CNA Exam and Certification Louisiana

Louisiana State classifies a Certified Nursing Assistant as someone who has completed a nurse assistant training and competency evaluation program that is approved by the Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH). The DHH may also determine a candidate as competent to practice as a CNA based on prior training or education. All state certified nurse aides are listed on the Louisiana Nurse Aide Registry.

The curriculum at state-approved schools covers a minimum of 80 hours: 40 hours in the classroom and 40 hours of clinical instruction. Many schools exceed the state minimum requirements and cover as much as 140 hours of instruction. To qualify for certification as a nurse aide, you must be at least 16 years old and pass both the written content and skills evaluation of the competency exam to demonstrate your ability to function as a direct care professional.

CNA Classes in LA:

How to Apply for the Nurse Aide Competency Exam Louisiana

The competency exam is an important step in preparation for state certification. To be eligible to take the exam, you must meet one of the following requirements. Pearson Vue administers the exam at test centers across Louisiana.

New Nurse Aides

After completing an approved nurse aide training of 80 hours or more, you must provide a copy of your certificate of completion to take the exam. You must pass both the written and skills components of the exam within 24 months of completing the training. Your name will be added to the Louisiana Nurse Aide Registry once you pass both components of the exam and meet the other requirements for certification.

Nursing Students

Contact the Louisiana Department of Health to confirm your eligibility to take the competency exam for CNAs after you’ve completed the Fundamentals of Nursing theory and lab in an accredited nursing program. You will need to provide a copy of your transcripts as evidence of your training.

CNAs with Expired Licenses

If you did not complete at least eight hours of paid employment in an approved facility within your 24-month certification period, you must retest once following your license expiration to be recertified. If you fail one or both components of the exam, you must retrain. Check your registry status before you attempt to retest. If you are “not certified” on the registry and the date your retesting has not expired, you may apply to retest. Print a copy of the registry page and certification period and take to the testing center to be admitted. If the date by which you have to take the test has expired, you will need to retrain before retesting.

Applying to take the NA Competency Exam

The nurse aide program will provide an application for you to apply for the exam if they are not an approved test site. The school will also help you to prepare all the required documents to submit to the Department of Health for certification.

Exam Costs

A DHH-approved tester will have a schedule of tests and costs. Contact the center for a breakdown of the costs.

Federal guidelines mandate free training for nursing assistants employed in a nursing facility. Also, if you receive an offer of employment or become employed at a nursing facility before you begin a nurse aide and competency program, you should not pay for any portion of the program, including your textbooks, tuition, uniform, course materials, and test fees. However, if you begin working only after you’ve completed the training and testing, you may apply for a reimbursement of your costs as long as it is within 12 months of completion.

The nursing facility must provide at least 12 hours of free in-service education every year.

NNAAP Exam Overview Louisiana

Two parts of the examination process, the Written Examination and the Skills Evaluation, will assess your understanding of the theory and practical skills you acquired in the training program. Both tests will be administered on the same day, and you must pass both to be certified and placed on the Louisiana Nurse Aide Registry.

The Written Exam

The Written Exam contains 70 multiple-choice questions covering a broad range of topics. Ten of the 70 questions will be pre-test questions that are not scored. Sample questions are available in Pearson Vue’s Candidate Handbook. You’ll have two hours to complete the written portion of the exam. You will be informed when you’re in the final 15 minutes of the allotted time. You must provide all your answers to the questions on the provided answer sheet, which is separate from the test booklet. The test outline will be based on the findings from a 2014 Job Analysis and Knowledge, Skill, and Ability Study of Nurse Aides. Content will include physical care skills, psychosocial care skills, and the role of the nurse aide.

The Skills Evaluation

You must successfully complete five of the five assigned skills to pass the Skills Evaluation. The Nurse Evaluator will give you the list of assigned skills at the start of the evaluation and point out all the equipment you’ll need to use. One of the assigned skills will be Handwashing. The other four skills will be chosen at random. One of the random skills will be recording a measurement, such as recording blood pressure, recording the weight of an ambulatory client, recording radial pulse, or recording respiration. The testing area will be set up to resemble an actual care-giving situation. Another candidate will volunteer to play the role of a nursing home patient.

During the exam, it is important that you pay attention to the critical element steps – which will determine whether you pass or fail the exam. Patient safety and rights are also essential.

What to Take to the Exam

When leaving for the test site, it is important that you take:

  • Two forms of signature identification – one being a photo ID such as a passport or driver’s license.
  • Three No. 2 pencils and an eraser.
  • Your social security number.
  • A watch with a second hand.

For the Skills Evaluation, you must dress appropriately in a uniform or scrubs and flat, non-skid, closed toe shoes.

Receiving your Test Scores Louisiana

The Nurse Aide Evaluator will fax both your written and skills results for scoring at the end of the day or the end of the test. The test center will receive an official score report via fax shortly after. The report will reveal whether you passed or failed. There will be separate score reports for each part of the test.

If you fail the exam, the score report will provide information on how to retest for one or both parts. You’ll have three attempts to pass the exam within a 24-month period. If you pass the exam, your name will be added to the Louisiana Nurse Aide Registry.

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.