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

How to Become a CNA in North Carolina

Welcome to your complete guide on how to become a CNA in North Carolina!

Here, we’ll walk you through the 5 steps, making sure to include all the details. This way, you’ll know what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. 

For even more information, we’ll also answer a few frequently asked questions about CNAs in the state. 

So are you ready?

Let’s dive right in!

How to Become a CNA in North Carolina – The 5 Steps

Here are the 5 steps to becoming a CNA in North Carolina:

  1. Plan for the future
  2. Choose your CNA program
  3. Complete your CNA training
  4. Pass the NNAAP exam
  5. Get listed in the North Carolina Nurse Aide Registry

Let’s go over each step. 

Step #1: Plan for the Future

The first step to any new career is to plan.

For aspiring CNAs in North Carolina, this means planning where you want to work. 

Are you thinking about working at a hospital? 

Maybe in a long-term residential facility?

Or maybe you’re more interested in working in rehabilitation centers or adult daycare facilities. 

Do you want to stay a CNA forever or do you want to upgrade to an advanced CNA, LPN, or RN?

It’s a good idea to plan all this, even before you begin. This way, you can work on reaching your goal once you become a certified nursing assistant. 

Step #2: Choose Your CNA Program

Now it’s time to choose your CNA program. 

In North Carolina, these programs are available at community colleges, vocational schools, medical facilities, and even nursing homes. 

Some programs take anywhere between 6 to 15 weeks to complete, while others are accelerated programs that only last for 4 weeks. 

As for tuition, the price can range from $400 to $1,500. That said, there are a few FREE CNA classes administered by nursing homes and adult education centers. 

You have to consider all of this and choose the one that fits your needs and preferences. 

IMPORTANT! You need to make sure your CNA program of choice is approved in North Carolina. If it isn’t, then it might not satisfy state requirements and you’ll only be wasting your time. 

For a list of state-approved CNA programs, click here

Step #3: Complete Your CNA Training

During your program, you must complete the mandatory 75 hours of CNA training. This should include:

  • 59 hours of classroom instruction
  • 16 hours of clinical training

NOTE: Though the required CNA training hours in North Carolina is just 75, your program provider may add in more hours for more comprehensive training. 

Here are some of the topics that you’ll cover:

  • CPR and first aid
  • Client rights
  • Infection control
  • Communication skills
  • Nutrition and diet
  • Human Anatomy
  • Hygiene 
  • Bedside manner 
  • And so much more!

Step #4: Pass the NNAAP Exam

When you complete your CNA training, you will be eligible to take the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) exam. 

In North Carolina, this exam is administered by Credentia

Click here for a quick reference guide on how to apply and schedule with Credentia. 

Now, the NNAAP exam consists of 2 parts – a written (or oral) test and a skills evaluation. 

For the written test, you can either take it online or at a testing center. This will include 70 multiple-choice questions in English. To pass, you need a score of at least 70%.

If you want, you can change the written test to an oral one — you have to specifically request this when applying. 

The oral test will have 60 multiple-choice questions and 10 reading comprehension questions. This can be provided in both English and Spanish. 

As for the skills evaluation, you need to perform 5 random nurse aide skills in 30 minutes. This must be done at a testing center. 

Here is a table of the exam fees:

Written/oral test and skills evaluation:$140
Written/oral test ONLY (re-take)$40
Skills evaluation ONLY (re-take)$100

How to Become a CNA in North Carolina Step #5: Get listed in the North Carolina Nurse Aide Registry

Once you pass both portions of the NNAAP exam, Credentia will send your results to the North Carolina Nurse Aide Registry. Your name will then be listed in the registry in 2 to 5 days. 

To verify your registration, go to the North Carolina Nurse Aide Registry, select ‘Nurse Aide I’ then Verify Registry Listing, and fill up the information. 

And you’re done. 


FAQs about CNAs in North Carolina

Still have questions about becoming a CNA in North Carolina? We answer the most frequently asked ones below. 

What happens if I fail the CNA exam in North Carolina?

If you fail the NNAAP exam, don’t worry – you simply need to reschedule and pay a retake fee ($40 for the written/oral test and $100 for the skills evaluation).

What’s more, you can retake this exam as many times as you need in one year. NOTE: The 1-year period starts the moment you enroll in a CNA program. 

If you still don’t pass in a year, however, you will have to go back to training. 

Let’s say you passed the skills evaluation but failed the written test.

You will only need to retake the written test and vice versa. 

How much does a CNA get paid in North Carolina?

On average, CNAs in North Carolina earn around $33,000 per year. The range can go anywhere between $30,000 to $36,000. 

How long does a CNA certificate last in North Carolina?

Your CNA certificate is valid for 24 months (2 years). To renew your certificate, you must provide a receipt for qualified work verification. 


And that was how to become a CNA in North Carolina. 

If you follow the steps one by one, you’ll soon be a certified nursing assistant in the state. You’ll soon be able to start your dream job. 

So what are you waiting for?

Now that you know what to do, it’s a lot easier to get started. 

Good luck!

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