CNA Exam and Certification North Carolina

For many years, a nursing assistant candidate had the option to challenge the CNA exam in North Carolina for inclusion in the State Nurse Aide Registry. Beginning March 1, 2016, all candidates must complete a North Carolina state-approved training program to register for the Nurse Aide I Competency Exam. Therefore, February 29, 2016, marks the final date for a candidate to register and receive an authorization to test under the challenger (E4) or other NC trained eligibility routes (E6). State approved training programs comprise of classroom and clinical instruction giving students ample opportunities to study the content, develop and demonstrate acceptable skills, and prepare for success on the NNAAP exam. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has contracted with Pearson Vue to administer, score, and report the results of the exam on behalf of the Nurse Aide I Registry.

CNA Classes in NC:

How to Apply for the NNAAP Exam North Carolina

Candidates applying for the NNAAP Exam in North Carolina must use the online registration and scheduling to submit the Application for Registration by Competency Examination. There are several eligibility routes to qualify for the exam.

E1 – State-Approved Nurse Aide Trained Candidates

After completing a North Carolina state-approved Nurse Aide I training program, you’ll have up to two years or three attempts to pass both components of the NNAAP exam. If you do not pass the exam within two years, you must retrain before submitting another application to take the test.

E3- State-Approved Refresher Course Trained Candidates

If you completed a Nurse Aide I refresher course at a community college or propriety school that is approved by the state, you must pass both portions of the exam within two years or three attempts. You’ll be required to enroll in a state-approved training program before reapplying for the exam if you do not pass the exam within two years or three attempts.

E5- Student Nurse Training Candidates

As a student enrolled in a state-approved nursing education program for practical or registered nursing, you’re eligible to apply for the NNAAP. You must pass both portions of the exam within two years or three attempts for placement in the NC Nurse Aide Registry.

E7- Nurse Aide I Registry Candidates

If you’re already listed on North Carolina’s Nurse Aide I Registry in active or inactive status and not eligible to test under the other eligibility routes or unable to renew your certificate due to lack of qualifying work experience, you can apply for the exam under this route. You must pass both portions of the exam within two years of taking the first test or three attempts.

E6- Other Nurse Aide Trained Candidates

If you attended another training, not approved by the state, in preparation for the NNAAP Exam, you can submit the application for the Competency Exam and pass both portions within two years or three attempts. Final day for this route is February 29, 2016.

E4- Challengers

The final day to challenge the exam and/or receive an Authorization to Test from Pearson Vue is February 29, 2016. North Carolina’s new required training rule goes into effect on March 1, 2016. All candidates will be required to complete a state-approved training program to take the NNAAP Exam.

Online scheduling through the Credential Management Services is quick, convenient, and simple, and reduces the transit time of mailing a paper application. If you’re using the service for the first time, you must first create an account by filling in all the required fields. The Service will generate a password after you create the account and provide step by step instruction to complete the reservation process.

Make the online reservation at least 12 days before your desired test date and make the payment with a credit card or prepaid credit card.

The steps simplified:

  • Create an account if you’re using the CMS for the first time. Fill in all the required fields and the Service will generate a password.
  • Use the step by step instructions to set up a reservation for the exam. Submit the reservation at least 12 days before the desired test date.
  • Pay the non-refundable, non-transferable fee using a credit card or prepaid credit card with a MasterCard or Visa logo.
  • Contact a Pearson Vue support representative at (888) 723-6773 if you need assistance with the reservation process.

Special testing arrangements are available for candidates who qualify under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The accommodations are individualized and determined on a case by case basis. If you need a separate testing room, a Reader or Recorder due to mobility or vision impairment, or extra testing time, you must request it with the application and provide supporting documentation from a professional who diagnosed your condition. Include a description of past accommodations you may have received from the nurse aide training program or another source. Go the Pearson Vue’s website to select your test program under the ADA accommodations tab to submit your request. Please allow up to 30 days for Pearson Vue to review your request.

After you receive confirmation of your test date, you are eligible to reschedule if you contact Pearson Vue at least nine calendar days before the exam. There is no penalty to reschedule (one time) if you do so at least nine calendar days beforehand. You can reschedule an exam 24 hours after the scheduled exam date if you failed or were absent. If you need to reschedule, and it is less than nine days before the exam, you must apply for an excused absence. If you do not call Pearson Vue at least nine calendar days before the exam and do not show up for the exam, you’ll have to pay another application fee to schedule a new exam date.

Exam Costs

Your nursing home employer must cover the cost of your training and NNAAP fees if you’re employed at a Medicare/Medicaid funded facility. Federal and state laws require employers to pay the test fees even if you must retest. You may be eligible for reimbursement of your expenses if you become employed within 12 months of certification. Pay for both the Written (or Oral) Exam and the Skills Evaluation if you’re taking the test for the first time.

