CNA Exam and Certification New Jersey

In preparation for your role and responsibility as a Certified Nurse Assistant, the New Jersey Department of Health requires that you complete at least 90 hours of long-term care training. A combination of didactic and clinical skills instruction will equip you with the skills and competencies to care for residents in long-term care facilities, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities. Upon successful completion of the training program, you’ll need to apply for the competency evaluation administered by PSI at testing centers across New Jersey. The competency evaluation comprises of Skills and Written/Oral exams. Unlike other states, you must take and pass the Skills exam before you’re eligible to take the Written component of the evaluation. You will receive certification to practice as a Certified Nurse Assistant after passing both exams and meeting the other requirements, which includes completing the CBI process.

CNA Classes in NJ:

How to Apply for the New Jersey CNA Exam

The New Jersey Department of Health has contracted with PSI Services LLC (PSI) to schedule and conduct the CNA exam electronically at designated sites across New Jersey.

If you’ve never been certified as a nurse aide in New Jersey and successfully completed a 90-hour state-approved nursing assistant training, you are eligible to apply for the certification exam.

If you did not complete a training program, you might be eligible for a waiver to take the exam under one of the eligibility routes below. While eligibility routes are available, the Department does not guarantee that an applicant will receive a waiver. Departmental staff may request that you provide additional information before making a decision.

Student/Graduate Nurse

A student nurse can apply for a waiver after completing a course in the Fundamentals of Nursing. To qualify for a waiver, you must apply for the exam within one year of completing the course.

A graduate nurse who is waiting to take the state nursing boards or a foreign registered nurse with a current license can also apply for a waiver to take the exam.

Military Nurse Aide

If you have training and experience as a nurse aide in the military service, you may apply for a waiver to take the exam.

New Personal Care Assistant

If you completed the 85-hour state-approved assisted living facilities course and have never been certified as a PCA, you may apply for a waiver to take the exam.

Nurse aides, initially certified in New Jersey but in expired status, must successfully complete the Written test and Skills Evaluation if the certification expired less than five years. Nurse aides in expired status for more than five years must complete another training program before applying to take the certification exam.

After graduating from the training program, you must complete an application for the exam.

You can register for the written or oral exam at You’ll need to provide an email address and password as a standard requirement for creating an account. Registration by phone is another option. Call 1-800-733-9267 and have your social security number on hand to submit as part of the registration process.

Submit the fee for both parts of the exam to PSI.

Once PSI acknowledges receipt of the completed application and fee, your training provider will schedule you for the Skills Exam. You must take the Skills Examination first. Once you’ve passed the Skills test, you will be eligible to take the Written exam or Oral alternative.

You must pass both the Skills and Written components of the test within 2 years of completing the training program. However, once you’ve taken the Skills exam, you’ll have one year from the date of your first attempt to pass both exams. If you do not pass the exams within the stipulated period, you’ll have to restart the process by attending another training program.

When scheduling the Written exam with PSI, you’ll have to choose a date and site. You may schedule an appointment up to one day before the exam date. However, you may receive an alternative date if there’s no available space at the testing center of your choice.

It is possible to cancel or reschedule an exam appointment if you contact PSI at least two days prior to the scheduled exam date. Call PSI directly or use the automated system to reschedule your appointment.

If you do not show up for the appointment or arrive late, you will forfeit your exam fee.

Examination sites are equipped to provide any special arrangements you may need to take the exam if you have a qualifying disability.

Exam Costs

The established testing fees in New Jersey are as follows:

  • Skills Evaluation and Written Exam – $76.00
  • Skills Evaluation and English Oral Exam – $90.00
  • Skills Evaluation and Spanish Oral Exam – $90.00
  • Skills Evaluation Retake – $23.00
  • Written Exam Retake – $53.00
  • English Oral Retake – $67.00
  • Spanish Oral Retake – $67.00
  • Reciprocity -$30

Pay your fees using a credit card, money order, cashier’s check, or company check only. Checks or money order should be made out to PSI. Write your name on the payment to ensure your payment is properly assigned. You must pay for both exams the first time you take the test. Fees are non-transferrable and non-refundable.

