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Exam Competencies and Blueprints

The CNA Certification Program has created a detailed list of competencies and a blueprint for each exam. They describe the specific knowledge and skills that you will be tested on for each exam. (Several general competencies that will apply to all exams were also recently developed.)

The list of specific exam competencies explains the knowledge, skills, judgment and attributes expected of a CNA-certified nurse. The exam will test you on these competencies to assess your ability to practise safely and ethically in your nursing specialty.

The exam blueprint will indicate the percentage of questions dedicated to each competency category.

Understanding the competencies and blueprint will help you decide how much to review and which areas to concentrate on as you prepare for the exam.

The list of competencies and blueprint are contained in one document for each specialty. Please review carefully.

Cardiovascular Nursing [PDF, 640 KB]
Community Health Nursing [PDF, 163 KB]
Critical Care Nursing [PDF, 406.4 KB]
Critical Care Pediatric Nursing [PDF, 362.1 KB]
Emergency Nursing [PDF, 761.3 KB]
Enterostomal Therapy Nursing [PDF, 170.9 KB]
Please note: As of May 2018, the Canadian Association for Enterostomal Therapy will be known as Nurses Specialized in Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Canada (NSWOCC). All RNs seeking initial certification will see that the exam has a new name: Wound, Ostomy and Continence Certification Exam. However, study resources and exam questions will refer to enterostomal therapy nursing until a new exam is in place in 2019. Going forward, RNs with wound, ostomy and continence certification will hold the WOCC(C) credential.
Gastroenterology Nursing [PDF, 194.2 KB]
Gerontological Nursing [PDF, 210.6 KB] for RNs
Gerontological Nursing for LPNs/RPNs [PDF, 424 KB]
Hospice Palliative Care Nursing [PDF, 155.2 KB]
Medical-Surgical Nursing [PDF, 353.3 KB]
Neonatal Nursing [PDF, 167.8 KB]
Nephrology Nursing [PDF, 534.6 KB]
Neuroscience Nursing [PDF, 122.6 KB]
Occupational Health Nursing [PDF, 545.4 KB]
Oncology Nursing [PDF, 515.5 KB]
Orthopaedic Nursing [PDF, 166.1 KB]
Pediatric Nursing [PDF, 488.3 KB]
PeriAnesthesia Nursing [PDF, 548.9 KB]
Perinatal Nursing [PDF, 562.9 KB]
Perioperative Nursing [PDF, 696.7 KB]
Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing [PDF, 243.8 KB]
Rehabilitation Nursing [PDF, 195.4 KB]