The initial step to become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is to successfully complete a CNA Training program. All the prospective Certified Nursing Assistants who have graduated a state approved CNA Training program sit a state CNA exam for CNA Certification. The CNA certification exam tests the medical knowledge of the prospective Certified Nursing Assistants, gained during the course of the CNA training they have completed, as well as the practical abilities they have to perform the duties of a CNA. The CNA certification test aims to test the applicants proper training and knowledge and to certify their abilities to proper serve the needs of the patients they will take care of. Every prospective Certified Nursing Assistant considering to take the CNA Certification Test will be required to pay a state CNA exam fee which is determined by the US state in which the certification test is held. The CNA Certification Test consists of two parts that test the nursing knowledge of the applicants and their practical CNA abilities. On the date of the CNA Certification Test the applicants need to come to the CNA certification center very well prepared to complete the written part of the CNA Certification Test and properly dresses to take the clinical portion. In order to receive a passing grade, successful completion of both parts of the CNA certification exam is required. After successful completion of the CNA Certification Exam the name of the Certified Nursing Assistant is included in the state registry and the CNA gets the rights to work in medical institutions such as hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care facilities and other.
Almost all states of the USA require that health care professionals working as Certified Nursing Assistants to complete a CNA Certification Test. As mentioned above this certification test consists of both written and practical portions. The written part of the CNA Certification Test usually consists of multiple-choice questions, however the form of the test can vary by state, and tests the knowledge of a variety of nursing assistant skills. The prospective Certified Nursing Assistants are usually given a pre-determined range of time to complete this part of the CNA Certification Test. Following the finish of the written part of the test, prospective Nurse Aides will be required to take the practical portion of the CNA Certification Test. The skill test of the certification exam allows the prospective nursing assistants to show their mastery in performing all the nursing skills that are required when working as a CNA. As stated above it is extremely important that the prospective Certified Nursing Assistants come to the certification center dressed in the right manner, so that they can complete the technical portion of the certification test.
After the completion of the CNA Certification Test, both parts – written and practical, prospective Certified Nursing Assistants will be notified about their results through the Board of Nursing or by the certification center in which the CNA exam was held. In case of successful certification the name of the Certified Nursing Assistant is placed on the state registry. In some cases CNAs are provided with a Certified Nursing Assistant card.
In a number of states of the USA, there exist various types of certifications for nursing assistants. These types of supplemental accreditations provide the CNAs skill sets that make it possible for them to perform additional nursing responsibilities.These supplemental accreditations include, but are not limited to:
- Geriatric Nursing Assistant certification (GNA) – certification that allows the CNAs to work in long-term care facilities.
- Home Health Aide (HHA) certification – certification that allows the CNAs to work in home health care agencies.
- Certified Medicine Aide certification (CMA) – certification that allows the CNAs to manage medicine in medical institutions. In order to be CMA certified a CNA must have taken a 60 hour state approved medicine aide course and a Certified Nursing Assistant must also have at least one year of experience as a CNA.
Acquiring CNA certification allows prospective Certified Nursing Assistants to work in a variety of medical institutions providing daily care for patients and grants a noble and morally and financially rewarding medical career. In addition, having the CNA certification creates opportunities the certified health care professionals to expand their skill set by obtaining additional training and then taking those advanced certifications.