CNA Exams in North Carolina

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The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) carries out the NNAAP (National Nurse Aide Assessment Program) Examination in association with Pearson VUE. This exam is a part of the process of earning Nurse Aide I certification in the state of North Caroline. Pearson VUE group provides assessment services to national associations and regulatory agencies. The group scores the exam sheets of the NNAAP examination and reports its result to the North Carolina Nurse Aide I Registry.  

Through the NNAAP Examination, the Board of Nursing determines the minimal competency of aspirants to become a Certified Nursing Assistant in the state.


  • Candidates who have successfully finished North Carolina state- approved Nurse Aide I training program.
  • Aspirants who finish a refresher course at a community colleges of North Carolina.
  • Aspirants who have taken training in the state of North Caroline at any Community College Refresher Course or nurse aide training  program other than the programs approved by North Carolina State.
  • Candidates who take nurse assistant training outside the state of North Carolina or registered on Nurse Aide Registry of other states, or other health professionals, or EMT’s or applicants with NO Nurse Assistant training program.
  • Aspirants who are presently enrolled in a nursing education program approved by North Carolina.
  • Candidates who are registered on the North Carolina Nurse Aide I Registry, and those who are unable to renew their inactive nurse aide certification, or are not eligible to take the exam under any of the eligibility routes.

Components of the Examination

The NNAAP Examination involves two parts- a Skills Evaluation and a Written/Oral Examination. The exam is an assessment of nurse aide related skills, knowledge and abilities. Without qualifying both the parts of the exam, students do not appear on the state’ registry and become a certified nurse assistant. Both the parts of the NNAAP examination are run on the same day.

Written Examination: The Written Examination is conducted only in English. There are 70 multiple choice questions in this part. Out of 70 multiple choice questions, 10 are non-scored questions. They are just to collect statistical information. Students get two hours to complete the exam. To mark the answer of the test-booklet, a separate answer sheet is given.

Oral Examination: The Oral Examination is offered in Spanish as well as in English. This exam is taken in place of the written examination. There are 10 reading comprehension questions (read thrice) and 60 multiple choice questions (read twice). The questions of oral examination are read aloud on a cassette tape. Earphones and a cassette player are provided at the test-site. Candidates, who wish to take the oral exam, must place request for it while submitting their Examination Application. Students have to finish the exam in 2 hours.

Skills Evaluation: In this part of the Examination, candidates are supposed to perform 5 nurse aide skills. These skills are randomly chosen. “Hand-washing” is one skill out of those 5 skills that is always to be performed. Besides hand-washing, the Skills Evaluation also includes one measurement skill, like respirations, weight, urine output, radial pulse, blood pressure, etc. A Recording Sheet is given to write down the measurement of Measurement Skills.

Each skill is broken into steps and there is a step called CRITICAL ELEMENT STEP. To pass a skill, it is vital to perform bold typed “critical element step” correctly. Equipments that are needed to demonstrate assigned skills are provided at the test center.  Candidates are given 30 minutes to finish 5 skills. To pass oral examination, candidates have to pass all 5 skills.

Examination Fees

Examination Type



Written Examination & Skills Evaluation


$ 101

Skills Evaluation & Oral (Spanish or English) Evaluation


$ 101

Oral (Spanish/English) Examination ONLY


$ 24

Written Examination ONLY


$ 24

Skills Evaluation ONLY


$ 77

NOTE: When candidates take the NNAAP Examination for the first time then they must schedule for both- the Skills Evaluation and Oral/Written Examination.
Under North Carolina State and Federal laws, applicants who are employed   as nurse aides in nursing homes that take part in Medicare/Medicaid programs are forbidden to pay their examination fee. Employers pay their exam fee and retest fee.

Application and Scheduling

Application: To take the NNAAP Examination, candidates must fill an Application for Registration by Competency Examination. The application is to be downloaded online. For online registration, students may visit .

Testing Locations: The NNAAP Examination in the state NC is taken at Regional Test Sites by NACES. The entire testing schedule is available at and also given on the website of Pearson VUE ( ) under the title- “North Carolina Regional Test Sites and Schedules”.

