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NNAAP & MACE Frequently Asked Questions

NNAAP FAQs

Where can I take the NNAAP exam?

The NNAAP exam is administered in states that contract with the testing vendor Pearson VUE. Before taking the exam, candidates must contact the nurse aide/nursing assistant (NA) program in their state and meet the training/educational program requirements, and obtain testing dates and times from the training site or educational program. To find out how to contact the program in your state, check both the NCSBN and Pearson VUE websites.

Can I take a practice exam for the NNAAP?

There are no NCSBN produced or endorsed practice exams at this time.

Can I transfer my CNA certification to another state?

Every state has its own curriculum and program requirements for the nurse aide program. To find out whether your certification will transfer, please contact the nurse aide program in your state. Program contact information can be found on the Nurse Aide Registries.

Who is the NNAAP exam developed for?

The certification exam is developed for entry-level nurse aides/nursing assistants (NAs). We define entry-level as nurse aides with zero to 12 months of direct care experience after receiving certification.

Who administers the NNAAP exam?

On behalf of NCSBN, Pearson VUE administers the exam. To learn more, visit the Pearson VUE website.

What testing format will be used?

The NNAAP exam is offered in a paper and pencil format and a computer-based format. Candidates can choose to take either the written or oral format. There is also a Spanish language format available for candidates in some states.

Is NNAAP a national exam?

Yes, it is written on a national level by subject matter experts from the four NCSBN geographic areas. The NNAAP exam content is based on the OBRA curriculum/guidelines (Subpart D – Requirements that must be met by States and State Agencies: Nurse Aide Training and Competency Evaluation…; § 483.152 Requirements for approval of a nurse aide training and competency evaluation program).

What is the NNAAP exam content based on?

The National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) exam content is based on the OBRA curriculum/guidelines (Subpart D – Requirements that must be met by States and State Agencies: Nurse Aide Training and Competency Evaluation…; § 483.152 Requirements for approval of a nurse aide training and competency evaluation program), job analysis studies conducted by NCSBN and other resources.

How can I become a NNAAP client?

NNAAP clients are at the state level rather than an individual program level. A client must have a state approved program and a current contract with the testing vendor, Pearson VUE. If the program is not at state level, it is recommended that the program coordinator talk to their board of nursing/oversight agency. For questions, please contact nnaap_maceinfo@ncsbn.org.

Is there a range of duties/scope of practice for nurse aides?

The range of authorized duties may vary depending on where the CNA is employed; for long-term care settings, we encourage member boards and other stakeholders to refer to the OBRA guidelines, the NCSBN Model Nursing Practice Act and Administrative Rules, their Board of Nursing or oversight agency for assistance. Some states/jurisdictions may indicate the range of authorized duties in a general sense without getting too specific as some nurse practice acts (NPAs) speak to what licensed nurses can/cannot delegate to CNAs. OBRA and NCSBN Model Nursing Practice Act and Model Nursing Administrative Rules references are provided in the link below. Visit the OBRA curriculum/guidelines(Subpart D – Requirements that must be met by States and State Agencies: Nurse Aide Training and Competency Evaluation…; § 483.152 Requirements for approval of a nurse aide training and competency evaluation program and for the NCSBN Model Nursing Practice Act and Model Nursing Administrative Rules reference - Article 8, Chapter 8)

Are there any qualifications for licensed nurses who train/educate nurse aides?

The NCSBN Model Nursing Practice Act and Model Nursing Administrative Rules delineates guidelines for instructor qualifications as follows:

Program coordinator. CNA, CNA-II, and MA-C education, training and competency evaluation programs coordinator shall:

  1. Hold a current, unencumbered RN license in the state.
  2. Have at least two years of full-time experience as an RN in a health care agency or nursing education program.
  3. Have at least two years experience relevant to areas of responsibility. 

 Program instructors. CNA, CNA-II and MA-C instructors shall:

  1. Hold a current, unencumbered RN license in the state.
  2. Have a minimum of two years practice experience in a health care facility.
  3. Have at least one year clinical experience relevant to areas of responsibility.
  4. Provide documented evidence of preparation for teaching adults.
  5. Have completed periodic training updates.
How can I participate in test development for the NNAAP program?

To participate in NNAAP test development fill out the online application.

MACE FAQs

Where can I take the MACE exam?

The MACE exam is administered in states that contract with the testing vendor Pearson VUE. Before taking the exam, candidates must contact the medication aide program in their state and meet the training/educational program requirements, and obtain testing dates and times from the training site or educational program. To find out how to contact the program in your state, check both the NCSBN and Pearson VUE websites.

Can I take a practice exam for the MACE?

There are no NCSBN produced or endorsed practice exams at this time.

Can I transfer my CMA certification to another state?

Every state has its own curriculum for the medication aide program. To find out whether your certification will be accepted by the receiving state, please contact the medication aide program in your state. Program contact information by state can be found in the Directory of Medication Aide Programs.

Who is the MACE exam developed for?

The MACE is developed for entry-level medication aides. We define entry-level as medication aides with zero to 12 months of direct care experience after receiving certification.

Who administers the MACE?

On behalf of NCSBN, Pearson VUE administers the exam. Learn more at the Pearson VUE website.

What testing format will be used?

The MACE is a computer-based exam.

Is MACE a national exam?

Yes, it is written on a national level by subject matter experts from the four NCSBN geographic areas.

What is the MACE exam content based on?

The MACE exam content is based on the NCSBN Medication Assistant-Certified (MA-C) Model Curriculum and job analysis studies conducted by NCSBN.

How can I become a MACE client?

MACE clients are at the state level rather than an individual program level. A client must have a state approved program and a current contract with the MACE testing vendor, Pearson VUE. If the program is not at state level, it is recommended the program coordinators talk to the board of nursing/oversight agency. For questions, please email nnaap_maceinfo@ncsbn.org.

Is there a federal law that requires jurisdictions to regulate medication aides?

At this time there is no federal law regulating or requiring medication aides.

Are there any qualifications for licensed nurses who train/educate medication aides?

The NCSBN Model Nursing Practice Act and Model Nursing Administrative Rules delineates guidelines for instructor qualifications as follows:

Program coordinator. CNA, CNA-II, and MA-C education, training and competency evaluation programs coordinator shall:

  1. Hold a current, unencumbered RN license in the state.
  2. Have at least two years of full-time experience as an RN in a health care agency or nursing education program.
  3. Have at least two years experience relevant to areas of responsibility.

Program instructors. CNA, CNA-II and MA-C instructors shall:

  1. Hold a current, unencumbered RN license in the state.
  2. Have a minimum of two years practice experience in a health care facility.
  3. Have at least one year clinical experience relevant to areas of responsibility.
  4. Provide documented evidence of preparation for teaching adults.
  5. Have completed periodic training updates.
How can I participate in test development for the MACE program?

To participate in MACE test development fill out the online application.

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