CNA Exam Overview New Jersey

Certification in New Jersey is contingent upon your passing two parts of the Nurse Aide Examination: the Skills Evaluation and the Written (or Oral) Examination. You must take the Skills test first. You’re eligible to take the Written test only after receiving notification that you were successful on the exam. Your name will be added to the New Jersey Nurse Aide Registry after you pass both exams and meet the other requirements for certification.

The Written Exam

The Written test is administered via computer in a semi-private testing station. You must confirm your name and identification number at the onset. An introductory tutorial for using the computer and keyboard to navigate the test and submit your answers will take place before you begin the test. The 15-minute tutorial does not count as part of the exam time.

The convenient electronic test allows for receipt of your scores immediately after the exam. The Exam is in multiple-choice format and contains 60 questions that you must complete in 90 minutes. You should be familiar with the topics in the content outline before you schedule the exam. The topics and allocation of questions are as follows:

Safety – 4 questions

Communication – 5 questions

Infection Control – 4 questions

Resident Rights – 3 questions

Data Collection – 4 questions

Basic Nursing Skills – 11 questions

Role/ Responsibility – 5 questions

Disease Process – 4 questions

Mental Health – 4 questions

Personal Care – 6 questions

Care Impaired – 5 questions

Aging Process/ Restorative Care – 5 questions

The Oral Exam (Alternative)

You can take an oral version of the nursing assistant exam in English or Spanish if you have difficulty reading English. Request the Oral test on the application, and a test proctor at the test center will provide earphones that you’ll use to listen to the questions. Each question will be repeated two times, and you’ll have to select an answer from the available choices.

The Skills Exam

During the Skills Exam, a nurse aide evaluator will rate your performance of a subset of nurse aide tasks that you covered in the training program. Handwashing will be one of the assigned skills, and the other four will be selected at random from the list of Skills Tasks found in the Candidate Handbook. You must score at least 80% on each task without missing any of the key steps to pass the skills exam. If you fail a single task, you’ll have to retake the test, which will include the task you failed.

The evaluating nurse will read a scenario for each task immediately before you perform the test. Another candidate will perform the role of the resident. Be sure to ask questions before you begin as you may not ask questions during the test. If you make a mistake while performing a task, you should notify the evaluator and repeat the steps when prompted.

Dress appropriately in scrubs, closed-toed shoes, and hair pulled back for the clinical exam.

What To Bring To The Exam

Arrive 30 minutes before the scheduled start time on your appointed exam day. Early arrival is necessary for sign-in and identification. You will not be admitted to the exam and will forfeit your fee if you arrive late.

You must provide two forms of identification. One must be government-issued with a photo and your signature. The second ID must have your name and signature. The name on the IDs must match your registration information.Guests cannot be accommodated at the test site. This includes children, family members, and instructors.

Guests cannot be accommodated at the test site. This includes children, family members, and instructors.

Electronic devices, books, dictionaries, resource materials, and other personal items are not permitted in the exam room.

Receiving Your Scores

You’ll receive your results immediately after you complete the Written (or Oral) exam. The supervisor will print an official score report at the site.

If you pass, your score report will indicate successful completion of the exam. You’ll also receive a nurse aide certificate and wallet card on the same day if you completed the CBI requirement. If you did not complete the CBI process, an administrator will take your photo and send your certification and wallet card in the mail after you complete the background check.

If you fail the exam, a diagnostic report will be included. It will outline your strengths and weaknesses. If you fail the Skills Evaluation or Written Exam three times, you must retrain at a state approved nursing assistant program before reapplying to take the test.

Contact the Registry

New Jersey Department of Health
PO Box 358
Trenton, NJ 08625-0358

Phone: (866) 561-5914
Fax: (609) 633-9087

PSI Services LLC
3210 E Tropicana
Las Vegas, NV 89121

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.