Taking the CNA Exam California

As a part of the process to become a CNA in California, you must apply for and pass the Nurse Aide Exam after completing a state-approved nursing assistant program. The Healthcare Professional Certification and Training Section of the Healthcare Workforce Branch (HWB) will grant successful candidates certification to work as a CNA.

There are two approved testing vendors in California. You can register for the Nurse Aide Exam with D&S Diversified Technologies – Headmaster, LLP or Credentia Nurse Aide LLC.

For each option, you must apply for certification after completing a state-approved program – proof required. You must apply for and pass the exam – both components- within two years of completing the training program.

CNA Classes in CA:

How to Apply for the NNAAP Exam California

The Credentia administered NNAAP exam is managed by Regional Centers that schedule test dates, manage test sites, and coordinate activities of the candidates and the Department of Health.

To take the exam, you must:

  • Create a free CNA365 account and follow the instructions to complete your profile account
  • Create an application test and select your eligibility route. Complete the form uploading all required documents and submit for approval
  • Pay the exam and schedule a test day once you are approved to test
  • Make an online reservation to take the exam at test center locations – using your phone or tablet is not recommended. Your reservation must be made at least 10 calendar days before the test date
  • For written or oral online exams, you can schedule an exam as early as one day following registration

You can easily cancel or reschedule an exam online using your CNA365 account. Instructions are available in the Resources section of the webpage.

You need to cancel or reschedule your Online Written (or Oral) examination at least 48 hours (2 days) before your scheduled test time.

If you are unable to attend your test, you must reschedule or cancel in your CNA365 account at least 10 business days before the test date. If you don’t reschedule or cancel at least 10 business days before your test date, and do not show up for your scheduled test, you will be responsible for the test fee. Your fee will not be refunded and cannot be transferred to a new test date. If you reschedule or can on time, there is no penalty and your fee may be transferred to a new test date.

Exam Costs

The established testing fees (after October 1st, 2015) in California are as follows:

  • Skills Evaluation ONLY– $80
  • Written Evaluation ONLY – $40
  • Oral Exam ONLY – $55

There’s a rescheduling fee of $25 if you cannot make the scheduled test date.

NNAAP Exam Overview California

The NNAAP test comprises of two parts, a Written (or Oral) part and a Skills Evaluation. You must pass both components for inclusion in the California Nurse Aide Registry. You do not need to take both of these the first time on the same day, unless you register for the paper-pencil written/oral exam in place of the online exam.

The Online or Paper/Pencil Written Exam

California candidates demonstrate their comprehension of the different aspects of nurse assisting by their responses to 70 questions on the Written Assessment. All 70 questions are multiple-choice questions divided into three main domains for 2016. The first domain is Physical Care Skills which includes the Activities of Daily Living (14%), Basic Nursing Skills (39%), and Restorative Skills (8%). The second domain assesses Psychosocial Care Skills and covers Emotional and Mental Health Needs (11%) and Spiritual and Cultural Needs (2%). The final domain is based on the Role of the Nurse Aide covering Communication (8%), Client Rights (7%), Legal and Ethical Behavior (3%), and Member of the Health Care Team (8%). The Written Assessment is 2 hours’ long.

The Oral Exam (Alternative)

The Oral alternative to the written exam is designed for persons who have difficulty reading English. The exam contains 60 multiple-choice questions and 10 multiple-choice reading comprehension questions. The candidate will listen to the questions on a computer and submit their responses using a mouse. The Oral Exam is 2 hours’ long. To request the Oral Examination, you must do so at the time of application. You cannot request the test at the testing center on exam day.

The Skills Exam

During the Skills Exam, a Nursing Assistant Evaluator will observe as you perform five randomly selected nurse assistant skills. All five skills must be completed in the assigned 25 minutes. For the exam, you must wear flat, slip-on, non-skid shoes, a loose-fitting top with short sleeves that can be rolled up to the shoulder. Inform the Evaluator of any allergies, including food or latex, and limitations of your range of motion. Each skill is broken down into a series of steps that you must know and follow during the evaluation.

The list of skills (25 total) is available in the Candidate’s Handbook. One of the skills will include a measurement skill. Examples include measuring urine output, radial pulse, blood pressure, respiration, or weight.

What To Bring To The Exam

Plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before the scheduled time and take:

  • An original social security card.
  • Valid government-issued photo ID with your signature.
  • Application for Nursing Assistant Certification (form 238B) with the original signature of the RN responsible for your training. You can take the CDPH approval letter (932 form) as an alternative.
  • A watch with a second hand.
  • Two #2 pencils (sharpened) and eraser
  • Non-skid footwear. Dress professionally, uniform preferred
  • If taking the test online, you need a computer with a single monitor, a private room, and a mobile device – the proctor will need to see all around your exam area with a 360-degree room scan

Your name on all documents must match your ID and social security exam to be admitted to the exam.

Receiving Your Scores

A notification email from CNA365 will be sent to you when a new exam score has been posted to your online account. Log into the online portal to view your results.

Reports are available within a few hours after the test is completed.  If it has been more than 24 hours and you’re not able to see your score report in CNA365, you may contact customer service at 888-204-6186.

Test results will not be given over the telephone nor can they be sent by Credentia to your employer.

If you receive a failing score, your Score Report will tell you how to retake either or both parts.

