CNA Exam and Certification Maine

Out of all states, Maine has the highest training requirements for nursing assistants. The Maine Registry of Certified Nursing Assistants & Direct Care Workers requires nurse aide students to complete a minimum of 180 hours of training, divided into 90 hours of theory in a classroom setting, 20 hours of practical lab work, and 70 hours in a clinical environment where students will perform nurse aide procedures under the direction of a registered nurse. After completing the required coursework, graduates become eligible to sit the state certification exam, which may be administered at the CNA training school or at any of the Career and Technical Education Centers approved by Maine’s Nurse Aide Registry.

A nurse aide graduate can work temporarily, with a temporary listing provision in the Registry, for a period of four months while waiting to sit the competency exam. After this period expires, the nurse aide must be listed on the Nurse Aide Registry to continue working at Medicaid/Medicare funded long-term care facilities.

CNA Classes in ME:

How to Apply for the Nurse Aide Competency Exam Maine

There are more than one ways to qualify for a listing on Maine Nurse Aide Registry.

New Nurse Aide Candidates

Provide official documents indicating that you completed a formal nurse aide training program, comprising of 180 hours of theory and clinical instruction, to an approved test site and you’ll be scheduled to take the exam. You can take the exam within 24 months of completing the program. Once you pass the test, your name will be added to the Registry and will be valid for two years.

Armed Service Men and Women

 If you served as a CNA or equivalent in the United States Armed Services, you must apply to take the CNA competency test at a regional test site. You’ll need to provide documentation of medical training or work in the military that is equivalent to Maine’s training requirements for nurse aides. The document must identify the training/work dates and the number of training hours. You must also have a minimum ninth grade education. After successful passage of the exam, you’ll need to submit proper documentation to the Registry for a listing. There must not be any employment restrictions based on criminal convictions on your record that will prevent you from working as a CNA in Maine.

Nursing School Student

If you are a nursing school student in Maine or out-of-state, you must request a certificate of equivalent training from the nursing school to be sent to the Registry. Submit a completed application form for consideration and your name will be added to the Registry if you qualify.

Licensed Nurses

Licensed practical nurses and registered nurses must submit a completed application form for placement on the Registry along with a copy of a diploma, degree, or transcripts.

Foreign Nurses

If you trained as a nurse in another country, you must submit a completed application form, a copy of your diploma, degree, or transcripts, a criminal background check report, a copy of a Commission of Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (COGFNS) report, and a copy of your visa to the Maine CNA Registry.

CNAs trained Out-of-State

As an out-of-state trained CNA, you may qualify for direct placement on the Registry if you provide a completed application form, certificate of completing a nursing assistant training program (should indicate the training date and number of hours), documentation of completing an out-of-state nurse aide competency test, proof of completing at least ninth grade, and proof of employment as a CNA for at least 32 hours a week for three of the last 5 years. There must be no employment restrictions (felony convictions) that would bar you from being listed on the Registry.

If you have no documentation to prove that you completed CNA training, you must complete an approved training program in Maine and take the competency test to qualify for placement on the Registry.

Applying to take the NA Competency Exam

Many Maine approved training providers will administer the competency exam to students after they successfully complete the program. The training provider will also supply all the necessary forms for students to be placed on the Maine Nurse Aide Registry.

Exam Costs

Contact the testing center or school’s administration for a detailed breakdown of the exam costs. In some instances, the cost of the test will be in the advertised training cost.

Free training is a federal requirement that applies to CNAs working in a nursing facility. If you are employed or receive an offer of employment from a nursing facility on or before you begin a CNA training or competency evaluation, you must not be charged for any portion of the program, including books, materials, or tuition. Federal laws also make provision for reimbursement of costs for graduates who become employed at a nursing facility no later than 12 months after completing a training program and passing the competency test. The nursing facility must reimburse your costs incurred for the training and testing required to become a Certified Nursing Assistant.

In addition to covering the costs for initial certification, the facility must provide an additional 12 hours per year of in-service education at no cost to the nursing assistant employee.

CNA Exam Overview Maine

The CNA certification exam will test your understanding and application of the theory and practical skills you receive in the CNA training program.

There are two parts of the exam: a skills evaluation and a written exam. You must pass both parts of the test to be placed on the Maine Nurse Aide Registry. The Written exam contains 60 questions, and you must earn 72% of higher to pass this portion of the exam.

Contact the Registry

Licensing and Regulatory Services
State House Station #11
41 Anthony Avenue
Augusta Maine 04333
Phone: 1-800-791-4080
Alt: (207) 287-9300
Fax: 207-287-9325


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.