How to Become a CNA in West Virginia – A Simple Guide

How to Become a CNA in West Virginia - A Simple Guide

Being a certified nursing assistant (CNA) is a fulfilling job. Every day varies with different patients you’ll be meeting and taking care of. But to get there, you have to go through several stages of preparation which vary depending on the state you’re in. 

If you need a guide on how to become a CNA in West Virginia, you’ve found the right article! We’ve prepared five steps that will hopefully answer your questions. 

Let’s get started! 

How to Become a CNA in West Virginia in 5 Steps 

Step #1: Know which path to take. 

Step #2: Enroll in a state-approved CNA program. 

Step #3: Take the West Virginia National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) Examination. 

Step #4: Complete your CNA application. 

Step #5: Receive your CNA Certification. 

Step #1: Know which path to take

The first important step to take is to know that there are three routes to becoming a CNA in West Virginia. The first and most common route is nurse aide training: by completing a CNA training program and taking the succeeding exam. 

The second path is nursing training. If you are a registered or licensed nurse, you just need to complete fundamentals of nursing coursework and put in 32 hours of work in a West Virginia facility before applying for the exam. 

The third and final path is reciprocity for out-of-state CNAs. Reciprocity is the process of transferring your state license from one state to another. To qualify for this, you must be in good standing in your other state’s registry. 

Military-trained healthcare workers and foreign nurses may most likely take the CNA exam without additional training. West Virginia’s Office of Health Facility Licensure & Certification (OHFLAC) determines this on a case-to-case basis. 

As we move forward, we will focus on the first and most common route: completing a CNA training program and taking the succeeding exam. 

Step #2: Enroll in a state-approved CNA program

In West Virginia, you are required to enroll and complete a 120-hour program in a state-accredited school.

The 120 hours comprise 65 hours in classroom education, and the remaining 55 are for supervised clinical hours.

Part of the curriculum is topics on basic nursing and care skills. These include:

  • Infection control
  • Safety measures 
  • Basic restorative services
  • General cleaning and grooming of patients
  • Ethical and legal considerations

These programs usually last for about 4 to 6 weeks. You can take them in high schools, colleges, or even care facilities. If you don’t want to leave the house, then there are a few online programs available. 

For those who are willing to study on campus, you may check this page for a list of accredited schools and programs. 

Step #3: Take the West Virginia National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) Examination

After you have completed your CNA training program, you must take the NNAAP administered by Professional Healthcare Development (PHD). This exam consists of 2 parts: a multiple choice test (which can be taken in written or oral form) and a skills demonstration test. 

The multiple choice test has 100 questions and a time limit of two hours. If you choose the oral format, the exam proctor will read each question two times, and your answers will be documented. Even if you take the oral exam, you will still need to answer a few flow sheets to check your ability to record tasks. The passing score of this exam is 70% or higher. 

Once done, you may proceed to the skills demonstration. Here, you will have 50 minutes to demonstrate select nurse aide skills to show your competency. The 5 skills are chosen at random, so we recommend that you review all the practical skills you’ve learned in your program. The passing score of this exam is 75% or higher. 

In West Virginia, you can take the test in 10 different sites located in the following cities:

  • Beckley
  • Buckhannon
  • Charleston
  • Keyser
  • Martinsburg
  • New Cumberland
  • Parkersburg
  • Petersburg
  • Wheeling
  • Williamson

For the complete addresses, click here. Regardless of your chosen site, you will have to schedule and pay for the fees at least 2 weeks in advance. The multiple-choice exam costs $125 while the skills test is $160.

What you Need to Bring on Exam Day:

  • Social Security Card
  • Government-issued ID
  • Admission Ticket
  • Pencils with Erasers
  • Only watches with a second hand are allowed (No sharing of watches)

What to Do After The Exam

After finishing the exam, you will need to wait for at least 10 business days to receive your results. You can view this via email or check the PHD website. Remember your testing ID because this is the number you’ll use to check your results.

In the event that you fail the exam, you can still do a retake. However, you will need to submit a new application and pay the fees required. You must pay $55 to retake the written multiple choice test and $105 to retake the oral multiple choice test. You must pay $70 to retake the skills test. 

Step #4: Complete your CNA Application

In West Virginia, you can apply for the examination and the certification at the same time.

Usually, you can enlist the help of a sponsor to provide the application forms and materials and assist them in completing them. Sponsors are usually the nursing facility or training program provider you enrolled in. You can also fill it out instead and get your application form here.

But what if you didn’t take the NNAAP Examination and have previous training and experience?

How to Apply if You are an Out-of-State CNA or a Lapsed Nurse Aide

Out-of-State Nurse Aide

As mentioned previously, West Virginia allows reciprocity where you can use your active credentials in another U.S. state to apply for a CNA license in a new state.

Applications are easy. You just need to fill in the form and complete the requirements listed on the site of the Department of Health and Human Services. 

Lapsed Nurse Aide

If you were previously a nurse aid, but your credentials expired 5 years ago, then you can just take a refresher course instead of enrolling in a 120-hour program. The refresher course is just 16 hours and you will mostly need to demonstrate practical skills in a laboratory setting. 

You also need to apply to take a different examination within 60 days of completing your refresher training. On top of this, you need to pass this exam within 6 months. You have three attempts to take this exam. 

Step #5: Receive your CNA application

Once your application has been approved, you will receive the certification online. For it to be issued, you need to pay a $10 fee upfront.

If you haven’t received the certification yet, you can check its status here by typing your last name and the last 4 digits of your social security number. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there free CNA programs available in West Virginia?

Yes, there are! 

Usually, the free CNA programs are offered in your local nursing care facilities. They shoulder the CNA program, especially if they are offering one, and in return, you will need to work in the facility for an agreed period of time. 

Some nursing homes that we know offer free programs are:

What else do you call CNAs in West Virginia?

In West Virginia, you often hear Registered Long-Term Care Aides used alternatively to CNAs.


There are several routes to becoming a CNA in West Virginia. You can start as a first-timer applicant who will go through a lengthy 120-hour program, or you can present your credentials and apply faster if you are active in the healthcare industry.

Whatever route you choose, you must submit all requirements asked by the state and pass all levels of screening and testing.

We hope this article has helped you plan for your application! 

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