Skilled Nursing Facilities in Idaho must require potential nurse aide employees to successfully complete a nurse aide training and competency evaluation program or competency evaluation program before hire. There are several eligibility routes to apply for the Written (Knowledge) exam after taking the Manual Skills test. In Idaho, nurse assistant graduates must take the Manual Skills exam within six months of graduation followed by the Prometric administered knowledge exam. After placement on the Nurse Aide Registry, a Certified Nurse Assistant can work under the direction of a licensed nurse at a long-term care facility.
How to Apply for the Idaho CNA Exam
If you’re submitting your application for the exam online, you need to establish your eligibility to test. For paper application submission, you must indicate one of the five certification eligibility options listed below.
Route 1 – New Nurse Aide
A new nurse aide must successfully complete an approved nurse aide training program and pass the manual skills evaluation – within six months from graduation – to apply for the Written Test through this eligibility route. Provide proof of completing the training program with the application. Documentation of completing the manual skills exam must the presented at the testing center on exam day. The written test must be completed within 12 months of graduating from the NA training program. You’ll have three attempts to pass the exam.
If you completed training in another state, you may also be eligible to take the test if you take the test within the testing timeframe. Provide evidence of completing an approved training program with the application for the exam.
Route 2 – Reciprocity
Provide evidence of current certification in another state to receive deemed status for placement on the Idaho Nurse Aide Registry without having to take the exam. Forms for reciprocity are available on the Registry website.
Route 3 – Challenger
Nursing students enrolled in an approved nursing program can challenge the exam after successfully completing one semester of the program. A copy of the transcript should be submitted to the Registry to receive a letter of approval to take the test. CNAs with an expired certificate from another Nurse Aide Registry can also use this route to apply for the exam – with approval from the Registry. The approval letter should be submitted to the NATCEP for scheduling the written and clinical skills test.
Route 4 – Waiver
A nurse or physician from another state or country can apply for direct placement on the Registry without taking the CNA exam. Negative actions on the applicant’s license will provide cause for the request to be denied. Submit a request to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare if you qualify for waiver status.
Route 5 – Lapsed
If you did not perform nursing related duties for compensation during the 24-month renewal cycle, your license would go into lapsed status. To reactivate your license, you can apply for the CNA exam without completing another training program. You must pass both the manual and written exam to qualify for recertification.
To apply for the exam under the certification routes:
- Submit a completed Idaho Nurse Aide Testing Application after you complete the Manual Skills exam. You can also submit the application online for faster processing.
- Use your Visa, American Express, or MasterCard to pay the non-refundable application fee when you submit your application online. The fee will be returned if you’re ineligible to test. Additional fees may apply and must be paid directly to the testing site.
- Submit evidence of your eligibility to test; documentation of your training, transcript of your nursing education, or an approval letter from the Nurse Aide Registry.
- Fill out the ADA Request Packet and enclose documentation to support your request for special accommodation for the exam. A reasonable accommodation will be provided if you qualify under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Describe the type of accommodation requested and submit a physician’s or specialist’s note on official letterhead to validate your claim. Please allow 30 days for Prometric to review the application and communicate their decision to the testing site.
Schedule a test date and time directly with the training program if you plan to take the test at a local facility. Take the completed application to the testing center to complete the registration process and schedule a date for the internet-based exam. Policies for retesting and rescheduling the exam will be available at the test site.
All requests for rescheduling an exam at a regional test center must be submitted directly to Prometric, at least, five full working days before the exam date. There is no fee to reschedule within the stipulated time frame. However, if you reschedule on the fourth business day or less prior to the appointed date, you must pay another fee to take the exam on another date.
Testing site fees will be added to the cost of the exam. The fees for the testing site should be paid directly to the site. If you’re employed or receive an offer of employment from a Medicaid/Medicare funded facility within 12 months of taking the exam, you must be eligible for reimbursement of your training and testing fees. Keep a copy of your receipt as evidence of payment for the exam.
