The Oregon State Board of Nursing has contracted with Headmaster Testing Service to administer the CNA competency exam at several facilities around the state. A new nursing assistant can apply for and take the exam after completing 150 hours of didactic and clinical training at a state-approved training provider. The certification exam is a two-part test comprising of a multiple-choice written exam and a clinical skills test. Candidates take the written exam – in paper or electronic format depending on the test site – in a group setting. The manual skills test is administered individually in a clinical setting. To qualify for certification, each candidate must pass both components of the test within three attempts in a two-year timeframe.
How to Apply for the Oregon CNA Exam
Nursing assistant graduates, military-trained medics, foreign nursing graduates, and nursing assistants previously certified in Oregon are eligible to take the competency exam under the eligibility routes described below. All candidates, except previously certified nursing assistants, must pass the exam within three attempts within two years.
New Nursing Assistant Level I Training Program Students
Complete an Oregon State Board of Nursing level I program comprising of 75 hours of classroom and 75 hours of clinical instruction to be eligible to take the certification exam under this eligibility route. Your successful completion of the program, with a passing score of 75 percent or more, does not imply state certification. You must pass the competency exam within three attempts – within two years – to acquire state certification.
Previously Certified Oregon Nursing Assistant
Contact the OSBN to determine your eligibility to take the certification exam to reactivate your Oregon CNA I certification.
Military Corpsman or Medic Training
If you completed a military corpsman or medic training and worked for compensation for more than 400 hours in a nursing related capacity, you may be eligible to take the competency exam. You must apply within two years of your military training/ employment and pass the exam within three attempts and two years.
Foreign Nursing Graduates
If you graduated from a nursing program outside the United States, you must submit transcripts of your education – translated in English – to the OSBN to obtain authorization to take the competency exam.
The application packet for nursing assistant certification in Oregon is available at the OSBN online or at the training provider. Fill out the packet, making sure to use your legal name on all documents, and submit the completed packet with the following documents enclosed:
- Completed fingerprinting identity verification form
- Fingerprint card – if applicable
- Training program certificate of completion
- The non-refundable certification by examination fee
- The non-refundable background check fee.
Provide written explanations for all “yes” responses to the background questions. Your name on the application must exactly match the two forms of ID that you’ll present at the testing center.
If you’re taking the competency exam for the first time, you’ll be scheduled to take the knowledge and skills test on the same day. Choose an exam date and indicate to your instructor. Your preferred date must be at least 21 days from the date you mail your application to the Board.
If you’re taking the test in-facility, your instructor will arrange your exam date.
Once the OSBN approves your request to take the exam, you’ll receive an Examination Date Confirmation Letter from Headmaster via email or mail. The letter will include:
- A map to the exam site
- Your confirmed date and time.
- Instructions to verify the date online, and
- Expectations for the exam.
If you need to reschedule a different date, you may log in online at www.hdmaster.com using your PIN to submit a reschedule request. You may reschedule up to seven business days before the confirmed date. You must receive an official reschedule confirmation to consider the exam rescheduled. If you reschedule less than seven business days before the exam date, you will be considered a “no show” and your fee will be forfeited. If you submit a reschedule request over the phone, you must do so within three business days of the exam date.
The established testing fees in Oregon are as follows:
- Knowledge and skills test (initial exam) – $106.00
- Knowledge and skills test (reactivation by exam) – $106.00
- Oral knowledge exam – $35 (additional)
- Retest or reschedule knowledge test – $25.00
- Retest or reschedule skills test – $45.00
- Retest or reschedule knowledge and skills exam – $70
All fees are non-refundable.
Federal and Oregon state laws require that your nursing home employer pays for your nursing assistant competency exam. If you’re employed at the time of applying for the exam, your employer will submit a check for testing and retesting. If you’re unemployed at the time of the exam, you must cover the cost, but you may be eligible for a reimbursement of your expenses if you begin working at a Medicaid-funded facility within 12 months of completing your training.
CNA Exam Overview Oregon
The CNA examination evaluates your knowledge, skills, and abilities as a nursing assistant. The competency exam comprises of a knowledge (or oral) test and a skills competency test. You must pass both parts of the exam to become state certified and obtain a place on the Oregon Nurse Aide Registry.
The Written Exam
The Written Test is in English only. Translation dictionaries and other devices are not allowed during the exam. Every candidate at the center will have a different knowledge/oral test. At the beginning of the exam, the test proctor will distribute the exam materials and read instructions for the test. There will be 77 multiple-choice questions on the test, and you’ll have 90 minutes to complete the questions. The proctor will indicate when there are 15 minutes remaining on the exam. The passing score for the exam is 73% or above. The subject areas for the test covers those on the State approved test plan and includes infection control, role and responsibility, basic nursing skills, data collection, communication, mental health, care impaired, client rights, and growth and development across the ages.
There’s an oral version of the written test that you can request if you have difficulty reading English. Request the oral exam with the application and pay the respective fee. At the center, a test proctor will provide earphones and a cassette tape player or computer that you’ll use to listen to the test questions. A printed copy of the questions will also be provided for reading along.
The Skills Exam
The training program’s content will help you develop the skills to perform the task you’ll have to demonstrate on the skills test. Handwashing will always be the first task. The other four tasks will be selected at random from the Skills List. The Candidate Handbook contains the list of skills and the minimum steps for each task. You must score a minimum 80 percent on each task and perform the key steps to pass the skills test. If you fail a task, you’ll fail the test.
A proctor will read a scenario for each of the five assigned tasks. Pay attention to the instructions and get answers to any questions before the skills test begins. The maximum time for the skills test is 45 minutes. If you make a mistake, inform the test observer and repeat the steps you believe you performed incorrectly.
What To Bring To The Exam
Check in and verification of your identification begins 15 to 20 minutes before the scheduled test time. If you arrive late, you’ll not be permitted to take the test and your fee will not be refunded. Two forms of proper identification are required to take the test. The IDs should bear your signature – one must contain your photo. Examples of appropriate ID include a driver’s license, passport, alien registration card, social security card, tribal registration card, state-issued ID, or passport.
At a test site where the paper exam is administered, you must take two sharpened no. 2 pencils and an eraser to record your answers. Appropriate attire is required for the clinical exam. Wear scrubs or loose-fitting uniform and non-skid shoes. Cell phones, purses, books, electronic equipment, and other personal items are not permitted in the exam room.
Receiving Your Scores
Headmaster will score and double-check your exam and mail the results within 3 to 5 business days. The OSBN will also receive an official copy of your results. If you took the paper test, your results would be available online three business days after the exam date. WebETest results will be available one business day after 6:00 p.m. Mountain time after the exam date. You may log-in using your PIN and exam date to view your report online.
If you pass the exam, your name will be added to the Oregon Nursing Assistant Registry as long you meet all the other requirements for state certification.
If you fail a test, you must send the top portion of the test results and the retest fee to the OSBN to schedule a date to retake the exam. Detailed guidelines for reapplying for the test will be outlined on the official score report.
Contact the Registry
Oregon Nurse Aide Registry
17938 SW Upper Boones Ferry Rd.
Portland, Oregon 97224-7012
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