Minnesota Nursing Assistant / Nurse Aide Guide

CNA - Certified Nursing Assistant - Aide Practice Exam

Is a License or Certification needed: To get licensed and work as a nursing assistant or nurse aide in Minnesota you need to complete a state-certified nursing assistant program and pass the Nurse Aide Skills and Knowledge test (both the Skills and Knowledge sections).

Who Grants Certification: The Minnesota Department of Health has contracted with D&S Diversified Technologies to administer state exams to nurse aides in Minnesota. Once certified, Minnesota nurse aides are listed on the Minnesota Nurse Aide Registry

Nurse Aide candidates who have completed their training program can register for a date and time at the Minnesota State Nursing Assistant Testing website. 

How to Apply for Certification: Candidates can get on the Nursing Assistant Registry by 1) Completing an approved training program in Minnesota; and 2) Passing the competency exam offered through D&S Diversified Technologies or 3) transfer from another state's registry.

How to Apply to Take the Exam: Apply at D&S Diversified Technologies

Test Content: The Nurse Aide test has two parts, a Skills Evaluation and a Written (or oral) part. Both parts must be passed to be listed on the Minnesota Nurse Aide Registry. The written section is 70 questions in length, 60 are multiple-choice and 10 are reading comprehension questions. Take two pencils with you. You will have two full hours to complete the exam. (The oral exam if given in place of the written exam is 160 questions in length.) The Skills Evaluation will be a 25 minute time period given to complete 5 randomly selected nurse aide skills. Content topics include:

  • Activities of Daily Living – Hygiene, Dressing and Grooming, Nutrition and Hydration, Elimination, Rest/Comfort/Sleep
  • Basic Nursing Skills - Infection Control, Safety/Emergency, Therapeutic/Technical Procedures, Data Collection and Reporting
  • Restorative Skills – Prevention, Self-care/Independence
  • Psychosocial Care Skills – Emotional and Mental Health Needs
  • Spiritual and Cultural Needs
  • Communication
  • Client Rights
  • Legal and Ethical Behavior
  • Member of the Health Care Team

See the Candidate Handbook for more details.

Certification Renewal and Continuing Education Requirements

In order to renew your CNA registration, you must work at least 8 hours as a paid nursing assistant every 24 months. See the Registry for more information.


MN Nursing Assistant Registry
MN Department of Health
Compliance Monitoring Division
P.O. Box 64501
St. Paul, MN 55164-0501
Phone: 651-215-8705
800-397-6124 (in state only)


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

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