CNA Exam and Certification South Carolina

The South Carolina CNA (NNAAP) exam evaluates nurse aides’ competency and readiness for practice and qualifies them for inclusion on the SC State Nurse Aide Registry. New Nurse Aide candidates must take the exam within two years of completing a state-approved training program comprising of no less than 100 hours of clinical and classroom instruction. After two years, the candidate must enroll in another training program and apply to re-test. Nurse assistants trained in an out-of-state program must provide proof of completing at least 100 hours of instruction on an official letterhead indicating the number of classroom and clinical hours in the program. South Carolina’s Nurse Aide Registry is now managed through the Credential Management System giving candidates the convenience of registering, scheduling exams, and renewing their certificates online.

CNA Classes in SC:

How to Apply for the NNAAP Exam South Carolina

Nurse assistants must secure certification from the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to practice as a CNA. Candidates deemed eligible to take the NNAAP exam as a new nurse aide must pass both portions of the exam within two years or three attempts, whichever comes first.

Following is an outline of the eligibility routes to take the exam.

E1 – South Carolina State-Approved Nurse Aide Trained Candidates

If applying under this route, you can do so only after completing a state-approved program comprising of 100 hours of classroom and clinical instruction. You must pass both components of the exam within 24 months of completing the program.

E2- Out of State Trained Candidates

If your training program in another state provided a minimum of 100 hours of classroom and clinical instruction, you’re eligible to apply under this route within 24 months of completing the program. You must upload a certificate/diploma letter from the program facilitator or state letterhead indicating the number of classroom and clinical hours.

E3- Lapsed or Expired South Carolina Registry Applicants

If you successfully completed a state-approved training program comprising of 100 hours or more of clinical and classroom instruction, you can apply to take the exam if your CNA certificate expired more than 24 months. Your certificate must be in good standing.

E4- Out of State Registry Applicants

An out-of-state candidate with 100+ hours of training and an expired certificate in good standing (for more than 24 months) can apply for the exam for SC certification. Evidence of training must be provided with the application.

E5- Student Nurse, LPN OR RN Candidate or Military Nurse

Student nurses, military nurses, LPNs or RNs must contact the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to determine eligibility to take the exam.

The Application for Registration by Competency must be submitted online at the Credential Management Services. Select South Carolina Nurse Aides on Pearson Vue’s website and follow the on-screen instructions. You must upload the appropriate documents if applying under eligibility routes E2, E4, and E5.

Your proof of training from the training provider must be on an official letterhead and contain your name, date of training (including the end date), training program code number, and the instructor’s signature.

Online registration is fast, simple, and convenient and reduces to the transit time associated with mailing a paper application. You can pay for the exam using a credit card or pre-paid credit card.

Here’s a breakdown of the steps:

  • Register online. Make sure to fill in all the required fields when creating an account.
  • Follow the step-by-step instructions to reserve an exam date.
  • Use a credit card or pre-paid credit card to submit the non-refundable fee.
  • Make a reservation at least 11 days prior to the test date.
  • Respond to the screen questions with a “Yes” or “No” response. If you answer “Yes,” your application will be forwarded to the DHHS for review before you’re scheduled to take the test.

Pearson Vue provides reasonable testing arrangements to persons who qualify under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Examples of special arrangements include a separate testing room, extra time on the exam, or a Reader or Recorder for persons who are visually impaired. All requests are considered on a case-by-case basis. Submit a letter from your physician explaining your disability and the type of accommodation needed, and allow up to 30 days for the request to be reviewed.

To change a scheduled test date, you must contact Pearson Vue to make new arrangements at least 5 business days before the scheduled exam. If you do not call Pearson Vue, at least, five business 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

Exam fees are non-refundable and non-transferrable after you’ve submitted your payment. Employers must pay for your testing and retesting fees if you’re employed in a Medicare/Medicaid funded facility. If you’re unemployed and must pay your own way, you can make payment using a credit card or prepaid single-use card.

The fees for the exam are as follows:

  • Written Exam and Skills Evaluation – $101
  • English Oral Exam and Skills Evaluation– $101
  • Spanish Oral Exam and Skills Evaluation – $101
  • Written Exam Retest – $30
  • English Oral Exam Retest – $30
  • Spanish Oral Examination retest – $30
  • Skills Evaluation retest – $71

NNAAP Exam Overview South Carolina

As you prepare for the CNA exam, remember that your nursing assistant training would have provided all the information you need to pass. The classroom sessions (notes), hands-on lab, and clinical training are all designed with your success in mind. Carefully review your class notes, the NNAAP skills, and videos demonstrating the steps for each skill. You can also use practice tests as part of your preparation. Both portions of the exam will be administered on the same day. Your name will be added to the South Carolina Nurse Aide Registry after you successfully complete both parts of the exam.

