If you want to work as a Certified Nursing Assistant, you have obliged to pass a certification exam.
Enrolling in this exam, students need to prove their theoretical knowledge as well as clinical proficiency.
It means that the exam consists of two parts – a written test and a practical exam.
To get ready for this certification exam, students can use various study materials including textbooks and practice books as well as sample tests.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 What Is The Certified Nursing Aide Competency Exam?
- 2 What Is the Structure Of the CNA Test?
- 3 How to Get Ready For The CNA Exam?
- 4 What If I Fail the Exam?
- 5 Helpful Resources to Get Prepared For the Exam
What Is The Certified Nursing Aide Competency Exam?
The Certified Nursing Aide Competency Exam aims to reveal and prove the ability of future CNAs to perform their duties in the medical field.
Also, this exam is known as the Nurse Aide Assessment Examination.
To be able to pass this exam successfully, you need to enroll in an accredited training program.
With the help of this exam, CNAs skills and competencies can be evaluated effectively.
During your training, you’ll be able to learn all these skills but make sure to keep your course materials so you can use them for your preparation for the exam.
It can be a great helper as during your classes you get all the information required for your successful examination.
What Is the Structure Of the CNA Test?
The Certified Nursing Assistant consists of two parts that are a written exam and a clinical skills test.
To be able to get your certification, you need to succeed in both of them.
Just keep in mind that each state has its own rules and requirements when it comes to the CNA exam.
In other words, you need to check all the requirements before applying for the exam.
Below, you can find some general info about each section of the exam.
CNA Exam: The Practical Section
The practical part of the CNA exam is designed to check your on-the-job skills.
During this test, you need to demonstrate the skills that you should perform as a CNA on a daily basis.
You should know that this part is very important.
During this part of the exam, it is a good idea to say aloud each step you perform.
Depending on how well-developed your skills are, the commission will score your performance.
Usually, during this portion students perform various tasks using mannequins but sometimes you may be obliged to partner with other students.
Among the main skills that are usually checked, there are four options.
Personal care services such as bathing and grooming are an essential part of a CNA’s job.
In other words, they are always checked and evaluated during the CNA exam.
Use of Restorative Devices
As a CNA, you need to know how to use various mobility aids such as crutches, walkers, and prostheses.
Also, you should be able to teach others how to use these devices.
Moreover, you need to know well various devices that can influence both the life and functions of your patients.
The list includes such things as catheters or other bowel and urinary control or training fixtures.
Mental Health Needs
Very often CNAs need to work with patients who have various mental disorders such as schizophrenia, dementia, or psychosocial disabilities.
To be able to deal with such patients, you need to understand well mental health needs of your patients.
These skills are especially important for those people who are planning to work at a facility that works with mentally disabled people.
General Nursing Skills
CNAs perform a whole bunch of duties and tasks, and to be able to perform them properly they need to follow some general rules.
They need to know how to wash hands properly, clean the environment, recognize various symptoms as well as some abnormalities.
CNA Exam: The Written Section
The second section of the exam consists of multiple-choice questions that should be done in a written form.
Among the most frequently asked questions, there are:
- A patient suddenly becomes short of breath while lying in a bed. After calling for help, the nurse aide should:
- ask the patient to take deep breaths;
- take the patient’s vital signs;
- raise the head of the bed;
- elevate the patient’s feet.
- When a person is admitted to the nursing home, it means the resident:
- has problems related to incontinence;
- requires a lot of assistance with personal care;
- experiences a sense of loss relating to life change;
- adjusts more quickly if admitted directly from the hospital.
- The doctor has told the patient that he has cancer that progresses fast and that he is dying. When the patient tells the nurse aide that there is a mistake, the nurse aide should:
- understand that denial is a normal reaction;
- remind the resident that the doctor would not lie;
- suggest the resident ask for more tests;
- ask if the resident is afraid of dying.
As you may suggest some questions aim to check CNA’s empathy and intuition so there is no answer that can be considered absolutely wrong or right.
At the same time, there are pretty concrete questions that require only one right answer.
How to Get Ready For The CNA Exam?
There is a variety of resources you can use for your preparation including online ones such as forums and special services.
Using forums, you can get some useful pieces of advice from qualified and experienced CNAs.
In fact, there is a great option id look for various useful tips.
Below, we’ve collected some of the greatest tips provided by CNAs.
Talk Through It
Sometimes, you just need to say questions out loud to understand them better.
Also, saying out loud each your step as if interacting with a coworker or a real patient make it easier to follow certain steps and not to forget some points.
Take Your Time
Try to stay calm and pace yourself.
If you are rushing through questions, you may forget something really important or make some mistakes that you’d never do while working at a normal pace.
As soon as you feel anxious, just take a breathe and a little pause to calm down.
Take Practice Exams
It is always a good idea to take some practice exams that are available online.
It will help you understand the questions you may be obliged to deal with during the real exam.
Also, it is a good idea to time yourself and tracks questions that were difficult for you.
Moreover, you can buy some test books and prepare flashcards with important facts.
It may be enough to spend just a few hours per day practicing and overviewing materials to get ready for the test.
What If I Fail the Exam?
There is always a possibility to fail the exam even if you think you are well-prepared.
In any case, it’s not a reason to get discouraged as there is always an opportunity to retake the exam.
During your second try, you may feel less nervous as you already know what to expect.
If you failed the exam. make sure to review all your mistakes before taking the second try.
Also, asked other CNAs for some preparatory tips for your exam.
Just keep in mind that licensing requirements differ from one state to another so it is better to use your local resources to get some useful info.
If you failed the exam, you have two more tries so make sure to get ready properly.
Moreover, you need to remember, that your licensing exam should be retaken every two years.
If you don’t do it in time, you may be obliged to retake your training as well.
In any case, don’t get discouraged and keep yourself motivated.
In other words, always remember why you’ve decided to become a CNA.
It is a rewarding and meaningful career option that can provide you with a stable income and a feeling of fulfillment.
Helpful Resources to Get Prepared For the Exam
You need to make sure you use the best resources if you want to pass your exam without any issues.
You can find lots of information via the Internet but not all this info is credible or updated.
We’ve collected some of the greatest resources you can use while preparing for the exam.
NNAAP Nurse Aide Practice Written Exam Packet
Using this thirteen-page PDF file, you have an opportunity to try out a practice written exam and learn more about the NNAAP content outline.
Also, it has the same answer sheet design as the original exam as well as an answer key so you can revise your answers.
Illinois State Nursing Exam Practice Test
This is a sample test that can be taken online.
You have an opportunity to decide on the number of questions and the service checks your answers automatically.
You need to know that this test has no time limits but you can set it on your own just using a timer on your mobile phone.
Study Guide Books
There is a whole variety of guide books that can help you get ready for the exam.
Just visit your local library, a book store or an online service such as Amazon to get some of these books.
O-Net Job Summary
If you are looking for a comprehensive list of skills that may be tested during the exam as well as the equipment you should know, just visit O-Net Online service.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is the best resource to get info on job duties for various careers.
The State of Illinois provides a long list of facts and resources that are important for CNAs.
There you can find info about the exam, credentials maintaining, employment issues and so on.
It should be mentioned that there are not only state-specific facts but also general aspects.
Of course, a training program is your first and most important step towards successful exam completion.
However, it doesn’t mean it is the only resource you should use.
Just make sure to use all possible means to get ready for the exam so you can avoid failures.
Read the full guide: How to Become a CNA