CNA Exam and Certification Minnesota

The Nursing Assistant Registry in Minnesota, maintained by the Minnesota Department of Health, lists the names of nursing assistants who meet state and federal requirements to work in nursing homes. For placement on the registry, you must successfully complete an approved nurse aide program and pass the competency evaluation, or successfully challenge the test, or apply for reciprocity if you’re in good standing on the Nurse Aide Registry in another state. Employers must check the Registry to verify that a prospective employee meets the competency evaluation requirements to provide care in a nursing home or certified board care home. However, an employer may hire a nurse assistant student (someone enrolled in an approved training program at the time of hire) or an individual who has successfully completed nurse assistant training and competency evaluation but is not yet listed on the Registry. The Minnesota Department of Health approved D&S Diversified Technologies, LLP- Headmaster, LLP to provide tests and scoring services for nurse aide testing.

CNA Classes in MN:

How to Apply for the NNAAP Exam Minnesota

You are eligible to apply to take the Minnesota Nurse Aide competency exam for certification as a Nurse Aide in Minnesota if you qualify under one of the following routes:

  • You have completed a state-approved nurse aide training program within the past 24 months. You must apply to take both the Knowledge exam and the Skills exam.
  • You can submit documentation that you have previously completed a state-approved nurse aide training program, have taken and passedthe Nurse Aide Competency Exam (both the Knowledge and Skills exams), and are on the Minnesota NurseAide Registry with an expired registry status. You will be required to take the both the Knowledge exam andthe Skills exam.
  • If you do not meet either of the eligibility routes listed above, you may be eligible to take the exam as a test-outcandidate or challenge candidate. You will be required to take the both the Knowledge exam and the Skills Qualifying examples include:
    • If you trained in another country.
    • If you have not taken a nurse aide training program.
  • If you have not worked as a nurse aide in the last 24 months.

Note: If you are from another state, you should apply for endorsement to be added to the registry.

You must create an account in Headmaster’s TestMaster Universe (TMU) software.

When you receive your confirmation email from TMU that your record has been created, sign in to your record, update your password and complete/review your demographic information.
Once you have been scheduled into an exam in TMU by a test site, you will receive an email notification confirming your exam date and time. You can view this information online in your account.

Exam Costs

Testing fees will be determined by the test site.

You must pay for both the written or oral test and the skills test the first time you take the NNAAP  exam.

If you’re employed at a Medicare/Medicaid nursing facility, your employer must pay the exam and training fee under federal law. All fees are non-refundable.

NNAAP Exam Overview Minnesota

Both parts of the NNAAP Exam will be administered on the same day. You must pass both the Written (or Oral) Exam and the Skills Evaluation to receive a certificate and placement on the Washington Nurse Aide Registry.

The Written Exam

The Evaluator will give instructions for taking the 2-hour multiple-choice exam. Both the NNAAP and the NA/HHA contain 70 multiple-choice questions. Candidates are not allowed to go beyond the allotted two hours for the exam. The test will be administered electronically via computers connected to the TMU software at all test sites in Minnesota. You must have a score of 76 percent or better to pass the knowledge portion of the exam.

The new outline for the test, based on the findings from the 2014 Job Analysis and Knowledge, Skill, and Ability Study of Nurse Aides, goes into effect from January 2016. Ten of the items from the 70 multiple-choice items are not scored as they’re used for collecting statistical information.

The questions are categorized into six subject areas: aging process and restorative care, basic nursing skills, care impaired, data collection, and disease process.

The Oral Exam

Request the Oral Exam as a substitute to the Written Exam if you have a reading disability or speak English as a second language. The questions will be delivered via headphones connected to a computer. The exam contains two sections – you must pass both to pass the exam. The first part contains 60 multiple-choice questions and the second part contains 10 multiple-choice questions to test your ability to speak a minimum amount of English based on your recognition of common words used in the industry.

The subject matter for the Oral exam is the same as the Written Exam.

Virtual Knowledge Exam Option

A virtual knowledge exam option is available if you want to take the exam at home.

