How to become a CNA

How To Become A CNA?

You want to become a CNA and you need more information about it? Let's read this article to answer the question "How to be a CNA"!

January 1, 2022

Do you want to become a CNA and do you need more information about it? Let’s read this article to answer the question “How to be a CNA”!

What is the CNA exam?

The Certified Nursing Assistant examination is an instrument used to assess the nursing skills of nursing assistants.  Passing this exam is of much importance in order to attract CNA job opportunities. The CNA exam aims to check the knowledge, ability level, and skills of CNAs for the purpose of ensuring quality delivery of their assigned tasks.

The evaluation program for CNAs was developed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. The exam includes a written or knowledge exam and a skills test. The written part is in the format of multiple-choice questions which aim to test one’s knowledge of the concepts of nursing. A time limit of 90 minutes is given to answer 60 questions. The skills test portion, on the other hand, requires takers to accomplish nursing duties while an evaluator is observing. Takers will be asked to demonstrate around five tasks within 30 minutes. It is not necessary to perform the tasks perfectly.

However, it is expected from the takers to correct themselves when needed and strive for accuracy in executing the crucial parts of the tasks. Nursing assistants must obtain a minimum passing score of 70% for each part to earn their licenses. In the case of passing only one part of the examination, nursing assistants will be given the chance to retake only the failed portion instead of taking both tests again.

It is important to take note that different states have different time allotments and passing percentages for each part of the examination. The aforementioned guidelines are generalized.

In most cases, states coordinate with third-party exam proctors to oversee the process during the examination. Three of the largest CNA exam providers are HDMaster, NNAAP/Pearson Vue, and Prometric.

Is the CNA exam difficult?

Become a CNA can be difficult especially for those who lack the skills and knowledge necessary to attain a pass mark in the exam. Typically, both written and oral parts of the exam contain around 70 questions. However, this number can still vary in each state.

There may be some takers who will find the examination hard as they do not have the idea on which exact topics to review for a specific part of the exam. On the contrary, nursing assistants who have retained well the knowledge learned from their courses have higher chances of excelling in the written part of the test.

The skills test targets 5 out of the 25 nursing assistant skill areas. This section may seem very challenging for nursing assistants as their competence is expected in the 25 areas to excel on the skill test. Passing this part may be a struggle also if nursing assistants are competent in only some areas as the proctor randomly chooses the 5 areas. Hence, it is an advantage to study all areas.

Read more >>> Is the CNA test hard?

What materials are on the CNA exam?

Nursing assistant course materials provide all of the information needed to pass the licensing examinations. Specific coverage that takers need to be familiar with for the written or oral section includes radial pulse, respiration, recording and measuring weight, supervising urinary patients’ urinary output, and blood pressure. Our free CNA practice test 2021 will help you thoroughly prepare and familiarize yourself with the CNA test format. Check it now!

It is also important for nursing assistants to be knowledgeable on specific concepts to attain a passing mark on the skills section of the exam. Some of these hands-on skills include assisting with bedpan use, providing food care, recording and measuring urinary output, hand washing, giving modified baths, counting clients’ radial pulse, providing mouth cares, and positioning clients.

The following is a list of some areas that will be tested during the exam :

  • Aging process
  • Body mechanics
  • Client rights
  • Communication
  • Daily living activities
  • Data collection
  • Infection control
  • Legal and ethical issues
  • Medical terminology
  • Mental health
  • Nutrition
  • Personal care
  • Physiology and anatomy
  • Range of motion
  • Responsibility and role of CNA
  • Safety
  • Spiritual and cultural needs
  • Testing and vital signs

In most cases, the handwashing technique is the usual skill area that will be tested. If the required 20-second hand-washing rule is not followed, a failing score will automatically be given.

Tips on how to become CNA

How to become a CNA?
How to become a CNA?


There is no specific way that guarantees a passing mark on the CNA examination. However, there are several things nursing assistants can perform in order to increase the possibility of passing the exam. It can be advantageous for nursing assistants to know how to review for the examination. The following are some tips to aid nursing assistants in studying for the CNA exam:

  • Prior to taking the examination, creating a solid plan for studying will be helpful. It can be advantageous to use a calendar and list down the coverage needed to study for the exam. Time allotment for studying each day prior to the examination is an important part of the preparation.
  • Utilize multiple resources of study materials as much as possible. It can be helpful to use online and supplemental study materials from the courses to equip oneself with knowledge for the exam. These study materials are abundant online. One recommended study guide is “CNA Certified Nursing Assistant Cram.” It may help nursing assistants in passing the CNA examination.
  • Take as many practice tests as possible. Nursing assistants can take practice tests to prepare themselves for the real examination. Let’s practice  with+1000 CNA practice questions with our unique gamified learning technique.
  • Make a study guide for the examination. Constructing a personalized study guide can also be helpful in covering all the needed areas to study. Notes from the courses may be used to create a guide.
  • Get an understanding of the test format. Nursing assistants should know what the examination consists of – oral and written tests and a skills section. They should also have knowledge of the specific areas that will be tested in the skills section.

 Maybe you care: The Most Essential CNA Tips For Passing This Exam

How long does it take to become a CNA?

With regards to the state of residence and the program taken for training, it can be expected that completing a CNA program can take between six to twelve weeks.

If you have any questions or recommendations, please reach out to us at [email protected]! Let’s practice together to become a CNA!