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CNA Certification Exam – What to Expect

Every state has their own version of a state CNA certification exam, but there are some similarities between all types. If you want to begin your career as a Certified Nursing Assistant, the most important step to your employment is passing the certification exam. Taking the time to fully prepare and cover all aspects of your training is the best way to get a great score on the test, but it can be overwhelming to study an entire course from start to finish. If you are anxious about passing your certification test, here are some of the most important things you can expect to encounter on the day of your exam.

Multiple-choice Questions

The certification exam is designed to review and evaluate each applicant’s understanding of the required coursework for CNA instruction. The most basic way to challenge students is to present multiple-choice questions on the subject material. For the CNA certification exam, there will be a multiple-choice section with approximately 30 to 60 questions. The subject matter for these questions will be the nursing profession as detailed during training. They cover nursing protocol in the fields of practical procedures, communication, patient rights, and specific topics like infection control. This portion of the test is timed and every test-taker has three attempts to pass before a training course must be repeated.

Practical Skills and Clinical Procedures

This is the second section of the certification exam and it the practical aspects of the nurse aide profession. Test-takers will be assigned at least five random tasks from a list of possible duties. The tasks are assigned by the exam proctor on the day of the test. They range in difficulty from the simplest to most complicated routines. The skills tested can be taking vital signs, washing hands, proper feeding techniques, or safe usage of medical equipment like transfer belts. There are many minute aspects of the skill challenges that can cause test-takers to lose points, so the best way to pass this section of the certification exam is to practice by making a routine. Sticking to your routine is the best way to avoid forgetting small details and panicking from uncertainty. Most testing policies allow exam proctors to give small hints to test-takers, but this will vary greatly depending on the individual giving the test. Each applicant has three attempts to pass this portion of the test before they must repeat a training course.

Certification Confirmation

After you have completed your test, it may take a few weeks for you to find out whether you have passed and completed your certification. One of the fastest ways to find out your status is to check the Online Nurse Aide Registry for your state. The registry lists all the certified nursing assistants that are qualified for employment and it is updated faster than snail mail can inform you of your status. If you wait for confirmation by mail, the state department responsible for CNAs will inform you of your test score and appropriate next steps. If you did not pass, they will give more information about the next battery of certification exams.

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