CNA Exams in New Jersey

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To seek Nurse Aide certification in the state of New Jersey involves taking the examination called, NNAAP Nurse Aide/Personal Care Assistant (NA/PCA) Examination. The NJDHSS (New Jersey Department of Health & Senior Services) has contracted with Pearson VUE to develop, score and prepare the result of the NNAAP Examination for the New Jersey Nursing Assistant Registry. A nationally recognized group, Pearson VUE offers assessment services to national associations and regulatory agencies. The content, passing score and eligibility criteria of the examination are determined by the NJDHSS.

The NNAAP NA/PC is designed to meet the personal care assistant and nurse assistant evaluation requirements of state and federal laws and regulations. The purpose of the Examination is to determine whether aspirants can safely and effectively perform the work of an entry level personal care assistant or nurse aide.


To become eligible to apply for and take the NNAAP NA/PCA Examination to earn nurse aide/personal care assistant certification in New Jersey, aspirants have to qualify one of the mentioned below routes:

  • New Nurse Aide (01)
  • Student or Graduate Nurse (02)
  • Reciprocity (03)
  • Military Nurse Aide (04)
  • Lapsed Reciprocity (LR)
  • New Personal Care Assistant (P1)
  • Lapsed with Education (LE)
  • Lapsed Nurse Aide Without Education (LW)

Components of the Examination

The NNAAP NA/PCA Examination involves two parts- the Written/Oral Examination and the Skills Evaluation. Candidates have to appear for the Skills testing first. After completing the Skills Evaluation successfully, candidates can appear for the Written/Oral Examination. Students must pass both parts of the examination to appear on the state’s Registry and become a certified nurse assistant in New Jersey.

The Oral or Written Examination is conducted electronically on a personal computer. Thus, candidates must possess computer knowledge and good typing skills to take the examination.

Written Examination: Candidates are given 2 hours to complete the Written Examination. The computer system automatically gets turn off after 2 hours. There are seventy multiple choice questions in this section. The questions are written in English.  Out of the 70 questions, 10 are non-scored questions. These are pre-test questions on which statistical information is gathered.

Oral Examination: Candidates with difficulty in English may take Oral Examination in Spanish or English instead of the Written Examination. The Oral Examination is taken with the help of audio cassette tape. Earphones and cassette player are given at the examination venue.  This section of the NNAAP NA Examination carries 60 multiple choice questions that are read twice. Students get two hours for completing the Oral Examination. Students need to place request for the Oral Examination while filling out the application of the examination.

Skills Evaluation: At the Skills testing, candidates have to demonstrate 5 randomly picked nurse aide skills in 30 minutes.  A Nurse Aide Evaluator rates candidates based on their performance in the Skills Evaluation. Each skill got a Critical Element Step, which must be performed correctly and accurately in order to qualify the skill. “Hand-washing” skill and a measurement skill (such as recording radial pulse, blood pressure, weight, urine output or respirations) are always asked to perform in the Skills Evaluation. Candidates must get passing rating in all five performed skills to become eligible to take the Written/Oral Examination.

For the Skill Evaluation, candidates are recommended to dress up in loose fitting half-sleeve shirt and pants with flat, non-skid shoes.

Application and Scheduling

Application: Students receive the Score Report of their Skills Evaluation within 10 business days if they pass the Skill testing. The score report contains information on how students can register for the second part of the NNAAP Examination that is the Written/Oral Examination. Reservation for the exam can be done by fax or over the telephone (877-374-1151). Candidates must bring their score report of Skills Evaluation to the test site.

Scheduling:  Students are scheduled for the Skills Evaluation first. Pearson VUE schedules candidates for the Skills Evaluation only after receiving completed application and the examination fee for both parts that is the written and skills testing. Aspirants may avail the Examination application from their training program or nursing facility employer. Pearson VUE sends a “Notification of Denial” letter, whose Examination Applications are incomplete. The Skills Evaluation takes place in an actual care giving setting that has got all equipments needed to perform skills.

Test Locations: The Skills testing takes place at an approved Skills Evaluation location or a long- term care facility.

