The Certified Nursing Assistant exam, or CNA exam, is often one of the requirements for individuals to practice as a CNA in a certain state. While the requirements vary from state to state, along with test content, most states use a third-party examination company to administer the actual exam. The role of the exam is to assess competency with both the required knowledge and the clinical skills necessary to do the job competently.
The written portion of the exam commonly consists of 60 multiple-choice questions that must be completed within 90 minutes. In most states, you must pass the written portion and the clinical skills portion of the exam with a 70% or higher to gain your CNA certification. Since there may be variations on the exam depending upon the state in which you are seeking certification, it’s always a good idea to contact your local testing center before your scheduled testing date and get additional information from them.
A large portion of the nursing assistant’s job is helping the patient with activities of daily living, often referred to as ADLs. These include feeding, bathing, dressing, toileting, and ambulating. Knowing how to best and most efficiently help the patient in these activities is critical to doing the job well.
As a member of the healthcare team that provides “bedside” care, the nursing assistant needs a number of basic care skills to provide safe and effective care to her patients. Being able to take and record vital signs and weights, helping the patient with activities of daily living, and being well versed in methods of infection control are requirements of the job in virtually every setting.
In 1973, the American Hospital Association came out with the Patient’s Bill of Rights to help make more clear what rights all people were entitled to when they found themselves as a patient in the healthcare setting. For example, every patient has the right to be free from the unauthorized use of restraints and to use their own clothing/possessions as long as they are not hazardous or do not infringe on the rights of another. Knowing what rights the patient has is critical for the nursing assistant who wishes to provide ethical, safe care, and violating these rights could cost the nursing assistant her job—and may even result in legal action.
Communication skills play a huge role in the job of the nursing assistant. This CNA practice test will evaluate your ability to communicate clearly with team members regarding patient care, which is critical to providing safe, effective care in any healthcare setting. When communicating with residents, cultural competence, caring, and active listening skills are also needed for you to be an effective and efficient nursing assistant.
As a caregiver to a vulnerable population, it is important that the nursing assistant be well versed in caring for the emotional and mental health needs of the patient. This can range from something as simple as sharing in a happy moment with a patient, or as complex as being empathic when the patient is grieving a loss.
As a professional working in the healthcare setting, it is important for the nursing assistant to know the rules and regulations surrounding their job description. Performing duties outside of one’s scope of practice or performing duties incorrectly could result in losing a job or even legal action. Abuse, assault, negligence, and invasion of privacy are all acts that are considered unethical and could lead to big trouble for the nursing assistant.
This section of the CNA practice test covers working under the direct supervision of an RN or LPN. The nursing assistant is a vital part of the healthcare team. Because they deliver so much hands-on care to the patient, the nursing assistant is often the first to realize something is wrong and therefore may prevent a serious problem or complication from occurring.
Restorative skills are skills the nursing assistant has that help enable the patient to function to the best of their ability, or to prevent an injury or complications from occurring. An example could be turning a bedridden patient every two hours to prevent bedsores, or encouraging a stubborn patient to walk three times a day as directed by their nursing care plan. These are the topics covered in questions you’ll find in this CNA practice test.
America is a very diverse place, and the healthcare setting is a reflection of that diversity. As a nursing assistant, you will often encounter patients or co-workers with a different culture or religion than yours. Being sensitive and respectful of these differences will help you work well with others and help the patient feel like their spiritual needs are being met.
Taking the CNA exam can be nerve-wracking, but it always helps when you know what to expect before you arrive on exam day. The best way to do this is to contact your testing site and inquire about what time you should arrive and what materials are necessary for you to bring. You should get a good night’s sleep and eat a nutritious meal before leaving for the testing site.
Taking both the written portion and the clinical skills portion of the exam may take several hours, so you should be prepared to remain at the testing location for that duration. It’s also a great idea to arrive early so that you have sufficient time to register.
Since the testing requirements vary from state to state, it’s always a good idea to check with the testing location beforehand to find out what they need you to bring on exam day. Examples of common documents requested may include:
Determining what not to bring on exam day is also best done by contacting the testing site. However, since the exam is generally proctored by third-party testing services, examinees are generally prohibited from bringing personal belongings, study materials, and electronic devices with them while taking the exam. It’s good practice to leave these materials at home or in your vehicle.
CNA practice tests are one of the best ways to ensure that you are studying for and learning the right content. Practice tests help you to identify your weaker areas, allowing you to focus your studying efforts so that you better understand all of the elements you may encounter on the exam. CNA practice tests may also include information about the clinical skills you will be tested on during that portion of the exam. These practices tests are a great way to ensure you are ready to successfully pass the CNA exam when you arrive on your testing day.
While many examinees find that CNA practice tests are a crucial tool in preparing for the exam, some individuals also find that alternative testing materials can enhance their preparation. Flashcards for the CNA exam and study guides for the CNA exam present the content in another way, which can be helpful for learning and retaining the information.
You can boost the value of CNA practice tests by using them to simulate the overall testing experience. Try taking these exams within the allotted time, and go through the motions of some of the commonly tested clinical skills with an observer (family member or friend) present. These activities will help you to understand how you will perform under pressure. And many examinees find that this process can help calm their nerves and ensure that they are ready to perform their best on test day.
CNA multiple-choice exam questions commonly request conversions from one unit of measurement to another. Read the questions carefully so that you know what information they are seeking and select the right unit of measurement.
It’s never a good idea to spend too much time on a question you don’t know when you first encounter it on the test. This process can leave you scrambling to complete the test in the allotted time. The best process is to go through the exam once, answering the questions that are easy for you to answer, then using the remaining time to think through those that are harder.
Many test takers focus on learning and performing well on the written exam, which is important. But you also have to pass the clinical skills portion to become certified. While it may be more difficult to prepare for this part of the exam, it’s certainly not impossible. There is a lot of information about the procedures and processes commonly encountered during this part of the exam. Be sure to devote some time to learning these so that you can confidently perform them on your exam day.
The fees for this exam may vary from state to state, but generally speaking, test takers can expect to pay around $100.
Each state has different timelines for when examinees receive their results. Some states allow for results to be provided immediately upon the conclusion of the test, while others may take several weeks. It is best to check with your testing site to determine when they release the scores.
Since the CNA exam contains a clinical skills component, scrubs are a great option, but they are not required. You may be required to wear flat, non skid, closed-toe shoes though. It is best to wear something professional that will be comfortable throughout both portions of the exam.
Yes, most states allow examinees to retake the exam up to three times within two years of completing your CNA training courses. You will only need to retake the section that you did not pass with a score of 70% or more. If you did not meet this threshold on either section, you will be required to retake both sections.
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