CNA Exam and Certification Colorado

The CNA (NNAAP) Examination is a national assessment that ensures nurse aide candidates have the knowledge and competencies to safely and effectively fill their role as an entry-level nurse aide. Candidates intending to work as a Certified Nursing Assistant at Medicare/Medicaid funded facilities in Colorado must pass the NNAAP to become certified as a CNA. Colorado is one of 24 NCSBN jurisdictions that administer the exam to determine a nurse aide’s competency. The Colorado State Board of Nursing has contracted with Credentia to create, score, and report the results of the Written Exam and Skill Evaluation. If you pass both parts of the exam and meet all other requirements, your name will be added to the Colorado Nurse Aide Registry.

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How to Apply for the NNAAP Exam Colorado

Review the eligibility routes outlined below to determine if you qualify. Submit your application to take the exam after you’ve identified the correct eligibility route. Your application will expire if you’re not certified within two years after Pearson Vue receives your application.

E1 – New Nursing Assistant

If you have a certificate indicating successful completion of a state-approved training program, you can apply for the NNAAP exam under eligibility route 1. You must pass the exam within two years of submitting the application to Pearson Vue.

E3 – LPN, RN or LPT Student

After completing, at least, five-semester credits of nursing fundaments in a practical nursing, registered nurse, or psychiatric technician program, you’re eligible to apply for the NNAAP if you’ve never been licensed. Submit a transcript of your education or a verification letter, from the school where you completed the course, with your application for the exam. You must pass both components of the exam within 2 years of submitting the application.

E4 – LPN, RN or LPT Student with an Active or Expired License

This eligibility route applies to nurses with an active or expired license from any U.S. state or territory. Enclose a copy of your license or transcript of your nursing/psychiatric tech education with the application for the NNAAP.

E5 – Nurse Trained Outside the U.S. or U.S. Territories

If you’re trained and licensed as a nurse outside the U.S., you should contact the Board of Nursing for detailed steps on applying for certification under this route.

E6 – Nurse Aide Trained in Another State

A nurse aide trained in another state but with no current nurse aide certificate can apply for the exam with proof of completing an approved nurse aide training program.

E7 – RN, LPN, or LPT with Active Discipline

Disciplinary action requires an explanation for Board review, which could lengthen the application process. If you’re applying for the exam under this route, check “yes” under screening question 8 and attach a copy of your most recent nursing license. If the Board approves your request, you must pass the exam within two years of submitting the application to Pearson Vue.

E8 – CNA With A Revoked or Suspended License  

You must wait one year after a revocation or two years after surrendering a CNA certificate before you reapply. Complete another approved training program and apply to take the exam within two years of retraining. Answer “yes” to screening question 8 and submit a written explanation, proof of retraining, and a letter asking permission to retest with the completed application. Please allow time for the Nurse Aide Advisory Committee to review your application.

E11 – Nurse Aide Previously Certified In Colorado

If you previously held a Nurse Aide Certificate in Colorado but did not practice for compensation in the last 24 months, you must attach a copy of your CNA certificate or proof of completing a state-approved training program with an application for the exam. You must pass the exam within two years of submitting your application to Pearson Vue.

With the Credentia CNA365 system, online registration is quick, convenient and an environmentally responsible way to register for your examination. This process will eliminate the transit time associated with mailing a paper application

An application is not considered complete without the following:

  • Documents verifying your eligibility to take the exam.
  • The appropriate application fee which is non-refundable.

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Credentia makes reasonable accommodations to persons who request special testing. You must fill out the ADA Accommodation form and submit with the application. Provide documentation of your disability with the request. This may include a letter from a qualified professional explaining your disability and how it affects your ability to take the exam under standard conditions. The qualified professional should also complete Part II of the request form. All requests for accommodations must be submitted in advance. No accommodations will be made at the test site without prior approval from Pearson Vue.

The Healthcare Professions Profile Requirement and the Immigration Act requires all health care professionals, including CNAs, to create and maintain a current Healthcare Professions Profile online. The profile will include your employer, education, disciplinary action and felony convictions. You must also submit information from a government-issued ID to verify your status in the US and complete the Affidavit of Eligibility enclosed in the application.

Credentia will review your completed application and email your Authorization to Test Notice to the address you provided within 48 hours. The ATT contains important information on taking the test. Contact Credentia if you do not receive notice within ten business days.

If you’re unable to take the test on the scheduled date, contact Credentia, at least, five business days before the test to schedule another date. There is no penalty if you reschedule within the stipulated timeframe. However, if you reschedule less than five business days before the test and do not show up for the exam, you’ll have to pay another fee as your exam fee will not be refunded.

Exam Costs

If you’re a first-time candidate for the NNAAP exam, you must pay for both the Written (or Oral) exam and the Skills Evaluation with your initial application. The non-refundable exam fee is payable using a money order or certified check or a facility check if your employer is paying the fee. All forms of payment must include your name, so the fee can be applied to your exam.