Candidates must have:

  • An updated version of Google Chrome as your Internet browser.
  • Internet Explorer is not supported by TMU
  • A reliable Internet (Wi-Fi) connection.
  • A personal computer/tablet/laptop to log into TMU to access the knowledge test.
  • Your Email or Username and Password to take the virtual TMU Knowledge test.
  • A smartphone to access the ‘facetime app’ that you will need to have downloaded.
    • D&SDT-Headmaster will provide you information of the ‘facetime app’ you will need before test day.
    • The night before your scheduled virtual knowledge exam, D&SDT-Headmaster will email you a reminder with the password protected link to join the test event
  • A distraction and interruption free area of your home, etc., where you will be testing

The Skills Exam

Your clinical skills will be under evaluation during the Clinical Exam. In a setting similar to the work setting, you’ll perform three to four tasks that will have scenarios associated with them.  The exam is approximately 30 minutes. The Evaluator will rate your performance – you must perform all skills correctly to pass the evaluation. A full listing of the NNAAP skills is available in the Candidate Handbook. The list includes the Critical Element Step, in bold type, that you must perform correctly to pass the skill. In addition to completing the Critical Element Step, you must perform enough steps to meet the passing standard for each skill. You must have a score of 80% on each task without missing any key steps to pass the skill component of your competency evaluation.

Another candidate will play the role of the “client” while you perform the skills. Similarly, you will be expected to volunteer for another candidate’s Skills Evaluation. The NAE will provide instructions for your role before the clinical exam begins. Dress appropriately in flat, slip-on shoes with enclosed toes and a loose-fitting top with short sleeves and loose-fitting pants that can be rolled up.

What To Bring To The Exam

For walk-in test sites, you must take your completed application, documents, and test fees. Registration begins 30 minutes before the exam, so arrive early for both parts of the exam.

The exam fee is non-refundable if you arrive late and the Evaluator prohibits you from entering the test.

Two forms of valid identification are necessary. Both IDs should bear your signature, and one should have a recent photo. Examples of official identification are a driver’s license, passport, state-issued ID card, signed social security card, and military ID. Photocopies of your ID are not acceptable.

You must also take:

  • A watch with a second hand.
  • Three #2 pencils (sharpened) and eraser.

Study aids and personal belongings are not permitted in the exam room. Cellular phones, beepers, and other electronic devices must be turned off during the test.

You must be in full clinical attire for both the written and skills test. No opened toed shoes are allowed and long hair must be pulled back.

If you are scheduled into a virtual knowledge exam, you must sign in to the virtual link for the sign in process with the test proctor prior (10-20 minutes) to the start time listed on your test confirmation. If you are not signed into your virtual exam prior to the time listed on your test confirmation, you will not be allowed to test, considered a No Show and forfeit your testing fees paid and have to pay for another test date.

You will need to show your two forms of mandatory identification to the test proctor at sign in before starting your virtual knowledge exam.

You will be required to show your surroundings to the test proctor during sign-in before starting your virtual knowledge exam.

All ‘Testing Policies’ and ‘Security’ measures are adhered to during the virtual knowledge exam. The ‘facetime app’ link must be maintained during the entire knowledge test. If the ‘facetime app’ connection is lost, you must immediately reconnect or be subject to being exited from the test by the test proctor and your test scored as a failed attempt.

Receiving Your Scores

After you have completed both the Knowledge Test and Skill Test components of the competency exam at the test site, your test results will be submitted to and officially scored and double-checked by D&SDT-Headmaster scoring teams. Official test results will be available by signing in to your TMU record after 7:00 PM (CST) the business day after your test event.

You have four (4) attempts to pass the knowledge portion and three (3) attempts to pass the skill test portion of the exam within 24 months from your date of nurse aide training program completion.

If you do not complete testing within 24 months from completion of training, you must complete a new Minnesota Department of Health-approved training program in order to become eligible to further attempt Minnesota NA examinations.

Retaking the Nurse Aide Test

If you fail the knowledge and/or skill portion of the examination and want to apply for a retest, you will need to repay for the portion that you failed before you can schedule a new exam date.

You may submit an application for a test review if you are not satisfied with your report.

Contact the Registry

MN Department of Health
Nurse Aide Registry
PO Box 64501
St. Paul, MN 55164
(800) 397-6124
(651) 215-8705

D&S Diversified Technologies (D&SDT),
Headmaster, LLP
PO Box 6609
Helena, MT 59604

Phone #: (800) 393-8664
Fax #: (406) 442-3357

Web Site:

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.