CNA Exams in Rhode Island

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The process of becoming a Nurse Aide in the state of Rhode Island involves taking and passing the NNAAP (National Nursing Assistant Assessment Program) Examination. The Examination is to determine minimal competency to seek nursing assistant certification in the state.

The Rhode Island Department of Health works in association with a nationally recognized assessment services provider, Pearson VUE to develop, score and report the result of the NNAAP Examination for the Nursing Aide Registry of Rhode Island. The Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) has contracted with Pearson VUE for scheduling and administering the examination.


Following candidates are eligible to take the NNAAP Examination:

  • Nursing Assistant– Those who complete a Rhode Department of Health approved CNA training program. These candidates get one full year after the completion of their training to pass the NNAAP Examination. If they fail to pass the exam they need to retake the training to take the exam again.
  • Nursing Student-These candidates are actively matriculated in a nursing assistant training program and have completed at least 2 clinical courses.
  • Lapsed Nursing Assistants-Candidates whose Rhode Island Nurse Aide license is expired for more than 2 years. These candidates need to re-take the training and then the Examination.

Candidates may call the Rhode Island department of Health at: (401)222-5888 for any kind of query related to eligibility.

Components of the Examination

The NNAAP Examination consists of two sections- the Written Examination or Oral Examination and Skills Evaluation. Candidates must pass both sections in order to appear on the state’s Nurseling Assistant Registry. Both sections of the examination are conducted on the same day.

Written Examination: This section of the NNAAP Examination consists of 70 multiple choice questions and students are given two hours to finish the written examination section. A separate answer sheet is given to mark the answer of the asked questions of the test booklet. Out of 70 questions, 10 are non-scored questions. They are part of the questions to collect statistical information.

Oral Examination: If candidates face complexity reading English then they may give the Oral Examination in place of the Written Examination. The Oral Examination is taken through a cassette tape. Students get the earphone to listen to questions at the test site. Candidates get complete two hours to finish the Oral testing.

The Oral Examination is made up of 2 parts. Students must pass both the parts in order to qualify the Oral Examination. In the first part, there are 60 multiple choice questions and the second part contains 10 comprehensive questions. The comprehensive questions are a part of the Examination to check candidates’ ability to understand and speak the English commonly used in the long term care facilities. Multiple choice questions are read twice whereas comprehensive questions are read thrice.

Skills Evaluation: This testing takes place in a set- up that resembles an actual care giving setting. The setting is equipped with all necessary equipments needed to perform allocated five skills. The NNAAP Skills List lists all the skills that candidates are needed to demonstrate. Each skill is divided into a series of steps. One step is highlighted in bold font called- “Critical Element Step”. Students must perform this boldly written step correctly in order to pass the skill. A Nursing Assistant Evaluator administers the skills. “Hand-washing” and a measurement skill (such as measuring respirations, radial pulse, blood -pressure, weight or urine output) are always a part of the Skills Evaluation. To write down the measurement of the measurement skills, candidates are given a Recording Sheet at the test site.

Candidates are advised to dress up in a loose fitting top and pants, and flat, non-skid, slip-on shoes.

The official Score Report of Skills Evaluation lists all the 5 performed skills with a “Satisfactory” score for passed skill and “Unsatisfactory” score for failed skill. Students must get “Satisfactory” score for all 5 skills in order to qualify the Skills Evaluation. A failed skill carries the reason of failing the skill to help students in studying while re-taking the exam.

Application and Scheduling


Applicants need to fill two applications to get scheduled for the NNAAP Examination- the ‘Application for Licensure As A Nursing Assistant’ and the’ Application for Registration By Examination’. Both the applications are obtainable from the nursing assistant training programThe former is to be submitted to the state’s Department of Health and the latter to the CCRI.A copy of the ‘Application for Registration By Examination’ can be downloaded from the website of Pearson VUE-


  • CCRI schedules the qualified candidates for the NNAAP examination after receiving required documents, examination application and appropriate fees.
  • CCRI mails the Admission Ticket to candidates at their address (mentioned in the examination application) after scheduling the examination.
  • The Admission Ticket contains vital information about the exam. Students must call CCRI if they do not receive their ticket within 15 business days.

Test Locations: The NNAAP Examination is taken at Regional Test Sites by CCRI. Students may call Pearson VUE at 800-274-2900 or visit the website of Pearson VUE ( ) to know the test schedules of testing sites.

