How to Become a CNA in Colorado (A Complete 2023 Guide)

How to Become a CNA in Colorado

The best time to pursue your CNA career is now. 

We’ll even make it easier for you by walking you through the steps. And, since this is Colorado-specific, we’ll include all the state requirements for being certified. 

On top of that, we’ll answer the most frequently asked questions. 

So are you ready for your complete guide on how to become a CNA in Colorado?

Let’s go!

The 5 Steps to Become a CNA in Colorado

Here are the 5 steps to becoming a CNA in Colorado:

  1. Find a CNA program
  2. Meet the program requirements
  3. Complete your CNA training 
  4. Pass the CNA exam
  5. Get certified

Let’s go through the details. 

Step 1: Find a CNA Program

Before anything else, you need to find a Board-approved CNA program that works for YOU. 

What factors do you need to consider before enrolling in a program? 

Here are some questions to ask yourself: 

  • Is the program Board-approved? 
  • Does the program meet your needs?
  • Is the program provider a healthcare facility, college, etc?
  • Is the training location accessible for you?
  • What are the required hours of attendance?
  • How long will the program take?
  • How much does the program cost? 
  • Is it a credit or non-credit program?
  • Does the provider have online and in-person options? 

All these questions will help you find the right program. 

NOTE: Colorado currently does not have a minimum age for enrolling in a CNA training program. So you can start as early as high school. 

Step 2: Meet the Program Requirements 

Once you find a program that works for you, it’s important to check if you meet the provider’s requirements. 

Of course, each provider will have a list of their own requirements. But generally, you will have to:

  • Show proof of a negative drug screening test.
  • Pass a background check.
  • Show proof of immunization against tetanus and Hepatitis B.
  • Show proof of immunization against the influenza virus during the flu season.
  • Meet the other requirements specific to the school and program you are enrolling in.

If you don’t meet the requirements – don’t worry. You can always take time to work on those areas you can’t fulfill. 

Step 3: Complete Your CNA Training

Got accepted into your chosen program? 


Now it’s time to begin your CNA training. 

In Colorado, you must complete a minimum of 75 hours of: 

  • Classroom instruction – should be at least 59 hours 
  • Clinical training – should be at least 16 hours

Some topics and skills you will cover include: 

  • Training for safety and emergency procedures
  • Skills in providing personal care to patients
  • Basic nursing skills such as recording and taking vital signs, as well as treating wounds
  • Addressing mental health needs in patients
  • Understanding patient and resident rights
  • Infection control procedures
  • Effective communication skills

Step 4: Pass the CNA Exam

Congratulations on finishing your CNA training! 

Now it’s time to take the CNA certification exam. 

But what can you expect from this exam?

For the first part, there is a written (or oral) test. You will need to answer 70 questions in 90 minutes. 

The second part is a skills evaluation. Here, you will have to demonstrate 5 skills you learned during your training. The skills will be chosen at random. 

You have to pass both portions to complete the exam. 

In Colorado, the CNA exam, known as the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP), is administered by Credentia

Click here for a quick guide on how to register and schedule your Colorado NNAAP exam

Step 5: Get Certified

It’s the final leg of the race!

And it’s a very easy one, too. 

Once you pass the NNAAP exam, Credentia will send your details to the Colorado Board of Nursing. The Board will verify your documents and, if approved, your name will be added to the Colorado Nurse Aide Registry. 

On your part, you just have to wait to be added to the Registry. Once you are added, you can now get your CNA certificate. 

That’s it…

You’re done!


Now that we’ve tackled the steps on how to become a CNA in Colorado, let’s go through some FAQs for even more information. 

What should I bring to my CNA exam? 

On your scheduled date, you should bring the following to your CNA exam:

  • 2 forms of identification with a signature and photo (NOTE: photocopies are not accepted)
  • 2 pencils with erasers
  • A watch with a second hand

Besides those, you are not allowed to bring anything inside the examination room. 

How many times can I take the CNA exam in Colorado?

What happens if you don’t pass the CNA exam on your first try?

That’s completely alright! 

Luckily, in Colorado, you can retake the CNA exam up to three times. If you fail all three attempts, you will be required to re-enroll in a state-approved CNA program.

Do I need to retake both of the CNA exams if I fail one of the two categories? 

No, you don’t. If you fail one portion of the two tests in your CNA exam, you will only need to retake the one you didn’t pass.

For example, if you fail the skills evaluation but pass the written test, you will only need to redo the evaluation and vice versa. 

Will I need to repay the exam fee when retaking the CNA exam in Colorado?

Yes, you will need to repay the exam fee if you are going to retake the CNA exam in Colorado. On top of that, if you are late for the exam and it gets canceled, you will have to pay again, too. 

What is the passing score for the CNA exam in Colorado?

You will need to score at least 70% on each portion of the CNA exam to pass.

How do out-of-state CNAs apply for certification in Colorado?

Did you get your CNA certificate in a different state? Don’t worry – you can simply get an endorsement from your employer.  

If you have an active and valid certification, you can contact the Nursing Aide Registry in Colorado to receive your application to transfer your certification. 

The document that you receive will have sections that you have to fill out yourself and sections that have to be filled out by the Nursing Aide Registry in your former state. 

Other things you will need are:

  • A copy of your certificate from your former state
  • $10 endorsement fee (make sure to check as this changes every July)


And there you have it — your complete guide on how to become a CNA in Colorado. 

If you follow the steps one by one, you’ll soon be on your way to becoming a certified nursing assistant. 

Sure, the journey will take time and effort, but it will be worth it in the end. 

So what are you waiting for?

It’s time to look for a CNA program.

Good luck!

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