What Happens After You Take The CRNA Examination

To be or not to be a CRNA

So you’ve decided you want to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), you’ve sought out the best CRNA schools for you, and you’ve completed your coursework leading up to the examination. Well, the exam is in, and now you wait… what happens now?

Perhaps one of the most nerve-wracking moments within an aspiring CRNA’s career comes immediately after taking the examination. It’s during this wait period your immediate future is decided. While there is very little one can do to alleviate the stress that’s often felt during this intensive moment, many find the act of simply understanding what will likely occur in the days following the examination the perfect way to calm their mind. The following information is provided by the NBCRNA National Certification Examination Handbook, and is considered accurate as of January 2015.

Issues During or After the Examination

While you may have behaved properly throughout the examination, the NBCRNA states any test taker who engages in what they believe is improper behavior, such as trying to write down exam questions, taking photographs of the computer system or engaging in any other type of prohibited communication the NBCRNA may deny or revoke your eligibility for certification.

If there are any issues regarding your behavior, either because of your eligibility admission or during the administration of the examination, must be reported to the test taker within the three days after the exam. Any complaint filed after 72 hours of the exam will not be considered or pursued by the NBCRNA.

How Exams are Scored and When Results Are Delivered

The NBCRNA grades the examination in the form of correct and incorrect responses to each question. Because the difficulty of the examination is based upon the performance of the candidate, the scoring is adjusted as necessary. The examination is given a numerical estimate as you take the exam. Therefore, if you are in the middle of the examination and you have already scored too low for a passing score, the exam is automatically ceased and a pass/fail decision is made.

According to CRNA Schools Today, in order to successfully pass the examination, at least one of the following conditions must be achieved:

  • You clearly demonstrate competence within the topics. This decision is automatically decided anywhere between question 100 and 170.
  • You clearly demonstrate incompetence within the examination. This decision is also automatically determined anywhere between 100 and 170.
  • You’ve gone through the maximum number of questions, which is 170, and your scores are either above or below the pass/fail benchmark.
  • You’ve successfully taken the examination and went through the three hour maximum time period. If you have not completed a minimum of 100 questions within he three hours, you automatically failed.

As soon as you check out of the testing facility, you are given a preliminary pass or fail notice. It’s important to realize this is only a preliminary score, which has not been validated. You’ll receive your validated response within two to four weeks after the examination date. If you pass, you’ll be mailed an official certificate from the NBCRNA. If you failed, you’ll receive an official notification, along with official results and a diagnostic scale for the four primary content areas. Use this information to determine your strengths and weaknesses. Make sure to study the areas in which you failed before you reschedule the examination.

Do I Need a Degree to be a Certified Nursing Assistant?

Posted on  in Certified Nursing Assistant

Although obtaining a degree as a CNA is not necessary to qualify for examination, all states require prospective nursing assistants to undergo a specific number of training hours from an accredited institution. If you’re interested in starting a career as a certified nursing assistant, then you may be pleasantly surprised this career path does not require a traditional degree. Instead, the required coursework and training is delivered by completing a state-approved certificate program. Upon successful completion of this program, you may qualify to register for your state’s certification examination.

Finding a State-Approved Program

There’s a disturbing trend growing amongst the online educational world. Instead of highlighting accredited programs, a myriad of non-accredited programs claim to provide necessary coursework to take the certification examination. While this may be true as the program covers all necessary topics, if it’s not accredited by the board of nursing, then all your money and time is wasted on a bogus certificate. Avoid this costly mistake by doing your homework and validating the legitimacy of a CNA training program.

To do this, visit your state board of nursing web site or CNACertificationScoop. Throughout its pages you’ll find information regarding CNA, sometimes referred to as Certified Nurse Aide, training programs. Within this list is a host statewide training programs. Typically, these programs are found in vocational institutions, community colleges, hospitals, Red Cross agencies or in high schools.

Eligibility requirements to enroll in a CNA training program vary, but typically aspiring CNAs must possess a high school diploma, or GED, as well as provide documentation of immunizations, tuberculosis clearance and physical exam results. It’s also possible programs require background checks and passing scores on college-level reading and math assessments.