The fees for the exam are as follows:

  • Written Exam and Skills Evaluation – $101
  • Oral (Spanish or English) Exam and Skills Evaluation– $101
  • Written Exam Retest – $24
  • Oral (Spanish or English) Exam Retest – $24
  • Skills Evaluation retest – $77

NNAAP Exam Overview North Carolina

The CNA Certification (NNAAP) Exam is used to determine whether you have the aptitude and clinical skills to perform your role as a CNA. This final step to certification can be daunting, but the pass rates for North Carolina should be encouraging. More than 50 percent of candidates who fail on their first attempt, do so due to anxiety during the clinical portion of the exam. You can eliminate anxiety and have the confidence needed to pass both portions of the exam with sufficient preparation. North Carolina’s nurse assistants have up to two years or three attempts to pass the NNAAP exam for placement on the North Carolina Nurse Aide Registry.

The Written Exam

The written portion of the exam will most likely be administered first. The two-hour test will contain 70 questions in multiple-choice format. Ten out of the 70 questions will be non-scored items used for statistical purposes. There are three major categories for the test. Each category is further divided into sub-categories with a percentage assigned. The main categories are Physical Care Skills, Psychosocial Care Skills, and Role of the Nurse Aide. A Nurse Aide Evaluator will provide instructions before the exam begins. One important guideline relates to recording your answers: Use the provided answer sheet only as markings in the test booklet do not count. The Candidate Handbook has a breakdown of the categories with the percentage assigned to each section and a sampling of questions included in the written test.

The Oral Exam

Not sure the Oral test is right for you? Take the self-assessment in the Candidate Handbook to decide. The assessment is a list of general type questions designed to test your reading and comprehension abilities. After you complete the assessment and tally your scores, you should be able to determine whether you’re a good candidate for the Oral exam. According to the most recent handbook, a score below 17 is a good indicator that you need to apply for the Oral exam. The test is similar to the Written test, but it is available in English or Spanish audio format. You must request it at the time of application, and an NAE will provide an MP3 player and headset that you’ll use to listen to the questions during the exam. There are two parts to the test. The first 60 questions cover the three main categories as the written exam. The final ten multiple-choice questions are designed to test your reading comprehension and understanding of common nurse assistant terms in English. You must pass both sections to pass the oral test.

The Skills Exam

The Clinical Skills Evaluation is deemed as the most difficult portion of the test. Professionally trained nurses will evaluate your performance of five clinical skills during the 30-minute exam. Handwashing is a standard skill set that is always included in the exam. The four remaining skills will be randomly selected from the NNAAP Skills list, but at least one will be “Recording a Measurement.” Since it is difficult to predict the skills that will be assigned to you, it is important that you review the entire list of skills and practice, making sure to memorize the Critical Element Step for each skill. You must correctly perform the CES to pass the exam, but knowledge and the ability to follow the procedures do not guarantee that you’ll pass the exam. It is integral that you put your patient at ease, be fluid in your movements, and communicate your intentions effectively. Practice is the only way to succeed. You can practice the skills with someone willing to volunteer as a patient. An internship in a clinical setting will also provide opportunities to develop the skills. Follow the steps as instructed and perform the skills in the order they’re listed on the instruction card. If you need clarity on any part of the process, ask the NAE before the exam begins. Pay careful attention to infection control and safety procedures as overlooking these steps will result in immediate failure. Dress appropriately for the exam in non-skid shoes with enclosed toes and loose fitting scrubs. You will need to volunteer for the client role for another candidate just as another candidate will have to volunteer to play the role of a weakened elderly person for you.

What To Bring To The Exam

Arrive on time – at least 30 minutes before the scheduled time for both the written and clinical exams. You’ll not be allowed to take the exam if you arrive late. You must take two forms of current identification to the test site -one of them should have a current photo. One must be a signed, U.S. government-issued social security card. Acceptable forms of photo identification are a driver’s license, passport, federally issued employment authorization document photo ID, or alien registration card. Your name and social security number must be the same as the name used to register for the exam. If your name changes, you must contact Pearson Vue at least nine days before the exam to provide official government issued documents to support the name change.

Other items to take to the center are:

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

No other materials are allowed in the exam room. Books, study materials, and large personal items will be collected before you enter the test area. Note that there may not be a storage area at some test sites, and Pearson Vue will not take responsibility for lost or stolen items. Cell phones and other electronics must be switched off during the exam.

Receiving Your Scores

Test results are available on the same day at most test sites. If the NAE is unable to fax the answer sheets for scoring, you’ll receive the official score report in the mail 5 to 7 business days after the exam. The official score report will reveal whether you passed or failed the exam – one will be provided for each component of the exam. If you fail one or both portions, the report will contain guidelines for retesting and information that you can use to prepare for success. The skills report will indicate the reasons why you failed the exam, such as a missed step or an incorrect action. You must pay another fee to retake the portion(s) of the exam you failed. You’ll have up to two years or three attempts to pass the NNAAP for a listing on the North Carolina Nurse Aide Registry.

Contact the Registry

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
Center for Aide Regulation and Education
2709 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-2709
(919) 855-3969

Pearson Vue
North Carolina NNAAP
(888) 723-6773

NACES Plus Foundation, Inc.
North Carolina NNAAP
8501 North Mopac Expressway, Suite 400
Austin, TX 78759
(888) 282-6904
Fax: 1(866) 95 NACES