CNA classes to reduce the burden of the training fees and all the deserving candidates get an opportunity to become nursing aide. During training the candidates are taught all the duties and responsibilities of a certified medication aide. The duties may include changing the bed linens, conducting vital tests, providing the patients with food and medicines from time to time, and maintaining hygiene of the patients. Both theoretical and practical sessions are conducted.
Structure of CNA Exam
Once all these requirements are met, you will be eligible to appear for the examination. The question paper comprises of two sections namely: a written test and a skills evaluation test. The written test consists of 50 multiple choice questions. The concepts taught in the theoretical sessions of the training will be included in this section.
In the skills evaluation test, five randomly selected questions from a total of 25 questions will be given and the applicant will have to perform all the five skills. The examiner present at the examination hall will evaluate the skills possessed by the applicant depending upon how they perform those skills. The duration of the exam is around 120 minutes.
Every candidate is given three attempts to pass the exams. However, if not passed in the third attempt, then they will have to undergo the nursing aide training program and appear for the competency test.
Prepare for CNA Certification Exam
Certified nursing assistants are highly demanded in healthcare facilities like
- Nursing homes
- Mental wards
- Rehabilitation centers
- Day care facilities etc.
This is because of many reasons, of which the foremost is that the aged are increasing in number and the types of ailments and diseases are also increasing.
In order to become a certified nursing aide, you will have to pass the CNA certification exam.
The CNA certification course is a tough one and you will have to be determined and dedicated enough so as to complete it successfully.
The process of enrollment itself is tough and you will have to fulfill all the requirements and eligibility criteria which differ from one state to the other.
You will also have to undergo a thorough background check which is very important as such a service oriented job requires a morally and socially responsible person.
You are also supposed to clear a qualifying exam which is to test our verbal and written communication skills.
The training program is a tough one and you will have to be determined to complete the seventy two hours successfully.
First, you will have to attempt the qualifying exam in order to be enrolled for the program and this exam is to test your verbal and written communication skills which are important while you handle the patient as well as the nurses and doctors you would be working with.
In order to clear the final CNA exam, you will have to attend all the theoretical and especially clinical practical sessions.
Attendance especially for the clinical practical sessions is obligatory and you will be expected to dress accordingly for the clinical sessions.
Theoretical classes will impart knowledge on aspects like
- Medication management
- Hygiene management
- Daily care
- Taking vital signs
- Upholding patient’s rights etc.
Clinical sessions are designed to give you an on-the-job training experience so that you could have the hands-on experience of the role of a certified nursing assistant.
There may be thirty hours of theoretical sessions and thirty hours of clinical sessions and you will be expected to complete the required duration of each without failing. You will be required to dress up in suitable clothes which will be necessary for the clinical sessions and theoretical sessions.
You may be asked to do a little strenuous work during the clinical sessions as the responsibilities of a certified nursing aide are quite strenuous, involving physical activities.
You may have to assist the patient as he or she may be weak to do the daily activities and this is where your role comes into the picture where you will have to be a moral and emotional support to the patient.
As you would be spending the maximum number of hours with the patient more than that of the nurses and doctors, you will be a major contributing factor for the recovery of the patient.
In long term healthcare facilities like hospitals and nursing homes, you may have to be a part of a team and work along with nurses and doctors and may be involved in aiding the recovery of the patient.
Apart from the daily care responsibilities, you may be given some additional responsibilities like
- Medication management of the patient,
- Rendering some exclusive therapies like speech therapy etc., for patients in need.
Some patients may require assistance in walking and you will have to be there when they need you.
Examinations which you will have to clear at the end of the training program may be tough and you will have to work hard to get the required score. There will be two exams, namely, the skills test and the written test.
Skills test will evaluate your practical knowledge gained from the clinical sessions and the written test will test your theoretical knowledge learnt from the classes. You may also enroll for online training programs and give the online CNA certification exam to get certified.
As soon as you clear the exam you will be listed in the registry of your state as a certified nursing assistant and you can then start looking for job opportunities in healthcare facilities.