Special Exam Requests and Services: Pearson VUE provides special arrangements for testing to disabled candidates. Candidates have to request for and take approval for special arrangements from CCRI in advance. Students must provide proof of their special needs from the health-care provider.

Examination Fees




Written Examination & Skills Evaluation


$ 99

Oral Examination & Skills Evaluation


$ 99

Skills Evaluation ONLY


$ 69

Written examination ONLY


$ 30

Oral examination ONLY


$ 30

  • Students are scheduled for both- Written/Oral Examination and Skills Evaluation when they take the examination for the first time.
  • Examination fee must be made in the form of certified check, money order or company check owed to “CCRI”. The certified check, money order or company check must show name of the candidate even f it is paid by their employer.
  • Cash and personal checks are unacceptable.
  • Fees are non-transferrable and non-refundable once received by CCRI, as it covers administrative costs of testing and registration.
  • Under federal and the state laws, aspirants working as nurse aides in health-care centres that take part in Medicare/ Medicaid programs are liberated from paying the exam fees. Their employers pay the exam-fee and retest fee of the employed candidates.

Cancellation and Rescheduling

Due to some reason if candidates are unable to take the exam on a scheduled date then they can reschedule it by notifying CCRI at least 5 business days prior to the scheduled exam- date. The exam-fee is transferred to the new examination date if CCRI is informed timely about skipping the exam.

Sometimes unanticipated situation arrives and candidates are unable to attend the exam on a scheduled date. CCRI considers excusing an absence from the examination on a scheduled date in following situations:

  • Death in the family
  • Illness of the candidate or his/her immediate family member
  • Military duty
  • Jury duty or court appearance
  • Weather emergency
  • Disabling traffic accident

NOTE: Candidates must ensure that they provide the reason of their absence (along with the verification from a proper source) from the examination in written and within 10 business days following the scheduled exam-date.

This entirely depends on CCRI whether candidates’ absence from the examination is accepted or rejected.

What to Bring on the Exam Day

Students should try to reach the examination hall at least 30 minutes before the scheduled examination time. They must carry the following items with them to the test center-

  • Their Social Security number
  • Eraser
  • Three No. 2 well sharpened pencils
  • Two forms of proper identification.  Both the identification must be original and signed. One of the two needs to be a photo-identification. Identifications must be current, not expired. Students can’t sit for the exam without proper identifications. A list of acceptable proper identification includes:
  • Credit card
  • Clinic card
  • Driver’s license
  • Library card
  • Passport
  • Identification card issued by the state
  • Signed Social Security card
  • Alien registration card

NOTE: Name on identifications must match with the name of the Examination Application. If the name differs, candidates must bring a copy of divorce decree or marriage license as a proof of name change.

Score Reporting

Results are not given over the phone. The Nursing Assistant Evaluator also does not answer about the Score Report. Students get the result of the NNAAP Examination in the form of official Score Report. The Score report indicates whether candidates have passed or failed the Written/Oral examination and Skills Evaluation.  Students may contact Pearson VUE at (800)274-2900 for queries related to the content of the examination and the Score Report.

Students receive their Score Reports on the day of the examination, but sometimes it gets delayed due to technical glitch. If candidates do not receive their official Score Report even within 5-to-7 business days then they must call Pearson VUE at: 800-274-2900 to enquire about their delayed Score Report.

Failing: If candidates fail the Skills Evaluation or the Written/Skills Evaluation then their failing Score Report provides information on the process of re-taking the failed part or parts of the exam. A new examination fee is charged every time candidates take the NNAAP examination. To re-take the exam, candidates must submit a copy of certificate of the completion of approved CNA training program, official Score Report and re-take fee to CCRI.

Passing: Federal and Rhode Island state laws give 3 attempts and the period of 12 months to pass both the parts (Skills Evaluation and Written/ Oral Examination) of the NNAAP Examination. If they are unable to pass, then they need re-training and re-taking of both parts of the NNAAP Examination.

Candidates who successfully pass both parts of the NNAAP Examination get listed on the Rhode Island Nursing Assistant Registry. Candidates can check their Nursing Aide license status at- The Rhode Island Department of Health mails the Nursing Aide license to candidates at their address. Candidates must contact the Rhode Island Department of Health at: (401)222-5888, if they do not receive their Nursing Assistant license within 60 days of their exam-date.