To become a certified Nurse Aide in the state of Alabama requires taking the exam known as “National Nurse Aide Assessment Program”. The NNAAP Examination is devised to determine minimal competency to earn nurse aide certification in Alabama. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) has designed the NNAAP Examination ensuring that the Nurse Assistant requirements are met at federal and state levels. The Examination tests candidates’ ability to perform entry level nurse assistant job safely and efficiently.
The state of Alabama has set guidelines to become eligible to apply for and take the NNAAP Examination. Aspirants must complete the Alabama Department of Health approved training program or equivalent training program through higher education, like RN or LPN program affiliated by the Alabama Board of Nursing. Students must take and pass the Examination within 2 years after completion of state approved training course. The state does not consider any online CNA program.
Components of the Examination
The NNAAP Examination consists of a Skills Evaluation and a Written/Oral Examination. Students must qualify both parts to appear on the Alabama Nurse Aide Registry and become a certified Nurse Aide in the state.
Written Examination: This part is made up of 70 multiple choice questions. These questions are written in English and candidates get 2 hours to answer asked questions. Ten questions out of the seventy questions are non-scored questions; they are meant to collect statistical information. A separate answer sheet is provided to mark the answers of questions.
Oral Examination: The Oral Examination is for aspirants who face difficult in reading English. This is taken in place of the written part of the NNAAP Examination. The oral testing can be taken in Spanish or English. This part is made up of 10 reading comprehension, which are read thrice and 60 multiple choice questions, read twice on a cassette tape loudly. Students, who want to take the Oral Examination, must send the request for the same while submitting their Examination Application.
Skills Evaluation: In the Skills Evaluation, candidates are supposed to demonstrate 5 randomly chosen nursing assistant skills. This takes place in actual care setting like area. “Hand-washing” skill is always asked to perform. Other is measurement skill (such as taking measurement of weight, blood pressure, radial pulse, respiration and Urinary output) which is must to perform in the Skills Evaluation. Each skill contains a step called, “Critical Element Step”. Students must perform that critical step carefully and correctly in order to pass the skill. Students are suggested to dress up in loose fitting shirt (half-sleeve) and pant with non-skid, flat shoes. Students must perform all five skills in 25 minutes. To pass the Skills Evaluation, students must get “Satisfactory” score in all 5 skills.
Application and Scheduling
Application: Applicants must fill the Examination Application in order to apply for the examination. The application can be downloaded from Pearson VUE website (www.pearsonvue.com ), nurse aide training program or nursing facility employer. NACES Customer Service Representative is available for any kind of query regarding the examination application at: 877-889-0939. Candidates must send a copy of certificate of completed training program and appropriate fees along with the Examination Application in one envelope to the address:
NACES Plus Foundation, Inc.
8501 North Mopac Expressway, Suite 400
Austin, Texas 78759
Scheduling: NACES schedules candidates for testing after receiving application, examination fees and required documents. The required documents must be received minimum 12 business days prior to the exam date. NACES mail “Authorization to Test Notice” at candidates’ address mentioned in the examination application within 48 hours after scheduling them for testing. Candidates must call NACES if they do not receive the Test Notice within 10 business days. The Test Notice contains vital information about the examination.
Testing Locations: Both parts of the examination are held at Regional Test Site. Students may visit the website of Pearson Vue (www.pearsonvue.com ) or call at (866)204-6185 to know schedule of the test location chosen by them.
Special Exam Requests and Services: Pearson VUE provides special arrangements for NNAAP testing to disabled candidates. To request for special arrangements for testing, candidates need to provide a proof of their diagnosed disability from their health-care provider. Pearson VUE owns TDD (Telecommunication Devices for the Deaf) which is designed to help hearing impaired and deaf candidates
Exam fees for tests taken before Nov. 1, 2011
Exam fees for tests taken on and after Nov. 1, 2011
Written Examination & Skills Evaluation
Skills Evaluation & English Oral Examination
Skills Evaluation & Spanish Oral Examination
English Oral Examination ONLY
Spanish Oral Examination ONLY
Written Examination ONLY
Skills Evaluation ONLY
Duplicate Score Report or Handscored Answer Sheet
- Candidates must pay for both parts of the examination when they take the examination for the first time as they are scheduled for both parts.
- Acceptable forms of fee are: certified check, money order and company check payable in the name of “NACES”. Students may choose any form to pay their examination fee but it must carry their name on it even if their fee is paid by their employers.
- Cash and personal checks are non-acceptable. The fee once received by NACES is neither transferrable nor refundable.
- Under the state and federal laws, the examination fee and expenses on books are met by employers if candidates work as nursing assistants with nursing homes that take parts in Medicare/Medicaid programs. Also, candidates who find employment as a nurse assistant by a Medicaid/Medicare skilled nursing facility within the time duration of 12 months after successful completion of the training program, get their examination and testing fees reimbursed from the facility.
Cancellation and Rescheduling
Candidates may cancel the exam if they are unable to attend the exam on a date scheduled for the examination. They must inform NACES at least 5 working days before the scheduled examination-date, so that the exam can be cancelled and rescheduled. If they do not notify NACES timely, then examination fee is neither transferrable nor refundable. If they do, the fee is transferred to a new scheduled examination date.
Sometimes, unexpected situation occurs and students are unable to appear for the examination on the scheduled examination date. NACES considers this and reschedule the examination if the given reason is one of the following:
- Death in the family
- Illness of candidates or their immediate family members
- Jury duty or court appearance
- Weather emergency
- Military duty
- Disabling traffic accident
Requests for skipping the exam must be done in written and NACES must receive it within 10 business days following the scheduled date of the examination. They must also provide verification of their absence to NACES. It depends on NACES whether the excused absence is denied or accepted.
What to Bring on the Exam Day
If candidates reach the examination venue late, they are denied entry in the examination hall, and fee is also not refunded. Hence, they are advised to reach the test venue at least half an hour before the time scheduled for the Written/Oral Examination and the Skills Evaluation. Students must report to the test site with two forms of proper identification that includes-
- Driver’s license
- Clinic card
- Signed Social Security card
- Library card
- Credit card
- Alien registration card
- Identification card issued by the state
Out of the identifications out of the two is needed to be photo-identification. Both must be original, current (non-expired) and signed. The name of candidates on the identification must match with their names on the Application of the Examination. They must bring a proof of their name change, such as copy of divorce decree or marriage license to the testing location, if difference in names exists.
Failing: If aspirants fail the Skills Evaluation or the Written/oral Examination then they have to repeat that part of the exam that they fail. The Score Report gives complete information on retaking the failed part of the Examination. Students get two years after the completion of nursing assistant training program and 3 attempts to pass the examination. If candidates unable to pass the Examination within 2 years and in three attempts, they need to retake the training course all over again.
To retake any failed part of the NNAAP Exam, candidates have to submit a new Examination Application or failed Score Report to NACES.
Failed Score Report of the Skills Evaluation provides cause of failure. This acts as an aid to candidates while retaking the Examination.
Passing: The Alabama Department of Health places those names on the Alabama Nursing Assistant Registry, who successfully pass both the Skills Evaluation and the Written Examination or the Oral testing.
Alabama does not give nurse- assistant licenses or certificates to qualified students. Students receive the Score Report as a proof of a certified nursing assistant.