In Massachusetts, all individuals who work as nurse aides in nursing homes must be listed on the Nurse Aide Registry. If an individual performs nurse aide duties in a nursing home, no matter what their title is or how often they work, they must be listed in good standing on the Nurse Aide Registry. Before hiring an experienced nurse aide, nursing homes must check that the individual is listed on the Nurse Aide Registry.
You are eligible to take the nurse aide tests by completing a state-approved training program, however, certain employment and training experience will substitute for training. If you successfully completed 75 hours of clinical training as part of your nurse training, you may request a waiver of the training requirement to take the Massachusetts Nurse Aide Competency Evaluation. You need to complete all applicable sections in this application and attach photocopies of documentation supporting your training or work experience.
As a nursing student, this is what you need to be allowed to test:
- A signed letter from an accredited nursing school (any nursing school whose degree qualifies a graduate to take the nursing boards in Massachusetts) confirming that you successfully completed 75 hours of clinical training, including the course name and dates, OR
- A transcript documenting an appropriate course title. If the course title does not indicate clinical training, please attach the course description. The number of hours of clinical experience must be included in the description.
A waiver will not be granted to those applicants that cannot verify they meet the required qualifications. To obtain an application to test you may call the American Red Cross Testing Office to have it mailed or e-mailed to you, or you can download it from here. All testing is scheduled through the American Red Cross Testing Office.
The Nurse Aide Competency Evaluation (NACE) has two parts: the knowledge test, consisting of 60 multiple choice questions, and the clinical skills test, in which you are given a scenario and asked to simulate providing care for a resident. Though they are taken on the same day, both tests are independent of the other, therefore, if you receive notice that you fail in one test, you only have to retake the test you fail. Successful completion of both tests is required, and once you pass the state-approved tests, your name will be listed on the Nurse Aide Registry, and you will receive a certificate and a wallet-card.