- $29 + testing site fees – Written Examination
- $39 + testing site fees – Oral Examination
CNA Exam Overview Idaho
Before applying for the Prometric administered Written (knowledge) exam, you must complete the Manual Skills. The Manual Skills test is available to candidates who complete 120 hours of training and must be completed within 6 months of graduating from the NA program. The training program will prepare you for the state-administered test where you’ll pick one of seven possible scenarios. Each scenario contains several “testable skills” that a Rater will evaluate. You cannot miss any critical steps and complete at least 80% of the non-critical steps to pass the exam.
The scoring for the Manual Skills test will be for vital signs, charting, handwashing, random skills and pre and post-care skills. The list of skills and critical steps are outlined in the Procedure Lists for Testable Skills packet. You’re allowed three attempts to pass the Manual Skills test within the 6-month period after completing the training program.
After successfully passing the Manual Skills test, you can submit an application to Prometric for the Knowledge test.
The Written Exam
Each test site has computers set up for the written exam. You’ll use the mouse to select your answers to the 60-multiple choice questions. A maximum of 90 minutes is assigned for the exam. An online demo test is available if you want to get familiar with the computerized test and question format and types. You don’t need computer experience to take the test. However, a brief tutorial at the beginning of the test will cover moving the mouse and using it to select answers, marking a question for review, reviewing questions, viewing a summary of questions to view answered and unanswered questions, and submitting a test for scoring.
Sample test questions are available in the Candidate Handbook. Practice exams will free, and paid options are also available on Prometric’s website. Paid exams follow a format similar to the actual exam and provide helpful feedback you can use to prepare for success.
Topics are spread across the five main categories listed below:
- Role of the Nurse Aide – 18%
- Promotion of safety – 18%
- Promotion of Function and Health of Residents – 24%
- Basic Nursing Care Provided by the Nurse Aide – 26%
- Providing Specialized Care for Residents with Changes in Health – 14%
The Oral Exam
The CNA exam is available in English format only. Translators and translation dictionaries are prohibited for the exam. However, a candidate who speaks English as a second language can request the Oral exam on the application for the test to hear the questions read through headsets connected to the computer. There are 60 multiple-choice questions like the written exam, and the candidate can replay and pause questions as needed.
What To Bring To The Exam
Test site rules are standard, and candidates must adhere to the regulations to avoid disqualification. Do not bring reference material or study papers to the test center. Prometric recommends not bringing personal items, such as purses and briefcases and electronic equipment (cell phones, PDAs, pagers, tape recorders, etc.), as they’re not permitted in the testing area. Restroom breaks require sign out, and the time will be deducted from your exam time.
You should arrive at least 30 minutes early to check in and have your ID verified. Walk with a present government-issued ID with a current photo. You must also provide your social security card or letter from the Social Security Administration that includes your name and SSN. If you do not have an SSN, you will be allowed to take the test, but you cannot secure employment without proper documentation.
Receiving Your Scores
Results for the computer based test will be provided at the test site shortly after the exam. The printed score report will indicate a pass or fail option. To pass the Written or Oral exam, you must correctly answer an overall number of questions. If you fail in several content areas, you can still pass the exam if you get an overall number of questions correct.
Your results will be forwarded to the Idaho Nurse Aide Registry with two days of passing the exam. Your name will be added to the Registry if you pass both the Written and Manual Skills exam. You can verify your certification online at the Department of Health and Welfare or by logging into to Prometric’s website using your ID and password provided on the approval to test.
ID Nurse Aide
7941 Corporate Dr.
Nottingham MD 21236
Idaho Department of Health and Welfare
Bureau of Facility Standards
PO Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0009
3232 W Elder Street
Boise, ID 83705
Office Phone: (208) 334-6620
Office Fax: (208) 334-6629
CNA Hotline: (800) 748-2480