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

How to Become a CNA in Minnesota

Wanting to become a CNA in Minnesota but not knowing where to start can be disheartening. 

It doesn’t help that there are thousands of search engine results with minimal information. 

We’re here to counter that. 

In this complete guide on how to become a CNA in Minnesota, we’ll make sure to include all the details — the requirements and steps. 

This way, you’ll know EXACTLY what needs to be done. 

So without further ado, let’s dive right in!

How to Become a CNA in Minnesota – The 5 Steps to Success

You’ll be happy to know that the CNA process is not as complicated as you might think. You only need to complete 5 steps. 

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

  1. Find your CNA program 
  2. Meet the program prerequisites 
  3. Complete your CNA training
  4. Take and pass the CNA exam

Let’s walk you through these steps one by one. 

Step #1: Find Your CNA Program

As with any healthcare professional, you need to have the proper knowledge and learn the right skill sets for your career. 

This is why the very first step to becoming a CNA in Minnesota is to find a state-approved Nurse Aide training program. 

Great news! Because of the high demand for CNAs in Minnesota, you can now take your CNA training for FREE. Click here to find a program

If not that, you can choose a CNA program with an approved Nurse Aide training curriculum

Step #2: Meet the Program Prerequisites 

Each CNA program provider will have its own prerequisites, along with the state’s requirements. You need to make sure you meet them all before enrolling. 

Yes, the prerequisites vary per provider, but generally, expect to: 

  • Provide your high school diploma or GED (only for a few providers)
  • Pass a criminal background check (CBC)
  • Provide proof of your latest immunizations and vaccinations 
  • Must meet the minimum age set by the State of Minnesota – 16 years or older
  • Get an acceptable score on the assessment test for the reading comprehension and English proficiency portions

Step #3: Complete Your CNA Training

Now that you’ve qualified for your CNA program, you need to take the time to complete your training. 

In Minnesota, it’s mandatory to complete a minimum of 75 hours of training. Out of the 75 hours, at least 16 hours should focus on supervised practical training in a lab or other setting. 

Some of the topics that you will learn about include:

  • Taking and recording patients’ vital signs
  • Infection control
  • Patient grooming and personal care techniques
  • Effective communication skills
  • Mental health needs of patients and residents

Of course, each provider will have its own curriculum. Be sure to check your study load so you can better prepare for when training starts.

Step #4: Take and Pass the CNA Exam

Once you complete your CNA training, it’s now time to take the CNA Knowledge and Skills Tests. 

Now the CNA exam in Minnesota is contracted by D&S Headmaster

Here is how to register:

  • Log in to D&S Headmaster’s TestMaster Universe (TMU). You must use your secure Email or Username and Password.
  • Complete and review the necessary information.
  • Find a Nursing Assistant Testing site and register with them. You will have to pay a registration fee (the price depends on the testing provider).
  •  Your testing provider will then schedule your exam with the D&S Headmaster. 
  • Wait for an email or text notification confirming your exam date and time. You can also check your TMU account for confirmation. 
  • Carefully read your ‘Test Confirmation Letter’ and follow the instructions. 
  • Take and pass the CNA exam. 
  • The night after your test (if it’s a business day), check your exam results through your TMU account. 

As for the exam itself, it will be split into two parts – a Knowledge Test and a Skills Evaluation. 

  • Knowledge Test – The first portion will be a written or oral examination. There will be 70 multiple-choice questions that you have to answer in 2 hours. You need a score of at least 76% to pass. 

If you want, you can request to take the test orally. This is for those who are not great at English. 

Another thing, you can now take your knowledge test virtually. Just make sure to register for that and have all the required equipment. 

  • Skills Evaluation – the second half will be testing nurse aide skills that you learned during training. The RN Test Observer will randomly select 3-4 skills that you need to perform in 30 minutes. You have to perfectly perform the key skills and get at least 80% for the non-key skills. 

Make sure to listen carefully to your RN Test Observer to understand the assignment given to you. 


Once you pass both portions of the CNA exam, the D&S Headmaster will list your name in the Minnesota Nurse Aide Registry. 

You are now a CERTIFIED nursing assistant in the state. 

Congratulations! You did it!

Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a CNA in Minnesota

Let’s go over a few FAQs that may help you along the way!

How many times can I retake the CNA exam in Minnesota?

The State of Minnesota will allow you to retake the CNA exam up to 4 times. If you are still unable to pass after the 4th attempt, then you will have to re-enroll in a CNA program.

What happens if I fail one portion of the CNA exam and pass the other?

In Minnesota, you only need to retake the portion that you failed. 

What is a CNA salary in Minnesota?

As of December 27, 2022, the average salary for CNAs in Minnesota is $35,313 per year. That’s from a salary range of $32,000 to $38,000.

Can I take the CNA test without classes in Minnesota?

Yes, if you haven’t completed an approved CNA program in the last 2 years, you can apply for a Challenge/Test-Out candidate. You can get information and apply with the D&S Headmaster website

Where can I contact D&S Headmaster for inquiries about the upcoming CNA exam in Minnesota?

For any questions regarding your upcoming CNA exam, you can contact the D&S Headmaster by phone at 888-401-0462 or 651-215-8705. You can also contact your selected test site. 


That wasn’t so complicated, right?

Sure, you do need to put in the time and effort — but now that you know all the details on how to become a CNA in Minnesota, the process is a lot easier. 

You simply need to follow the steps one by one. 

And before you know it, you’ll be a certified nursing assistant in the state. 

So good luck!

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