The Montana Department of Health and Human Services (DPHHS) credentials certified nursing assistants within the state. A candidate for certification must pass the state CNA exam administered by Headmaster, LLC. A new nurse assistant graduate has up to 6 months or three attempts after completing an approved training program to pass the test. The DPHHS will allow a candidate to challenge the exam without completing a nurse aide training program. However, the challenger has one attempt to pass the exam. If the candidate fails, he/she will need to enroll in a state-approved nurse aide program before reapplying to take the test.
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How to Apply for the Montana CNA Exam
An individual who has not completed an approved nursing assistant training program has the option to challenge the state CNA exam. The Montana Department of Health and Human Services grants three attempts within 6 months to candidates who have successfully completed an approved training program. A candidate is no longer eligible to test based on training if applying for the state exam more than 6 months after the training program.
An individual who decides to challenge the exam has one attempt to pass. After successfully passing the exam, the candidate is eligible to apply to the MT DPHHS for certification as a nursing assistant. However, if the candidate fails the exam, he/she must successfully complete a nursing assistant program before reapplying to take the test.
Nursing Assistant Training Program Candidates
Your instructor or training program will enter your demographic and training information with completion date into the WebETest database. Your instructor or training program will verify the name entered into WebETest against the identification you will present when you sign in at a test event. Your photo ID must be a US government issued, signed, non-expired, photo bearing form of identification.
Once your instructor or training program enters the date you successfully complete training into WebETest, you may schedule your exam date online at the Montana webpage. Use your Test ID# and Pin# to log in and schedule or reschedule your test.
Use your MasterCard or Visa credit card or debit card to pay for the test. After you’ve paid your testing fees, you will be eligible to choose a test site and date.
You will be able to schedule and/or reschedule up to 1 full business day prior to a scheduled test date of your choice and receive your test confirmation notification online or on the screen while you are logged in.
Candidates Challenging the State Exam
Headmaster will not have your demographic information if you are challenging the state exam. Therefore, you will need to complete and submit the online fillable 1101 and 1402 Payment and Scheduling Form. Headmaster will schedule you for the next available date at the test site of your choice. A confirmation email with the testing instructions will be sent to your valid email address.
The established testing fees in Montana are as follows:
- Knowledge test or retake – $20.00
- Oral knowledge test or retake – $31.00
- Skills test or retake – $77.00
Headmaster accepts payment via money order, cashier’s check, facility check, or credit card.
Your employer must submit your application and fee if you’re employed or receive an offer of employment at the time of testing. Input your social security number on the Payment Form 1402, so your payment can be correctly applied. Fees are valid for 6 months or until your training expires.
CNA Exam Overview Montana
Certification as a CNA in Montana is based on the demonstration of your competency to provide safe and efficient care. The approved way to do is to pass the CNA competency exam, which comprises of a Knowledge (written or oral) test and a Skills evaluation. After passing the exam, you can apply to the DPHSS for certification. New nursing assistant graduates have three attempts within 6 months to pass the exam. An individual who has not completed state-approved training can also apply to take the exam under the challenge route, but must pass the exam on the first attempt.
The Written Exam
The RN Test Observer will hand out the test materials and read instructions for taking the Knowledge exam. The test is 90 minutes and contains 72 questions. You will be informed 15 minutes before the time expires.
Electronic testing using WebETest© internet-connected computers is utilized at the majority of the test sites in Montana. The knowledge test portion of your exam will be displayed on a computer screen for you to read and key/tap or click in your answers.
Each candidate will have a different test. The 72 multiple-choice questions will be assigned according to the categories laid out in the Montana test plan. The subject areas are outlined in the Candidate Handbook and include the disease process, basic nursing skills, communication, infection control, safety, and resident rights.
An Oral exam is available at online test sites. If you need to take the Oral exam due to difficulty reading English, you must request it at the time of the application. There’s a small additional fee to take the Oral exam. At the test site, you’ll read the questions on the computer, but you can as listen, using headphones attached to the computer. Control buttons on the screen will let you forward or rewind as needed.
Removal of test materials from the test site is a violation that is subject to prosecution and will be reported to the DPHSS.
The Skills Exam
The complete list of skills tasks with the key steps highlighted is in the Candidate Handbook. Your five tasks will be selected from the Skills List; Hand washing will be one of the skills assigned and the other four will be selected randomly. You must score 80% on each task, without missing any key steps, to pass the exam. The RN Test Observer will read a scenario for each task assigned – you can request to have any of the scenarios repeated if you need to. You’ll have 35 minutes to complete all five tasks. If you make a mistake, you may repeat any step any time during the allotted time. You must physically perform each step as verbal expressions are not scored.
What To Bring To The Exam
You should arrive at the test site 20 to 30 minutes before your scheduled test to check in and have your identification verified. You must take a signed, government issued form of identification that bears your photo. Examples include a driver’s license, military ID, alien registration card, state ID card, tribal ID, or work authorization card. An expired ID will not be accepted. You also need to take your social security card. The name on your ID must match the name entered in the MT Nursing Assistant database by the training provider or Headmaster – from your application. If your ID is invalid or your name does not match the name on record, you will not be admitted to the exam room and you will be considered a no-show.
If you’re taking a paper test, you’ll need to take at least two number 2 pencils and eraser to take the test. Dress appropriately in clinical attire, such as scrubs and non-skid shoes, for the skills exam.
You cannot take cell phones, books, study materials, large handbags, and electronic items into the exam room.
Receiving Your Scores
After you have completed both the Knowledge Test and Skill Test components of the competency exam, your test results will be officially scored and double checked. Official test results will be available online on the Montana webpage the business day after your test event. You will need to enter your Social Security Number or Test ID #, your test date and your birth date.
After you have successfully passed both the Knowledge Test and Skill Test components of the nursing assistant exam, your test results will be sent electronically to the Montana Department of Health and Human Services by Headmaster. You will be certified by the MT DPHHS only after you meet all of their requirements.
If you fail the knowledge and/or skill portion of the examination, you will receive detailed test diagnostics in your test results. You will have to retake the portion you failed. You will need to pay for the portion that you failed before scheduling a new exam date.
Contact the Registry
Montana Nurse Aide Registry
2401 Colonial Drive, 2nd Floor
P.O. Box 202953
Helena, MT 59620
3310 McHugh Lane
P.O. Box 6609
Helena, MY 59604-6609
Phone: (800) 393-8664
Fax: (406) 442-3357