Taking the CNA? We can Help!
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HOW TO PASS THE CERTIFIED NURSE ASSISTANT
- Start Studying Early!
- Know what is on the test – see below for details. Knowing the type of questions to expect so there are no surprises on test day
- Practice Practice Practice – Practice tests are one of the most effective ways to study!
- Learn HOW to take a test – see our test tips below
- Get a Study Guide – Study Guides are prepared by experts and will save you a lot of time. Get one, start at page one, and go right through to the last page.
CERTIFIED NURSE AIDE (CNA)
A Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) assists nurses in patient healthcare, daily cares and simple medical procedures. A CNA can work in a variety of setting; hospital, nursing homes, adult care houses, and personal homes.
A CNA has close and constant contact with patients in delicate state, so it’s very important to have sensitivity and empathy.
CNAs are in great demand and the profession has become very popular in the last few years.
In order to become a Certified Nurse Aide it’s necessary to complete a training course and pass the CNA certification test. Each state regulates the CNA’s courses and tests, so every state has its own policies.
If you choose to take it, the CNA test will assess the skills you learned during the training.
The regulations and qualifications are different for each State, including the cost, number of questions on the test and other details. But in general, it’s a computerized test that must be taken in a secured testing site, and the cost in most states is $80 – $110.
The test has two components; the written test, which is a computerized, and assesses your knowledge; and a practical component, which assesses your skills in practical situations. Tips and strategies for taking a computerized test
For special needs, you can submit a request for special accommodation.
- The exam comprises of a written section and a practical test portion
- The written section comprises of basic nursing, daily duties with patients, patient rights, communication skills, and patient emotional needs.
The practical portion of the American Red Cross exams includes:
- Measure vital signs, pulse, blood pressure and respiration
- Perform duties such as making a bed, with and without a patient in it
- Perform regular duties such as moving a patient, assisting with dressing, moving patients into a wheelchair, and responding to common emergencies
The written test has 50 to 70 multiple-choice questions that must be answered in 90 minutes or less. Some of these questions, usually 10 or 15, are control questions that aren’t scored. The written test is a computerized test.
In the practical component, you must display your abilities in a practical setting, under the supervision of a Registered Nurse. Usually you are asked to complete a care regimen with an actor playing a patient.
In some cases, the actor presents symptoms or a specifics illness, and you must take the necessary measures for the specific case, according to what you learned in the training.
You will not be told in advance the practical skills you will be tested on.
Most of the time, registration can be done online using the state’s Board of Nursing Website. Also, the companies such as Pearson VUE and Prometric Websites take care of the logistics and administrative processes, including the registration.
If your state has an online site it is better to register there.
The first step is downloading the application form and filling it out. Check the documents required and get them in order. Every state has its own regulations, but most of them require some certification or proof that you have completed the training.
After downloading and filling in the application, you must sign the documents and mail it to the address given in the application.
Most states give the option of credit card payment, and some allow payment by check or money orders.
SCORING & RESULTS
In the written test every question equals 1 point, so if you answered 50 scored questions correctly then your score will be 50 points. Remember that control questions aren’t score.
Each state has different timelines to deliver results that depend on the local regulations and test formats. But generally, the score report is given to you the same day of the test, before you leave the test center.
Since the written test is computerized the score is calculated immediately, and the practical test is scored in site.
RETAKING THE TEST
State boards give three chances to take the exam, if the test is taken within two years of completing training.
If you want to retake the test you must apply to the state board of nursing in your region and wait for the approval.
If you only fail one component of the test, you only have to retake that component.
The preparation to retake the test is different from the preparation for the first takers. First, you should find the areas where you failed before and centered the study routine on them.
A good technique consists of focusing in the problematic topics, and when you are resting from the hard study review the areas where you don’t have many difficulties. This way you will study all the content, prioritizing some areas but without ignoring the rest. Tips on re-taking a test
Frequently Asked Questions
ON EXAM DAY
Make sure to be as prepared as possible for your test. Study the content required, and practice your field skills. There are practice exams here. Use these tools to practice and prepare yourself.
Make sure you bring all the documentations necessary on testing day; You must bring your authorizations to the test, an identification document (like driver’s license) and every other document that has been required.
Most states require that the candidate wears a CNA uniform, to be sure about this check your state’s regulations and policies.