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Wisconsin Nurse Aide Competency Testing  Frequently Asked Questions

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Can I work as a nurse aide before I take the competency test?

A nurse aide student enrolled in an approved nurse aide training program may be permitted to provide direct nursing related duties for up to 120 calendar days from the start of training, as long as the person:

  • Is a full-time employee,
  • Has been trained and found proficient by the instructor on the skill being performed, and
  • Is under the general supervision of a RN or LPN.

If you fail the competency test, you can not provide direct, hands-on care until you successfully pass the retake test.

What is included on the nurse aide competency test?

There are two parts of the NNAAPTM Examination:

  • A Written or Oral Examination
  • A Skills Evaluation

The Written Examination has 70 multiple-choice questions. You will be allowed two (2) hours to complete this exam.

Ten (10) questions are pre-test questions and are used to collect statistical information for future examinations. Your answer to the pre-test questions do not affect your score.

The Oral Examination consists of 60 questions and ten (10) reading comprehension questions. You are also allowed two (2) hours to complete the Oral Exam.

You will complete the Skills Evaluation in an area that is set up to resemble an actual work setting.

All of the necessary equipment will be available for you to perform your assigned skills.

The Nurse Aide Evaluator will show you the area, give you an opportunity to see how the equipment works and answer your questions before beginning the Skills Evaluation.

You will be asked to actually perform 5 randomly selected nurse aide skills. See pages 23 - 38 of the Wisconsin Nurse Aide Candidate Handbook ( exit DHS; PDF, 255 KB) for step-by-step instructions about each skill.

You cannot just describe how you would perform the skill -- you must actually perform each skill. You will have 30 minutes to complete the five (5) skills.

You must successfully perform all five (5) skills in order to pass the Skills Evaluation.

The Nurse Aide Evaluator will rate your performance.

The Nurse Aide Evaluator will not answer any questions during the Skills Evaluation and will not tell you if you performed the skill correctly.

Will I be using a mannequin for the Skills Evaluation?

Nurse aide candidates will be asked to volunteer to act as a client for another candidate when performing the Skills Evaluation.

As the client, you will be expected to play the role of a health-care client for a skill scenario.

Therefore, plan to dress in loose, non-binding clothing:

  • A tank top and exercise pants, to accommodate the various skill scenarios (e.g., exposed arm and under arm for a partial bed bath or leg for range of motion).

Volunteer candidates are used for all skills, except for perineal care and shampooing. Mannequins are used for these two (2) scenarios.

What if I made a mistake during the Skills Evaluation?

If you know that you made a mistake, say so, and you will be allowed to go back and begin where you feel you made an error.

You will have one opportunity during each skill to correct a mistake.

How will I know if I passed the competency test?

You will receive your competency test results in writing, usually the day of the test, but no later than ten (10) business days after the test.

If you successfully passed the test, you will receive a wall certificate and a wallet card in the mail.

If you did not pass both the written test and the skills demonstration, your notice will indicate the area(s) that need further review and practice.

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Last Revised: September 11, 2012