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So, you want to become a Certified Nursing Assistant. You have completed the training program and you feel like you’re ready to start your new career. There’s only one more hurdle you need to overcome: the CNA Licensing Exam. The mammoth standing in between you and your dream.
The CNA Licensing Exam, or National Nurse Aid Assessment Program, is used to measure the competency of future practitioners in the United States. Training to become a CNA can vary in each state.
The US alone employs more than 1.4 million nursing assistants, per 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS also states that certified nursing assistants earn a mean hourly wage of $13.29/hour and a mean annual wage of $27,650.
Certified nursing assistants are in high demand. Graduates have the chance to enter a fulfilling field where they get to use their natural skills to help patients and other healthcare professionals.
Regardless of how prepared you were, there is a small chance that you may fail the CNA licensing exam. Maybe you already did. Maybe your nerves got the best of you or you didn’t study hard enough. Maybe you slept terribly the night before.
If you failed one or both parts of the CNA exam, now is not the time to panic. You still have several opportunities to make a comeback. Take a deep breath and decide to do better the next time around. If you recently failed your CNA Licensing Exam and you’re wondering what to do next, follow these six steps:
1. Be Prepared
The CNA Licensing Exam consists of two parts: a written and a skills test. Be prepared by knowing exactly what each section will ask of you and do your best to be ready for anything.
Use the resources that are available to you; practice tests are available online and at most training facilities. Train yourself to remember small but important details like washing your hands.
2. Study, Study, Study
When preparing to retake your CNA licensing exam, remember to space out your studies and avoid cramming at the last minute. Study hard and practice your skills on fellow classmates, friends, and family until you have the important steps committed to memory.
3. Learn from Your Mistakes
Take note of what parts of the CNA exam gave you a hard time. Were there concepts in the written section that you were stumped on? Or did you forget a key step in the skills portion of the test?
Focus on the parts that gave you trouble during your studies and make sure those same sections don’t give you a hard time the second time around.
4. Retake the Section You Failed
To complete your CNA licensing, you need to pass both sections of the test. Luckily, if you passed one section and failed the other you only need to retake the section that you failed. If you failed both sections, you can retake both.
Focus your efforts on passing the section that you failed. Don’t waste your time studying the part that you got right.
5. Do These Things During the Exam
Some people just aren’t great at test-taking, no matter how hard they. That’s okay. All you need to do is remember these key steps during your testing and you will get through it as painlessly as possible:
- Read written questions carefully, don’t rush or make assumptions.
- If you aren’t sure about a question, skip it and come back to it.
- Use your time wisely.
- If you have time at the end, make sure you haven’t missed any questions.
- Don’t rush through the skills portion of the exam. Take a few deep breaths to clear your head before getting started.
6. Write Down the Deadline for Passing the Exam
After receiving your training, it is important to remember that you only have two years to pass the exam before you need to go through training again. Mark the date on a calendar and make sure you retake the test before that date. Students have three tries at the CNA Licensing Exam before they are required to go through training again.
Congratulations on putting in the hard work and effort to get to the CNA Licensing Exam and jumpstart your career as a Certified Nursing Assistant. Failing all or part of the exam can be disheartening. Just remember that one failure does not mean the end – you still have several opportunities to pass the test.
Keep in mind that test-taking skills do not necessarily reflect how you will do in the field. If you recently failed one or both parts of your CNA Licensing Exam, just follow the steps outlined above and do better next time!