Certified Nursing Assistant Examination – Overview

Examinations are a part of life for many professionals; the same is true for certified nursing assistants. Due to the nature of this profession, CNAs are carefully taken through a myriad of hands-on and theoretical training programs. Determining the effectiveness of this training is essential to ensure new CNAs are equipped with the skill and knowledge to professionally handle patients as well as the twists-and-turns of working in the medical field.

The first step successfully passing CNA certification exams is to understand this process. Each state oversees its own examination procedure; however, the following are universal requirements found throughout the United States. Always refer to your state’s nursing board for specific eligibility requirements and exam information.

CNA Application Requirements

All examinations require an initial application. Refer to the Candidate Handbook provided by your states licensing division to learn exact eligibility requirements. Review current state-specific application requirements by visiting the Pearson VUE website. Typically, the application requires your name, contact information, school ID, program completion date and a copy of your diploma/degree. During the application you must inform the testing agency of special accommodations. If you’re unsure how to go about this process, contact the administrator of your training program.

CNA Exam Fees

Certified nursing assistant examinations are broken into two primary modules: theory/written and practical application. Typically, the fee range for both units of the exam is around $112. Most states do not allow you to pay for only one exam unit at a time. These fees must be paid for when you submit the application.

Unfortunately, not every test taker passes both exams at the same time. If you require a re-test, you must pay for each re-test separately. For example, failure to pass both the written and skills tests requires separate payment for each; however, failure of only one of the two exam units requires payment for just the one testing module. Commonly, the practical portion of the exam is the most expensive to re-take.

Exam Units

The examination is separated into two parts. The first is a multiple-choice style exam covering topics regarding patient care and CNA responsibilities within a facility. The second portion of the examination is the practical test. This is where you demonstrate your hands-on ability to treat and tend to patients. In order to pass the entire certification process, you must successfully complete both exam units. Retests are possible. Refer to your state’s nursing board for re-test policies.

Final Scores

Final scores are traditionally delivered within 10 business days after the Nurse Assistant Evaluator faxes in the result sheets. Upon review, you’ll be notified by mail or through a secured online database of whether or not you passed both sections. If you fail either portion of the exam, you have up to three additional chances to pass the failed portions. Failure to do so may result in having to re-complete an approved training program before eligibility to test is re-instated.

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