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Obtaining a License As a Certified Nursing Assistant: 4 Methods

licence Dec 13, 2022

Medicine and health care are rewarding and celebrated fields. As a human, it is extremely gratifying to lessen someone's pain or suffering.

In the USA alone, there is a 7% anticipated growth projection for nursing job openings between the years 2019 and 2029.

So if you plan to ace the exam, try to attempt several CNA practice tests. There are online portals alongside books and training centers to help you achieve the goal. Tests, along with hands-on training, is an integral part of obtaining the license.

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What Is a Certified Nursing Assistant or CNA?

Nursing assistance is a noble profession that requires skills, focus, and patience. Due to the nature of the job, candidates need to pass the state board examination. On completing the exam they are awarded the certificate, which makes them eligible to work in a medical facility.

Most candidates aim to clear the test in the first attempt. This is where Medical Hero CNA practice written tests can be useful to help you prepare. Platforms like this train individuals per the caliber dictated by the governing body of medicine.

Moreover, most medical facilities prefer to hire a certified nursing assistant to work along with licensed practical nurses, vocational nurses, and registered nurses.

Considerations for CNA Exam

The nursing assistant exam consists of two parts:

  • Written test
  • Hands-on experience

For theory preparation, you can find samples of a CNA practice written test online. Looking at the material will help you get an idea of what to expect in the CNA exam. Alongside preparing for the test, there are certain areas that a candidate needs to focus on.

Key Areas to Focus

There are many duties assigned to a CNA in a medical facility. The person appearing for the test must be eloquent on many facets, such as:

  • Anatomy
  • Aging and development
  • Cultural needs
  • Data collection
  • Daily activities
  • Mannerisms and communication
  • Ethics
  • Infection control
  • Mental health
  • Nutrition
  • Legal matters
  • Physiology
  • Range of motion
  • Safety
  • Testing
  • Vital signs

License Validity

The CNA license expires in two years. If a CNA is practicing or working in a medical facility throughout the period, they can apply for a renewal. But if they fail to work for two years, they may have to sit for the competency test again for the renewal.

Methods to Obtain a License as a CNA

While working your way to becoming a certified nursing assistant, you must follow these methods to complete the certificate.

1. Get a High School Diploma or Graduate Equivalency Degree (GED)

The high school diploma or GED is a crucial aspect of your road to becoming a CNA. Achieving a high school diploma is the minimum education required for the pathway to get the certification as a nursing assistant.

Moreover, certain courses such as health sciences, biology, chemistry, and zoology may be a great help for the coursework in the CNA program.

2. Complete the Education and Training

As soon as you finish the high school diploma or GED, you can enroll for CNA training. Look for programs in your state that have accreditations from the nursing board.

It can sometimes take a month or several months to finish the course. The duration also depends on you as you take modules.

Certain hours of practical training are necessary to be eligible for the test. You can take a CNA practice test before the exam to develop an idea, learn, and clear it on the first attempt.

3. Learn the Skills

The medical board intends to provide only excellent care for the patients. To achieve that, a CNA must acquire certain skills besides acing the CNA licensing exam. Some of the core skills a certified nursing assistant must demonstrate are:

  • Attention to detail
  • Stamina
  • Oral and written communication skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Infection control
  • Bedside manners
  • Empathy & compassion
  • Objective and analytical thinking
  • Think straight under pressure

These skills can be acquired by opting for courses that can help you develop these skills. So before you start working as a CNA, make sure you also learn them all. These skills will place you in a good position to get the job at the best facilities in your state.

4. The Test

Once you have studied for the CNA licensing test, training and clinical hours outlined in the course, you can apply to take the test. To take the test, you have to provide the following:

  • Personal information
  • Details about the training program
  • Fingerprints for background check

Since certified nursing assistants work with the vulnerable and elderly, the program requires the individual appearing for the test to have a clean criminal record.

The exam comprises written and clinical sections. You may have prepared for a CNA practice written test from books and websites, but the clinical section requires real-life demonstrations.

Each section can be attempted thrice to clear the test. As soon as you clear the test, you are authorized to practice as a CNA in a medical facility in your state.

Apply to Openings

After getting the CNA license, the next step is to send the applications to your state's opening.

Highlight your core skills, strengths, and other accreditation in the resume. If you are planning to work in a different state, you have to check with the medical board of that state if there are any differences in regulations - and meet them.

Once you have followed the procedure, you are all set to work in that state. There is a slightly different protocol for a traveling CNA, requiring diverse test procedures.

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A certified nursing assistant is an integral part of the system. Their job requires a lot of focus and attention, whether it’s about monitoring the patient’s progress, maintaining the record of their vital signs, or assisting them in movement, etc. The sensitivity of the profession demands the candidate to acquire a license before applying their knowledge and skills.

Obtaining the license requires coursework, test and credit hours before the candidate plans to appear for the test. There are various CNA practice written tests available to ace the writing test and clear it on the first attempt.

In the words of Nurse, theorist, and Nursing professor, Jean Watson:

“Nurses are a unique kind. They have this insatiable need to care for others, which is both their greatest strength and fatal flaw.”


Zoi Kotsou

Copywriter - Content writer - Content Strategist

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