One of the best ways to score good marks in the nursing aide competency tests is to attempt several practice tests. One such organization that conducts practice tests is the Prometric. Its official site comprises of several practice questions that have paper pattern similar to the final test papers.
Constant practice helps you gain confidence to appear for the final exams. Prometric has got its testing centers across several regions of the United States of America. There implies certain fees for every practice test you undertake.
Besides, there are certain free practice tests as well. Internet is the source where several practice question papers are available. There are many books, guides, and test papers available in the market. There is lot of online exam preparation material available that you can download free of cost.
Students will have to pay the required examination fees before appearing for the exam. The fees may vary from one state to another.
Given below are the fees of some of the states for the CNA certification exam.
CNA certification exam has to be cleared if one wants to become a nursing aide. You will get the license only if you clear both the tests and perform satisfactorily in all the theoretical and clinical sessions. You have to have patience to clear the certification with flying colors.
Exam Pattern in Brief
There are two parts of the certification exams:
This paper refers to the student’s theoretical knowledge regarding the basic health care information studied in the classroom.
The student must have theoretical information about:
- The human body mechanism
- Moving patients
- Bathing and feeding procedures
- Handle different medical equipment’s
They should also have the information about the admission and discharge procedures, as well as other documentations.
The theoretical test consists of 70 multiple-choice questions along with ten pre-test questions to verify the arithmetical knowledge of the students. It is followed by an oral exam consisting of 60 multiple-choice questions and ten word recognition questions.
Clinical Skill Exam
The clinical or the skill test evaluates the practical skills of a student. To pass the practical test, the candidate have to demonstrate three to five nursing skills on a live model.
The test is closely observed by a nursing examiner. The student have to present his abilities and skills including
- Hand washing procedures
- Helping the patient with the daily living activities
- Moving and re-positioning the patient
- Measuring the vital signs (blood-pressure, pulse, temperature) etc.
A student has to pass both the exams to become a certified nursing assistant. If a student fails in the exam, then they can re-appear for a maximum of 3 times. If they do not clear at the third attempt, then they have to again undergo the training session.
Pre-Test Formalities for Certification
Before the certification, candidate need to do some formalities such as
- The applicant has to fill a state application form at the Nursing Aide Registry licensing authority. The candidate has to sign, notarize and then send this application form to the State Licensing Office.
- One may require to fill up a training verification form to ensure that the training course that they have attended is a part of the credited program. The application form will then be sent to the Nurse Aide Registry to support the applicant’s license.
- One need to undergo background and medical check. For the background check, the applicant has to fill a fingerprint card at the Department of Public Safety to pass the criminal background check.
After these procedures are finished, the license application has to be approved by the local board of nursing. The application will be processed in four to eight weeks and the applicant will be informed through an e-mail or a letter.
The rules regarding the retests and the frequency at which one can re-appear may differ from one state to the other. Students must check about the same with their state health department.
Most colleges and universities have an agent to help the students in placing them at different medical settings as per their experience and workplace expectations. For home health aides, there is a national certification that is administered by the National Association for Home Care.
Healthcare sector has many opportunities to individuals who want to pursue a stable and lucrative career.
Certified nursing assistant jobs are high in-demand among such aspirants as they open up many avenues and also provide an opportunity to earn high salary in the beginning of your career. CNA certification training is required to clear the examination in order to become a certified nursing assistant in a healthcare facility.
Training is provided in schools and colleges which constitute of classes and practical sessions which will help you become a successful professional nursing aide.
The certification is the first step towards a career in the nursing and healthcare sector and this helps you get listed in the registry of your state which would further increase your job opportunities.
You should be careful in looking for schools or colleges which are accredited as training from a non-accredited school or college would not give you any advantage.
Advantages of State Competency Tests for Certified Nursing Aides
- Obtain CNA certification
- Obtain CNA license that will enable you to get a job of a certified nurse aide in any health care industry of the state
- Obtain the skills required to become a certified medication aide
Certified nursing assistant state exam is an evaluation process that will help judge your skills and capabilities to become a certified nursing assistant. Hard work and constant practice will help score good marks in this competency test.