The Written Exam

Questions in the written exam are all in a multiple-choice format. There are 70 questions in total, and 10 of the items are non-scored questions used for statistical purposes. The questions will reflect a lot of the information covered in your nursing assistant lectures and labs. However, you can refer to the Candidate Handbook for a series of sample questions. Questions fall into three main categories, Physical Care Skills, Psychosocial Care Skills, and Role of the Nurse Aide, and pertain to patient care, observation, patient rights, infection control and other essential topics. The Nurse Aide Evaluator will cover the guidelines for the test before it begins and will sound an alert fifteen minutes before the end of the two-hour exam.

The Oral Exam

A handy self-assessment tool in the Candidate Handbook will help you determine if you need the Oral version of the written exam. The self-assessment is a list of general questions with attached responses – you must choose one. After you complete the assessment, you can check your answers and calculate the final score. If you score less than 17, you may be an ideal candidate for the Oral exam as you may be having some difficulties reading and understanding English. To get the questions in audio format, you must request and pay for it during registration for the exam. The Nurse Aide Evaluator will provide an MP3 player and headset for you to hear the questions and respond on the test sheet. There are two parts to the exam. The first 60 multiple-choice questions are similar to those on the written exam. The final ten questions evaluate your reading comprehension skills. The questions are in a multiple-choice format and contain common English words used in nursing assistant practice. Each word will be read three times, and you’ll find a corresponding answer on the test sheet. You must pass both sections of the exam to pass the Oral exam.

The Skills Exam

For the skills exam, you’ll demonstrate your ability to complete those tasks you’ll perform as a CNA. The Nurse Aide Evaluator will point out the equipment you’ll use during the exam and provide your instruction card with a list of five skills you must perform. One of the five skills will be handwashing. The other four will be selected at random from the NNAAP Skills List. At least one of them will be a measurement skill, such as “Counts and Records Respirations,” “Counts and Records Radial Pulse,” or “Measures and Records Blood Pressure.” It is important to follow all the steps for each skill, especially the Critical Element Steps, which you must perform perfectly. However, performing the Critical Element Step for each skill is no guarantee that you’ll pass the exam as you must perform a fair amount of the steps for the skill. The skills list, series of steps, and the Critical Element Step highlighted in bold type are available in the Candidate Handbook. You can make corrections while performing a skill if you notify the NAE. You cannot go back to a previous skill to make corrections. You’ll model the tasks on another candidate who will act a volunteer. You should treat the candidate as you would a patient. Dress appropriately in flat, non-skid shoes with enclosed toes and loose-fitting scrubs as you’ll also have to perform the client role for another candidate.

What To Bring To The Exam

Arrive 30 minutes before the scheduled time for both the Written (or Oral) exam and the Skills evaluation. You’ll not be permitted to enter the exam room if you arrive late and your exam fee will be forfeited. Take two forms of valid, signature-bearing identification to check in for the written exam and the skills evaluation. The name on your IDs should be the same as the name used to register for the exam. Examples of proper identification include a driver’s license, passport, alien registration card, credit card, library card, clinic card, or social security card with your signature. The IDs must be current, not expired. Photocopies will not be accepted.

Other items to take to the center are:

  • Your social security number
  • Three no. 2 sharpened pencils
  • Eraser
  • A watch with a second hand
  • Non-skid footwear.

You’ll not be permitted to take personal items, such as briefcases and large handbags, study aids, and books into the exam room. Electronic items, such as cell phones, tablets, and beepers must be switched off during the exam, and you won’t have access to them for the duration of the exam.

Receiving Your Scores

Pearson Vue makes provisions for candidates to receive an official score report on the same day at the test center. The NAE will fax the test sheet for scoring, and the score report will be available approximately ten minutes later. If there are technical difficulties that prevent the NAE from faxing the test sheets, they will be mailed to Pearson Vue for hand-scoring. You’ll receive the report in the mail 5 to 7 business days later. It will indicate whether you passed or failed the exam. If you pass the exam, your name will be automatically added to the Nurse Aide Registry when Pearson Vue reports the results to the Board of Nursing. If you fail the exam, you’ll find instructions for the retesting on the score report. You must reregister online to take the exam. You’ll have three attempts to pass both the skills evaluation and Written (or Oral) exam.

Contact the Registry

South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
Division of Community and Facility Services
PO Box 8206
1801 Main Street
Columbia, SC 29202

Pearson Vue
South Carolina NNAAP
PO Box 13785
Philadelphia, PA 19101-3785
(800) 475-8290