CNA Exam and Certification Virginia

Pass both the Written (or Oral) Examination and the Skills Evaluation and your name will be added to the Virginia Nurse Aide Registry. New nursing assistants, student nurses, and lapsed nurse assistants are eligible to apply for the exam for state certification. Virginia nurse aides have three attempts (3 written, 3 skills) to take the exam within 2 years of graduating from an approved nursing assistant program. Once issued, the initial certificate is valid for one year. You must work for compensation as a CNA to renew your license and maintain your status on the Nurse Aide Registry. If you do not meet the practice requirements, you must retake the NNAAP exam to demonstrate continued competency.

CNA Classes in VA:

How to Apply for the NNAAP Exam Virginia

If you qualify under one of the eligibility routes listed below, you can apply to take the NNAAP Examination for certification as a Virginia Nurse Aide. Unlike other states, Virginia has no time limitation for NA graduates to take the exam after successfully completing the training requirements.

E1 – New Nursing Assistant

First-time test takers or candidates who previously failed all or part of the NNAAP exam can apply under this route after successfully completing a state-approved program within the last 24 months. The candidate must submit a certificate of completion or an official letter from the program coordinator with the application.

E2 – Student Nurse

After completing at least one clinical course – comprising of at least 40 hours of clinical experience – a student nurse enrolled in an approved education program can apply for the NNAAP exam. An original letter from the program director attesting to your completion of the clinical training must accompany the completed application. The online application and letter must be submitted within 12 months of the date on the letter.

E3 – Nursing Graduate  

Graduates of an approved registered nurse or licensed practical nurse program can submit a completed application with an original or certified copy of a school transcript to take the NNAAP exam. Foreign trained RNs or LPNs may also apply with documented confirmation from CGFNS that their training meets Virginia state requirements. The required forms must be uploaded online when completing the application.

E4 – Lapsed Certificate Holder

If you hold an expired Virginia nurse aide certificate, you can apply to take the NNAAP to reinstate your license. You must first complete a renewal or reinstatement application through the Board of Nursing. Contact the Board for further details.

Online Registration and Scheduling

The Credentia CNA365 system, online registration provides for quick, convenient and an environmentally responsible registration for your examination. The process will eliminate the transit time associated with mailing a paper application.

You must create a CNA365 account to register for exams. A detailed step-by-step reference guide is available at

Apply to take the test and submit payment using a credit card or pre-paid credit card (American Express, MasterCard, Visa, ACH/ electronic check, or electronic voucher). Fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.

If you decide to take the Written (or Oral) online exam, you may schedule an exam as early as the following day depending on exam availability.

Other Information Required by The Board

If you have ever had a criminal conviction, been denied certification/licensure in Virginia or another state, had action taken against your certificate/license in Virginia or another state, or have a mental, physical or chemical dependency condition that could interfere with your ability to practice, you must indicate such history on your online application. Failure to reveal this information is considered falsification of an application and grounds for denial of certification or disciplinary action by the Board of Nursing even after successful completion of the NNAAP.

If you have a criminal conviction, you must upload following information for review by the Board:

  • A certified copy of all conviction order(s) from the court(s);
  • Evidence that all court ordered requirements were met (i.e., letter from the probation officer if on supervised probation, paid fines, restitution, etc.) for each conviction;
  • Letter from you explaining the facts and circumstances leading to the criminal offense; and
  • Letters of support from your employers – if available.

If you had previous action taken against you or been denied a license or certification, you must upload the following information for review by the Board:

  • Explanation of the action that was taken (where & when it occurred, details leading to the complaint/action taken)
  • An official, certified copy from the regulatory authority of the final Order outlining the outcome of the action taken

If you have a mental, physical, or chemical dependency condition that could interfere with practice, you must upload the following information for review by the Board:

  • Evidence of any past treatment related to the condition (i.e., discharge summary from inpatient and/or outpatient treatment);
  • Letter from currently treating health care providers addressing diagnosis, treatment regimen, compliance with treatment, and ability to practice safely;
  • A letter from you explaining circumstances of your condition and ongoing efforts to function safely; and
  • Letters of support from your employers – if available

Canceling and Rescheduling a Test

You may cancel or reschedule an examination online in your CNA365 account.

Online Written (or Oral) examinations must be canceled or rescheduled at least 48 hours before the scheduled examination time.

Test center Skills examinations must be canceled or rescheduled at least nine (9) calendar days before the scheduled examination date.

If you do not cancel or reschedule your examination within the required timeframes detailed and do not show up for your scheduled examination, you will be responsible for the examination fee. Your fee will not be refunded and cannot be transferred to a new examination date.

Exam Costs

Payments must be made using a credit card, debit card, single use card or electronic voucher. The electronic voucher can only be purchased by the training program. No other form of payment will be accepted.

The fees for the exam are as follows:

  • Written Examination – $45
  • Skills Evaluation– $95
  • Oral Examination – $45

NNAAP Exam Overview Virginia

The goal of the NNAAP exam is to ensure that nursing assistants have the knowledge and technical abilities to conduct their responsibilities in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. There are two parts to the exam; the written exam tests the candidate’s understanding of the principles of care and ethical and legal obligations while the clinical exam is an assessment of the candidate’s clinical abilities. Successful candidates are those who pass an acceptable portion of the written or oral exam and all five clinical skills.