The fees for the exam are as follows:

  • Written Exam  – $50
  • Oral English Examination  – $50
  • Oral Spanish Examination – $50
  • Skills Evaluation  – $85

NNAAP Exam Overview Colorado

The NNAAP exam will evaluate your knowledge, skills, and competency as a CNA. The Written part of the two-part exam is designed to assess your knowledge of basic nursing principles and patient care. Hands-on practice in the skills lab and the clinical practicum of the nursing assistant program will prepare you for the Skills evaluation component of the of the NNAAP exam. Upon successful completion of both parts of the exam, your name will be added to the Colorado Nurse Aide Registry.

The Written Exam

The Written exam contains 70 multiple-choice questions. However, ten questions will be considered non-scored questions used for statistical purposes. The maximum time allocated for the exam is two hours. A full overview of the content outline for the Written (or Oral) exam is available in the Candidate Handbook. There are three categories: Physical Care Skills, Psychosocial Care Skills, and Role of the Nurse Aide. Each subcategory accounts for a percentage of the final score. Included sub-categories are emotional and mental health, spiritual and cultural needs, basic nursing skills, restorative skills, and the activities of daily living.

The Oral Exam

You can apply for the Oral exam as an alternative to the Written exam if you speak English as a second language or have difficulty reading English. Request the Oral option when filling out the application for the Exam, and a cassette player and earphone will be provided for you at the test center. You cannot request the Oral exam on the scheduled exam date. The questions will be read aloud in English or Spanish, and you’ll follow along in the test booklet. There are two parts of the exam – you must pass both parts to pass the exam. The first part contains 60 multiple-choice questions in a format that’s similar to the Written exam. The second part has ten multiple-choice questions to test your ability to speak a minimum amount of English. The audio recording will contain common English words used in the profession. Each word will be read three times, and you’ll have to match the words to the information on the test booklet. The Oral exam is a two-hour exam.

The Skills Exam

The NNAAP Skill List contains the list of skills that you can review to prepare for the Skills Evaluation. Your assignment instruction card will contain hand-washing as one of the skills on which you’ll be scored and four other skills assigned at random. Before the evaluation starts, a Nurse Aide Evaluator will point out the equipment and give instructions for the 25-minute evaluation. Another candidate will act the part of the client, playing the role of a weakened elderly person. You’ll also need to play the role of the client for another candidate. To pass the skills test, you must perform the critical element step and a fair amount of the basic steps for each skill. The NNAAP Skills List, available in the Candidate Handbook, contains the steps for each skill and the critical element steps highlighted in bold type. If you miss a step, you can inform the NAE and proceed to correct it. However, you cannot make corrections after you’ve progressed to the next skill on the instruction card. Every candidate will have to perform at least one measurement skill. Recording radial pulse, blood pressure, respiration, weight, or urine output are just some examples of measurements you may be asked to perform. You’ll have to record your results in the Candidate Results box. Dress appropriately for the skills exam in flat, non-skid shoes with enclosed toes, and a uniform or loose-fitting scrubs. You must pass all five skills in order to pass the Skills Evaluation.

What To Bring To The Exam

Check-in begins before the actual time scheduled for the exam, so arrive at the center, at least, 30 minutes beforehand. Arrive 30 minutes before the written exam and 30 minutes before the skills evaluation. If you arrive late, you’ll not be admitted to take the test and your test fees will not be refunded. If you miss the written exam, you can still show up for the skills exam but plan to arrive early. You’ll need two forms of current, signature-bearing IDs for check-in. One ID must be issued by a government agency and must bear your photo. Your signatures on both IDs must match, and the names must exactly match the name on the Authorization to Test letter. Examples of acceptable ID include a driver’s license, clinic card, library card, passport, or state-issued identification card.

Other items to take to the center are:

  • Your admission ticket
  • Three no. 2 sharpened pencils
  • Eraser
  • A watch with a second hand.

Cell phones, beepers, and other electronic devices cannot be used during the exam and must be switched off. Do not bring large personal items, such as briefcases and large purses, to the site as they’re not allowed in the room, and there is no room for storage at the Regional Test Sites.

Receiving Your Scores

You will receive a notification email from CNA365 when a new exam score has been posted to your online account. To access your score report, login to your CNA365 account
by clicking the “CNA365 Login” button on the top of the Colorado nurse aide website page. Score reports are generally available within a few hours after a testing event is completed for the day.

Examinations results will not be given over the phone.

The score report contains guidelines for retesting if you fail one or both parts of the exam. You’ll need to pay another fee and submit your official score report to Credenita. You’ll have up to three attempts to pass both the written exam and the skills evaluation. You must pass both components of the exam within a 24-month period for inclusion on the Nurse Aide Registry.

Contact the Registry

Colorado Board of Nursing
1560 Broadway, Suite 1350
Denver, CO 80202
Phone: 303-894-2430
Alternate: 303-894-2458
Fax: 303-894-2821


Crystal G

Crystal is a certified Registered Nurse (RN) with a passion for writing about nursing education. Through her articles, Crystal shares insights and tips to help fellow nurses enhance their skills and stay updated with the latest developments in the field. With a focus on practical advice and relevant topics, Crystal's writing is a valuable resource for nursing professionals seeking to advance their careers.