On completion of a course of training to become a certified nursing assistant, there’s a test that students must pass before receiving CNA certification. The test itself differs from state to state, and if a qualified assistant ends up moving, they’ll probably need to take a new test in order to work as a CNA. The first time a CNA certification test is taken is after an initial course of study, which means students will have received between 75 and 150 hours of classroom and clinical training. 75 hours is the minimum according to federal regulations.
After completing a course of study to become a CNA, the assessment that must be passed comes in two parts. There’s a written assessment and a practical assessment. The written assessment is there to gauge general health care knowledge and the practical part examines the ways students are able to apply their knowledge and experience. Both parts of the assessment test how focused, knowledgeable and self-assured students are in various situations.
Instructors on CNA classes will assist students in preparing for the exam. Sample questions will be made available and students will have been made aware of which textbooks they need to be familiar with in order to have the knowledge necessary to achieve a passing grade. All of the knowledge gained during classroom hours and practical training on the course will be of vital importance when it comes to approaching the CNA test questions confidently.
The practical part of the CNA exam test skills and involves 5 test questions out of a possible 25. A registered nurse will monitor performance. These questions are designed to give candidates the opportunity to demonstrate the practical skills they’ve gained through clinical experience on the course. Skills students will be expected to demonstrate include repositioning patients, reading vital signs, changing bed linen and taking precautions to avoid the spread of infection.
The theory part of a CNA exam involves answering 60 multiple-choice questions in a group setting. There will be 10 pre-test questions that are not scored towards the final grade, followed by 60 multiple-choice questions that do count and are often answered orally. These will be followed by 10 word recognition questions.
Multiple-choice questions can concern issues such as protocol. One sample question asks with whom a nurse should share information about a patient, and provides four possible answers ranging from ‘anyone’ to ‘only fellow staff’. Other questions might ask about the correct terminology for things like muscle and joint exercises. A candidate might be asked what the correct unit of measurement for urinary output is. Another question might ask about the correct way to behave around a patient who is agitated. The questions will give candidates the opportunity to show they have a good understanding of the responsibilities of a CNA across the spectrum of the role, and the knowledge required to do the job effectively.
Prior to taking the exam at the end of the course, students will be encouraged to search online for sample questions and to develop their overall knowledge of what’s required of a certified nursing assistant.