Certificate Program Coursework

While every state features unique eligibility requirements for CNA certification, the average study commitment is 75-hours of theoretical training. Certain states may require a CNA to undergo a certain number of clinical hours where you work alongside nurses and medical staff. Regardless of these specifics, a CNA training program must cover the basics of working as a CNA as well as teaching skill sets necessary to perform job functions.

Coursework typically consists of all aspects regarding patient care, medical terminology, infection control procedures, patient-specific exercises, vital sign gathering and reporting as well as how to effectively tend to patient spiritual and cultural needs. Upon completion of this coursework, you’ll have a working knowledge of how to interact with medical staff as well as how to properly tend to patients.

How to Prepare for the Certified Nursing Assistant Examination

Posted on  in Certified Nursing Assistant

There are few things in life that provide such anxiety and insomnia as a major examination. While you may be the smartest CNA student, if you lack certain test taking abilities and skills, your knowledge may fall flat. Excel at your CNA Certification examination by ensuring you’re not only prepared by completing a high-quality training program, but as your testing date draws near, follow these tips to ensure your newly learned knowledge stays present while your anxiety levels remain low.

Take a CNA Practice Examination

Venturing into the unknown can be thrilling and invigorating, but now’s not the time to wait around for surprises. Taking as many certified nursing assistant practice examination as possible not only aligns your mind with how the test may be formatted, but it strengthens your ability to filter and organize learned information. Examination questions are designed to be tricky and truly challenge your working knowledge as a CNA. A myriad of free and purchase-required practice examinations are found throughout many online databases. If you wish to take a physical examination, speak with your school’s career counselor to receive current paper practice examination.

Study, Study and Study Some More

While this may seem as if it’s a no-brainer, many students who fail their first attempt at the CNA exam did not continue their studies between graduation and the examination date. Treat your study periods as if it’s your job. Since a good portion of the examination is based upon coursework knowledge, focus on fine-tuning your working knowledge with medical terminology and various procedures based upon specific situations. Therefore, spend as much time as possible delving deep into your coursework knowledge.

Typically, the certified nursing assistant examination consists of two parts: written theory and clinical application. While it’s almost impossible to fully study the clinical application portion of the exam, unless you’re interning at a health care facility, you can enhance your working knowledge with hands-on procedures by consistently reviewing policies and requirements. Focus on the following four areas of clinical application:

General Nursing Skills – While a CNA is not a registered nurse, they do work hand-in-hand with nursing staff to provide patient care. Therefore, you must be highly aware of what’s expected of you. Study nursing skill areas such as recognizing patient symptoms and behaviors to isolate any abnormalities, personal hygiene procedures for yourself and the patient as well as required steps to maintain a sanitary environment.

Restorative Devices – An essential component of certified nursing assistant skill sets is to help patients who require devices such as crutches or walkers as well as more intimate-involved devices that monitor and control urine and defecation.

Patient Hygiene Care – CNAs have a special place in the medical staff as they directly tend to the daily hygiene and comfort of patients. Displaying your ability to effectively care and tend to patient bathing, grooming and sanitation is a major portion of exam clinical testing.

Patient Interaction – Unfortunately, you’ll come across patients who have a myriad of mental health disorders. These conditions may be long-established or a direct cause of injury and treatment procedures. Regardless, CNAs must understand how to handle patient communication during difficult situations. This portion of the clinical examination is even more paramount if you’re training to work in specialized facilities, such as nursing homes or facilities for the severely disabled.

Certified Nursing Assistant Study Guides

Posted on  in Certified Nursing Assistant

To begin work as a certified nursing assistant, you must pass at least 75-hours from a training institution approved by your state’s nursing board as well as successfully completing an intense certification examination. Like most other specialized healthcare professions, the certification examination covers all portions of your education. With sections covering theoretical situations and clinical applications, study guides are an essential component in your examination artillery. While many guides are available, it’s essential to choose study materials that cover current exam modules and questions.

