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

How to Become a CNA in North Dakota

Want to become a CNA in North Dakota but aren’t sure where to start? 

Then you’ve come to the right place. 

Luckily, the process isn’t as complicated as you might think.

And to make it even less complicated, we’re going to walk you through the steps on how to become a CNA in North Dakota. We’ll tell you all you need to know. 

So let’s get started right away!

How to Become a CNA in North Dakota – The 5 Steps to Get Certified

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

  1. Plan your future
  2. Look for a state-approved CNA program
  3. Complete your CNA training
  4. Pass the CNA competency exam
  5. Find your first CNA job

Let’s get to the details. 

Step #1: Plan Your Future

As with any new career, the first thing to do is plan. 

And by that, we mean that you should decide where you want to work as a CNA. This is important as it can help you find a CNA program that matches that. 

Here are some common environments that CNAs in North Dakota work in: 

  • Hospitals
  • Assisted living centers
  • Nursing homes
  • Home healthcare
  • Adult daycare centers
  • Nursing centers
  • And more!

Step #2: Look for a State-Approved CNA Program

The next step is your education. 

One important thing to note is that the CNA program you choose has to be state-approved. You can check here for a list of approved CNA program providers in North Dakota. 

If you plan to work in, say, a nursing center, many nursing centers offer approved training. What’s more, they make CNA training FREE – if you work for them afterward. 

On the other hand, if you want to work in a hospital, then a community college will work for you. 

Here are other things to consider when looking for a state-approved CNA program that fits YOU:

  • Location – Is it easy to get to the facility/center/college from where you live?
  • Length – How long will the program be? Do you want to study full-time to be finished sooner? Or do you have other obligations that make you need to study only at night or during the weekends?
  • Cost – What is your budget for tuition fees? Do you want FREE training in exchange for working with the center/facility? 
  • Curriculum – What does the program teach? Do they cover topics that you are interested in learning? Does it provide the required education hours for CNAs?
  • Prerequisites – CNA program providers have their own prerequisites that you need to meet before enrolling. Make sure that you check what these are and that you can work to fulfill them. 
  • Learning – Some program providers allow you to take the classroom section online.

Step #3: Complete Your CNA Training

In North Dakota, aspiring CNAs are required to go through a minimum of 75 hours of training. Your training should also have a mix of classroom instruction and clinical practice. 

That said, a lot of program providers go over the minimum training hours. This is to ensure that their students are more than ready for the CNA exam and their careers ahead. 

Now, what can you expect from training? 

Here are some basic topics/skills that you’ll learn: 

  • Bathing and grooming
  • Feeding and nutrition
  • Mental health
  • Infection control
  • Bedside manner
  • Vital sign measurements
  • Patient rights
  • Medical record documentation 

Step #4: Pass the CNA Competency Exam

The CNA competency exam in North Dakota is administered by D&S Headmaster

Here is how to schedule your exam:

  1. Have your approved CNA program provider register you with D&S Headmaster. 
  1. Fill up FORM 1101 ND (Application for Certification by Examination) and print it. You can find the form on the Headmaster website
  1. If you trained at a college or school, you need to fill up FORM 1402ND (Payment and Scheduling). Again, you can find this form on the website. If you choose to pay with a check or money order, make sure to include it with the form. 

NOTE: If you trained in a facility or center, they are required to pay for your CNA competency exam. 

  1. Send everything to this address:

P.O. Box 6609

Helena, MT 59604-6609 625 Barney

Suite A, Helena, MT 59602 

(800)393-8664 – Fax: (406)442-3357

  1. Wait for an approval letter to arrive with your scheduled date, time, and location. 

On exam day, make sure to arrive 30 minutes early to check-in. Also, don’t forget to bring a valid ID with a photo and a name that matches your Headmaster account. 

Now, the CNA competency exam consists of 2 parts: 

Written or Oral Assessment – This portion of the test contains 72 multiple-choice questions which you need to answer within 90 minutes. The passing score is 75%. 

Skills Assessment – In this portion, you need to complete 3 or 4 random nurse aide tasks within 30 minutes. To pass, you need a perfect score for all key skills and at least 80% for non-key skills. 

You can check your results from 1 to 4 days after taking the exam. You can find it on the D&S Headmaster website. 

Step #5: Find Your First CNA Job

Once you pass both portions of the CNA competency exam, D&S Headmaster will inform the NDDOH. In turn, the NDDOH will include your name on the Nurse Aide Registry. 

You can now find your first CNA job!

If you trained at a facility/center, you can get straight to work. 

If not, then North Dakota has several facilities and hospitals where CNAs can find good, fulfilling work. 

FAQs About Becoming a CNA in North Dakota

Want to know more? Then let’s answer some frequently asked questions about becoming a CNA in North Dakota. 

What Happens if I Fail the CNA Competency Exam in North Dakota?

If you fail the CNA competency exam – don’t worry. You have 3 attempts to pass it within 6 months. 

If you still don’t, then you’ll have to re-enroll in a CNA program. 

What if you pass one portion but fail the other?

Then you’ll only need to retake the portion you failed. 

How Much is CNA Training in North Dakota?

For the most part, approved centers and facilities that offer CNA programs pay for your training – as well as for your CNA competency exam. 

However, if you choose an educational site, such as a college, programs can cost around $250 or $400 – depending on the institution and the length of the training. 

Can You Take CNA Training Online in North Dakota?

Yes. Online CNA programs are becoming very popular. Several approved providers offer the classroom instruction section online. However, you still have to go to a lab or clinic for your skills training. 

Still, that’s already very convenient!

How Long Does it Take for a CNA to Expire in North Dakota?

In North Dakota, your CNA certificate is valid for 2 years. The NDDOH will send you an email or letter 60 days before the expiration date. This letter will contain details on how to renew your certification. 


And that is how to become a CNA in North Dakota. 

It isn’t so complicated, right?

If you follow the steps one by one, you’ll soon find yourself a certified nursing assistant in the state. 

So what are you waiting for?

Now that you know all you need to know, you can get started right away. 

Good luck!

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