CNA Skills Testing

If you have decided to start to train to work as a certified nursing assistant, then you know you will need to attend a training class and take the certification exam in your state.  CNA testing is used to ensure that an individual has the skills and knowledge they need to provide safe and effective care for patients.

The standards for cna testing are set by the state in which the test is being administered.  All testing sites will have state test administrators to ensure all standards are withheld during the test.  All states have a similar layout for cna testing for certified nursing assistants.  Tests always include two sections with one that is written and one in which students demonstrate skills.

The written portion of a cna test includes theoretical questions and questions pertaining to basic patient procedures.  This section of the exam includes questions about information covered during the classroom portion of the nursing assistant training programs.  Most states have a test with about 100 multiple choice questions.  After this part of the test is completed, individuals will then move on to the skills section.

During the skills portion of the nursing assistant certification test, students will demonstrate cna skills.  The number of skills that must be shown will depend on the criteria for the nursing assistant exam.  Most exams require students to perform at least 5 different skills to be evaluated by the test administrator.
When students are taking the skills part of the test, they must demonstrate each skill from start to finish.  This includes showing the test administrator that the student remembers to knock on a patient’s door, announce who they are, pull a patient’s privacy curtain and put up bedrails.  Students must always remember to wash their hands before and after demonstrating a skill when having direct contact with a patient.

Some nursing assistant testing centers are held directly at a continuing care community or nursing facility.  In cases like these, students often work directly with patients to demonstrate their ability to complete tasks.  If students are not testing at a healthcare facility, they might be asked to bring someone with them for their test who can act as if they are the student’s patient.

You will be told if you fail the certification exam.  Even if you pass one portion of the test and fail the other, you will fail the examination and it will need to be taken again.  You will be usually have to wait several weeks or more before you can take another test.  Every state has their own standards as to how many times you can take the test.  If you fail too many times, you will need to take a new nursing assistant training course.

It is a good idea to prepare well for cna testing.  You can do this by practicing some of your nursing assistant skills with other classmates or family members.  In addition, you can find practice exams to help you prepare for the written portion of the tests.  Study any quizzes you took during your nursing assistant course as well as any handouts and textbook material.

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