We strive to make the process of applying for CNA certification as intuitive as possible. This page contains important details about what to expect before, during and after you apply.
Before you apply
Please note that you will need the following:
- Your registered nurse, nurse practitioner, registered psychiatric nurse or licensed/registered practical nurse registration number
- The name, contact information and email address of your endorser (for example, a supervisor or manager)
- If applying under Option B (experience plus specialized education), electronic proof of completion of a post-basic specialty nursing course or program
- If applying for wound, ostomy and continence certification, electronic proof of completion of a full scope wound, ostomy and continence nursing education program recognized by NSWOCC
- A credit card (MasterCard ,Visa or American Express)
CNA members receive a discount on certification. The member rate is available to:
How to apply and check the status of your application
If you are not a CNA member, join CNA and save on your initial exam fees!
You can apply for initial certification via your CNA account during the two application windows.
- Sign in to your CNA account (create an account if you do not have one).
- Click My Account in the upper right-hand corner.
- Select the Certification tab on the left.
- Select Apply for Initial Certification.
- Select your nursing category and choose Nursing Specialty Exam.
- Fill out the remainder of your application.
- After your endorser has verified your application information, log in to your CNA account, access your application, and pay the fee. When your fee payment has been received, the review of your application will begin. If we do not receive your fee payment on time, your application to write the exam will be delayed until the next exam window. Please note that you cannot pay your fees between application windows.
What happens after you apply
- We will contact you after you submit your application
- Your endorser will receive an email asking him or her to verify your application information and confirm your hours of specialty work experience. If you need to change your endorser and his/her contact information, you can do so in your certification application.
- After your endorser has verified your application information, you will receive a confirmation email with a link that you can use to pay the fee. (You can also log in to your CNA account to pay the fee.)
- When your fee payment has been received, the review of your application will begin.
- If you meet the eligibility criteria and your application is complete, you will receive a confirmation of eligibility email. The email will include a link to access all of CNA’s certification online exam prep resources.
- Check the status of your application and perform other functions in your CNA account.
- Book your exam
Within 10 days of receiving your eligibility email, you will receive an email to select your preferred writing option and book your exam date. There is an additional fee to book your exam appointment, which you pay at time of booking. There are two exam-writing options available.
- ProctorU: write your exam virtually at home with a proctor.
- Meazure Learning: write your exam at an in-person test centre. Meazure Learning offers locations in select cities across Canada, meaning travel may be required. Please note that each test centre has limited capacity.
- Prepare for the exam
CNA offers exam preparation resources that will guide you on how to prepare for the exam and highlight important documents to use for your preparation.
In addition, beginning in February (for spring exams) and August (for fall exams), you will receive an email from Meazure Learning giving you access to an online practice test for your specialty. The test offers 100 questions related to your specialty to help you become familiar with computer-based testing.
- Write the certification exam
After you write the exam
- Exams will begin to be marked after the exam window has closed.
No exam result will be given after you write the exam. Your exam results will be emailed to you three weeks after the exam’s last day of administration; your results will also be posted in your CNA account.
- Please note that the marking of the CNA certification exam is a rigorous review process to ensure each certified nurse meets our high standards. Our testing consultants at Meazure Learning apply statistical analysis on each exam and they review performance results to ensure that the pass mark is fair and valid. This process takes a few weeks to complete for all 19 exams.
- If you are successful, you will receive a certification portfolio containing your official result letter, your specialty certification pin and a certification certificate.
- If you are unsuccessful, you will receive an official result letter. It will include your Certification Examination Performance Report, which outlines your performance in each exam category for your specialty.