Special Accommodation for Disables: Candidates with disabilities are given full access to the NNAAP Examination by the Pearson VUE. Appropriate and reasonable accommodation is given to aspirants with accepted disabilities. Candidates need to submit documents supporting their disabilities. Test accommodations include things like:

  • Extra testing time
  • A separate room for testing
  • A recorder or reader for candidates with vision or mobility impairment, and are unable to read/write on their own.

For further information on how to acquire accommodation, candidates may visit: or ADA Coordinator may be contacted at: .

Exam Cancellation & Rescheduling

To cancel the scheduled exam and reschedule it, candidates must inform Pearson VUE minimum 9 business days prior to the scheduled date of the examination at: 888-723-6773. No penalty is charged and examination fee is transferred to a new exam date, if students notify Pearson group timely.

Due to some contingency, candidates are unavailable to give the exam on a scheduled date. NACES considers candidates’ excused absence from the examination and reschedule it only when:

  • There is death in the family,
  • Candidate is ill or his immediate family member,
  • Military duty of the candidate,
  • Jury duty or Court appearance,
  • Weather Emergency, or
  • Disabling traffic accident.

NOTE: Candidates must make request for excused absence in writing and NACES must receive it within 10 business days following the scheduled date of the examination. NACES may deny or approve the excused absence.

What to Bring on the Exam Day

It is always recommended to reach the test center at least 30 minutes before the scheduled time for both skills evaluation and written examination. Candidates are neither allowed to sit for the exam nor their exam fees is refunded if they are unable to report at the test center on time, and forget to bring proper identification. Candidates must bring to the test center:

  • Eraser
  • Three no. 2 sharpened pencil
  • Two forms of proper identification. Identification must be current (non-expired). Both must bear official signature. Out of the two identifications, one must be photo- bearing identification. One form needs to be a U.S. government issued non-laminated and signed Social Security (SS) card. In place of SS card, candidates (who are in armed services) may bring their U.S. Military I.D.

NOTE: Dependent or Sponsor Military I.D. is acceptable only as a 2nd I.D, not in place of Social Security card.

A list of acceptable photo-identification includes

  • Current driver’s license.
  • State issued identification card.
  • Alien Registration card.
  • Military I.D. issued by the U.S. Government.  This is permissible if Military I.D. is not used in place of SS card.
  • Current Passport (Foreign or U.S.)

Name on identification and the name on Examination Application must be same. If name differs, then candidates must call Pearson VUE at:

  • 888-204-6207, if they are not registered on the North Carolina Nurse Aide I Registry.
  • 888-204-6207 and also to the North Carolina nurse Aide I Registry.

Score Reporting

  • Exam result is not declared over the phone. An Official Score Report is mailed to students. The Score Report indicates whether a candidate has failed or passed the exam.
  •  Pearson VUE is available at (888)204-6207 for any query related to the content of the NNAAP Examination and Score report.
  • Students receive their Official Score Report within 10 minutes after they finish their written/oral examination and skills evaluation.
  • The Official Report, sometimes do get delayed by 5-7 business post testing due to technical problems. But if result gets further delayed, students must call Pearson VUE at 888-204-6207.
  • Failing Score Report of Skills Evaluation and Written/Oral (Spanish or English) Examination provides information on how either or both parts of the NNAAP examination can be retaken.
  • The Score Report of Skills Evaluation lists all five performed skills. A score of “Unsatisfactory” for failed skills and “Satisfactory” for passed skills is given. To pass the Skills Evaluation, candidates must receive a “Satisfactory” score for all 5 skills. A failed skill indicates the cause of failure; hence it can be used as an aid to study while re-taking the Skills Evaluation.
  • Candidates need to re-register online to retake the failed part or parts of the examination. Candidates get 3 attempts to qualify both the parts; if they are unable then they need to retake the training all over again.
  • Candidates who pass both the parts of the NNAAP Examination become eligible to appear on the North Carolina Nurse Aide I Registry and work as a professional CNA in the state. Candidates may look their name on the state’s registry by visiting