CNA Exams in California

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To seek Nurse Aide certification in California involves taking the NNAAP (National Nurse Aide Assessment Program) Examination. The Chancellor’s Office of the California Community Colleges System (COCCC) works in association with Pearson VUE. The Pearson VUE is nationally recognised unit that offers assessment services to national associations and regulatory agencies.

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) developed the NNAAP Examination. The NNAAP exam fulfils requirements of the federal and state level nurse aide evaluation. The aim to conduct the NNAAP exam is to test applicants’ ability to perform the work of an entry –level nurse assistant efficiently and safely.

Components of NNAAP Examination

The NNAAP Examination consists of two parts- Written/Oral Examination and Skills Evaluation. Both parts of the examination are administered on the same day. Candidates become eligible to appear on the California Nursing Assistant Registry only if successfully qualify both the parts within 24 months after completion of the CNA training program and CDPH approval.

Written Examination– This section consists of 70 multiple choice questions. Questions are asked in the English language. Students get complete two hours to finish the written examination.

Oral Examination– Candidates with difficulty in English give this examination instead of written examination.  In this section, there are 10 multiple choices reading comprehension questions and 60 multiple choice questions.  Questions are provided on a cassette tape. Students need to request Oral Examination at the time of submitting application.

Skills Evaluation– Students are asked to perform 5 randomly selected nurse aide skills. A Nursing Assistant Evaluator rates the skills. “Hand Washing” is a must do activity among those five activities during the skills Evaluation. Students are given 25 minutes to complete the chosen 5 skills. There is a NNAAP skills list that included all skills that a student is supposed to perform during the Skills Evaluation. Each skill is a task that involves a series of steps, and out of those steps there is one highlighted step, which is called “Critical Element Step”. It is important to perform critical element step correctly in order to pass   the Skills Evaluation.

The Skills Evaluation section always includes one measurement skill, like Radial pulse, blood pressure, urine output, respirations or weight. Recording Sheet is given to students at the test center to record the measurement.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Students must complete a Department of Public Health approved Nurse Assistant training course.
  • Candidates, who are unable to qualify the NNAAP examination within 2 years of completion of training course, are needed to retake the training course.
  • Candidates without CNA training program but with other training course can dial to the California Department of Public Health at- (916)327-2445 to know about their eligibility.


  • Both- an Application for Nurse Aide Certification (HS 283B) and the NNAAP examination application can be availed-
  • by downloading them from the website of Pearson VUE,
  • from nurse aide training program, or
  • by getting in touch with the apt Regional Centre.
  • All needed documentation that involves- fee via money order, company check or cashier check (payable to the college associated with Regional Centre) and applications must be obtained within 10 business days prior to the exam date.

Note: Cash and Personal checks are unacceptable.

  • Both appropriate fees and completed applications need to be mailed in one envelop and delivered at the proper Regional Centre.

Examination FEES

Written Examination and
Skills Evaluation
Both $ 90
Oral Examination and
Skills Evaluation
Both $ 105
Oral Examination ONLY Re-test $ 50
Written Examination ONLY Re-test $ 35
Skills Evaluation ONLY Re-test $ 55
Rescheduled Written Examination (noticed within 48 hours) Re-test $ 25
Rescheduled Manual Examination (noticed within 48 hours) Re-test $ 25

Exam Scheduling

  • Regional Centre schedules testing once it receives required fees, documents and applications.
  • Candidates who take test in the Southern Region are required to make a call to the Regional Centre in order to schedule the exam dates at the desired testing site.
  • COCCC provides Regional Test Sites for NNAAP Examination.
  • Latest testing schedule is available at Pearson VUE website- .

Special Exam Request

CNA aspirants may request for special arrangement for testing while applying for the examination. Students must get all requests concerning to the special arrangement approved by COCCC in advance. Pearson VUE helps hearing impaired and deaf students in challenging the exam using Telecommunication Devices for the Deaf (TDD).

Cancellation and Rescheduling

  • The exam can be rescheduled only if students inform the regional test coordination centre minimum 2 business days prior to the scheduled examination date in order to reschedule the exam. Business days exclude Sunday, Saturday and national holidays.
  • If students fail to intimate the center regarding missing the exam 2 days prior then paid examination fee is neither refunded nor transferred to a new exam date. Students need to pay additional $ 25 for Skills Evaluation and additional $ 25 for written examination to reschedule the exam.
  • There is no penalty on informing the center 48 hours ahead of the scheduled examination date, and the fess is transferred to new exam date.

On the Exam Day

  • Check in at the examination center at least 30 minutes prior to the written test and skills evaluation. If students fail to report on time at the center then they are not allowed to sit for the exam and the fee is also not reimbursed.
  • Students must carry proper identification (Passport, Driver’s License or Alien registration) to the examination center. They must carry 2 forms of signature identification. One out of the two must be a photo -identification and the other original Social Security card. In addition to this, students must also bring CDPH Approval Letter or Application for Nurse Aide Certification (HS 283B)

Note: Photo Identification must be original not photocopied.

  • The name on the students on the identification form must match with the one on the application in order to apply for the examination.  If the name differs, students must carry proof of their name change to the test center.
  • Students must wear a loose fitting, short sleeves top and slip-on, flat, non skid shoes on the day of examination for skill evaluation.

Score Reporting

  • The result of the NNAAP Examination is not declared over the phone.
  • Students can call Pearson VUE at (800)475-8290 to get their queries answered regarding the content of the exam or Score Report.
  • An official Score Report of Written Examination and Skills Evaluation is faxed to the Nursing Assistant Evaluator. The report indicates whether the candidate is passed or failed.
  • Students receive the score report within 5-7 business days after giving the exam. If the score report is not delivered within 5-7 days and gets delayed then students must call Pearson VUE at (800) 475-8290.
  • A score report indicates “Satisfactory” for passed skill and “Unsatisfactory” for failed skills.
  • The Report of the failed students provides reason behind failure and information regarding re-taking either or both sections of the examination. A new examination fee is charged every time to re-take the exam.
  • Candidates must submit appropriate re-take fees and official Score Report to the Regional Center to re-take both or either parts of the NNAAP examination.
  • Students are given 3 attempts to qualify both the Written/oral Examination and Skills Evaluation. If they fail both or either parts then they need to take a state-approved training course all over again.
  • Only those students are eligible to appear on the California Assistant Registry, who pass both -the Skills Evaluation and Written Examination within 2 years after the successful completion of the CNA training.