Virginia 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 Virginia, you need to complete a nursing assistant program and pass the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) exam.

Who Grants Certification: The Virginia State Board of Nursing grants certification to Virginia Nurse Aides.

The Qualifications to become Certified: There are four routes of eligibility in order to qualify for receiving a nursing assistant or nurse aide license in the state of Virginia. These include:

  • As a new aide, you have successfully completed the Virginia state approved training program and have never worked as a nurse aide (even if you have failed the licensing test before).
  • You are a currently enrolled nursing student with 40 or more hours of clinical experience.
  • You are a graduate of a Licensed Practical Nurse or Registered Nurse program.
  • Your previous CNA certificate has lapsed.

How to Apply for Certification and to take the Exam: In order to apply for Nurse Aide Licensure in the state of Virginia, you will need to:

  • Have completed a Virginia state-approved nurse aide training program (that includes 40 hours of clinical practice) successfully; and
  • Schedule the Virginia Nurse Aide Competency Test through Credentia.

Virginia test sites can be found here.

Test Content: The NNAAP test has two parts, a Skills Evaluation and a Written (or oral) part. Both parts must be passed to be listed on the Virginia State 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: Your original license for nurse aide certification is valid for two (2) years. At least sixty (60) days prior to the expiration date of your certificate, a renewal notice will be mailed to your last address on record with the Board of Nursing/ Nurse Aide Registry requesting you to renew online here. You are required to personally attest that you have been employed for pay performing nursing-related activities within the previous two (2) years. In order to be renewed and maintained on the Registry, you must meet the work requirement mentioned above or you will be required to re-take the NNAAP Examination to demonstrate continued competency. Your nurse aide certification will expire if you do not renew it.


VA Nurse Aide Registry
VA Board of Nursing
Perimeter Center
9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300
Henrico, Virginia 23233-1463
Phone: 804-367-4569
Fax: 804-527-4455
Automated: 804-270-6836


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.

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