Ultimate Guide to Choose a Study Guide

It seems rather fitting that a guide is needed to choose a CNA study guide. While your brain may be overloaded with information, an effective study guide is laid out to catalogue and display learned information for quick recall and accurate application during the examination and beyond. When searching for a CNA study guide, look for the following qualities:

Current Information – The healthcare field is unique as its one of the most rapidly changing professions out of all industries. With the extreme changes in patient care, treatments and rehabilitation, the role of a CNA has been ever-evolving. Therefore, only select a study guide with the most current information. Publishers such as Pearson Vue and Learing Express continually release CNA study guides for the latest examinations.

Theoretical and Clinical Sections – Essentially, the CNA examination consists of two primary units: written (or theoretical) and clinical (or practical) applications. Select study guides with in-depth information covering theoretical topics, such as patient health and CNA responsibilities in a facility, as well as clinical topics such as checking vital signs and procedures to protect patient hygiene and comfort.

Practice Exams – You hold a full-understanding of all CNA requirements, but without a solid test-taking ability, you may find yourself without certification. The most effective study guides are those with various practice examinations based upon previous CNA exams. Moreover, practice exams should follow past and current exam modules for brain training. Because questions may be worded in strange ways, it’s essential to understand how exam questions may be phrased and how to decipher hidden answers and clues within situational questions.

State-Specific CNA Candidate Handbook

Perhaps the most effective study guide for aspiring certified nursing assistants is the candidate handbook released annually by your nursing board or board of professional licensing. These handbooks offer up-to-date information regarding eligibility requirements and sections within the actual examination. For example, the Georgia Certified Nursing Assistant Candidate Handbook offers a detailed look at each exam level as well as how the exam is scored. Other information such as what to do if you fail and how to read exam results is also included. Never attempt to take the CNA examination without fully reading and understanding your states’ Candidate Handbook for CNAs.

CNA Examination – Clinical Application

Posted on  in Certified Nursing Assistant

Testing to become a certified nursing assistant is among the most stressful times for many aspiring CNAs. While you’ve spent many hours of classroom and facility training, the examination is when you must demonstrate your ability to successfully complete all duties required of a CNA. While CNA examinations consist of a multiple-choice theoretical portion, to successfully obtain your certification, you must also pass a clinical application exam module. This is where you put your knowledge to the test by physically demonstrating your skills and knowledge.

Clinical Application Demystified

When scouring the various online forums dedicated to CNAs, there is a theme of confusion regarding exam clinical applications. While each state may differ in how it tests, all states require successful completion of this exam module, which is also referred to as the Skills Evaluation. The following information is considered general across the United States. Obtain state-specific clinical application requirements and expectations by reviewing the CNA Candidate Handbook published by your state’s board of nursing or professional licensing division.

The Setting

While you’re expected to demonstrate your competency working within an actual health care facility after you finish your CNA Classes, the clinical portion of the exam is done within the actual testing facility; however, the room is a perfect replica of typical surroundings a working CNA must deal with. All necessary equipment and assistance is available throughout the duration of the exam.

According to the 2014 Georgia CNA Candidate Handbook, which features similar requirements throughout all states, the clinical portion is overseen by a Nurse Assistant Evaluator and the “patient” is a volunteer from the other test takers.

The purpose of this examination is to see how well you interact and treat patients. Therefore, a scenario is created to mimic a real-life situation. You must speak and treat the volunteer patient as if it was in real life. The Nurse Assistant Evaluator records and notes your performance. Speak with the volunteer patient in a casual and friendly manner. While not required to pass the examination, pleasant conversation can calm nerves to relax your mind and remember your cues.

In all, this practical examination will cover a minimum of five basic skill sets all CNAs must master. While hand washing is always one of these steps, the other four exam elements are randomly chosen out of learned skill sets. If any of these skills are done incorrectly, a negative score is added to the exam and the Nurse Assistant Evaluator will instruct you on proper procedures. While exceptions exist, you may gain a positive score on mistakes by listening to instruction from the Evaluator and re-doing the mistake correctly; however, refer to your states Candidate Handbook to determine the exact rules regarding this common policy.