CNA Exam with Promissor

by chesara chesara Member

I'll be taking the state exam late February and I'm concerned about the 25 minute time limit to complete 5 skills. The instructor said the reason most people fail the skills part is because they run out of time. If any of you have taken the test, could you please give me some pointers? Even if you failed it and had to retake it, any advice would be greatly appreciated.

I know I won't know what skills I'm getting other than handwashing, but it would be good to know if people usually have more than one water skill. I don't think I'll ever get the occupied bedmaking down in five minutes so I'll need to make up time in other areas. What helped you get your skills done fast without making mistakes? What steps can be tailored for speed without compromising points?

I think making us do it in 25 minutes when in a real setting you wouldn't rush is ridiculous anyway but obviously people pass the exam. In the real world I know I'll have to be good with time management but I doubt I'll be expected to complete a full skill on a resident in five minutes. But the rules are the rules so until someone wises up and changes them, I need to get it done in the time allotted so that I can move forward in my nursing career. My next step is LPN school in March (hopefully) and then maybe RN.

Help! :uhoh3:



42 Posts

I also posted in the GA Nursing thread but nobody has responded so I thought I might have better luck here. If you've taken the CNA exam in GA, or in a state that uses Promissor for the exam, I would appreciate some tips about the skills portion. In GA, we have only 25 minutes to complete 5 skills. I looked up the website and saw that many of the other states on Promissor's list also only give 25 minutes for 5 skills.

All I know is that I will definitely have handwashing and then a measurement of some sort. I'm worried because some skills are more time consuming then others, especially if it requires water or making an occupied bed. I'm very nervous about running out of time which is automatic failure.

I take the state exam at the end of February so I'm hoping I'll feel more comfortable by then but in the meantime it would be great to hear from anyone who made it through with this ridiculous time limit, or even if you had to retake it, what helped you pass the next time.


jb2u, ASN, RN

Specializes in ICU, ER, Hemodialysis. Has 5 years experience. 1 Article; 862 Posts

25 minutes is actually a lot longer than it sounds. As far as your question, "What helped you get your skills done fast without making mistakes?", I'd say being well prepared.

Keep in mind that hand washing is always one, and MOST can be done rather quickly.

Let's say you get

1)handwashing (20-30secs counting turning on facet drying etc)



4)Respiration (TP&R can all be done within 5 minutes)

5)Modified Bed Bath (Let's say you haven't praticed and it takes you 15 STILL will have

4 1/2 minutes left!!!)

Let's say you get

1)Hand washing (20-30 minutes..see above).

2)B/P (1-2 minutes...DON'T forget to write down your measurement)

3)pulse (1 minute...Don't forget to write down your measurement)

4)measure urine output (1 minute IF your slow or unsure of yourself...AGAIN WRITE down measurement)

5) dress affected arm (5 minutes tops...your done in UNDER 10 minutes)

The longest skill might be makeing an occupied bed or modified bed bath, but I do not know that they would give you both of these at the same time. If they do, with practice beforehand, I believe that you will find that you can complete these in about 5 minutes each. Good luck to you on the test and remember practice, practice, practice. Oh yea, and WRITE down any measurements that you need to...Temp, pulse, respirations, b/p, urine, etc....just saying 98.6 is not good enough for the test. You must RECORD it. Patient safety is a priority, so bed lowered and locked, call light WITHIN REACH of the PATIENT when you are finished!! Patient privacy always...knock before you enter and do not expose body parts if you do not have to (ie: keep pt covered when doing your bed bath. Only expose the arm that you are going to wash.). Once again good luck and I am sure you will be fine.





42 Posts

jb2u, thank you for putting it into something I can read and evaluate. I do think with practice I'll feel better and we haven't even done clinicals yet. But I also know the "real world" and doing it the way the skill is written for the exam may not be the same thing.

Pass or fail I'll come back and post when it's over. If I fail at least I'll know what to expect the next time (although I know it's likely I wouldn't get the same skills). I'm going to try and stay positive and just keep practicing.

I tape recorded the steps for the skills I'm most worried about and then set the timer and practiced a little bit that way. I still have a month to prepare so I'm hopeful I'll be much calmer by then :)

Edit: One thing I noted on your possible scenarios is more then one measurement. Is that common to get more then one measurement? The instructors are leading us to believe we'll get handwashing and one measurement and then it could be anything from the list for the other three but probably not another measurement. So that's why I'm a bit freaked out. There will be two fairly quick skills but then I could get bogged down with three time intensive skills. That's why I'm hoping to hear from people who did in fact take this type of exam and what skills they had.


jb2u, ASN, RN

Specializes in ICU, ER, Hemodialysis. Has 5 years experience. 1 Article; 862 Posts

I guess you could think of it like this. If you got handwashing and one measurement you would have about 2 minutes gone and 23 minutes left to do 3 more skills. That is about 8 minutes a skill. I'd say it was plenty of time. I have heard of people getting multiple measurements, so I don't know if that is a rule.

IF you get

1) hand washing (20-30 seconds)

2) measure urine output (1 minute)

3) modified bath (lets say 6 minutes, but remember it's just a face and one arm)

4) make occupied bed (5 minutes tops, the person playing the patient will probably roll over for you in my experience, a little more cooperative than a real patient)

5) dress an affected arm (breath out at this point because you still have 12 minutes, but this should only take you 3-5 minutes, like I said the "patient" is normally pretty cooperative.)

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