If you fail either part of the NNAAP® Examination three (3) times, you will need to complete another training program and retake BOTH parts of the NNAAP® Examination, not just the part that was failed.

Additionally, if you were scheduled to take the exam 3 times and did not become licensed — either as a result of failing the exam or absence(s) — you will need to retrain.

How to Apply for the Nurse Aide Exam California (D&S Diversified Technologies, LLP)

The Nurse Aide Exam, administered by D&S Diversified Technologies, is available to California candidates. The evaluation has two parts – the knowledge test, consisting of 60 multiple-choice questions, and the skills test.

To take the exam, you must:

  • Complete the application form and sign the application.
  • Attach documents indicating your eligibility to take the exam. A completed 238B form or 932 form – the CDPH’s approval to take the exam.
  • Pay the exam fee, using a credit card (800-627-7000), money order, or cashier’s check.
  • Request special accommodation for testing if you qualify under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Explain the type of accommodation and enclose proof of the diagnosed disability.

The ARC will schedule a date within 26 days of receiving your application and send written notification in the mail 7 to 10 days before the exam.

Exam Costs

The testing fee for the NACE in California are as follows:

  • Knowledge Test or Retake – $35
  • Oral Knowledge Test or Retake – $45
  • Skills Test or Retake – $95

You must schedule both the Written/Oral and Skills test on your first attempt. There’s a rescheduling fee of $30 if you cannot make the scheduled test date.

NACE Exam Overview California

The NACE is a two-part evaluation. You must pass both components for inclusion in the California Nurse Aide Registry.

The knowledge test is 60 minutes. You must complete 75 knowledge questions within that time.   You must have a score of 75% or better to pass the knowledge portion of the exam.

Electronic TMU testing using Internet connected computers is available at all test sites in California. The Knowledge test portion of your exam will be displayed on a computer screen for you to read and submit your answers.

You will need to provide your Email or Username and Password to take the electronic TMU Knowledge test.

An audio (Oral) version of the knowledge test is available. However, you must request an Oral test before you submit your testing fee payment. There is an additional $10 charge for an Oral Test. The questions are read to you, in a neutral manner and can be heard through headphones/earbuds plugged into the computer. When taking an electronic Oral exam, the oral control buttons will be displayed on the computer screen enabling you to play, rewind or pause questions as needed.

Virtual Knowledge Exam Option

You will have the option to take the knowledge exam virtually. You must have a computer with an updated version of Google Chrome as your Internet browser, a reliable Internet connection, and a smartphone to access the facetime app to use during the exam. You will need to sign into using the virtual link for the sign in process with the test proctor before the start time listed on the test confirmation. You will not be allowed to take the test if you are not signed in by the specified time.

The skills test is administered individually as the Nurse Evaluator assesses your competency skills while you perform three to four randomly selected skills. You’ll be evaluated on your accurate demonstration of each skill and your attention to the six principles of care. The oral alternative is available if you have difficulty reading English. Like the written exam, it is two hours’ long. Both tests are independent of the other, so if you’ll only have to retake the test you fail if you fail one.

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 by D&SDT-Headmaster scoring teams. Official test results will be available by signing in to your TMU© record after 7:00PM (PST) the business day after the test.

You have three (3) attempts to pass the knowledge and skill test portions of the exam within two (2) years from your date of nursing assistant training program completion. If you do not complete testing within two years from completion of training, you must complete a new state-approved training program in order to become eligible to further attempt California NA examinations.

What To Bring To The Exam

Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before the scheduled time and take:

  • Two forms of identification. One must be a valid photo ID. The other ID should show your name and address.
  • A watch with a second hand and an actor for the skills test.
  • Wear appropriate clothing – uniform not necessary.
  • Application for Nursing Assistant Certification (form 238B) with the original signature from the RN responsible for your training, OR
  • A CDPH approval letter (932 form).

Your name on all documents must match your ID and social security exam to be admitted to the exam.

Challenging the NNAAP

If you’re currently enrolled in or recently completed a Registered Nurse, Licensed Vocational Nursing, or Licensed Psychiatric Technician program, you may be eligible to skip the nursing assistant training requirements and challenge the certification exam. Persons with military medical training and foreign-educated nurses may also be eligible to challenge the exam.

To qualify, you should submit the following to Headmaster:

  • The completed application form – 1101CA. Fill out after you have obtained CDPH form 932
  • Official sealed transcripts of all related medical A sealed letter on official school letterhead detailing the completion date of the training course and hours completed may be substituted for the official transcript.
  • Evidence of nursing or nursing-related work within the last two years.
  • A copy of the completed request for Live Scan Fingerprinting services.

Contact the Registry

CA Nurse Aide Registry
CNA/HHA/CHT Certification Unit
Licensing and Certification Division
1615 Capitol Avenue, MS 3301
P.O. Box 997416
Sacramento, CA 95899-7416
Phone: 916-327-2445
Fax: 916-552-8785

D&S Diversified Technologies (D&SDT),
Headmaster, LLP
PO Box 6609
Helena, MT 59604
Phone: (800) 393-8664
Fax: (406) 442-3357
Email: hdmaster@hdmaster.com
Web Site: www.hdmaster.com

California NNAAP
PO Box 13785
Philadelphia, PA 19101-3785

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.