We strive to make the process of applying for CNA certification as intuitive as possible. This page contains important details about what to expect before, during and after you apply.
Before you apply
Please note that you will need the following:
- Your registered nurse, nurse practitioner, registered psychiatric nurse or licensed/registered practical nurse licence number
- The name, contact information and email address of your endorser (for example, a supervisor or manager)
- If applying under Option B (experience plus specialized education), electronic proof of completion of a post-basic specialty nursing course or program
- If applying for wound, ostomy and continence certification, electronic proof of completion of a full scope wound, ostomy and continence nursing education program recognized by NSWOCC
- A credit card (MasterCard or Visa)
CNA members receive a discount on certification. The member rate is available to:
- RNs and NPs who are members of CNA through their provincial/territorial member association or college, or have purchased a membership directly with CNA.
- LPNs/RPNs and RPNs who purchase a membership directly with CNA, or are members of CNA through their membership with the Association of Regulated Nurses of Manitoba or the Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of British Columbia.
Please visit the membership section of the website for more information. Other discounts and financial supports are also available.
When you are ready to apply
You can apply for initial certification via MyCNA during the two application windows. Read our important dates.
How to apply and check the status of your application
- Log in to MyCNA (create an account if you do not have one).
- Click My Certification on the left menu.
- Click Initial Exam Application.
- Complete the application.
- Check the status of your application and perform other functions on MyCNA by scrolling down to the My Applications section.
What happens after you apply
- We will contact you after you submit your application
- You will receive emails to confirm your application and payment have been received.
- An email will be sent to your endorser asking him or her to verify your application information and confirm your hours of specialty work experience. If you need to change your endorser and his/her contact information, you can do so on MyCNA.
- After confirmation from your supervisor has been received, the review of your application will begin.
- If you meet the eligibility criteria and your application is complete, you will receive a confirmation of eligibility email. The email will include a link to access all of CNA’s certification online exam prep resources.
- Check the status of your application and perform other functions on MyCNA.
- Book your exam
Within 10 days of receiving your eligibility email, you will receive an email with instructions to set up your exam date. There are several exam-writing options available, with instructions for each. Consult the email for next steps. You can also visit our Exam Preparation web page for details.
- Prepare for the exam
CNA offers exam preparation resources that will guide you on how to prepare for the exam and highlight important documents to use for your preparation.
In addition, within 10 days of receiving your eligibility email, you will receive an email from Yardstick giving you access to an online practice test for your specialty. The test offers 100 questions related to your specialty to help you become familiar with computer-based testing.
- Write the certification exam
After you write the exam
- We will begin marking exams after the exam window is closed.
Your exam results will be emailed to you three weeks after the exam’s last day of administration; your results will also be posted on MyCNA.
- Please note that the marking of the CNA certification exam is a rigorous review process to ensure each certified nurse meets our high standards. Our testing consultants at Yardstick apply statistical analysis on each exam and they review performance results to ensure that the pass mark is fair and valid. This process takes a few weeks to complete for all 19 exams.
- If you are successful, you will receive a certification portfolio containing your official result letter, your specialty certification pin and a certification certificate.
- If you are unsuccessful, you will receive an official result letter. It will include your Certification Examination Performance Report, which outlines your performance in each exam category for your specialty.