Even though you have finished your nursing assistant training, you will still need to take one more exam for your nursing assistant certification to become a CNA. In the following blog post, we will be looking at this exam and what it is so important for a nursing assistant to be certified.
Qualifications to Take the Nursing Assistant Certification Exam
In order to take the certification exam, you will have to complete a certified nursing assistant training program. Generally you can find these programs at local healthcare facilities including the American Red Cross as well as most community colleges or trade schools. The training program has both a classroom element and hands-on practical experience which involves working closely with a qualified CNA as they perform their duties. The combination of book learning and clinical experience will greatly prepare you for the certification final exam.
What to Expect from the Exam
After you have completed your training, you will need to contact your state’s Board of Health to set up an appointment to take the certification exam either the nurse aide assessment examination or the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP). The exam consists of two parts; the written section and the skills demonstration. You must both sections of the exam in order to pass.
The written portion of the nursing assistant certification exam is composed of multiple choice questions written in English. If you cannot read or do not feel comfortable reading English, you make take this part of the test orally. There are at least 50 questions in the written section of the test but the actual number of questions varies from state to state with an average of 70 nationwide.
The skills demonstration portion of the test, the nursing assistant student must show competency on five skills which are randomly selected from a list of twenty-five skills. One of these skills will be taking and recording a vital, or a measurement such as blood pressure, heart rate or weight. You will have roughly one half hour to competently complete these skills in order to pass this portion of the exam.
As mentioned earlier, you must pass both portions of the exam in order to be certified. You will have three chances to pass the exam or within two years of your CNA training. After the third attempt or past two years, you must re-enroll in training in order to qualify to take the exam again. If you have failed one part of the exam, you may be allowed to re-take that portion of the exam only. You should also know that if you missed you scheduled exam time; this will count as a failure of the exam.
Once you have passed your exam, you will then need to contact your state’s Board of Health for a copy of your license. You will also need to make sure that you are included in your state’s Nurse’s Aide Registry which is kept by Board of Nursing. The Nurse’s Aide Registry keeps track of all the CNAs in your state including their work history, their certification date and any other important information related to the employment of the CNA. Potential employers can look at the Nurse’s Aide Registry when considering hiring new CNAs.
Why it is Important to Become Certified
With all this talk about the certification exam, you have to be wondering why it is so important. Besides being included in the Nurse’s Aide Registry or being employable, as mentioned above, there are other reasons on why certification is important. Here is a quick list of other reasons to consider:
- Nursing assistant certification is more desirable for employers than non-certified nursing aides
- Nursing assistant certification proves that you have retained the knowledge and training you have received
- Some medical facilities will offer CNAs opportunities to improve their skill set through additional education
- CNAs have a better chance at promotions and raises when compared to those without certification
- As demand for medical workers continue to rise, CNAs will have a better chance at being hired over those without certification
So as you can see, there are a number of important reasons on why you should become certified as a nursing assistant. Hopefully with all this information, you can be ready to take your nursing assistant certification exam and pass it with flying colors so you too can enjoy the rewarding profession as a CNA.