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

Who Grants Certification: The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services grants certification to nursing assistants and nurse aides.  
The Qualifications to become Certified:

There are three routes of eligibility in order to qualify for receiving a Nurse Aide License in the state of Washington. These include:
  • You have successfully completed a Washington state approved training program within the past year.
  • You are a currently enrolled nursing student who has passed the first year of classes.
  • Your previous CNA certificate has lapsed. If it has been more than a year since you successfully completed, you will need to retrain and retest.
How to Apply for Certification and to take the Exam:

In order to apply for Nurse Aide Licensure in the state of Washington, you will need to:
  • Have completed a Washington state approved nurse aide training program (that includes 40 hours of clinical practice) successfully, and
  • Apply to take the Washington NNAAP examination with the Washington State Certified Nurse Aide Exam Application. Fill out the application and send to:
    NACES Plus Foundation, Inc.
    8501 North Mopac Expressway, Suite 400
    Austin, Texas 78759
    Along with the application put these items in the envelope:
    • A certified check, money order, company check or Pearson VUE voucher in the proper amount made out to “NACES Plus Foundation, Inc.”
    • Authorization from the Washington Board of Nursing or a copy of your training program certificate
Washington 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 Washington 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:

According to Washington state aw, to renew your license, it is required that you have worked 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 online, through the mail or in person with the Washington State Department of Health. All further renewal and continuing education details can be found here.


WA OBRA Nurse Aide Registry
Aging & Services Administration Disabilities
PO Box 45600 
Olympia, WA 98504-5600 
Phone: 360-725-2570 
Fax: 360-493-2581


To prepare for your nursing assistant or nurse aide exam, use Tests.com’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 Tests.com's CNA Test Guide.

And take Tests.com'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 Tests.com's CNA listings.
Quality starts with who wrote the material.
Our practice exam writer
Alene Burke, RN, MSN
, is a multidisciplinary nursing educator and has taught nurses and CNAs for the last 25 years. She has developed curriculum for college level health care educational institutions and has served as a member of the American Nurses Association’s Credentialing Center Innovative Collaborative Initiative on healthcare education.

Dorothy Belding, RN, MSH
, is an instructor in the CNA program at Mitchell Community College in North Carolina.  Dorothy has over 30 years of experience as an RN and has worked in the skilled nursing environment supervising CNAs.

Diane Hill, RN, BSN
, is an instructor in CNA studies at Cumberland Community College in New Jersey. Diane is a state-certified CNA educator and has worked as an assistant director and staff nurse in nursing homes.

National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) Exam Content Outline Review

I. Physical Care Skills

A. Daily Living Activities:

  • Hygiene
  • Dressing and Grooming
  • Nutrition and Hydration
  • Elimination
  • Rest/Sleep/Comfort

B. Skills of Basic Nursing:

  • Infection Control
  • Safety/Emergency
  • Therapeutic/Technical Procedures
  • Data Collection and Reporting   

C. Restorative Skills:

  • Prevention
  • Self Care/Independence

II. Psychosocial Care Skills

A. Emotional and Mental Health Needs

B. Spiritual and Cultural Needs

III. Nurse Aide Roles

A. Communication

B. Client Rights

C. Legal and Ethical Behavior

D. Member of the Health Care Team