Arkansas Nursing Assistant / Nurse Aide Guide

CNA - Certified Nursing Assistant - Aide Practice Exam

Is a License or Certification needed: To get certified and work as a nursing assistant or nurse aide in Arkansas, you need to complete a nursing assistant program and pass a nursing assistant competency exam.

Who Grants Certification: The Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of Long Term Care (OLTC) has contracted with Headmaster to administer state exams to nurse aides in Arkansas. Once certified, Arkansas nurse aides are listed on the Arkansas Nurse Aide Registry.

The Qualifications to become Certified: There is more than one route to qualification for receiving a nurse aide certification in the state of Arkansas. These include:

  • You have successfully completed an Arkansas state-approved training program
  • You were previously certified in the state of Arkansas, your certification lapsed and you are retaking the test.
  • You are an RN or LPN student and have a copy of the OLTC’s letter of approval
  • You were trained or certified in another state and have the letter of approval from the OLTC.

How to Apply for Certification and to take the Exam: In order to apply for the nurse aide registry in Arkansas and apply to take the exam, register on the Headmaster website.

If testing at your facility, take the paper application to your facility.

Test Content: The test has two parts, a skills evaluation and a written section. Both parts must be passed to be listed on the Arkansas Nurse Aide Registry. The written section is 60 questions in length. You will have 90 minutes to complete the exam. Take these with you to the test:

  • Your Social Security card
  • Your driver’s license

The written exam questions are based on the Arkansas state-approved test plan. You must score a 72% or higher to pass the written exam. Content topics include:

  1. Role of the Nurse Aide
  2. Promotion of Safety
  3. Promotion of Function and Health of Residents
  4. Basic Nursing Care Provided by the Nurse Aide
  5. Providing Specialized Care for Residents with Changes in Health

The skills evaluation will be a 31 to 40 minute time period given to complete 5 randomly selected nurse aide skills, depending on the skills assigned. A clinical skills checklist can be found here. You will need to practice these skills. They will not need to be absolutely perfect, but you will need to be deemed competent in these skills.

For the first three skills you will also be tested on the actual process of washing your hands with each skill and for your indirect care of the patient, meaning the parts of care associated with the patients:

  • Infection Control
  • Communication with the resident
  • Rights and preferences
  • And safety, comfort and needs

You may find further details in a candidate handbook.

Certification Renewal and Continuing Education Requirements: According to Arkansas Law, to renew your license, it is required that you have worked 8 hours at your place of employment in the paid role of a nurse aide during the past 24 months. This must be paid employment, not volunteer work, and in a nursing environment such as a nursing home, home health setting or a hospital.

You can renew your license with the Arkansas Nurse Aide Registry here.


AR Nurse Aide Registry
AR Department of Human Services
Office of Long-term Care
PO Box 8059, Slot S405
Little Rock, AR 72203-8059


To prepare for your nursing assistant or nurse aide exam, use’s Certified Nursing Assistant Exam Practice Test Kit with 300 multiple choice questions, written by nursing experts and educators.

For more information on licensing and exam prep, go to's CNA Test Guide.

And take's free CNA Practice Test.

For nursing assistant and nurse aide exam preparation products and services, such as study guides, practice tests, flashcards and courses, go to's CNA listings.

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