The Written or Oral Exam (Online)

The written (or oral) examination can be taken conveniently from any location, including your home or office. The locations must meet specified requirements.

A live proctor will monitor you through the webcam on your computer to provide a secure exam experience. Online proctored exams offer more scheduling flexibility than test center exams. You must have:

  • A properly equipped computer – a desktop, laptop, or Chromebook with a single monitor – system requirements are available online at Credentia
  • A private room
  • A mobile device – to complete a 360 degree room scan
  • A smartphone or tablet (Apple or Android) that can download the free app

Before Exam Day

You must perform a system test before exam day.

Visit and select the “Run System Test” button to perform the test.

Designate a quiet, distraction-free area in your home or office to take the exam. Have your ID ready – You are required to bring two (2) forms of official, signature-bearing identification (one of which must be a photo identification).

The name on your identifications must be the same as the name you used on the application to register for the examination, including suffixes and hyphens.

On Exam Day

Prepare your testing space and make sure there will be no background noise during the exam. Check your lighting – online proctors must be able to see you and your testing space. There should be no one else in the room.

Download the ExamRoom AI app to your smartphone or tablet and have your CNA365 login
credentials available (the username and password for your Credentia CNA365 account).

Check-in for your exam up to 30 minutes prior to your appointment.

The Written Exam

The Written exam takes a pencil and paper format where candidates review the 70 multiple-choice questions in the test booklet and supply their answers on the answer sheet. The exam is two hours – a nurse aide evaluator will sound an alert 15 minutes before the exam ends.

The NE will provide instructions before the exam begins. At the conclusion of the exam, you must leave all materials in the examination room. A new content outline takes effect from January 2016. Ten of the 70 multiple-choice questions will be non-scored items used to collect statistical information on the exam.

The content is spread across three major categories further divided into sub-categories outlined below:

Physical Care Skills

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Basic Nursing Skills
  • Restorative Skills

Psychosocial Care Skills

  • Emotional and Mental Health Needs
  • Spiritual and Cultural Needs

Role of the Nurse Aide

  • Communication
  • Client Rights
  • Legal and Ethical Behavior
  • Member of the Health Care Team

Percentages and sample questions are available in the Candidate Handbook.

The Oral Exam

The Oral Exam has the same content outline as the written exam. It is specially designed for candidates who may have difficulty reading English. To take the Oral exam, you must request it on your application. At the test center, you will listen to the questions on a computer and select your answer. You can replay or pause as needed.

There are two parts to the exam. The first 60-mulitple choice questions are read twice. The second part contains 10 multiple-choice questions designed to test your reading and understanding of common English words used by nurse aides. Each word is read three times for you to match the audio to the information on the test booklet. You must pass both parts of the exam to pass the oral test. The exam is also two hours.

The Skills Exam

For the skills exam, you’ll be expected to perform five skills just as you would in a nursing home setting. The exam room will resemble a clinical setting, and another candidate will play the role of the client. You must communicate and interact with the “client” just as an actual patient or resident in the medical setting. The NAE will provide instructions and a card that will list the five skills you’ll have to perform in the 30-minute exam. Perform the skills in the order they’re listed on the instruction card. One of the skills will test your Hand Hygiene. Of the four randomly selected skills remaining, one will involve Recording a Measurement. If you make a mistake, you can make corrections during the skill – you may not go back to correct a previous skill. Each skill contains critical element steps that you must perform to pass the skill. You must also demonstrate your competency by performing a reasonable amount of steps in each skill. You will not pass the exam by simply performing the critical element steps. Dress appropriately to play the role of the resident for another candidate. A listing of skills and the critical element steps are available in the candidate handbook.

What To Bring To The Exam

Arrive early to check-in and receive your Admission Ticket for the exam. If you arrive late for the exam, you will not be allowed to take the test, and your fee will not be refunded. Proper identification is essential. Bring two forms of official IDs with your signature – one ID should have a recent photo. All IDs must be current – photocopies are not acceptable.

Examples of proper identification include driver’s license, credit card, library card, signature bearing social security card, signed university card, clinic card, or passport. Your name on the passport must match the name used to register for the exam. If you do not bring proper identification, you will not be allowed to take the exam.

Other items to take to the center are:

  • Three No. 2 sharpened pencils and an eraser
  • A watch with a second hand

No other materials are allowed. Electronic items are not allowed in the exam room. Study aids and materials are not allowed at the test center.

Receiving Your Scores

You will receive a notification email from CNA365 when your exam score has been posted to your online account. Log in to your CNA365 to view the report.

Score reports are generally available within a few hours after a testing event is completed. If you do not receive your scores within 24 hours, you may contact Credentia.

If you pass both the Written (or Oral) Examination and the Skills Evaluation, your name will be submitted to the Virginia Board of Nursing for placement on the Virginia Nurse Aide Registry.

If you fail the exam, you must reapply and pay a new fee to retest.

Contact the Registry

Virginia Board of Nursing
Virginia Department of Health Professions
Perimeter Center
9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300
Henrico, VA 23233-1463
(804) 367-4569

(866) 340-355


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.

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