As you approach the date of your graduation from a Certified Nursing Assistant course, you may start to feel anxiety about the upcoming certification test. The CNA certification test is the final step to completing your title as a CNA, and can be the most challenging step of the entire process. There are two sections to the test, and both must be passed for credit. All nurse aides must take their state’s certification test to be employed.
To sign up for the CNA test, there are several steps to take. Most state-approved nurse aide training programs will have counselors and instructors to assist with the application process, but it is important to be aware of the steps for yourself. First, find out if you must take the test in person or online. There are many different testing policies in this country, and each state has different procedures for certification. In some states, the CNA test is handled by a private test-provider. These companies will require additional application materials and fees. Sometimes they provide online testing services, and other times they have testing centers. Being aware of which type of test you are taking will reduce the chance for mix-ups or missed application steps.
All nurse aides must apply for certification with their state’s Nurse Aide Registry. This registry can be found online and provides an extensive list of the CNAs currently certified throughout the state. This is an important feature for consumers and employers, and nurse aides with history of violations or abuses are black-listed for everyone to see. It is not possible to be employed as a nursing assistant without being on this registry.
To apply with the Nurse Aide Registry, applicants must contact their state’s Board of Nursing or the registry directly. Every state requires complete applications to be submitted, including up-to-date background information on criminal history and identification information like social security number and a passport sized photo. In some cases, states require finger-printing cards to be completed. The details on your nursing course, such as the program’s identification number and your training certificate, will be extremely important for qualifying to take the CNA test. There are many application materials required, and it is important to have all the necessary information in order to reduce the amount of time between training and employment.
Once the appropriate board has received your complete application, it will send further instructions on how to challenge the certification test. As mentioned, some states have private companies to handle testing administration, but most others provide test-sites across the state for certification. Oftentimes, these sites are at community colleges and other educational institutions. Keep track of your graduation date in order to stay ahead of any deadlines that may be approaching for your testing applications.