To apply for a CNA license you must take and pass a state exam.
Before you decide where to take your training course; you should ask what the pass rate is for their students. This is an indication of how well they cover the material on the test.
You must apply with your state board to take the exam. You can do this online. You’ll need to pay the fee for the test and send in any required documents. This usually includes proof you’ve taken a training course through a state approved program. You may also need to pass a background check and be fingerprinted.
The testing fee varies from state to state and averages anywhere from $100 to $200. A fingerprinting fee is also charged and sometimes the cost of a background check.
The exam consists of two parts; a written exam and a practical hands-on exam.
You can visit your local library and they’ll often have books in the research section that helps prepare you for the test.
Practice tests are also available online. They won’t have the exact questions as the state test but they will be similar in nature. Try to find practice tests specific to your state.
There are also study guides you can read to help prepare for the test.
The test will need to be taken at a state appointed location with a proctored examiner. You can find these sites by looking at your state board website. You can register for a time to take the test at these websites.
Make sure you know the address of the testing location and how to get there. Arrive at your test site a little early. This will give you a few moments to relax, take deep breaths and prepare for your test. If you rush in at the last minute you’ll be nervous and stressed.
After taking the written test you will be given a hands-on test where you perform various tasks for patients. This usually involves basic skills of working with patients such as taking vitals or helping to move them from a bed to a wheelchair.
You can practice these tasks on a friend so you’re comfortable working with a “real” person instead of just knowing the skills. It sometimes helps to talk the patient through the steps. “Mr. Jones, I’m going to take your pulse rate now.” This helps calm both you and the patient. Do not rush. You do not get extra points for speed, so take your time and remain calm.
You must pass both sections of the test to apply for your CNA license.
After taking the test, some states give you your score the same day at the testing center. Other states may take up to two weeks to let you know your score.
In the meantime you can still prepare your resume and start looking for job openings.
If you don’t pass the test the first time the retake fee is usually lower. Most states limit the amount of times you can attempt the test, usually three times.