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Breaking Down Ohio’s Nurse Aide Competency Evaluation Test

by Tim Brunicardi on November 6, 2018

Are you interested in becoming a State Tested Nurse Aide (STNA)? A STNA, which takes direction primarily from either a registered nurse (RN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN), usually provides nursing-related services to persons in long-term care facilities.

What Are Some Facts About STNAs?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some facts about the STNA field include:

  • In 2017, the median pay for nursing assistants was $27,510
  • The job outlook for nursing assistants from 2016-2026 is up 11%
  • There will be 177,700 new nursing assistant positions waiting to be filled between 2016-2026

What is the State of Ohio's Nurse Aide Competency Evaluation Test Like?

There are two parts to Ohio’s nurse aide competency test: a knowledge test and a skills test. The following sections describe both tests and what you can expect.

The Knowledge Test

The knowledge test is a 79 item, multiple-choice test that must be completed in a 90-minute period. This test can be administered as a written test using pencil and paper, or electronically at a designated test site. It's also available in oral format; however, this option must be requested at the time of scheduling the test. Candidates should be aware that there is an additional fee for the oral test, as well as some reading comprehension questions to ensure that candidates have the minimum level of competence required by the Ohio Department of Health.

Overall, the knowledge test covers the following topics:

  • Safety13.01.15-mjs-ft-a-level-resits-1_28634921
  • Communication
  • Infection control
  • Resident rights
  • Personal care
  • Basic nursing skills
  • Mental health
  • Data collection
  • Role and responsibility
  • The care impaired
  • Disease process
  • Older adult growth

To pass this portion of the state test, the candidate must attain a score of 80% or better.

The Skills Test

The skills test consists of five (5) nursing aide skills that must be completed in a 35-minute period. Tasks are drawn from the 25 skills listed in the candidate handbook; however, all candidates must perform the task of hand washing. Four (4) additional skill tasks will then be randomly assigned by a computer from the remaining list. The purpose of this test is to evaluate the candidate’s ability in performing the manual skill tasks expected to safely and competently perform the job of an entry-level nurse aide. 

Candidates must perform all key steps and score at least 80% overall on each skill.

Is There Anything Else I Need to Know About This Test?

After successfully completing an approved STNA program and receiving a certificate of completion, a candidate has two years and three attempts to pass the state testIn order for them to be identified as a STNA (which qualifies them to be listed on Ohio’s Nurse Aide Registry), they must pass both parts of the test. 

If they don't take the state nurse aide test within the stipulated time frame and are unsuccessful after three attempts, they'll be required to complete another nurse aide training and competency evaluation program.

A STNA's active status on the Ohio Nurse Aide Registry is listed as good standing for 24 months, provided that the STNA doesn't have a finding of abuse, neglect, or misappropriation of property against them or any legal proceedings resulting in prosecution of other possible disqualifying offenses.

Where Can I Get the Training I Need?

Hocking College’s STNA Program is approved by the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Department of Higher Education as a technical certificate program. It is anticipated that the College will begin providing this course beginning in Spring 2019 at the Logan Campus. In only four weeks, students can receive their Certificate of Completion and either go directly to work or further their education to become a LPN or RN.

For more information about program, please contact STNA Program Manager, Patricia Altier, by email at altierp@hocking.edu or by phone at (740) 753-6370.

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