By Melanie Ullman
Completion of a Certified Nursing Assistant program is the beginning of career in the medical career that can lead to advancement. To be more marketable to employers it is essential that all graduates of a state approved program complete a state exam for CNA certification. This exam tests the nursing assistant knowledge of the applicants and ensures that the applicants are properly trained. Those interested in taking the test will have to pay a fee for the certification test. All applicants should arrive to the testing center prepared to take the written knowledge test and properly dressed to take the clinical portion of the test. Successful completion of both portion of the certification exam are required in order to receive a passing grade and have one’s name placed on the state registry.
Nearly all states require that people working as nursing assistants complete a certification test. This test is a combination of both written and technical comprehension. The written portion of the test is usually multiple choice, although this can vary by state, and tests the comprehension of a variety of nursing assistant skills. Applicants are usually given a certain amount of time to complete this portion of the test. After applicants finish the written portion of the test they will be required to take the technical portion of the test. The technical portion of the test allows applicants to show their mastery in performing certain skills that are required when working as a nursing assistant. It is necessary that applicants come to the testing center properly dressed so that they can complete the technical portion of the test.
Upon the completion of both portions of the test, applicants will be notified of the passing or failure of the examination usually through the Board of Nursing or via the testing center. If applicants successfully complete and pass the certification exam, their names will be placed on the state registry. Applicants are, in some cases, provided with a certified nursing assistant card. In some states there are different types of certifications for nursing assistants. These certifications provide the certified nursing assistant with additional skill sets that allow them to perform additional responsibilities. These additional certifications include the geriatric nursing assistant certification (GNA) that allows certified nursing assistants to work in long term care facilities. The home health aide (HHA) certification allows a certified nursing assistant to work in home health care agencies. The certified medicine aide certification (CMA) allows a certified nursing assistant to administer medicine in long term care facilities. The CMA certification requires the certified nursing assistant have at least a year of experience as a CNA, and the CNA must have taken a 60 hour approved medicine aide course.
Obtaining the CNA certification as a nursing assistant allows applicants to work in a variety of settings assisting individuals with daily care. In addition, having the certification also allows creates opportunities to expand your skill set by obtaining additional training and then taking those advanced certifications.