Now that you have finished and passed all the courses necessary to begin working as a nursing assistant, you will need to take the certified nursing assistant test. Knowing ahead of time what sort of questions and concepts will be on the test will give you more confidence to help you in passing this exam.
There are two parts to the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program Examination (NNAAP™). The written test will contain approximately one hundred multiple choice, fill in the blank, and short essay questions, which are intended to test your analytic and intuitive understanding of the responsibilities a certified nursing assistant will have when employed in a nursing home, hospital, or other medical health facility. Questions regarding clinical aspects of your nursing knowledge are also included in the exam and will cover subjects like how to prevent the spread of infections, what you can do to maintain an incapacitated patient’s self-respect, what vital signs indicate, and the proper way to change and clean bedpans. You may be asked to demonstrate your skills at performing tasks like taking blood pressure and interpreting the results. For this reason, you may need to bring a friend or family member to the testing site in order to have a real person on which to demonstrate your ability at specific clinical skills.
Be aware that the certified nursing assistant test, especially the clinical portion, are rigorously watched and assessed by the instructor who will note whether you do certain actions in the proper order, such as washing your hands before caring for a patient, or informing a patient by knocking or calling out that you are entering their room before going in.
Try to stay focused on the tasks you are asked to do and don’t become flustered if you think you may have done something wrong. Keep going and do the best you can. Instructors (state examiners) are also observing how well you perform under stress, since a nursing assistant’s job can involve some intense multitasking throughout her entire shift.
Remember to read the online Guide to Studying for and taking the CNA Exam, which contains a considerable amount of useful material, intended to prepare you for the test. There are also practice tests available online, which are similar to the one you will take officially to obtain your certificate. Another nifty site to receive online support and help before taking your exam is the Nursing Assistant Message Board, which is home to other anxious nursing students who are preparing to take the certified nursing assistant test. Finally, the NNAAP Nurse Aide Practice Written Exam Packet is another resource to assist you in passing the test. Included in the 13-page PDF file is an answer sheet to the questions posed in the document.
If you happen to fail the test, do not give up because in most states, you will be eligible to take the test again, after a specified waiting period. Since this rule differs between states, check your state’s laws regarding this procedure if you need to retake the test.