One of the most effective methods to prepare for your CNA certification is to study as much as possible about the profession (see the CNA job description) and the testing process. Following that, you’ll need to know how to apply for your certificate in your state after passing the state test.
To become a certified nursing assistant, each state has its own set of CNA requirements. This table of state-specific training information can be downloaded. Visit your state’s government website and look for licensing or professional codes that include the current CNA certification requirements.
General CNA certification requirements
To begin, you must enroll in a state-approved training program. Nursing assistant education requirements are very important. Each state’s authorized programs can be found on our website. Each state also has an up-to-date list of authorized CNA programs, so check with yours before enrolling. It’s crucial to know that most states would refuse you the opportunity to take the test if you went to an unapproved school.
Approved schools follow all federal and state regulations and provide a program that covers all of the essential knowledge and skills to pass the test. After completing your course, you will be eligible to apply for jobs right away. Some nursing schools may enable you to transfer credits from an authorized CNA program if you’re considering working as a CNA while pursuing a nursing degree.
In ten states, the American Red Cross provides Nurse Assistant Training (NAT). Students are able to take the state CNA exam after completing the program, which is adapted to each state’s certification requirements. The ARC program costs around $1,300.
Documents you need to provide
You will need to provide various papers before beginning your training session. Make sure you’re ready by checking with your state and CNA program. The following are the most common items you’ll need to bring:
- Age verification is required. In most cases, the minimum age is 18 years old. Parental consent is required in states that allow candidates aged 16-17.GED equivalent or high school diploma
- Physical examination
- Immunization proof
- Test results for TB
- Checking your background (fingerprint method)
- Certification in CPR and First Aid
- It is necessary to have a valid state driver’s license or identity card.
While 19 states need a minimum of 75 hours of CNA training, the remaining 31 states require anywhere from 80 to 180 hours. Missouri has a requirement of 175 hours, while Maine has the highest requirement of 180 hours. These hours include the state-mandated clinical hours, which range from 16 to 100.
Topics included in your certification exam
CNA courses include a wide range of topics that will appear on the certification exam. The following subjects are listed in alphabetical order:
- Activities of daily living
- Aging process
- Anatomy and physiology
- Body mechanics
- Client rights
- Cultural and spiritual needs
- Data collection
- Ethics and legal issues
- Infection control
- Medical terminology
- Mental health
- Personal care
- Range of motion
- Role and responsibility of the CNA
- Vital signs and testing
We recommend that you take our free CNA practice exams in addition to studying your course materials. They’re based on actual questions, and they’ll help you get used to the testing process. On each test, we also give explanations for each question. The questions on a practice exam are randomized every time you take it to help you learn more effectively.
State CNA requirements
You will be able to begin the certification procedure with your state after you have completed your training. Check our website if you are looking for a list of each state’s nurse’s assistant requirements, as well as the exam fees. The test in each state has a set number of questions and a time limit. Some states will inform you of the number of questions on each topic. If you require accommodations for the exam, the state will provide you with instructions on how to make a request. You may simply request an oral examination if you have a reading disability or speak English as a second language.
The day of the exam
You will be required to provide a copy of your test date confirmation as well as an official ID with the same name as on the confirmation on the day of the examination. Your Social Security card may be required in some places. You’ll also be informed whether any supplies, such as pencils or a watch with a second hand, are required. In the testing area, phones, reference materials, handbags, and briefcases are not permitted.
Make sure to have a healthy breakfast on the day of your exam. Arrive 30 minutes early at the testing place. You must check-in and present the required identification and other documents. This also allows you to relax for a few minutes before you begin. The skills section of the exam should be completed in clean scrubs.
The written test is usually administered by a third-party firm in most states. You’ll proceed to a secure location where the exam will be conducted in private, under the supervision of someone who will confirm your identity before ensuring that you follow all exam instructions.
You can get more information with our blog: CNA Test Dates.
A licensed nurse will generally proctor the clinical skills portion. It’s critical that you practice each of the activities, including handwashing until you’re confident in your ability to do so. You may be required to show 3-6 skills on a mannequin or with another test student. Whatever the case may be, speak your way through the skills as though you were assisting a real patient.
The skills exam takes about 30 minutes on average. For each stage of the skills you’ll be required to complete, the nurse will have a checklist. Important: you will be immediately failed if you do not properly wash your hands for a complete 20 seconds. Although no one can predict which skills you will be asked to show, the following are the most frequent for the first few:
- Providing Catheter Care
- Taking vital signs
- Making an occupied bed
- Partial bed bath
- Gait belt transfer
- Dental care
- Patient transfer: from bed to chair, from bed to stretcher
If you make a mistake, acknowledge it as soon as possible. Inform the examiner of what you should have done. If you notify the proctor about your faults, you’ll get bonus points. It is not essential to obtain a perfect passing score.
You will be confident if you learn and practice. Your CNA test will be a breeze for you! And then you’ll be on your way to a new job as a health care provider. Congratulations!
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