Special Exam Requests and Services: Pearson VUE complies with the provisions of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) to provide special arrangements to disabled candidates to take the NNAAP Examination. Candidates must request for special testing arrangements by faxing the “Special Exam Request Form” to Pearson VUE on the fax number mentioned in the form. Candidates have to provide documents that support their disabilities to Pearson VUE. Candidates with queries related to the special examination arrangements may contact the ADA Coordinator at: 800-274-3707.

Examination Fees




Written Examination $ Skills Evaluation

Both exams

$ 76

English Oral Examination & Skills Evaluation

Both exams

$ 86

Spanish Oral Examination & Skills Evaluation

Both exams

$ 86

Written Examination ONLY

Exam retake

$ 56

Spanish Oral Examination ONLY

Exam retake

$ 66

English Spanish Examination ONLY

Exam retake

$ 66

Skills Evaluation ONLY

Exam retake

$ 20

  • Candidates are scheduled for both parts of the examination when they test for the first time. Hence, they must make payment for both parts.
  • Candidates may pay their examination or re-test fee by debit card (issued by MasterCard or Visa), credit card or electronic card. Electronic check, debit card or credit card payments are not acceptable at the test-site.
  • Students who are making payment by company check, certified check or money order, must use a voucher to make the payment. Payment via personal checks and cash is non-acceptable.
  • If candidates are actively enrolled in a New Jersey state- approved training program course and got an employment offer or currently employed in a long-term care facility then they do not have to pay for their tuition, textbooks, training program materials and the NNAAP NA/PCA Examination fees. The employer is responsible to meet all the training and the examination related expenses.

Cancellation and Rescheduling

If candidates want to cancel their exam on the scheduled date and get it rescheduled without paying any monetary penalty then they should inform Pearson VUE minimum four business days prior to scheduled date of the examination. The fee is transferred to a new examination date or refunded if Pearson VUE timely. No fee is reimbursed or transferred and candidates have to pay another fee for the examination if they fail to notify Pearson VUE about missing the examination at least 4 days before the date of scheduled exam. To get a new exam-date and site, students must contact Pearson VUE at: (877)374-1151. They may call customer care representatives available at Eastern Standard Time:

  • Monday through Friday- from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
  • Saturday- from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Sunday- from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

What to Bring on the Exam Day

Students must reach the examination center on the day of the Written/Oral Examination day at least 30 minutes before the scheduled time in order to finish their registration. Students must carry following documents to the test site:

  • Confirmation number
  • Passing  Score Report of the Skills Evaluation (at the time of the Written/Oral Examination)
  • Failing score report, if candidates are retaking the Written/Oral Examination.
  • Two signature bearing current identification, and one out of the two must be photo identification (such as driver’s license). Both the identifications must be original, not photocopies.

A list of acceptable identifications is as follows:

  • Driver’s License
  • Clinic card
  • Library card
  • Identification card issued by the State
  • Alien registration card
  • Signed Social Security card
  • Credit card
  • Student I.D, if a candidate is a school student
  • Passport

Students will be denied entry for the Written/Oral Examination and marked absent without the above mentioned documents.

Score Reporting

Candidates get their official Score Report within 2 weeks after Pearson VUE receives their skills testing materials. If candidates qualify the Skills Evaluation, the report provides information on how registration for the Written/oral Examination can be done. The score of the Skills Evaluation stays valid for 1 year from the Skills testing date.

Students must contact their training program administrator to reschedule the examination if they fail the Skills Evaluation. Students have to submit $20 to reschedule the Skills Evaluation. No additional fee is charged for the Written/Oral Examination if students fail the skills testing. Candidates need to enrol for a new state approved training course if they fail to pass the Written/Oral Examination in three attempts.

Passing: Candidates who pass the Written/Oral Examination and meet CBI and all NJDHSS requirements receive wallet identification card and nurse aide certification at the test center on the exam-day.

Students, who pass the Oral/Written Examination but do not complete the CBI process, their photo is taken and their wallet identification card and certificate are sent to the NJDHSS. Items stay with the NJDHSS till the CBI process completes. After the completion of CBI process, the NJDHSS sends wallet I.D. card and certificate at candidates’ address. Both items hold validity for 1 year from the date they qualify the Written/Oral Examination.