Certified Nursing Assistant Exam Cram
If you have made a decision to pursue your long-term career in the field of health care or to be specific, in the nursing field then you are supposed to take formal training for CNA through any of the state approved programs.
After accomplishment of the training course when it comes to the exam for certification as a nurse aide, then you must have the exam preparation guide.
The students have to pass the NNAAP (National Nurse Aide Assessment Program) exam by the NCSBN (National Council of State Boards of Nursing).
CNA certified nurse aide exam cram is the best guide for study the nursing aspects in order to pass the state exam and earn the certification as nurse aides.
About the Author
Marty Walker has practiced nursing for the past 30 years and she had started her professional career as a LPN (licensed practical nurse). She attained master’s degree in nursing and has worked across various states till date.
Linda Whitenton has working experience of 38 years in various fields like mental health, pediatrics and medical-surgical nursing. She had been a teaching nursing assistant and education director.
Components of the Book
- All the topics desired to be prepared for the exam
- Chapters prioritize the exam objectives first
- Chapter wise practice questions
- Sample practice exams as per the NNAAP exam pattern
- A CD-ROM test engine (state of the art) that provides with real time practice of skills along with feedback
Unique Features of the Book
- This book can be used along with a variety of print and electronic learning material
- This book has all those aspects and characteristics that are needed by the students to master the nursing knowledge, gain the nursing talent and skills, acquire the self confidence and then pass the NNAAP exam for certification
- It includes various notes, sidebars, tips and cautions for the students
- It provides with the best strategies for taking CNA tests and time saving tips for achieving time efficient and effective preparation
- It includes cram sheet tear out cards that have tips, acronyms, memory joggers, etc., which is indeed an interesting concept
Chapters included in the Book
- Cram sheet – Introduction This section involves a cram sheet for the certification exam for CNA and it encompasses all the precise notes in the form of cram so as to remember the important points without having to learn them too fast. The introduction section introduces with the nursing practice and concepts in nursing at the very basic level.
- What You Need to Know to Prepare for the Exam This section explains the pattern of the examination as a written test and a clinical skills test. The written test is based upon the technical or theoretical knowledge of the students; while the clinical skills test is based upon the practical talent of the students. This section of self-assessment provides with tips and strategies for taking both the tests along with some important points like how to manage to study in a short time, what to read at the eleventh hour, what all skills are to be practiced manually, hoe to prepare day by day as well as week by week before the exam date approaches.
- The Role and Responsibilities of the Nursing Assistants This section gives all the concerns related to job responsibilities of a nurse aide along with the essential tasks of a CNA that must be performed accurately as well as recurrently. It also includes additional tasks of the nursing assistants, their job limitations, what all qualities must be possessed by the nurse aides, how to develop communication skills, legal and ethical issues related with nursing, etc.
- Promotion of Health and Safety This section gives a simple technique guide about maintenance of the personal and patient health and safety. It provides with the tips on how to sustain hygienic environment around the patients. It involves topics like communicable diseases, prevention of spread of diseases, infection control techniques, how to maintain asepsis in case of medical equipment, etc.
- Promotion of Function and Health of Residents This section is completely based on the basic patient care practices, daily activities, restorative care, age-specific care, data collection about patients and then reporting to the doctors. It also gives a detailed idea about the emotional, mental, cultural, spiritual and sexual needs of the residents and how to comfort them in the clinical environment.
- Specialized Care The students can get information about how to deal with the specialized care requirements such as hearing impairment, speech impairment, vision impairment and respiratory, cardiovascular, digestive, psychological, paralytic disorders, etc. It also covers a separate section on how to deal with the patients with AIDS.
Every chapter in the book has a special section of competency exam preparation questions and answer rationales. This helps the students to get an idea of kind of questions asked in the test and the most probable answers for them.
Before 2 practice tests, answers for them, appendices and glossary; there is a large section that gives a checklist of all the clinical skills to be performed during the practical test.
This book can definitely be recommended as the perfect study guide for the CNA exam preparation; especially at the eleventh hour. It provides with all the aspects of nursing and tips to prepare for the exam within a short time.