There are so many reasons that pursuing Certification of Nursing Assistance is a great idea. First, the pay is better than most other jobs that don’t require a college degree. Second, the job market for CNA’s continues to grow, where other job markets are constantly shrinking these days. Third, it is a great way to make use of a desire to help people. CNA’s are the basically the front lines of the medical world. They are the grunt soldiers. CNA’s are vital to the way the medical system runs. If you have the compassion and patience needed to help people in a time of healthcare crisis or need, then the CNA position is ideal. There are 3 main parts to the CNA certification process: the initial classes, the clinical hours, and the final CNA exam. After these short steps you can be on your way to an exciting career as a Certified Nursing Assistant!

One of the more intimidating portions of achieving a Certification of Nursing Assistance is the state CNA certification exam. Although, most students find that the actual exam itself is not nearly as difficult as they worked it up to be in their mind. The Exam is the final step in the CNA certification process before applying for Certification through your local licensing office, and Certification being approved by the Nursing Board. Prior to taking the exam, prospective CNA’s complete the minimum hours of course work and the required clinical hours under the supervision of a licensed nurse. The CNA certification exam is broken into 2 parts, the practical or clinical exam, and the theoretical exam.

CNA Exam Guide

Clinical or Practical CNA Exam: this portion of the CNA exam is designed to test the candidate on the skills they acquired throughout their clinical hours of hands on training. Things like taking a patients vitals, properly administering medication, and correct documentation will be tested. Each task that the candidate is asked to perform will be done in front of an examiner, it is important that you complete each task thoroughly and properly. All of the equipment will be provided for this portion of the CNA exam and tasks will be required to be completed within a specified time frame. The skills you are required to demonstrate will be ones you probably did daily during your clinical hours, so there should be no surprises about what is expected, and after completion of your course work and clinical hours you should be more than prepared for this portion of the CNA certification exam.

CNA Theoretical Exam: this is the written portion of the test to obtain your Certificate of Nursing Assistance. This portion of the test is in a multiple-choice format and tests the knowledge acquired during the course work completed prior to your clinical experience. The test varies from state to state, but there are practice tests available online for the purpose of study and preparation. Use these resources to your advantage to ensure that you are adequately prepared for the CNA exam. There are also flash cards or other study resources available online. Equip yourself with as much study time as possible prior to the written portion of the test. Again, many people are quite intimidated, but find they were better prepared than they thought they were. Study hard, get a good night’s rest prior to the test, and remember to eat a healthy breakfast that day.

When can I take the CNA Certification Exam?

Once you have completed your course work and your clinical hours you can take your CNA certification exam at any time, typically by appointment. Check with your program or licensing office to find out when and where you can take both portions of the CNA exam. Since the exam is in 2 portions, some CNA prospective students choose to take each portion on a different day, while some students prefer to do both in the same day. Some programs have a specifically scheduled exam time for all CNA students in the course, where-as if you do your course work on-line you will need to find a location in state that will do your CNA certification exam.

What happens if I fail the CNA Exam?

Most aspiring CNA students find that they are well prepared for the exam portion of the program. It is important to study and practice prior to your examination and to take the process very seriously. Most states will allow you to take the test up to four times if it is failed on the first attempt. Therefore, do not fret too much if you fail on your first attempt. Simply, study more, make use of online CNA certification resources for studying, and take another attempt when you feel ready. Typically you will not be required to re-take both portions of the test if you only failed one. For instance, if you fail the written portion, you will only have to re-take the written portion of the test. Review test taking strategies online, study, rest and re-try. Since the written portion of the test is multiple choices, employ illumination strategies when trying to find the correct answer. For example if you come to a question that you are unsure about: first illuminate as many answers as you can that you know are incorrect. This gives you fewer choices of a correct answer, and typically increases your chances of getting the answer correct. Also, make sure you eat a good breakfast the day of the exam. Scientists have proven over and over that human brains function better and remember more when having had a good night’s rest and a well-balanced breakfast.

When will I find out my CNA Exam results?

Typically a CNA student will wait a few weeks for the test results of both certification exams. Don’t spend the entire few weeks worrying about your results. Use this time to relax, and even begin searching for job openings for CNA’s. You will also need to make sure your fingerprints are registered, background check has been done, and medical exam are completed so that you will be ready to send in for your certification as soon as your test results are back. Once the results are received you will submit the results, your clinical hours, and proof of course completion with an application to licensing board. Typically you will also need to have a background check, medical exam and fingerprints submitted to the local Department of Health as well for your Certificate to be issued.

Remember the basic test taking strategies:

  • Keep a positive attitude throughout the test; try to maintain a relaxed sense of self.
  • If you get anxious at any point, take deep breaths.
  • When you receive the test, look it over to get a scope of the whole CNA certification exam so you can adequately pace yourself.
  • Make sure your read each question thoroughly. Don’t assume you know what a question is asking.
  • If you find yourself suck on a problem, skip it and come back to it at the end. This will allow you to better pace yourself and give you the maximum advantage on getting the most points possible.
  • Don’t worry if people around you finish first, stay focused on your test.
  • If you get finished with extra time, go back and check over your answers but don’t over think questions.