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Skills to Know as a Certified Nursing Assistant

The National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) is an industry certification that was developed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing to assess understanding of nurse aide skills. The NNAAP exam is composed of two parts: a written (or oral) portion, which is offered in both English and Spanish, and a skills demonstration portion. As a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), there are skills that are essential to know to be successful on the job. 

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During the skills portion of the exam, the exam proctor will give you a list of five skills to perform. These are selected at random and pulled from a list of skills. Hand washing will always be one of the five skills. Other skills that may be assessed may include:

  • Donning and Doffing Gown and Gloves
  • Positioning in Fowler’s Position
  • Positioning in Lateral Position
  • Transferring from Bed to Chair Using a Gait Belt
  • Assisting the Resident in Walking Using a Gait Belt
  • Making an Occupied Bed
  • Passive Range of Motion on the Upper Body
  • Passive Range of Motion on the Lower Body
  • Brushing Dentures
  • Mouth Care
  • Upper Body Partial Bed Bath
  • Lower Body Partial Bed Bath
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  • Providing a Back Rub/Massage
  • Female Perineal Care
  • Shaving
  • Fingernail Trimming
  • Assisting Dressing with an Immobile Arm
  • Serving and Feeding a Paralyzed Patient
  • Assisting with Bedpans
  • Measuring Height
  • Measuring Weight
  • Recording Radial Pulse
  • Recording Respirations
  • Recording Blood Pressure



Since the proctor pulls from the skills list at random, it is important that you study and understand how to perform all of them. If you graduated from Voyager Nurse Aide Program and need a refresher before your skills exam, you can schedule an appointment to meet one on one with one of our CNA School Instructors to brush up on the skills you learned during labs. At this time, you can ask questions and discuss and perform skills you don’t feel comfortable with. The CNA School Instructor can critique and correct any skills that are performed wrong and demonstrate how to perform them correctly. 

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The NNAAP exam only allows three attempts to pass. If you fail the exam three times, you will be required to repeat a CNA program. This could be the CNA program that you graduated from or another program of your choice. To prevent failure of the state exam, revisit CNA skills and study, study, study. And if you’re a graduate of Voyager Nurse Aide Program, call or text us at (719) 900-5555 today to set up an appointment for additional skills practice. 


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