CNA Certification Exam Questions and Answers

The CNA certification exam, also known as the nurse aide assessment examination, or the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP), is the final test a nurse aide student must pass in order to become eligible for employment and for being listed on the Nurse Aide Registry of a particular state. The CNA certification exam is designed to evaluate the knowledge, skills and abilities required to safely perform the job of a nursing assistant. The evaluation consists of two main parts: a written or oral exam and a hands-on, skills examination. A nurse aide candidate who passes both the written and the skills evaluation qualifies for obtaining a state nurse aide certification and is eligible for any entry-level nurse aide position. The entity responsible for developing a nurse aide evaluation program which respects both federal and state regulations is the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. Here you can find many CNA practice tests with questions and answers, as well as nurse aide skills videos to serve as a guide and review base for your state exam.

What are the components of the CNA exam?

A nurse aide student who wants to become certified as a CNA in a particular state must challenge and pass the CNA certification exam. The written and skills exams are administered on the same day and you need to successfully pass both parts in order to be certified and listed on the Nurse Aide Registry. The number of questions on the written exam may vary from state to state, with most states requiring an average of seventy questions. The written test questions use a multiple-choice format and all of them are in English. The percentage of correctly answered questions you will need to pass the nurse aide exam depends on each individual state.

For those who do not feel comfortable enough to take the English written examination, a Spanish or English oral version may be chosen instead. During the second part of a CNA examination the nurse aide student must show competency in performing five (5) hands-on skills. These five skills are selected randomly from a list of twenty-five skills which have been thought and practiced throughout your nurse aide training. Every candidate is graded on the performance of these nurse aide skills by a designated evaluator and must complete each of them correctly in order to pass the hands-on component of the exam.

What is the hands-on part of the nurse aide exam?

The hands-on part of the CNA exam will be conducted in a setting that resembles a nurse aide work environment. All the tools and equipment needed to performed the exam skills will be available and the candidate will be allowed to ask any questions before the exam begins. Each of the five skills needed to pass the CNA exam needs to be completed correctly and within a given time frame. Twenty five to thirty minutes are usually allocated to completing all five required skills of the hands-on CNA examination. One of the five skills chosen at random consists of taking a measurement and recording your findings. Some of the most commonly requested measurements are the blood pressure, the pulse, or the weight of a client.

What skills should I practice for the CNA test?

The following skills are learned and practiced by every nurse aide student when enrolled in a state approved CNA training program. Every nurse aide must be able to correctly measure and record the blood pressure, weight, urinary output, radial pulse, and respirations of a client in their care. When challenging the CNA examination, five of the following skills need to be correctly performed in order to pass the skills portion of the certification exam.

  • Wash hands
  • Apply one knee-high elastic stocking
  • Assist to ambulate using transfer belt
  • Assist with use of bedpan
  • Clean dentures
  • Count and record client's radial pulse
  • Count and record patient's respirations
  • Donn and remove gown and gloves
  • Dress client with affected (weak) right arm
  • Feed client who cannot feed self
  • Give modified bed bath
  • Make an occupied bed
  • Measure and record blood pressure
  • Measure and record urinary output
  • Measure and record weight of ambulatory client
  • Perform passive range of motion exercises for client knee and ankle
  • Perform passive range of motion exercises for client shoulder
  • Position client on side
  • Provide catheter care for female client
  • Provide fingernail care
  • Provide food care
  • Provide mouth care
  • Provide perineal care for female client
  • Transfer from bed to wheelchair using transfer belt

What happens if I fail the CNA exam?

Most states permit a nurse aide student to challenge the nurse aide test three times within two years of completing the CNA training program.

Both parts of the test need to be retaken if you failed both the written and the skills examination. Those who only failed one of the components (either the written or the hands-on component) are allowed to re-test on that part only. When a student has been unsuccessful in passing the national nurse aide examination three consecutive times then retraining becomes necessary. Retaking a state approved nurse aide program enables the nurse aide student to have three more attempts at passing the national nurse aide certification exam.

Questions, Comments, Suggestions

Tenesha on September 21, 2014 at 03:14 PM
How do I sign up for CNA training? I am having trouble finding the shortest training program in my area. Can you help me?

Admin on September 22, 2014 at 04:16 PM
To sign up for a certified nursing assistant program, you must contact the school and request an enrollment application. Some schools provide applications online, but others do not. You might have to visit the facility to pick up an application. A deposit is usually required to reserve your seat in the class. You must contact each program yourself to ask about the length and cost of their classes and decide which one is best for you. I could help you locate several CNA training classes in your area. Please provide me with state and county information if you need help locating nursing assistant courses close to where you live.

How long does it take to get a CNA certificate?

Do you have any advice for someone having to go to a CNA job interview?

Is it better to become a CNA or a LVN?

I am a pre-nursing student. Is there any benefit in becoming a CNA before going to nursing school?

How can I tell if my CNA license is active and how do I renew it if it is not?

CNA Resources

Nurse Aide Study Tips

Nurse aide students are always looking for tips and ways to get the most out of their study time. There are a few strategies you can follow to ensure complete success in nurse aide classes as well as on the CNA test. On top of our advice list is to always be present for your classes, laboratory, and clinical experiences. Not only should you arrive to all your nurse aide classes on time, but you must do the reading and studying required for each class.

Adequate preparation will lead to success in all your courses as well as on the CNA certification test. Practice the nurse aide skills you are being thought until you become comfortable and familiar with every task you need to perform. Many nurse aide students have found that practicing and studying with another person enrolled in the same nurse aide training program makes a big difference in how easy concepts are grasped and skills conquered.

Ask lots of questions in class and throughout clinical training. Instructors are there to help you understand and master the knowledge and duties of a nurse aide. Job orientation can be a hectic time, and to help yourself you need not only ask questions but also take your own notes. In a small pocket notebook write down everything of importance and reference it later to make sure you assimilate the information at your own pace. Being alert, open to new information, and having a positive attitude are also the keys to success in your new career.

CNA Training Programs

Nurse Aide Registries