CNA Certification: Preparation Time While Working?

  1. Hi Everyone

    I'm considering writing the CNA exam for geriatrics next spring. I am considering either taking LOA or reverting to casual status prior to the exam date in order to prepare. I am figuring on 7-8 weeks of dedicated study time, while working a minimal amount.

    For those of you who have specialty certification, what was your prep time, and how much were you working? Currently, I'm working full time. I don't see myself working full time and studying for that exam.

    Thanks for any insights!
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    About joanna73

    Joined: Jul '10; Posts: 5,489; Likes: 11,529
    from US
    Specialty: geriatrics


  3. by   weemsp
    If you want to message me privately I can give you some tips!!!
    If not...take my word for it....DO NOT GO DOWN TO CASUAL!! Take an educational LOA with a specified time frame ( ie...7-8 weeks of study prep, etc).
    If you do go to casual...keep in mind...that with the current employment situation in AB right may not get your 1.0 FTE back.
  4. by   joanna73
    Thanks I just messaged you Weemsp.
  5. by   aywl
    For me, I am working for AHS of alberta as a Lpn, I am preparing for orthopaedics speciality exam, plus I have 4 year old boy at home, I work 0.6fet, pick up 2 or 3 shifts a month, I fount it works well for me, just for ur reference.
  6. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    I just wrote the critical care pediatrics exam on Saturday. I work 0.7 FTE. I reviewed a couple of hours a day on my days off for a couple of weeks just before the exam. It wasn't nearly as bad as I expected and I'm confident I passed.
  7. by   joanna73
    Nice! That's good to hear. I think I would take LOA and pick up here and there for a while. I find working full time too much as it is.
  8. by   RN58186
    I did the Nephrology exam, I worked full time the entire time while doing so. I studied mostly for 3 or 4 hours per weekend and the occasional weekend. Good luck!
  9. by   Silverdragon102
    One of my best friends just sat the exam and she didn't do any courses just reviewed at home. I am considering doing the same next year
  10. by   joanna73
    Thanks for your replies. I'm half expecting the exam to be as twisted as the RN exam, but it seems like these exams aren't as tedious.

    Probably because we're all working and are prepared for the rationales they want you to have.

    What sort of study resources do you use? CNA position papers, BPGs, texts...along those lines? I would just do a self review. I'm not partial to study groups.
  11. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    It's not twisted. There's a strong emphasis on clinical knowledge and only passing references to all that touchy-feely nobody-in-the-real-world-talks-like-that stuff . Few if any SATAs. CNA has resources on their website and there's a practice exam on the site that's free once you've been given eligibility. I had a couple of practice exams for the CCRN exam (check the AACN bookstore, they're about $25), one of them from their prep course. I took the prep course one then made a list of the topics I needed to review based on those results. Then I used a combination of text books and the Internet to do my review. When I was finished that I took the second practice exam. What I found with the second exam was that for the most part the ones I got wrong I either hadn't read the question properly or I missed a key word in the response. Only then did I try the exam on line.

    I would start studying in January, go by theme, only study a couple of hours at a time and try to wrap up a couple of days before the exam. I was the only one writing CCP in Edmonton so there was no option of a local study group but that's not my style either. Best wishes!
  12. by   joanna73
    Thanks for your advice Jan!